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Dr. Philip G Veerasingam retired as Senior Consultant Surgeon, National Hospital of Sri Lanka (former General Hospital) in 2000. Since then, he authored two outstanding memoirs: Remembered Vignettes – the life of a medical student in Ceylon of the early 1960s, and Cry of the Devil Bird – incidents in the life of a surgeon, working in Ceylon (Sri Lanka), from 1965 to 2005.
The waterfall at Alupola was the centre of my childhood existence. Its subdued roar and 'white water' gave one a sense of peace and tranquility. Bright sunny days would light up the entire valley. The cry of the Brahminy kite wheeling in ecstasy high up in the blue sky would enchant us.
Local tea estate workers of South Indian origin, claimed that on misty moonlit nights, the seven mythical 'Karthigai virgins', came to the pool below the second waterfall, to frolic and bathe. This story added a fairytale beauty to the Alupola Falls. Often, walking past it on moonlit nights with my father, I would peer through the mist and thunder of the waterfalls, looking for the 'Seven Karthigai Virgins'. I never got a glimpse of them. The locals claimed that anyone who did glimpse them would be struck mad by their beauty. Then he or she would roam the earth looking for another sight of them, abandoning all worldly pleasures.
Maybe it was my luck not to see them.
The third outstanding memoir by Dr Veerasingam which lovingly chronicles days gone by.