By Disini Thevinka
The Sinhala and Tamil New Year, colloquially known as ‘Avurudu’ is a time of profound joy, renewal, and heartwarming togetherness. Gavel Mora embraced this spirit wholeheartedly, getting ready to celebrate Avurudu in its own way. After having done a lot of celebrations virtually in the past years, Gaveliers were accustomed to online games, Facebook contests, and whatnot. Adding new features to a traditional Avurudu event, Avurudu came to life in hybrid mode this year, the same as in the previous year.
Gaveliers are renowned for their ability to play with words and place them in such a way that leaves a lasting impact. There came the “Avurudu Andaharaya” contest, a stage to unleash the creative potential of the undergraduates. Yes, the contest was open to the entire university with the intention of emerging the hidden talents among them. The flyers revealed the contest, while the captions didn’t do less. The challenge was to write a rap-like poem related to Avurudu. Reminding us of the “Raban Pada” and other Avurudu songs, the submissions came in, and the winner was our own creative mastermind, Udula.
New Year festivals are not fun if some traditional games are missing. Tapping a person and asking whether he/she is the hidden guest is thrilling. Taking it to virtual mode, a group photo was posted to spot the hidden guest. Enthusiastic Gaveliers commented with different names in order to claim the prize, which wasn’t even announced. Picking up the hints and connecting the dots, Sandil named the hidden guest, who can never be hidden because of his height.
The best lie is another game that cannot be missed. What are Gaveliers, if not creative spirits? The submissions came in for the “Most believable unbelievable story,” crafted as short stories. Among those captivating stories, the judges selected Savinu’s story as the most believable unbelievable story.
After the series of online games, there came the physical Avurudu event. As the holidays slowly faded away, the signs of Gavel Avurudu started to appear here and there in the university. The committed Gaveliers decorated the backdrop till midnight and went here and there amidst the rain. With the determination of everyone, the day everyone had been eagerly waiting for finally arrived. Traditionally and colourfully dressed Gaveliers started filling Lagaan where everything was ready to fire the pot of milk. On one side, some were prepping for “Banis Kama”. Water buckets were getting filled and brought for games on another side. In every corner of Lagaan, everyone was getting ready for an eventful Avurudu.
Though it’s Avurudu, it’s still Gavel. The usual round-robin session was recreated into a story continuation related to Avurudu. The story continued in unexpected routes, finally wrapping up with a nice ending. Then it was game time and many who hadn’t had breakfast got treated with buns. Some even got to taste sand. “Pani Bambare,” “Water Balloon Pass,” “Balloon Dance,” and “Thun Pa Diweema” were among the Avurudu games.
The lengthy discussions before the event had concerns about rain, but we, being lucky, weren’t caught by the rain. As planned, the Table Topics session took a new shape since it was Avurudu. Traditional Avurudu Kumara and Kumariya titles were given to the best speakers of the day. The first to speak up was Udula, who came up with a story for a surprise topic as well as won the title of “Avurudu Kumara” for the year. Linoja was crowned as the “Avurudu Kumariya” for her eloquent speech. The judges were none other than Nirodha and Amirthavarshani, who were the winners of last year.
Gavel Avurudu is a celebration like no other, making it even more special; everyone was given the opportunity to be part of a drama. The audience was captivated by the dramas until the ending session, along with a few games that came in. Everyone was back at Lagaan for the prize-giving and the thank-you speeches by the co-chairs. Just as it was getting dark, the event came to an end, leaving memories to cherish for a long time.
From interesting online games to heartfelt, treasured memories, from Avurudu attires to drama that tugged at our hearts, every moment screamed for happiness, fun, and joy. As we bade adieu to this year’s Gavel Avurudu, we carried with us the memories and the inspiration that will stay in our hearts, reminding us that we were fortunate enough to be a part of this remarkable event.