Home Inspiration Ten Things About Me – 10 Things That You May Be Surprised To Know

Ten Things About Me – 10 Things That You May Be Surprised To Know

by Vidya Sury December 16, 2022 4 comments
ten things about me Norbulingka Institute Vidya Sury

I’ve been enjoying the “ten things about me” chain around Medium and what a delight it has been! It all began with Julie Gaeta’s ten things (she tagged me in it). My first thought was — will I ever be able to write such a fabulous list? I mean, her ten things read like a great alternative bio! Sigh.

But then, I also thought, why not give it a go? I also have Dr. Seuss’s words ringing in my ears…most of the time.

There is no one alive who is youer than you

So here we go, for what it is worth, in random order as the thoughts flow.

Ten things about me

Thing 1 — I cry when I hear the siren of an ambulance

Each time I hear the siren of an ambulance, I cry. The tears are involuntary and they just flow. And I automatically switch to prayer mode. I begin to chant the slokas I know (that I learned as a kid) and pray that whoever is speeding to the hospital has a good outcome. I pray for their folks, their caregivers, and for their peace.

The siren always takes me back to 3 Feb 2010, when I rushed my mom to the hospital. The driver had turned on the siren and all my barely-conscious mom could say was:

Vidya, tell him to turn that off. So many people must be in a hurry — we shouldn’t hold them up.

I was choked with tears because only my mom could think like that. Well, that was the second last time I spoke to her — because after we rushed her into the emergency room, they declared that she had to be hooked to a ventilator and other life-saving equipment. She was conscious for a few minutes before they took her to NICU . . . and she said she loved me, and told me to be loving, no matter what. That was the last time I spoke to her.

Thing 2 — Never missed a flight/bus/train although I rush at the last minute to catch it

I love to travel. I probably hold a record for making it to the airport/railway station/bus station at the very last minute. I started working on it at 17 when I took my first solo interstate bus trip — the first of many. My MO was, to rush to the bus station counter, buy a ticket and hop on to the bus. And breathe.

At 17 it was running back and forth between Hyderabad and Madras in connection with my college admission in Chennai — since I had studied in Hyd, I had to make a few trips to organize my leaving certificates and other stuff. Made a few friends with the bus conductors and drivers. They found me amusing because the first time, they thought I was 10 years old. Hmph!

At 20, I started my career. I also got to travel on work as well as to write job-related exams and for interviews — what with everyone wanting to snag the coveted multi-national and bank jobs.

I still remember, during one such trip, how my suitcase burst open as I raced on the platform to hop into the about-to-leave train. And all my stuff spilled out onto the platform. My first thought? Oh no! My yellow kurta will get stained!

Once my career began, it was business as usual for me to rush to the airport or railway station — just in time. There’s a post idea there — what would I have done had I not had the 11th hour? Yup.

So many stories about that last-minute sliding into the aircraft/train/bus!
Even as recently as 2020, before the pandemic started, I literally ran across the tarmac with two suitcases to catch a flight.

Today, three countries and almost the whole of India later, I am thinking it is my superpower. Also — never missed a flight or train or bus!

And I made many friends because of this.

ten things about me

Thing 3 — I used to be nervous around babies

I used to be nervous around babies, worried that they may not like me. Stupid, I know, but there it was. Until I held my nieces and nephews and realized babies loved me. Thus began a lifelong love for infants, manifested by me spending all my free time sewing little frocks and smocks and bonnets and cloth nappies and wraps and whatnot. Still have some of the handiwork to show for it — although I selfishly kept those I made for my son.

Oh, with my son — the love is a snowballing kind of thing. The sun literally shines brighter for me thanks to him.
With great something-something comes great responsibility — and so, when folks realized kids loved me, I became the go-to babysitter. And I did not mind it one bit. Sure, my peers teased me for wheeling a pram around when I should have been dating or hanging out with them…but I could not care less. I loved the company I kept. Babies and kids rock!

And I made many friends because of this.

Thing 4 — I never believed I could cook well

I love to cook. Even I did not know this thing about myself. I scoffed at the thought of having to cook every day. When my mom knowingly smiled or smirked when I told her this, she just cryptically said, “Just wait and see.”

Well, I waited. And I am now seeing what joy it is to work in the kitchen. Cooking from scratch is therapeutic. Sharing what I cook, even more so. Ask my neighbors.

I never imagined myself wanting to watch recipe videos or enthusiastically try new variations of dishes. But I love it. Never thought I would be baking. But I am.

Moral of the story — never jump to conclusions about yourself. You never know.

And I made many friends because of this.

ten things about me Eggless Multimillet Chocolate Cake Vidya Sury

Thing 5 — I love DIY

I am a fixer-upper. I can take care of minor plumbing issues, carpentry, electrical stuff, and other things around the house without having to call “the guy”. I am creative with solutions.

Also, I enjoy tinkering with stuff. For this wonderful quality and skill, I am grateful to my uncles. One, in particular, spent every weekend taking things apart. His favorite was the grandfather clock. Often he could not put it back together again and had to take it to the shop. But he was great at things like putting together a cupboard, fixing nets, shelves, and so many other things. He taught me to use plumbing tools.

My grandmother taught me the basics of construction. So any wall damage, paint jobs- I can take care of without batting an eyelid. Unless dust goes into the eye you know.

When my son was around six, I decided to paint our 3BHK home . . . and did. I did a great job. Although I still regret listening to my son and painting one room strawberry pink. Sury was traveling at the time and I had a free hand. It was fun!

Also, when I drove a scooter, I could fix a flat tire on my own.

And I made many friends because of this.

ten things about me unconditional love

Thing 6 — I am a shutterbug

I love photography. And every once in a while, I like to believe that I get a damn good shot — if not a damn good story for the photo.

I got my first digital camera in 2005 (still have it). I never did learn how to use it properly but yes, I clicked loads of photos. Lost almost all of them in one fell swoop when my computer crashed a few years ago. I was devastated because how could I recreate those moments — especially family events and photos?

For you mean-os who are secretly thinking, why didn’t she back them up, duh — I did. I backed them up on a 64 GB pen drive and a 1 TB external hard drive. On that fateful day in 2017, I had just connected both these to my desktop computer to back up something when lightning struck. And it totaled everything — my hard drive, pen drives, and the ext. hard drive. I mourned. I tried to retrieve the data but couldn’t.

Well, lesson learned. I now put everything on the cloud. Also, I have learned with even more force that everything is temporary and this too shall pass. It has made me stronger, I think.

Anyway, I now wield a Canon PowerShot SX50 HS with a 50x zoom. Nope, I don’t spy on my neighboring countries. But I do love to zoom in on things.

ten things about me Peacock at Jim Corbett National Park
And I made many friends because of this.

Thing 7 — I like to try everything at least once

You probably know I love to read, write and sing. I learned Carnatic classical vocal music for 6 years. My folks believe that I sing well. I can catch tunes instantly after hearing a song only once.

My mom believed that I could do anything I set my mind to. It may be true. During one job interview a couple of decades ago, the interviewer told me that one of my references had said, “She will draw water out of a stone if you ask her to.” I remember holding back the tears and smiling back at the interviewer. To this day, I don’t know which of the four references gave me that testimony.

I enjoy sketching, painting, sewing, and embroidery. I am a quick learner and have a knack for figuring things out — must be the infobesity.

When I was 10, I embroidered two sarees for my mom. It was a sky blue georgette saree on which I embroidered pink roses along the border and also all over the saree. She loved it. Then I learned the button-stitch and embroidered that on a brown saree in black and yellow.

Even now, I love to embroider the corners of handkerchiefs (still use them!). I love to paint on T-shirts. I’ve doodled on eggshells, sculpted chalk, and painted pots. I can create crafts out of old newspapers. Yup — a childhood in a thrifty household can do that. I am grateful for the self-sufficiency lessons I’ve learned.

And I made many friends because of this.

ten things about me DIY Vidya Sury

Thing 8 — I am shy about accepting compliments

I used to be terrible at accepting compliments. When my dates thought I was pretty and told me so — I brushed them off. Must be my upbringing. My folks believed more in encouraging than complimenting.

When my classmates admired my handwriting — I scoffed.

When my colleagues told me my smile could win me anything — I rolled my eyes.

I just did not believe them. I thought they were saying things just to make me happy.

Decades later, I realized that all I had to do was accept the compliment and say thank you.

So, when my son, at 5, hugged me and told me I was the greatest even though I was sweaty, stinking, and dirty, I showered him with kisses and said thank you.

Now, when my neighbors tell me something I cooked is great, I smile and say thank you.

Better late than never, no?

Still, even today, there are those times when I just can’t take a compliment because I secretly am not convinced.

Oh well — eyes of the beholder and all that, right? Right.

And I made many friends because of this . . . I think.

Thing 9 — I have two left feet. I think

I suspect I have two left feet. And pretty large ones at that (I wear a size 8 — and woe betided me every time I went shoe-shopping). The staff brings over dainty stuff only to look at my feet, startled, and school their expression before I notice the shock and … well. Saga there.

In school, I enrolled in a Kuchipudi dance class (classical Indian dance) and attended for 2 years. Did reasonably well, because I simply learned and moved. I am an apt pupil.

I think the only time I danced without inhibition was during a New Year’s Eve party at my friend’s place back in 1994. The only time I was fully drunk. Lots of reggae that night.

But I believe I can’t dance, even though I would love to. It is probably because I feel shy to let go and move. I am learning to.

With the help of my mop as a mic, pretending I am a rockstar. The magic of housework!

ten things about me

Thing 10 — I want to make the world a better place

You already know this if you know me, but I have to say it again.

My mission in life is to better the lives of underprivileged children and the neglected elderly. We have too many of these and it breaks my heart to see them suffer. As for children, I am always humbled by the thought that I could have easily been one of them.

So I’ve pledged to do what I can to make life better for them. I know I am but a drop in the ocean, but I also know every little helps.

When I was in school, I dreamed of one day setting up a home where I would take in destitute women and children and the elderly and give them a loving space. I made a promise to myself that I would donate a part of my income to this cause.

Today, I realize setting up that home is easier said than done, but I can definitely support a number of homes in cash and in kind. It makes me happy.

ten things about me

5 Bonus things (I know you didn’t ask, but still)

  1. I yearn to play the role of a villain in a movie/TV show. And each time I say this, my family and friends just cannot stop laughing. They think I am incapable *evil smile*
  2. I love motorbikes and can ride at least three types. I dream of riding a Harley-Davidson someday. I once gave the Road Transport Officer while out on my test ride for my license a heart attack at the “8”s I wove on the road, with him riding pillion. Hehe.
  3. I can write about anything. Anything. Any. Thing. A-ny. Thing.
  4. I am 58. I have 50-year-old friendships still going super strong. I consider myself truly blessed. I love that my friends know I am loyal, dependable, non-judgmental, and whacky.
  5. I have a photographic memory.

Thank you for reading!

I really think you should read these posts in this series by my friends. I loved them!

Katie Michaelson Ten things you don’t know about Katie Michaelson

Trista Signe Ainsworth’s Ten things you didn’t know about me

Barb Dalton 🇺🇦 Ten things you don’t know about me

Adrienne Beaumont Ten things you don’t know about me

Karen Schwartz 10 things you don’t know about me

Preeti Ramachandran A few things you don’t know about me

Liberty Forrest, Author Ten things you might not know about me

The Garrulous Glaswegian Ten things you don’t know about me

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Debbie D. December 16, 2022 at 1:03 pm

It was great to learn more about you, Vidya. 🙂 No surprise that you want to make the world a better place and are proactively doing so! This is a fun subject and I will write a post about it in the new year. In the meantime, I wish you and your family a lovely holiday season and all the best for 2023. 🌟

Vidya Sury December 16, 2022 at 3:59 pm

Thank you so much Debbie! Wishing you a fab 2023 too! I look forward to reading your post!

Damyanti Biswas December 16, 2022 at 9:11 pm

Love your listicle 😀 It made me smile and reminded me of a whimsical list I made a long time ago. I think I will go take a look at it now 😀 Thanks for sharing this, Vidya 😀
Damyanti Biswas recently posted…Signing with a Top Literary Agent: An Author Success Story

Vidya Sury December 16, 2022 at 9:12 pm

Please share the link to your post, Damyanti! Thank you!


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