A rainy day in September 2011. It is mid-morning and I have just completed a climb of the Pavagadh Hill to visit the Mahakalika Temple on its summit. It has been a tough and painful climb, partly because of the steep steps, and partly because of a sprained ankle. By the time I finish with the darshan at the temple, I am quite bad-tempered with pain and just want to get back to my hotel room and rest my ankle.
I decide to take the cable car back to the base and as I make my way to the cable car station, I see something that stops me. It is a smile. A beautiful smile beaming away at me from a small roadside shrine built under a tree. It is a smile that literally shines and sparkles amidst other expressionless, almost dour faces surrounding it. It is an open, wide and happy smile, and one so infectious that I forget my painful ankle and smile back in turn.
The smile should have looked comical and garish on an orange face with coins stuck on it. But no, this smile was encouraging and I felt that it was of a congratulatory nature for having completed the difficult climb. It was a smile that was whimsical and warm, and one that made me forget my painful ankle. More than anything else, the smile felt genuine !
I consider this my own personal smiley, and one that I would love to share with you. It is a smiley that has stayed with me through highs and lows, ups and downs, crests and troughs … and that I like to keep on recall mode. The smile has always offered hope and a reason to focus on the positive things around me. And as 2013 begins, what better way than to invoke my orange smiley and look forward to a year of peace, purpose, and positivity.
Happy New Year, dear reader.