A man and his dog

I met G A Leelasiri in Yatagampitiya, at the foot of the Nagahadola landslide in Agalawatta. He was sitting on a log.

I saw him rubbing his head tiredly, shaking it to and fro. His dog sat closely at his feet, occasionally staring at its master’s face and prompting a few words of acknowledgment.

I saw Leelasiri cry. He said he lost two grandchildren when the landslide dammed the river and caused it to overflow with great force. One of them was a 14-day-old baby girl. There’s nothing standing where his sons’ homes were. They don’t know what to do or where to turn.

The graves of Leelasiri’s grandchildren were in the garden. He asked whether we could take a photo of him and his two sons, the fathers of the dead babies, near them.  The clothes of one of the children, salvaged from the water, were hanging nearby.

The dog’s name is Buddy, the old man said. He’s never far away. “He and my five-year-old grandson were always tagging behind me,” he said, making a gesture of hopelessness with his hand. That boy was the other child that died.

You see a lot of pain in this job. But you never get used to it.

 

DSC_0170

DSC_0167.JPGDSC_0181.JPG

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s