I remember my "first day at Rotaract Mora" and my extremely-shy-self standing at a stall at the Annual Book Fair at BMICH, trying to talk to random strangers about a project named Hand in Hand and what it does for some special little fighters braving their way through cancer. Along with some other friends who also joined me on the day, I was put to task to sell sticker cards with the drawings of those little ones, to raise funds for their treatments. I remember only having sold few stickers myself but feeling extremely elated that I was able to get even that much done with my history of "extreme anxiety in the face of major social interaction". I liked the sense of fulfilment I felt that day and I was ready to feel more of it.
I remember joining project after project and meeting so many people with so many outlooks on life. I met people who reminded you to not take the people and small things in life for granted, people who made you see that you can still move forward with a smile in your darkest times, and people who reminded you that what you may lack doesn't have to define you. I also met people who reminded you to have fun, people who reminded you that you should not shy away from pushing your boundaries and sometimes, even people who reminded you that you just have to chill out and take it easy.
I remember the days leading up to Are You Ready? 2019: calling HR personnel of companies multiple times a day to try to get them on board for interviews at the Flagship Fair, being on the registration panels and food committees of the RuR preliminary sessions, writing many a caption and video script, and trying to stay as much past 10 PM as possible to get the Civil Auditorium glammed up for the next day's sessions before the guards force us out of uni grounds. Yes, coursework and reports were piling up on our to-do lists and frustrations with not understanding squat of modules we took at the time were running high. But I vividly remember waiting for the minute hand of the clock to put an end to the day's lectures so that I could get myself to the Civil Auditorium, have some good laughs with the rest of us gathered there and forget my worries for a little time.
I remember the day of the 'Flagship Fair' being extremely hectic and that me being me, I was extremely anxious about doing my job as a Company Coordinator right: sorting interview queues in a jam packed hall with 5+ interview stalls, making sure that the interviewers at our assigned stalls were finding everything comfortable, answering questions of anxious Ayyas and Akkas waiting for their turn to face their interviews and trying to help them out as best as one can. To add to the chaos, I had also broken a shoe halfway through the day from walking up and down continuously and got a growing pain in both my feet. But at the end of the day, when the last of the recruiters and undergrads left the interview stalls, and me and the fellow Company Coordinators assigned to that hall got a chance to sit down, laugh at a random joke and catch our breaths, you simply could not deny the happiness and satisfaction you felt about being a small part of something that proved to be so big and life-changing for so many.
From being asked to write my very first blog for the club blog (a concept that was so foreign to me at the time) and sitting in front of my laptop hours into the night because I second guessed myself as soon as I got one sentence up and deleted it to start over because "it didn't sound good enough", and being offered a position on the club Board and (surprise, surprise!) doubting myself yet again of whether or not I'll be able to figure it out as a Board Official, I remember learning that sometimes you have to give yourself more credit and give new experiences a try when you can. Challenges are a chance to learn things about yourself that you did not know before; an opportunity to accomplish things you did not think were possible for you. So why not just take the ride if it's only a smidge of doubt that's holding you back?
I remember the entire world closing down a year and few months back and feeling okay about having an unexpected break from the hectic life of a uni student for the first few weeks, but then having the dreaded monotony and isolation catch up to me and bringing my spirits to a record low. I remember having a "feeling down" day and then logging onto a Zoom call with the Board for RuR 2020 planning that dragged on to the wee hours of the morning (because project planning is not complete without jokes, laughs, and gossips of course), and feeling actually happy for the first time that day and thinking to myself "what WILL I do if I didn't have this and these people in my life right now?".
And I remember so much more of so many special people in this family, trying to do the best they can to change lives. People walking to and from in downpours of rain to try and sell as many stickers as possible and raise funds for some special kids who deserve the world for being as brave as they are, people travelling hundreds of miles to distant villages each "free" weekend on their busy schedules to build classrooms from the ground up, hundreds of eager volunteers joining hands to put up massive career fairs for final year Ayyas and Akkas to help them find the beginnings of their dream careers for which they have worked their whole lives for, people who record themselves read out pages and pages of text and numbers so that a visually impaired child can find better resources to learn and grow; the list goes on and on. Remembering all this and more, I can't help but be extremely thankful and proud to have crossed paths with this family because in a world where certain incidents make it seem that (dare I say) humanity is fraying at the seams, I have found some of the most beautiful people on Earth who are a constant reminder that there is a silver lining to even the darkest of clouds.
Being amazed by what people can do if they put their minds to it, gaining perspective of how different people experience the world differently, being inspired by interesting, kindhearted people who don't forget to have fun while they do good to others, and finding motivation to change yourself to try and be the best you can be because you and the world deserve to see it - I remember it all thanks to Rotaract Mora. If it's not clear enough by now, let me put into exact words, what it is I've being trying to convey all along - I'm pretty sure that anyone who finds their home with this family will find things to remember, cherish and be thankful for, for the rest of their lives. So if you grab that chance, do try and hold on to it because you won't ever regret being part of something special now would you? ;)