Painted with Resin, Multicolored Skies Grace the Ambiguous Portrait 

Painted with Resin, Multicolored Skies Grace the Ambiguous Portrait 

PSA: We had quite the task structuring this article, so two things! One, it ended up being much longer than we anticipated, so we apologize for the long read; it’s our last yap session, so please bear with us and two, there were people we each individually wanted to appreciate and some collectively. So, there will be bits that Kusali wrote, bits that I wrote, and bits we wrote together; we’ll let you know who wrote what before each section! 

(Sajani talks…)

When my mind kept nagging me about having to write this article.. I was truly wondering what to write and how to write it in a way that justifiably encompasses my journey in Rotaract, which is also how I concluded in my mind that this will be a mix of expressing gratitude, venting and a reflection of myself, and the job I’ve done alongside Kusali. 

Moving on to the first task at hand, gratitude! 

To Kusali, 

I wonder if I have the kind of literary capability to aptly convey my gratitude to Kusali. I wasn’t only given a very efficient, capable and talented co-editor but also an incredible friend! She’s been the best thing about this whole endeavor and I do not think I’d have been able to do this with anyone else. We were already quite good friends when we were handed this responsibility but a year of being pushed to our limits and handling an ungodly amount of responsibility truly brought us much closer together and today, (at least on my end) she is one of my best friends! Her commitment and creativity is unparalleled and frankly, deserves its own post (which unfortunately we don’t have the time for) but I will say this much, she should be anyone’s go-to for coming up with names for anything and making captions, truly a creative genius. She is also extremely responsible and I was so grateful to always have someone I could easily rely on, not just for posting but also for times when articles were sent last minute and I didn’t have the time to come up with a caption. Quite besides the point but you will also find that Kusali knows EVERY movie ever made, she’ll not just know the plot but also the director, the director’s other movies and their style of direction, her passion for movies is truly one of the coolest things about her! 

Coming into this, since we both major in the same department and being the only close friends of each other there, I did wonder what would become of that when we are bound to have arguments and disagreements over here. In a rather miraculous turn of events, we managed to communicate our disagreements and frustrations so well that we didn’t ever have to argue with each other. There may have been moments of frustration on both ends as those are only normal when two people work together but I think we did a good job communicating issues and resolving them amicably. I’d also like to think we complemented each other well? Where I lack, she makes up in loads! 

All in all, she was an absolute bundle of joy to work with (minus her never ending list of celebrity crushes, which changes weekly by the way.) *Cue a list of adjectives I’d use to explain the best co-editor in the world: efficient, talented, reliable, responsible, creative, kind, understanding, and gorgeous! (not so relevant to the point at hand but HAVE to be mentioned). So, thank you Kusali, I love you loads!! I hope we remain the best of friends in the years to come and I hope you get to settle down with one of your many celebrity obsessions. 

(Hi, it’s Kusali here…)

As I write my final reflection, I find myself at a loss for words. It’s not because I have nothing to say, but rather because I have so much to express and I’m struggling with how to put it all into words. I’ve already vented to quite a lot of people about how I’ve been staring at the screen for what feels like an eternity, and now more time has passed. It’s past midnight, and this article is set to be published today, so I suppose it’s time to get to business.

Whenever people ask me how I managed to be the co-editor while simultaneously juggling so much work, the first thing I say is that I had an amazing partner. To say she is amazing would be an understatement because Sajani Jayasinghe is a true force of nature. She is the best co-editor a girl could’ve asked for, and I honestly thank the stars (or, I guess, Shihara and Tharini) that I was paired up with her. 

You have to realize that the prospect of leading a whole avenue, maintaining a WordPress blog (which I had zero experience with), and juggling so many other duties was daunting at first. I was genuinely scared. Excited, yes, but scared. 

However, Sajani was there with me throughout, and it made everything more fun and not so scary anymore. We were good friends, but being co-editors has made her one of my closest and best friends. It’s funny when I look back and think about my first impression of her. I was dead scared of her—not kidding, no joke whatsoever. She looked very intimidating and had such a deadpan stare that I remember thinking, “Oh, we’ll never be friends.” Here we are now; she is one of my best and closest friends. 

Sajani is hands-down one of the most responsible people I have ever seen. You know you can entrust her with anything, and she’d give not 100% but even more to it. I find this quality of hers so admirable. She is also insanely practical, capable, and whip-smart! She comes up with creative solutions to problems (super important when you manage a blog, people, and more), is organized, and gets things done perfectly. At one point, I remember asking her how the hell she managed to get things done so much, juggling so many responsibilities in a seemingly effortless way. She’s an absolute master multi-tasker. 

She’s also one of the kindest human beings you’ll meet, always ready to help you out with anything. She’s sure to know EVERY song that is known to mankind; I am not kidding, she has listened to EVERYTHING (and her playlist-making skills are unparalleled). You can talk to her for hours about literally any topic in the world (she knows everything), and it would be the most fun thing ever. Except when I show her one of my celebrity crushes (I know Sajani said I have many, but these days I’ve been sticking to one!) because, according to her, men are not worth it. Not to mention, she thinks almost all of my crushes are not hot (sadness) and then tries to bring me back to reality. Also, I might have traumatized her with the rate of my developing crushes, I think. 

I did worry when we were selected at first because I knew working together also meant there was a possibility of disagreements that could lead to a sour friendship. I was dreading it and I remember I even voiced this fear to Sajani. I am so happy that nothing of that sort happened and we came out of this closer friends than ever. I won’t gloss over it, there were misunderstandings and frustrations from time to time, but we always communicated them. This was something we had vowed to do early on. Instead of letting everything pile up to the point of anger, we would communicate openly about everything and fix it. 

I sincerely hope that we will remain friends for the rest of our lives and have more adventures like this together. I love you loads, and I hope you will have deep happiness, fulfillment, and all the best things in the years to come! 

(Back to Sajani)

To Shihara and Tharini (Shamamalamala and TT),

As corny as this is, the only way I could explain my love for these two humans is by way of this analogy, they are like the older sisters I never had! I’m firstly grateful that you trusted me and my anxious, overthinking self to be able to handle this responsibility and I hope we didn’t let you down. Secondly, I’m thankful for the support over the year and for always being approachable although you two are (unnecessarily) occupied with a million things at any given point of time. I’m also grateful for the kind of friends you are to me, (regardless of Shihara having called me by all the names of the more unpopular animals in the zoo (which did hurt my feelings if you care to ask)) you two have always been amazing friends not just to vent to but also to confide in and to get the best advice whether it be university, Rotaract or other life affairs. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I love you both and that over the opportunity to have been the editor, I’m more grateful that I got to meet you and be friends with you and that I continue to learn so much from the both of you, whether it be punctuality, time management, organization or dealing with life (or even the most innovative ways to insult someone, thanks Shaminamina).  

I’d also like to bring up this tiny (cheesy) memory lingering in a far corner of my mind, and I’m sure in Kusali’s too, at the Installation, I remember my name being screamed from the back of the audience as I walked up and that was Shihara. That was just so sweet and memorable to me, and I don’t think I’ll ever forget. So, thank you so much, for showing up, for always being there and being awesome. I’m not going to say I hope we stay friends because unfortunately, you two have no choice in the matter and I will continue to annoy you wherever you are in life (in a threatening tone).  

(Warning: Kusali becomes a bit emotional here)

Last week, I found myself reflecting on my journey in Rotaract more than ever. At the transition meeting of the incoming board, I couldn’t help but marvel at how fast a year had gone by. The journey had finally come full circle.

Becoming the co-editor of Rotaract was not something I even dared to dream of. I have always known I love to write, and Rotaract provided the best opportunity for me to do that. I was lucky to have two wonderful people pushing me to write and explore creatively. 

That brings me to the first in my thanking spree, the past co-editors, Rtr. Shihara Ferdinando and Rtr. Tharini Ratwatte, or rather Sharini and Thihara, because you guys were the start of this journey. I would never have had this opportunity if you didn’t believe in me. 

They always encouraged me, listened to me, and gave me constructive criticism and feedback on all the work I’ve published as a general member. It honestly improved the way I approached writing. Making me a co-chair of the UNIverse project was such an important milestone for me, and through that, I learnt so much from them and gained a deeper appreciation for the work you did. 

Now, about those names, Sharini and Thihara—it’s a funny story. One evening, I was exhausted after a day of lectures while sending the MIR (Month in Review) over email. In my sleep-deprived state, I somehow mixed up their names, addressing them as Sharini and Thihara instead of Shihara and Tharini. We all had a good laugh about it, and the names stuck, becoming our little inside joke. For me, this has always been a reminder of how supportive and fun-loving you both are, always ready to laugh at my mistakes and cheer me on.

Even after becoming a co-editor the two of you have always been there for me, whether it be the editorial duties or even personal matters. I look up to the two of you A LOT, and frankly, both of you are my role models (I know Shihara will ask me not to). I hope that I have made you happy and that you do not regret your decision. Thank you for everything you did.

(Sajani AGAIN)

To Vibhath and Janidu, (Vibhs and your favorite drag queen’s favorite drag queen),

How does one even bring to words one’s gratitude to the best people in the world? Let me give it a try! I remember seeing Vibhath for the first time at uni after all my friends at debates had spoken about this guy who is so kind, nice, smart and eloquent and let just me say there was no exaggeration there! (In Janidu’s words, they don’t make men like him anymore :D) All of this is besides the point so let me just get to the point, I am so grateful to Vibhs for the million times I may have asked him for help with issues of the blog, whether it be long calls or spending his lunch time at Greens helping me figure things out when I was panicking, I’m so very grateful, not to forget just last week when we (with long faces) brought up the biggest issue we had faced so far with the blog not responding at all and him finding a solution right away, I’m so incredibly grateful. I’m also grateful for the constant words of encouragement and appreciation about the work we do, meant so much coming from you! 

Janidu! Honestly I’m so grateful for you for teaching me the art of chilling, calming down and not taking everything unnecessarily seriously while also getting things done! Truly the greatest gift one could give to the most anxious human to breathe. Thank you also for entertaining me and distracting me from reality when I was at uni worrying about some article submission or publishing on time. I want to also mention your literary excellence, truly a mastermind! Thank you also for the opportunities you gave me extending from my role here as the editor. Can I also express my gratitude for the amazing music recommendations and your unwavering commitment to get me betrothed? I feel truly cared for. I love you both and am going to miss the two of you so much. I hope Tharini could take a break from corporate slavery so that we could go on a picnic in Kandy!! (in hopes Shihara will finally stop shading the amazing civilisation that is Kandy)

(Kusali)

Vibhath Aiya and Janidu Aiya are two of the coolest people I met at uni. One’s the calm, rational one, and the other’s the fun, chaotic one (you can guess who is who after reading Sajani’s). I will always look back fondly about how much fun I had listening to anecdotes, life advice, and stories of Janidu Aiya in the Greens (I don’t think I’ve laughed that much in uni). Also, about how Vibhath Aiya was there for us through it all. He is one of the kindest and most understanding people I know, and he was always ready to help us with a word or two or more. I won’t be saying much because Sajani has beautifully captured all you both did for us!

Thank you so much for everything! 

(Sajani and Kusali talks)

To Sayuri and Raziya,

Sayuri was our best friend in all this! So we are going to spare a few sentences to express our love for her. Her article “Peanut Man on the Bus” being one of our very first articles and her article “A Not so Ordinary Universe” being our last publication for the year is telling of her support to us over the year. She was ever so reliable whether it be for times when we didn’t have articles or even a couple of times where me and Kusali were unable to post the articles on the groups. She took part in every project we did and was also a part of the MIR while being a director of an avenue herself! She was also all ears when I (Sajani) was hopelessly (and embarrassingly) crying about the blog not working at uni on a random Monday. From listening to all my (Kusali) rants about everything and in between, supporting my delulu, helping me out whenever I felt down, and also providing the Editorial with so much good work! You would disagree with me constantly saying your writing isn’t great (and we would go back and forth on this for hours), but I genuinely enjoyed reading them so much (don’t argue with me again on this, I will not hear it). 

Thank you, Sayuri, for being awesome as always! We also had to work together with the PR avenue for posts, Instagram stories and you two have been such a joy to work with. We are going to miss Raziya being clueless and unnecessarily apologetic but thank you for posting our billion instagram stories and for bearing with our deadlines, sorry if we were a pain to work alongside. 

(Still Sajani and Kusali)

To our authors and translators,

Obviously, none of this would have been possible had it not been for you all, we are so incredibly grateful for having such a proactive, involved team, we thoroughly enjoyed working with you and learnt so much. We must mention a few of you for the exceptional service over the year. Kaveesha is without a doubt the most dedicated, involved author we had this year and the most talented. Your ability to put your thoughts into words baffles us every time and we were always worried about captioning your articles wondering if we did your work sufficient justice. You submitted the most articles over the year, EIGHT! While also being part of our MIR team and the only Sinhala caption writer! At times there were over five captions to be proofread and not only were you happy to get them done, you also made sure they were perfectly done. We are also grateful to have become friends with you and be greeted with the sweetest smile each time we see you at Greens! 

Moving on to Chamodi, I (S) remember when you first sent a poem for Love Gazette, Kusali was like “She’s going to be an editor next year” and you didn’t disappoint over the year (Ha! And I was right! When I told her that, Sajani was like, “Kusali, we have months to go,”  which was true). Thank you for being a reliable author and for the tiny bits of anime entertainment. We are sure you’ll do a great job as an editor! While we didn’t get the opportunity to get to know Janani on the same level personally, she too has always sent the most brilliant work over the year and we are sure you’ll do amazing. Thank you both for being regular contributors to the blog and for being reliable enough for us to hand the job over to you two! 

We must also mention Michelle, you’ve contributed much since the start of the year and your creativity always baffles us, from art to poetry! Thanks so much for being someone we could rely on when we didn’t have articles and for always sending such amazing work! (p.s. I’m sorry for never getting back to texts, It’s me, not you I promise – S). Thanks to her, I have never-ending Kdrama recommendations (because this girl has seen ALL OF THEM) and an endless supply of reels on Instagram (keep those coming!). I enjoy our conversations ranging from Lovely Runner (this period will always hold a special place in my heart), art, Kdramas, and crushes to music – K. 

Let us also mention Vibhavee, and Barani. You’ve both been the most reliable authors over the year, if a deadline was given, you have both sent the work well in advance and never made us wonder what happened. (I must mention that Vibhavee’s work in particular has always made me text her and ask if she is doing well – S). You should all get together and publish a poetry collection!! 

We should also mention Jasi akki, Shirafa akki and Jeyapritha for translations. Finding Tamil translators was the most demanding task we were faced with, and you three were there for us despite two of you being in your third year and having other commitments. 

(Sajani is back!)

Let me also thank my friends, Acsah and Bhagya for being part of the MIR team, always sending in amazing articles. Acsah, your poetry is truly some of the most remarkable work I’ve read and Bhagya the bilingual queen you are! Hiruni, Batya and Akindu for sending in brilliant work although you both hate Rotaract with a passion. I’m also going to mention Naika, who although has no connection to any of this madness was unfortunately dragged into the mess. Thanks so much for going out of your way to help me with the blog issues and for being the Anna Wintour of banner editing when my anxious self panicked and sent them at the last minute because I couldn’t contact Kusali, truly grateful! 

(Kusali)

I want to thank some of the best people I know for helping us with our Editorial. Bhagya has been one of my closest friends since school and is the loveliest human being ever. She did so much by sending us articles, helping us with MIR Sinhala translations, and, in general, helping me out by listening when I wanted to vent about work. I love you loads! A big thank you also goes to Akindu (you wrote one poem and disappeared), Hiruni, Acsah, and Batya for sending articles and poems, especially when we were freaking out thinking we wouldn’t be getting enough articles. All of you must have listened to us ranting and venting about all things Rotaract multiple times in the Greens, and for that, I am not sorry at all. Much love to all of you!

I have to thank my poor sister for helping me to choose banners after I made 5 of them for just one article, each with no obvious changes that she could see (to which I had to point out these minuscule changes one by one) and listening to my venting and crying and offering me solutions. I love you so much!

(Sajani and Kusali)

Moving on to the board! Baagya was such a pleasure to work with! She was always available when we had issues and was always ready with formidable solutions! Thank you also to Dhanuji and Induwara; it was so much fun working with you, and we learnt lots about handling situations and leading! We’d like to both express our gratitude and apologize to the rest of the board, we are sorry, not sorry, for the amount of times we may have yelled at you for captions being sent last minute or not being proofread. It was a pleasure to get to know each one of you, and we are grateful to have worked with you, We like to think we made an amazing team together! Thank you also to Tharushika akki, Sarasi akki, Buddhimali akki, Jayani akki and Yohan ayya for your guidance and support, it was such a pleasure to get to know you all!

The closing thoughts…

(Sajani, last time I promise)

Finally, quoting Snoop Dogg, “I wanna thank me” (“It’s not that deep Sajani”, I know okay, I just wanted to quote that :D) All in all, I’m amazing and now that we have established that let me do the venting and reflecting. (This will be short I promise!)

I joined Rotaract because I was desperate to make friends in a new city where I knew a whopping TWO people!! (also because one of them practically forced me into it (thank you TT)). I loved writing so joining the Editorial was only the normal thing to do. Things went according to plan and I got to make better friends with Shihara, Sayuri and Kusali here (which was also my downfall). I didn’t really think I’d be handed the position of co-editor but was thrilled to have gotten it and I think I was looking forward to two things, expanding my literary skills and also improving my (non-existent) people skills. Looking back I think I fulfilled both! It was at times daunting with the blog not responding for days on end and having to contact a hundred people to having to proofread a hundred captions while assigning translators but overall I think I learnt much about handling stressful situations amicably and expanding my creative brain (with the banner making which I thoroughly enjoyed). So, this is it folks! Thank you and I will cherish the memories forever! 

(Kusali for the last time)

It’s past midnight now, and a little while ago, I logged into our WordPress account and scheduled an article for the last time. As soon as I did it, I felt an overwhelming sadness and was hit with the realization that it was all over. Funny, because I never thought I’d feel this emotional. I immediately texted Sajani and told her how I was feeling, to which her reply was to capitalize on this feeling and finish this article. So, I guess I will do that now.

I want to end with a message to myself. I tend to always think I am incapable and unworthy of opportunities. I overthink and worry that I might not get things done or do things perfectly. I want to give myself a hug and a pat on the back for a job well done. I want to remind myself that things may seem daunting, but I should not give up on chances and opportunities, fearing the worst outcome, because they will help me become a better version of myself. Yes, the prospect of making a mess of things is not fun, but I have realized that such is life. I hope that I will continue to challenge myself and work on new things.

I’m proud of myself and proud of how far Sajani and I have come as co-editors. I made some amazing friends, learned a lot of lessons, and enjoyed the journey, even with its ups and downs. The ending feels bittersweet, but I feel nothing but gratitude for the experiences and the growth I’ve had. Honestly, what a journey it was! Here’s to new beginnings and the many adventures ahead. 

With love,

Rtr. Sajani Jayasinghe & Rtr. Kusali Rupasinghe | Co-Editors for the RI year 2023 – 2024 

Oh and what relevance does the title have to any of this? Nothing really! You could listen to it on Spotify though! Sounds quite similar to what this whole writing experience was – melancholic (painted with resin, multicolored skies grace the ambiguous portrait – oxela)

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