In a little park, near the United Nations’ offices in Geneva, Switzerland, is a statue of Mahatma Gandhi reading a book and with a look of utmost concentration on his face.
The statue was unlike any Mahatma Gandhi statue I had seen or come across before — I had always seen his statues in a standing or walking position. This one of him reading seemed more like one I could relate to.
And to think, in retrospect, that I almost missed seeing this. Let me elaborate.
It was the summer of 2009 and I spent a few days in Geneva prior to beginning a dissertation. A friend was working in Geneva at that time and I was staying with him. It was a time of total relaxation and all I did was binge on mangoes and Indian food (I was living in London at that time and had been deprived of these luxuries !), chat with my friend, and listen to the opera. I was very content to stay at my friend’s flat and watch life in Geneva go by from the windows..
Finally, on the eve of my return to London, I gave in to my friend’s persuasion to explore the city and ventured out. Mahatma Gandhi’s statue happened to be one of the first things I saw.
And the quote inscribed on the base — “My life is my message” — was so apt. Isn’t it true for all of us? Isn’t our life and what we do a message and what we communicate to others?
For more in the “Travel Shot” series, click here.