The other day I visited a goldsmith's store in Mylapore to repair a pendant. In my usual curious self, I pulled out a stool and saw him get to to work, watching him align the pendant on some sort of a white colored, slate-like material, lighting a miniature gas cylinder, lighting it and then directing the but flame through a right-angled metal pipe on the pendant so that the materials fuse.
As the metal came in contact with fire, I saw it gaining sheen immediately.
And he said most metals become brighter when they come in contact with fire.
I wonder if we too are similar in some way. A lot of times when we go through a trial-by-fire sort of a situation, we (at least most of us) come out unscathed, emerging brighter than we were before.
Maybe there is a lesson to learn from a metal. Or even from a conch shell. Sangu suttaalum venmai tharum.. Have heard this in school when I heard students repeating in chorus after the teacher, from an adjacent classroom.