The Parting Glass

The Parting Glass

And so, the day finally comes around. The day that I wake up and realize that I am no longer bound by the duties and responsibilities tethered to the post of an Editor. It’s quite funny really, because I had always known this day would come and yet, as it arrives, I’m left feeling quite odd. A strange feeling creeps in. One that I know all too well and one that I, personally, am not too fond of. The feeling of farewell.

“Of all the money that e’er I had
I spent it in good company”

The Editorial was my home away from home in many ways. It was a safe haven that provided me with a platform to use my voice, to talk about the things that interested me, but most importantly, it was my escape into a world of creativity and bliss back when the world succumbed to the darkness and misery that was COVID. It was thus, a platform that I soon became very protective of. It was a privilege to have been a writer for the Editorial. It was an honor to then be given the opportunity to serve as the Co-Editor and lead a team filled with such talent. It was a dream, a beautiful one at that; one that I was fortunate enough to never have to wake up from. Upon my appointment, I had so many questions. I was but a boy that had such dreams and ambitions for the Editorial. How could it expand? What could we do differently? Why not take the Editorial to places it hasn’t been before? But at the time, that’s all they were. Questions. Questions relating to how we could translate a dream into reality. In the beginning, there was but only a vision.

Today, as I stand at the end of the road, I smile, for I am content. I believe, to a great extent, we were successful in realizing that vision. I am immensely proud of what we were able to do with the Editorial this Rotaract year. It’s undoubtedly the best the Editorial has ever been in our twelve years of history. To have been even a small part of the process that made this a reality is truly a humbling experience. But in what will be my final article as Co-Editor, I would like to focus less on what the Editorial has achieved this time around and what my personal journey during this Rotaract year has been like. Instead, I want to use this final opportunity to shed some light on what it took to get here. As always with victories, there are many unsung heroes that champion these successes. Those of whom that are so vital that without them these celebrated victories would be nothing but a dream.

“Of all the comrades that e’er I had
They are sorry for my going away”

To my Co-Editor, Rtr. Janidu Wijebandara, what a whirlwind it has been. While we raise a toast and dance celebrating the success and achievements of the Editorial this year, even at the end of this remarkable journey, when it may seem like there’s nothing more I could say, I do have a few last words that I’d like to share. I can be a pain to work with sometimes. I am known to be uncompromising in the vision I set for things that I am passionate about. In that vein, I am aware that many a time, I may have been a cause of frustration or annoyance. For every time a task would end, I would assign ten more goals for us to achieve. My perfectionist nature sometimes gets the best of me, and for that, I apologize. But even with that in the cards, coupled with my constant nagging to perform each incoming task better than the last, thank you for never doubting the vision I lay ahead for us, thank you for believing in me, and most importantly, thank you for trusting me enough to see things through. Through the laughs, the tears, and the shared moments that would go on to define our friendship, know that we leave behind an unprecedented mark on the Editorial, my friend. One that is undoubtedly a huge milestone in the history of Rotaract Arts. Thank you for helping transform this young boy’s dream into reality. Thank you for embarking upon this journey with me. I am truly very grateful.

To our fellow comrade, who has always had our back through thick and thin, both within and outside the Editorial, Rtr. Yeshani Fernando. Thank you for being who you are, a faithful friend and a beautiful human being. To both Janidu and I, you have time and again, been our shoulder to lean on during times of hardship, our rock during times of crisis, and the one thing that kept the both of us sane during the times where it all seemed to be going to hell. Thank you for spending your time and energy on the Editorial the way you did. You had no reason to have been involved in the capacity that you were, and yet you still chose to, for us. It was one of the biggest strengths we had this year. Know that our friendship is something that the both of us cherish deeply. Should you ever need us, you need only ask. We will always be there to lend a helping hand.

To Rtr. Methmini Kariyakarawana, our Immediate Past President, without whom neither Janidu nor I would be here. Thank you for being so confident in our capabilities and talents, even more than we were at times. As a leader, the way you approached the club was such an inspiration to all of us here. A leader that kept on giving but one who never stopped to take back. A leader that always placed the needs of her team before her own. A selfless leader, driven and passionate to the very end. Thank you for nominating both of us for the position of Co-Editor but more importantly, thank you for all that you’ve done for Rotaract Arts. I ask, just this one time, that you don’t dig a hole that is six feet deep and bury yourself in it due to your inability to process compliments. Take this to heart. You were an exceptional leader, one that we were beyond fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn from.

To our preceding Editor, Rtr. Afrah Bahaudeen, thank you for believing in both Janidu and me, and for taking the time to teach us the ropes before we were handed the reins of the Editorial. Having now done the same for our successors, I understand that it was no simple task. I learn through observing others and learn I did. Although unknown to you, I would like to say, with no small amount of emphasis, that I learned a tremendous number of things from you; compassion, humility, and empathy being frontrunners among them. The kindness and freedom that you extended to your writers and the way in which you would approach problems or hick-ups that concerned the Editorial fascinated me. I am beyond thankful that I got to learn from you even during what little time we were able to share together. I truly hope that we have made you proud.

To our Co-Editor Elects, Rtr. Shihara Ferdinando and Rtr. Tharini Ratwatte – two of the most resilient and driven women that I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. Know that you both are two exceptionally talented and gifted young ladies. Shihara, I hope you remember that while sometimes life may not always give us what we desire, there is always a reason to move forward. We get to choose what makes us happy. We are, after all, the best judge of our own lives. And Tharini, don’t let fear be the reason that stops you from achieving greatness. I understand that the path ahead may seem unclear at times, and sometimes during moments in which you falter, doubting yourself and your abilities become your prime go-to. But don’t be so hard on yourself, child. You are far more talented than you give yourself credit for. The finesse and caliber with which you both operate are nothing short of remarkable. I am in awe of the endless possibilities that will await the Editorial under your guidance and leadership. If I were to leave you with some advice, it would be this; follow your heart. Take the Editorial to places that both of you are collectively passionate about. You need not do what we did. I happen to be a strong believer in creative freedom. The upcoming Rotaract year is your year. As such, feel free to go about it however you desire. Whatever you may do, or whichever direction may you take the Editorial in, know that I’ll be supportive of it towards the very end. I couldn’t have wished for better arms to carry on the legacy that we leave behind. I would like to wish you both all the very best. So, chin up, ladies. Go get ‘em. You’ve got this.

Finally, to all our dear writers. Thank you for believing in our vision, for trusting our efforts, and for contributing the way you did. The Editorial wouldn’t be where it is today without you. You are the reason why the Editorial can sing songs of triumph this Rotaract year. I cannot stress that enough. We are forever indebted to all the commitment and passion you all poured into the Editorial this year. We birthed the best year the Editorial has had so far. We did that. Together.

“And all I’ve done for want of wit
To memory now I can’t recall”

All good things come to an end; I’m told. My time here at Rotaract Arts as Co-Editor is no different. I’m left with a bittersweet feeling even at the tail end of what was such a remarkable year for the Editorial. I’m content because my conscious knows all that I’ve done for the platform, and yet I’m filled with sorrow knowing that those times have now come to an end. But alas, it’s time for the curtains to close and the dust to settle. Thank you for an amazing ride, Rotaract Arts. I’ll forever be grateful.

“I’ll gently rise and softly call”

This is your fellow Co-Editor signing off. I guess this is, in many ways, goodbye. Take care of yourselves and one another, but most importantly, stay safe. Always forward, my friends. Always forward. There’s light at the end of the tunnel that you’re digging.

“So, fill to me the parting glass
Good night and joy be with you all”


Rtr. Vibhath Jayasinghe

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