I thought long and hard for a witty line to start off this final article, but my mind is totally blank and I honestly don’t know how to start. Everyone who knows me knows that I always have something to say. But I finally settled on “It takes a minute to say hello, but forever to say goodbye”. I think this perfectly shows how much we loathe to say our farewells and to leave things and people that are dear to us. For me, as you might now know, standing near the gate with a list of names (6 pages long and unalphabetized) with Dulari as we ushered in people for the 11th installation ceremony, it was a moment of clarity. I wanted to be one of the elect board next year organizing such a grand affair (at this point in time however, I had no idea that the Presidency would go to me obviously).
Throughout my tenure as the 12th President of Rotaract Arts, I’ve learned, grown and developed myself. For some of my school friends my current disposition might come as a surprise to them, because while I was always passionate and committed to the things that I wanted to do, I was very careful to avoid responsibility of any kind during my school years (it’s just self-preservation, y’know? Born from being the elder sister to two younger brothers and a younger sister). Normally, I would not have accepted the position, but Dulari was going to be Secretary alongside me and I thought, if there would be any person who’s suited for the post of Secretary, it would definitely be her. She would also be able to bear my times of utter silliness (and other messes I get myself into most of the time) which also made my choice seem prudent, and I’m glad I persisted. Throughout the last year I’ve had an uncountable amount of delightful memories and plenty of friends who will always have my back.
This year wouldn’t be the year it was if we didn’t have the support network that was our Directors. I know I’m not vocal on appreciating y’all but know that you have made me very proud. There were some ups and downs, I’ll admit, but I could always count on you to have my back and finish the required work on time. I was honestly blessed with a really good Board, one that didn’t second guess my leadership and trusted me to run the ship through the countless tidal waves that came our way. Thank you, guys, for your unwavering support and loyalty, I really appreciate all of you (please don’t leave the group suddenly now, we still haven’t had a proper meetup!).
My Co-Editors! I can’t think of anyone else more perfect or deserving for the position. At the start of the year, I admit I was unnerved by our almost daily calls because I had to gear myself up for the talk as if I was preparing to participate in a debating competition just so I could convince the both of you that “no, editing isn’t a violation of the writer’s autonomy”. I have no words to show my appreciation for the both of you but I’ll settle for saying I ‘purple’ all your work (do check the definition, and yes this is an unabashed show of marketing for BTS), the effort that went into it and the both of you for being such troopers and ending the year as strong as you started it.
To my Co-Vice Presidents, Rtr. Sandali and Rtr. Samadhi, two of the most hardworking people I have had the pleasure of working with – having you two has been nothing but a blessing simply because when I would ask you to look into a project, I know that I didn’t have to worry about it at all and that the both of you will have it under control. I know that sometimes work might have been hard and sometimes you might have been frustrated by the lack of recognition (surprisingly ‘Vice President’ is a position that is frequently underappreciated) but I’ve seen you work, I know the hardship you both went through and I thank you for holding on with me and being the safety net that existed beneath me while I walked the tightrope that was Rotaract Presidency.
The Robin to my Batman, and the Jiang Cheng to my Wei Ying (without all the angst hehe) is none other than our Secretary, Rtr. Dulari. I never thought that we’d be friends like we are now. There hasn’t been a day in the last 15 months (including months we were just elects) that we haven’t contacted each other (except those days my phone broke and we were contacting each other through email for weeks. Ah, good times! (awkward laugh). I don’t have words for the level of commitment and responsibility you showed towards the club. While I normally did the work, she was the writer and communicator (at least text based) for every single interaction all of you had had from us. Both of us had an equal partnership, and discussed every single thing before deciding no matter how trivial. I haven’t ever cooperated and worked with anyone with this level of trust ever. Know that you’ve got a friend in me for anything life throws at you in the future. Call me anytime and I’ll pick up no matter what. Just so you know what I had to deal with and what she had to deal with:
In a social situation
Anudi: Hey, let’s go talk to *person in concern*
Dulari: Can’t. My social battery is low. You go talk. I wanna go home.
At meetings/club related matters
Dulari: Did you do (*whatever it is I’m supposed to do)?
Anudi: So, the thing is… (proceeds to explain a ridiculous situation I’ve gotten us into, or is happening to us in extreme detail to emphasize the urgency of the situation)
Dulari: Okay. Let’s take it step by step.
Anudi: Sure, I’ll do this (blah blah) and you can do this.
And we somehow save the day eventually. But she’s so honest, unbiased and doesn’t take sides. Ever! So, naturally I’ve been annoyed with her countless times due to this behaviour but she has a very disarming way of putting people at ease so I haven’t ever been annoyed long enough or hard enough to be up in arms over it. I’ll miss our daily conflicts and saving the day’s shenanigans seriously.
For our IPP, Methmini Akki, I hold you in the highest esteem and I value the commitment you showed during your tenure better now that my year is over as well. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without the many things I learned throughout this year and that is definitely because of what you saw in me and in Dulari. Thank you for trusting us and for everyone who voted and elected me, especially those of you in the previous board. Our Guide Club Coordinator, IPP Adheeban Gowrishankar, it’s been the calmest ride possible (at least every time when we consult you for issues that seem so larger and scarier, they turn miniscule and insignificant) and we really are grateful for your advice and guidance throughout this year and I hope we made you proud as well. Our Club Advisor Ms. Shashi Weerawansa has been so nice to us throughout the year, so accommodating of our work, and every time we called her up wanting to meet, she always made time for us despite her busy schedule.
For everyone who supported me, family and friends, collaborators, Rotaract friends, District Council, Donors and Sponsors, we couldn’t have done it without you. All my success and hard work for this year has ultimately been a product of how everyone around me has lent me their support and strength.
Lastly, for my club members. It is said that everything is constantly changing for the better. Don’t wait for the perfect time, make now the perfect time to start and everything will fall into place. It’s just the end of an era and the start of another so let’s celebrate our year and anticipate the next one. Always remember, Times will pass by you but you’ll always have the memories and the connections you make.
“We’re only gettin’ older, baby
And I’ve been thinkin’ about it lately
Does it ever drive you crazy
Just how fast the night changes?
Everything that you’ve ever dreamed of
Disappearing when you wake up
But there’s nothing to be afraid of
Even when the night changes
It will never change me and you”
– One Direction in ‘Night Changes’
Signing out one last time,
Rtr. Anudi Karunaratne
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