මට ඇති වස්තුව මට ඇති සම්පත…*
*From the song, වස්තුව ඉල්ලන (Wasthuwa Illana), by Anton Rodrigo, which tells the story of King Dhathusena and his son, Kashyapa, who killed him in 473 AD. Imprisoned by Kashyapa, and tortured to reveal his hidden treasure, King Dhathusena eventually points to the Kala Wewa, the great reservoir he had built, and said (as quoted in the song), “මට ඇති වස්තුව මට ඇති සම්පත මේ නිල් දිය කද වන්නේ” (“My wealth, my treasure, is this blue water”). He then went on to ask his son to have his body buried in the reservoir bund when he died. Legend has it that the enraged Kashyapa then walled King Dhathusena, still living, into the bund. This photograph of the Kala Wewa was shot from that bund. Oddly, as I crouched at the water’s edge, the stench of death was heavy; no doubt the body of some drowned creature washed up nearby; but the strong smell and the thought of a murdered king walled into the bund behind me gave the approaching dusk a melancholy all its own. Sri Lanka, April 2016.