from Sri Lanka - Part II
Visits to Sir Arthur C. CLARKE and
the first impressions
Sir Arthur C. Clarke during sunset watch in Colombo 2)
Sir Arthur with His 'astreoid' award which was given by
Photo: Bircan Ünver - January 2005
by Bircan ÜNVER
While I was in Colombo, I visited Sir Arthur C. Clarke
for a couple of times. I closely witnessed that the year
2004 was a very difficult year for him.
beloved dog, Pepsi, passed away on last June. Pepsi was
13 years old and she was always with Sir Arthur C. Clarke
since she was born. Following that, he adopted another
dog name Dainty to fill the void. Unfortunately, he also
lost Dainty on November due to an illness.
to his Media Coordinator Nalaka Gunawerdene and his Personal
Assistant Rohan De Silva, he suddenly lost his interest
and energy continue to writing of his book, The Last
follow by his lost of his dogs and the Tsunami tidal waves
hit of Sri Lanka.
people almost held him responsible of this disaster since
he foretold “a tsunami disaster in Galle”
in a book he wrote in 1957, “The Reefs of Tabrobane,”
after he moved to Sri Lanka in 1956. I’ve felt that
He feels an immense anger as his reaction to this accusation.
in 1979, after his book “The Fountains of Paradise”
had been published, he had answered science fiction questions
asked him in BBC’s “Time Out of Mind”
documentary and had said, “I never written anything
which may I thought could not happen often I wouldn't
like to happen, but it could happen."
an essay he wrote for a local weekly newspaper regarding
the Tsunami disaster, he refers to the “Spaceguards”
which he foretold in his book "Rendezvous with Rama" and which was set up because of
this book. In the same essay, he also suggests that government
authorities and scientists should do the necessary scientific
researches on time and should benefit from science fiction
books to take the necessary precautions.
had to sleep 14 hours a day because of his post polio
illness. Now, it increased to almost 20 hours because
of the negative effects of all these events. Therefore,
he lost interest in completing his book “The Last
Theorem” which he was planning to publish this year.
The idea of completing the book with a co-author was in
agenda since all chapters of this book were planned and
a big portion of it was completed.
was sorry to see Sir Arthur C. Clarke in this condition.
He even showed me Pepsi’s picture on my first visit
and told me he lost her while he was having a heart-to-heart
talk with me. When I first entered his office, I realized
that something was missing but I couldn’t figure
out what it was!
his Egogram-2004 and previous ones, he was fondly telling
how this little creature (talking about Pepsi) won his
heart. His longing for Pepsi was evident when he told
me that he didn’t want any dog other than his dogs.
refrained from mentioning his Scuba Diving School and
his weekend house in Hikkaduwa that he lost because I
thought it might increase his sorrow.
joined to Sir Arthur's sunset trips twice in Colombo.
Rohan De Silva
my visits between January 28 and 29, I was happy to see
his energy that I witnessed in my first visit on December
2002 was slowly coming back.
even joined him twice while he was watching the sunset
from the park in front of the Colombo's old parliament.
Previously, when I asked him when he was going to publish
his book "The Last Theorem", he answered, "I
don't remember," or "I don't know, what happened
to it?" However, this time he said, "I showed
you the first part; you know its story, don't you?"
I was surprised. I answered, "I hope you will re-start
to continue writing your book until I return to New York."
Negombo - February 1, 2005
by Pelin Bali from Turkish