Saturday, July 25, 2009

Solar Eclipse

This week's incident of total solar eclipse in India took me back to the previous event that happened in early 80s. I was studying in the engineering. Nearest place to watch the solar eclipse was Hubli . We decided to descend on this city and watched it from the terrace of Raghu Kaka’s palatial bungalow.
Use of Sun glasses then was not popular . We had to make a special trip to photo studio to buy a square inch of blank developed photo film.

The whole city of Hubli was galvanized for this event. The event was around 4pm and when it did happen, the sheer excitement was so exhilarating that seeing the spectacle through square inch of photo film seemed futile and inadequate. Go out of the hand this sharp edged square film and devour what you can with your naked eyes. Witnessing the diamond ring phenomenon, as the sun came out of the eclipse was terrific and also the effect of sand dunes type of images rapidly moving past your feet was electrifying.

A lot of stories would float around the event. One such story was about 'Konark Sun temple'. The location of temple was mathematically devised in such a way that every total solar eclipse on the earth would pass through this monument. That day of February 16th, 1980, Konark Sun Temple did come directly on the path of a total solar eclipse. In subsequent years, I didn't find any mention on this theory but I did get a chance to visit this spectacular monument. My only regret was that I chose a wrong season to visit puri and Konark. Summer temp past 45 degree in Orissa made scorching heat of Baroda, Riyadh and Nagpur pale in comparison.

On our return journey from Hubli, without any confirmed reservation, meant jumping the 'unreserved compartment ' as the train rolled in the station and pushing past red coolies to get hold of the berth. I didn't succeed in occupying the coveted upper berth but managed to occupy a place below the lower berth - used for towing luggage. The pitched darkness inside the compartment didn’t allow me to decipher the rustling noise as I slumbered. When I got up next day morning, I found myself in the company of heap of peeled out husk of ground nuts that seem to have accumulated all around me giving me bed of husks.

I may still have those photos with Satish, Mukund, Nandu Chavan taken against the backdrop of Imposing facade of Dharwad medical college.

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12:41 AM  

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