By Niyumi Nethmanthi
For some, it was the commencement of a fresh semester, for some it was the commencement of the hectic internship, for some it was a frenzied period, but nothing could cross the path of Gavel Mora. It was a day of fellowship: where Gavel Mora met Gavel Pera at the University of Peradeniya. This was a long-awaited day; a day that was being rescheduled back and forth for quite some time, which was why a lot of us were excited. Dreams come true, indeed, this much-anticipated day finally arrived.
The journey was scheduled to begin at 6.00 a.m. but, because of the reluctance of some gaveliers of sacrificing their sleep, maybe with dreams of the beauty of Pera, we had to depart from the university at 7.00 a.m. It was an unexpected count of gaveliers who joined for the trip, hence, two buses started on the journey to Pera. It was a long three and half hour journey yet, one filled with songs, chit-chats, and of course, birthday surprises. One bus had talented guitarists, Gaveliers Pavan, Nipuna, and Thejas while the other not being second to the rival bus had a JBL, which made the journey rather musical.
We arrived at Pera at 10.30 a.m. and started walking towards the Engineering Faculty for the meeting. The meeting started with the two presidents, Gavelier Suthira from Gavel Mora and Gavelier Dylan from Gavel Pera giving their opening remarks. Gaveliers of Gavel Pera were indeed excited to have us with them, and so were we to make new friends.
Then the control of the meeting was given to the toastmaster of the day, Gavelier Udara from Gavel Pera who was very energetic. Moreover, she needed each one of us to reciprocate the same energy throughout the meeting. The theme of the meeting was “Stay in or Migrate Sri Lanka”, which is one of the widely debated topics nowadays. The Grammarian of the day, Gavelier Vihanga from Pera introduced the word of the day, “Diaspora” which means, the dispersion of people from their original motherland. The Timer, Gavelier Senuri from Pera and Ah Counter, Gavelier Savinu from Mora were also introduced.
The meeting started with a CC6 delivered by one of the most enthusiastic Gaveliers, Amithavarshani from Gavel Mora. To her surprise, some of her friends had brought the banner of her from “Speech Olympiad” to cheer her out. She talked about three different helpless situations in life she has come across; her visit to India where nobody understood when inquired about the way to a temple, babysitting her crying niece, and the start of her public speaking journey. No matter how desperate the situation had been, there had always been one weapon that has saved her from everything: a simple ‘Smile’. Even though a grandmother in India had not understood the language they spoke, she had helped them to find the way with a beautiful smile that instantly connected each other. Even though she has not yet mastered the art of calming crying toddlers, she talked about how the baby’s mother came in and gave a beautiful smile to calm the baby. As for her public speaking journey, when she stammered on the first day at Gavel, the welcoming smiles of the seniors had lifted her up to where she is now. Gavelier Afreen from Pera gave a descriptive evaluation at the end of the speech commending her.
Unlike the usual meetings we have at Gavel Mora, we had three Round Robin masters, Gavelier Dylan, Gavelier Vithushan from Pera, and Gavelier Dilmie from Mora, to handle the large crowd. Round Robin round was done in three separate groups and Round Robin masters inquired about the place we wanted to live for the rest of our life. Gaveliers had interesting ideas that ranged from staying with loved ones, going to different places over the world, and leading a movie character’s life to stay in solitude which opens a gateway to anywhere in the world.
With the conclusion of the Round Robin session, the Table Topics round commenced with Gavelier Isumi from Gavel Mora taking control as the Table Topics Master of the day. She had several related topics that grabbed the attention of all. Gavelier Chathura started off by bringing out how he has impacted a lot of colleagues through his career in Table Tennis even though he came from a school that didn’t have it as a sport.
The audience was moved by Gavelier Shehan’s speech when he said how he finds it hard to leave the country when he sees how much we owe the tea pluckers whom he sees along the way to his internship. Gavelier Vithushan inspired us to become a warrior to fight hardships, rather than running away from them. Gavelier Afreen expressed how bad she feels for the taxpayers of the country if everybody migrates at the end of the day. The importance of Sri Lanka as a paradise island was elaborately explained by Gavelier Hesandu and he highlighted how unfortunate we are to not realize this. What true happiness means was questioned by Gavelier Musna in her thoughtful speech. Moreover, Gavelier Thulasithan attempted a surprise topic, not to the surprise of the Mora audience though.
More gaveliers wanted to share their stories but, Gavelier Isumi had to mark the end of the Table Topic session due to time constraints. After Timer’s, Ah Counter’s, and Grammarian’s reports, the General Evaluator of the day, Gavelier Nithuran gave a sound report on the proceedings. With that, the Toastmaster concluded the meeting, and a photograph was taken to remember the day.
We had lunch inside the university and then came to the most interesting part everybody was looking forward which was sightseeing Pera and its beauty. We have come to Pera at the best season of the year, the blooming season. Trees with beautiful flowers all over, mountains full of green, and Mahaweli flowing to her majestic rhythm constituted the beauty of Pera.
Furthermore, Gavelier Vithushan along with all Pera gaveliers showed us the seven wonders of Pera. The Akbar bridge which connected two faculties in the university and the Senate Building formed on 164 stone pillars are some of them. The natural open-air theatre, colloquially known as “Wala” was considered to provide the same sound intensity to everyone when seated. The surroundings were mesmerizing and so soothing that all of us wanted to sit back and relax. There was a tree called the Friendship tree which had branches bent down almost to the ground, as to provide seating under the shade.
Unfortunately, Pera was too beautiful and massive to be covered in one day, thus we started the journey back at around 5.00 p.m. We bade adieu expecting to meet that lovely bunch of gaveliers from Gavel Pera, again soon. The journey back did not disappoint us at all. Gavelier Dinujaya, being from Kandy, gave us “Pani Walalu” along the way. After playing charades on movies, and singing Baila, we came back to Mora marking the end of a beautiful meeting with both cameras and hearts full of memories.