← Back

Let me feel insignificant, dammit.

Solar eclipse 2024

Solar eclipses I've seen in the past few years.

I was going to write a deep and profound piece about seeing the solar eclipse this week. Something about our smallness in the universe amidst the convergence of our two most influential celestial bodies. But, I’ll tell you about an amusing incident that happened on earth instead.

I regretted missing the 2017 solar eclipse. So I was not going to miss the 2024 edition.

Google Maps estimated a six hour drive to the eclipse in Vermont. It took me nine hours. I used up all of the buffer time I had built in. I started seeing people pull their cars over to the side of the highway exit ramps. With less than five minutes left until totality, I decided to join them.

The afternoon sky darkened, the stars came alive, I began to feel awed at the spectacle, and then…


An 18 wheeler hit the side of my minivan. I didn’t park far enough away from the road.

I was confronted by an annoyed truck driver, demanding a resolution to my faulty parking. As I looked at the accident, I could hear cheers and applause around other illegally parked cars as the moon fully eclipsed the sun behind me. At that moment, I did not care about the accident, nor my car. I simply said, “Hang on.” I turned around and observed the eclipse.

I tried taking the event in, wanting to fully appreciate my insignificance in the moon’s shade. But I couldn’t. The driver hovered all around me, trying to figure out how to free his truck, how to make his delivery on time, and how to deal with the paperwork.

His job was eclipsed by this accident.

Immediately after totality, I turned back to assess the damage, hoping it was something minor. Thankfully, it was. My driver’s side mirror got knocked forward (great design detail) and only suffered some deep scratches on the paint. I popped the mirror back into place and moved my car out of the way. He looked relieved when I waived the paperwork. We shook hands and went our separate ways.

Seven years of waiting, three months of planning, sixteen hours of total driving, two minutes of totality (of which I spent a minute dealing with the accident).

Still worth it.

Pic related, eclipses I’ve seen over the past 3 years:

  • 2021 - a crescent sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean.
  • 2023 - annular eclipse in Utah.
  • 2024 - total eclipse in Vermont. When it comes to total solar eclipses, be like a desi parent reviewing their child's report card: 99% is not good enough.

I tweaked this on Wed Apr 10 2024 00:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)