Monday, November 06, 2006

Meeting the Man

Permit me for five minutes to act my shoe size and not my age...

As some of you may know, Sir David Attenborough and his work have been a lifelong inspiration for me.

Those closer to me know that I don't stop going on about him...

During my childhood I was enchanted by his personable accounts of the rich natural histories that surround us. I am still enchanted. My career is as a result of his work, and I follow in his footsteps, albeit at a considerable distance.

It has been my wish, for the longest time, to thank him. So it was with much trepidation and a belly full of rare and exotic butterflies that I finally had the opportunity to meet Sir David in person...

On Sunday morning Siva, the Otterman, called me and asked if I was free for half an hour. The BBC Natural History Unit had been in Singapore filming sequences (for their upcoming Life in Cold Blood series), and Siva in his capacity as mangrove expert, had been helping out.

Siva: "David Attenborough is in town - maybe you'd like go meet him this evening before he flies out?"
Charith: "Wow"
S: "He's pretty tired but there should be enough time to say 'hi' before he leaves"
C: "Wow"
(my shoe size is 10 by the way)
S: "Ok, so see you later then"
C: "Wow"

So about four hours later, after regaining my composure, I grabbed my copy of "The Life of Birds", and made it through a weekend traffic jam just in time to meet Sir David before he left for Australia.

It must have been a five minute conversation - we discussed Sloth Bears, Macaques and his next shoot in Sri Lanka. I must have also blurted out my admiration for him at least three times during that space of time. But that's okay, 'cos I'm a ten year old kid at this point. Inspite of my blubbering he was most gracious and signed my book too.

"See you later, Sir David" (thanks Siva for the photo)

So there you have it - an opportunity of a lifetime. I told Siva in all honesty, that he had made my decade... I have certainly been rejuvenated by the experience.

Hopefully I won't have to wait another thirty years to meet David Attenborough again...


强仔 said...

Hey 10-year old boy, you can't make me more envious than that. Hope you're feeling better now, and do rest yah?

Catch up when you're better!

Charith said...

Thanks! Will catch up soon

Margareta said...

Congratulations, Charith - both for meeting Sir David and for your art work! I know the feeling of meeting an idol since childhood! Your description of exotic butterflies is perfect!!! :-)
Glad you are back! I look forward to see the program on Animal Planet on Sat Nov 18! Greetings from chilly Scandinavia!