Hey… Play ‘Musical Meeting’ By Gavel Mora

Navindu De Silva



By Navindu De Silva

It had been a hectic couple of weeks for the undergrads of University of Moratuwa. Some of them were exhausted after completing their semester exams. Some were getting adjusted to their new life in the university. Another group was in dread of another semester lurking ahead of them.

And pause!

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At 5:00 pm on the 15th of September 2022, a band of undergrads called gaveliers from different genres of departments pressed pause on their academic life. And they all came together under one roof to join in the chorus for the long-awaited music-themed meeting of Gavel Mora.

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The meeting had been in the works for a while. Finding a suitable day for everyone to join wasn’t easy. Long Zoom meetings and extensive discussions were held to decide on the best musical playlists and activities for the meeting.  

Finally, the day came to “press play” on what would be an exciting meeting. As we entered the hall, we were welcomed with a cheerful playlist put together by Gavelier Pavan. On the side were the other role players, Timer Isumi and Ah Counter Javin, as they were prepping for the work ahead. Odil and Saritha were making sure everyone was ready for their roles. And as always, the seniors were there to guide and ensure the meeting was going ahead pitch perfect.

The meeting began with the National Anthem, and then the President, Suthira Wijayawardena, called the meeting to order. Then the proceedings were handed over to the Toastmaster of the day, Odil. 

The meeting started with a special event only a few have been fortunate to experience before. It was going to be a CC10 speech by one of our gaveliers. The evaluator, Kasun Ranasinghe, broke into a song reminiscing like a grandfather to the song “Once I was seven years old…”. And like a proud grandparent, he introduced one of his “granddaughters”, Saeedha Nazar, to deliver her CC10 speech titled, “Why are you masked?”

Saeedha entered wearing a mask covering her face as she took the audience on an emotional rollercoaster ride. She went from a quiet girl – hiding behind a mask, to a public speaker that amazed everyone. She shared how she had to hide again behind a mask when others pointed out her silent nature outside the stage. But she showed how by learning to accept that it was okay to be quiet, she was able to toss that mask away that hid her true self. And she called us all to crush the masks that hide our true selves. It was a momentous occasion as Saeedha received her certificate for completing the CC manual amidst a standing ovation from the audience. 

It was time to engage in the round-robin session. The Toastmaster of the day asked the gaveliers to share a song which related to their life. Some even burst into song as they recollected lyrics close to their heart and soul. The song choices were being called out like a Spotify playlist, ranging from Sinhala to Tamil songs, classics to modern. Even a few tunes from TikTok made it into the quite colourful playlist of Gavel Mora. 

Following the Round Robin, Gavelier Namina took the center stage as he sang “You Make Me Feel” with his guitar to accompany him.

With that note, Odil handed the controls to the Table Topics Master, Saritha, who had planned something interesting. It was time for gaveliers to dive deep into the songs in groups and interpret the selected song in a new light. And by new light, I mean the flashlights from our phones which made for some brilliant special effects amidst the power cut.

First group 7 shared the backstory for the song “Uptown Funk”, which was set at the central hills of “Udarata”. It was about a girl (“a straight masterpiece”) and a “hot damn” boy who was all about the money. And as he stepped towards the girl – well, let me just say the story concludes with a smashing end. (And a stretcher to the hospital.) 

We all make mistakes when we find love for the first time. Even a teenage sensation like Justin Bieber couldn’t have made any more mistakes with countless questionable choices. With help of the lyrics to the song “Baby”, group 3 broke down the reasons that led to Justin Bieber’s heartbreak.

Group 2 had to depict the song “Levitating”. It was retold as a classic love story in space between a comet and the moon. But standing in their way was the overprotective planet Earth. And with little help from his fellow comets, the “starlight” comet with his “moonlight” levitated together into a faraway galaxy.

Everyone had their eyes wide open as group 1 acted out how Katy Perry (a student from UoM itself) got the idea for the song “Wide Awake”. Sleep-deprived after her exams, she took a little “something” extra and found herself wide awake on cloud 9 in a brilliant depiction of euphoric acting until she woke up on the concrete floor.

Group 4 got a chance to provide a fun romance rendition of the song “Hallelujah” from the movie Shrek. The story starts with a boy who professes his love to a girl. But instead of getting “Hallelujah” (i.e., a yes) for an answer, he was left tied to the kitchen chair, and she left him for another man.

Group 5 took a stroll into the past, as a dying mother reminisced how she went to see the “Black Parade”. During those final minutes, there were flashes of lights across the hall, bringing into light the many flashbacks of the people she met throughout her life. It all ends with a grim reaper who takes her soul and parades around the dark black hall. 

Group 6 dedicated the song, “The Call” from the movie Narnia to the seniors. Even though the grown-up seniors will have to leave “The Man with the Gavel”, they let him know they are just a call away and will come back. They complete the scene with an emotional farewell saying, “No need to say goodbye” to each other.

It was a thrilling performance from all groups in what ended up as an entertaining musical show for everyone. But the music didn’t stop there. The gaveliers headed over to the open air of the “Bhavana”. And after taking the group photo, everyone began to sing in fellowship and fill the campus with streams of song and music.

And thus, the music-themed meeting came to a fitting end with the melody of guitars running through the dark night sky. It was a memorable night for all. There wasn’t anyone worrying about tomorrow – nor anyone thinking about their weekend assignments – neither a person ranting about their exam paper. It was just a group of people having a good time with the people they longed to meet after a hectic week.

All that happened on a night when music was played out across a campus – a campus that was paused for a moment in time.

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