Fifteen years to the day after the terrible Tsunami swept across Sri Lanka, another powerful natural phenomenon struck awe and even fear for some of the rural people. The morning sky turned dark.
We had travelled upcountry to a place called Naula, close to the line taken by the total eclipse of the sun. Our friends packed a welder’s visor in their overnight bag. I thought David, an engineer, was planning to do some welding when we reached our destination, but it was his wife who had the foresight. She follows events in the heavens and told us of the eclipse.
When the time came there was cloud cover which was fortunate for me as I managed to take photographs of the eclipse through the clouds. In between the clouds, we observed the eclipse through the visor.
The cook and some of the staff where we stayed thought it was an intervention of the gods and wanted to go to the temple. Many people did visit temples, churches, kovils and mosques but it was the schoolteachers who could tell them what was happening. We collected the staff and let them all have a look through the visor. One of our Sri Lankan friends explained what was happening, but I am not sure we convinced them all.