This is basically how it all started. One Tuesday afternoon, just after the final paper of the 1st Semester Examination, the President, Jalak Ayya announced that 27th of August was going to be an important day and that he needed 3 CO s from the 1st year batch to organize it. The first position up for grabs was the CO of Fund raising, so Jalak ayya asked for any volunteers. After few head turns and look-a-ways, Ovin, who is trustworthy in financial activities and was experienced in it, volunteered and was appointed as the first CO. The next CO needed was for IT work. Kaushan who was the obvious man for the task volunteered for the job. Despite having zero knowledge in designing, he was determined to make the installation ceremony successful and had one particular person in mind who would be of great assistance in his quest. The 3rd division was food and decorations. As soon as Tharaka sensed that he will have to work alongside a lot of girls, Tharaka raised both hands at lightning speed questioning the existence of a real “Flash”. All in all, Tharaka was the ideal person for this task because of his coordination skills, his eye for detail and most importantly his gifted ability to handle the girls in the Food and Decorations team. After appointing all the 3 COs, Jalak ayya also wanted a first year to compere the Installation Ceremony. Even after a moment or two, nobody raised their hands given the opportunity, but out of nowhere, a six-footer hastily entered the room and claimed the position of compere. It was the dashing rugby player, Mindula who volunteered himself for the job. Mindula was the ideal person for the task, given his renowned skills as a compere.
Thus, the journey began. After all the exams were over, we got a holiday of around 2 weeks. So having become the COs and after post-exam stress relief, our first job was to recruit people from the first year batch into our divisions. As Tharaka expected, majority of the female rotaractors joined the food and decorations division (which made Tharaka the happiest man out of the 3 Cos). The IT division was flooded mostly by our male rotaractors who had interest and knowledge in IT work, but there were few female rotaractors who were willing to add a feminine touch to the designing aspect of the installation ceremony. People who were capable of finding ads for the souvenir and who wanted to join the fun and excitement of visiting companies to request for sponsorships picked the souvenir division.
After forming our own groups, we set to work in our own ways. The CO of fund raising and his team had to start the task earlier than the other 2 divisions, because of another major fund-raising project (Abhina) which was going during the same time period and almost everyone in the Science Faculty were contributing to it. So, matters had to be taken seriously and Ovin wasn’t the giving up kind. Hence, he put together his fund-raising team which mainly comprised of his buddies who were dedicated and supportive. Usually, it’s a habit to walk about 2/3 km a day just within the University premises. We all know that some of us (specially, the not so thin ones) consider that as a great deal of cardio, but our committed team of fund raisers had some days where they had to walk 10km per day in the burning sunshine along the streets of Colombo visiting companies requesting for a sponsorships.
Ovin and his team (mainly Pasan, Thamal, Chamod) not only skipped lectures, they also had to sacrifice their chances at scoring girls during that period due to being overly exposed to the sun which had made their faces two tones darker (anyhow, our prayers were with them during those tough times). In spite of all that, the fund-raising team was successful in meeting their target budget while having fun and gaining so many memories and life experiences during the process of fund collection.
Moving onwards, it was Kaushan who had to shoulder a great deal of work since he was in charge of all the IT work related to the Installation Ceremony. Although, many joined his team, Kaushan had to depend on a single person named Achintha who was a great master of photoshop. Achintha (famously known as “Leni” among his university friends) is the jovial kind and a big fan of black (if that makes any sense to you). Despite that, he is one of the most dedicated, hard-working and honest people you might meet in your life. So honest that he full shaved his beard and got a new haircut just for the installation ceremony, but unfortunately his new look surely did not get him any girls that night. However, his effort didn’t go unnoticed when his collar was fixed by a certain someone of the opposite gender.
On the other hand, Kaushan who started off this journey with zero knowledge in designing finally ended up designing the souvenir for the installation ceremony under the guidance of his friend. Not only that, he also had to learn how to do a tie knot after being embarrassed in front of others, when a girl had to do the tie knot for him before another installation ceremony. During the one month prior to the installation ceremony, Leni and Kaushan were always seen together at all times and this led to certain hypotheses regarding their sexual orientation. However, they both denied such claims and made it clear that their relationship was only limited to work and good friendship. Our IT CO Kaushan and his partner Leni were in the opposite sides of the weight scale, but that difference didn’t go beyond that point. Their collaboration in the designing process was undeniable. Often Kaushan would come up with the idea and Leni would execute it perfectly and sometimes add a designer’s touch that would make the final product a creative extravaganza. Both Kaushan and Leni had to engage in relentless work from day one till the end of the installation ceremony. They had to spend many late nights at the blue side creating artwork and designs for the installation ceremony, keeping in mind that they wanted to make this year’s installation ceremony a special one. With that thought in mind, Leni came up with the bright idea of making mock videos for the incoming board while introducing them to the audience. Despite many of the board members being against it, Jalak aiya provided his fullest support because he wanted the rest of his crew to join him down the lane of humiliation. With that said, both Kaushan and Leni set to work after formulating an escape plan in case things went south after the ceremony. Fortunately, the so-called plan wasn’t required as everyone embraced it with laughter which is the beauty of university life. In addition to Leni, Chamod, Hasitha (Shaggy) and Tharushi also played key roles during the process. Thus, with great effort the IT team was able to make our installation ceremony an epic one which was praised by many of the spectators.
Now let’s talk about the refreshments-CO Tharaka, the brave man who put himself in the position to lead a group of girls who would be responsible for the refreshments and decorations of our installation ceremony. In fact, Tharaka was the only male representative in a team dominated by 30 odd girls. Hence, we should take this opportunity to praise Tharaka’s girlfriend who is also a fellow rotaractor, for tolerating the situation he was in, during that period. Most of these girls were strangers to Tharaka, so naturally at the beginning he had to fulfill almost all the responsibilities on his own. As a result, one week before the installation ceremony Tharaka was all stressed out and in a hectic mood not knowing how to distribute work among the girls in his team.
However, a brave and forward girl stepped up and helped Tharaka in planning the decorations and refreshments for the installation ceremony. According to Tharaka, this “special lady” managed to delegate duties among several other girls proving that even though their WhatsApp group was a cemetery, that it wasn’t housing a bunch of “Mohinies” in it. Likewise, the ladies of this team sprang into action showcasing their support for the event. The capable leaders of the individual sub-divisions were Sachindee (Head table), Danushi (Oil Lamp), Udani (decorations) and Achini (Table cloths an trays). Given all the duties, the easiest task for Tharaka was to find six girls to wear sarees, since we all know how enthusiastic women are about wearing sarees. Being the only guy in the deco team, Tharaka had the responsibility of travelling to places in search of items that were needed for the installation ceremony. However, Tharaka was not alone. He was accompanied by his close university friends, Pasan and the gang who provided transportation in return for a special treatment that would meet their cravings (mind you, all of them belonged to the fund raising team explaining their true intentions in supporting Tharaka). Thus, the deal took place after the installation ceremony as they smuggled out a box of cake in the back of their car which concludes that hard work and mutual support always pays off; a good lesson to all of us. Behind this whole process, Batti akki who is the current secretary of our club, played a vital role in advising and guiding the decorations team so that they were capable in making our installation ceremony a memorable one.
Last but not least, the two comperes Mindula and Binuri have to be mentioned for their involvement in creating a pleasant evening for the invitees of the installation ceremony. Although it was previously decided to have only one compere, plans had to be changed when Mindula had to attend mandatory rugby practices given that the Inter-University Rugby Championship matches were just around the corner (yes, Mindula is also a great multi-tasker). So, basically the agenda had to be divided between Mindula and Binuri. The charming Binuri who attracted the eyes of many, compered the first half of the ceremony with utmost confidence and conduct, but also didn’t forget to release her nervousness backstage. Yet, she didn’t let her nerves get the best of her and somehow moved on with her duty. Meanwhile, Mindula had to go through an unexpected situation where a teammate had accidentally taken one of Mindula’s undergarments with him (which one? Just use your imagination) causing a slight delay in his arrival. However, the proceedings went according to the plan and everyone had a laugh when Mindula pulled out two boxes for Batti akki to stand on, so that everyone could see her above the podium (which Batti akki wasn’t very happy about).
On the same note, we should also mention Senuri and her crew for their captivating entertainment item that undoubtedly touched the souls of all the guests. Their soothing voices and melodic tunes captured the hearts of the audience and created a moment of tranquility amidst the ceremonial proceedings.
This is the story of how we managed to pull off the 16th installation ceremony of our club. Despite certain setbacks and mishaps, we somehow managed to make it a success and it was a joint effort of many club members. We also take this as an opportunity to thank all the individuals who supported us immensely and stood behind us throughout every step of this wonderful journey. Thus, this concludes the final combined effort of the three COs Kaushan, Ovin and Tharaka. Kudos and Thank You to everyone who helped us!
-Written by- Rtr. Kaushan, Rtr. Ovin, Rtr. Tharaka-