How Three Beauties Silenced Two Mischievous Boys

Blogged Bliss May 31, 2023

In mid-November, when everything was peaceful and quiet, five innocent Rotaractors received a call from our dearest Co-director of Membership, Yanush Aiya, saying,

“නංගි, පොඩි project එකක් තියෙනවා. මාසයකින් වාගේ ඉවර වෙන එකක්, ඔයත් එක්ක තව chairsලා හතර දෙනෙකුත් ඉන්නවා, ඒ නිසා ලොකු වැඩක් කරන්න set වෙන්නේ නෑ…”

With such a weightless description of the project, Chyaga, Heshani, Booshana, Theekshana and myself said “හා අයියේ කරමු.” Then after about a month when the two of us were having the most competitive exam in Sri Lanka, we had the first meeting of the Rota Spark project. Yanush Aiya challenged the five of us to bring more registrations than last year, which was 678, and we thought it would be a piece of cake and said that we would bring 1000+ registrations this year. 😂 We had to end the meeting early that day, which was the shortest meeting we ever had, you’ll get to know why later!

With the guidance of Yanush Aiya and Upeksha Akka, we started planning the project. It was quite easy because Heshani was one of the house leaders last year and her house finished as runners-up in Rota Spark. The first task was to come up with a theme. That was where Booshana came to the rescue with his knowledge on TV series and movies. The second task was to choose two coordinators for each clan,  altogether 16 according to the university intake. We offered a huge list of coordinators to Yanush Aiya and Upeksha Akka, and they selected the 16 best coordinators among them. Finally, we chose Avatar as this year’s theme because it was a hot topic those days, and selected tongue-twisting names for the eight houses as well. After we opened registrations, we waited watching the numbers go up. Unexpectedly our chairperson, Chyaga was taken away from us. 😢 And Buvani got into this mess with us. A few weeks passed and we were about to close registrations but we weren't even close enough to 500. Suddenly Heshani came up with her master plan ‘Wild Card Round’. It increased the number of registrations to 600 and saved the reputation of the five of us.

Finally, we started the project everyone was waiting for. The first task or the first game was the ‘Wild Card Round’, which happens like this. The newbies were asked to register 96 members, but they exceeded our target by collecting 155 responses and completing the job.

After many late-night calls of planning and gossiping, the games had officially begun. The first real competition was the graphic designing competition. However, we did not receive at least 20 flyers in the first two to three days. So, we started boosting the members by telling them the flyer count of other clans. More than we expected, this gave newbies a great deal of motivation and we were able to score about 500 flyers.

Suddenly Yanush Aiya called and said that we would not be able to hold the Orientation Final Day at the university and asked us what we could do about it. He was not sure if people would come to the event if we held it outside the university. Therefore, we told him that we wanted the newcomers to enjoy this fantastic experience and that we should hold this event in a fully physical form. Along with that, we assured him that we would happily take on the responsibility for this event.

So, Theekshana and Navodi searched for an elegant location close to Colombo where everyone could easily come. When we lined up the event schedule for the final day, we added a speech for the Co-director of the Membership Development avenue without informing him and we had to hear an earful of complaints until the final day from Yanush Aiya. Somehow we managed to appoint Theekshana to deliver the thank you speech even when he refused to because he looked bad in his new hairstyle.

Even though we were down to our final two weeks, we still ran without any partnerships, but one night we almost received a partnership and just for that one night we were on Cloud 9. Booshana almost got a heart attack from the excitement, but we lost that almost-pitched partnership. The level of stress had increased and we were on call every night that week. Some people had fallen asleep while on the call also. We, therefore, began organizing everything in accordance with a limited and tight budget. Finally, we were able to complete the decorations with the help of Nipuna who tried his painting skills for the first time but thank God, it turned out to be more appealing than we thought. Unfortunately, the jellyfish idea from Navodi was turned down because everyone said that it didn't look like a jellyfish. Even during the breaks Heshani always wanted to keep her hands busy saying “අත නිකන් තියාගෙන ඉන්න මොකක්දෝ වගේ අනේ. වැඩක් කරමු” and started to work on decorations. After trying really hard to find a partnership, we were able to find one thanks to Upeksha Akka.

The day before the project, we were up all night preparing the presentation and when we finished the rehearsals, it was around 3.00 a.m. in the morning. When everything was going smoothly, we realized that Booshana forgot to inform the photographer about the time and he also forgot to bring newspapers which were needed for the fun games, but luckily we managed to sort it out with the support of Buwaneka as he covered the responsibilities of the photographer and Buvani had brought newspapers in case something like this would occur.

The games we prepared the day before were very successful. The newbies were creative, forward, and enthusiastic. Because of their immense support, we were able to make our project a huge success. As usual, after the project, it was time for the after-party! We had to place a special order for Theekshana because he was vegetarian but okay with eggs. That was a hell of a good one. While I had to part ways from the other four chairs as I was going back to university, the others went home in Booshana’s precious van. Something must have happened because the day after, everyone was talking about how Buvani, Navodi and Theekshana fell asleep on the way. 😂

After a tiresome but totally fun and successful first phase of Rota Spark, we asked for a break and got two days to rest, then we had to start the second phase of the project, ‘Ignition’.  It was basically to test and improve the writing skills of newbies. As the head of editorial, Buvani had quite a huge responsibility to come up with game ideas and plan Ignition. Then she came up with an idea to plan a competition to write a fanfiction plot for a sequel to the Avatar film series. Because of our busy schedule, we didn't have time to plan another game therefore we decided to continue the previous year’s game, the Crossword Puzzle. Since we had a tight schedule, we planned to complete phase 2 within two weeks. But when the two weeks came to an end, the submission count for the fan fiction competition was quite low, so we decided to extend it until the Open Week after discussing it with Yanush Aiya and Upeksha Akka.

When the fanfiction competition was going on, on the other hand, newbies were quite busy with the crossword puzzle competition. Most days, there would be a message in the group chat from Buvani after sending the flyer and caption separately saying, “මේ දෙක එකතු කරලා දෙන්නකෝ” because her famous iPhone does not support for that kind of work.

After two weeks of phase 2, we held Ignition's final day virtually even though Booshana and Theekshana thoroughly said they wanted to hold it physically for various reasons. It was quite a hectic day. Even the presentation was finalized in the last hour before the event. We had planned a few fun games to boost the interaction with newcomers. Unfortunately, Buvani’s most awaited “Tea making game” had to be cancelled as we ran out of time.

Finally the third phase, Open Week. Even though we were exhausted with the workload, Yanush Aiya encouraged us and pushed us forward saying “මේක විතරයි කට්ටිය. මේකත් ගැම්මක් කරලා ඉවර කරමු”.  Then we started planning the Open Week. The main struggle was to find graphic designers as most of them in the OC were busy with other events happening that week at the university. So we agreed to split up the flyers and captions among the five of us and that week Theekshana must have felt the need for a laptop strongly, despite his precious desktop at home. After finishing off the Open week, it all came down to the Closing Ceremony of Rota Spark. As Yanush Aiya said, it had to be done on a grand scale. We also invited the DRRE to the Closing Ceremony, which was also held in virtual mode. After a tight battle, Clan Anurai was crowned as the overall winner of this year’s Rota Spark.

Rota Spark may have come to an end but the memories we collected throughout these three and a half months are endless.


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