Bounded by the eutrophic banks of river Bolgoda, lies Sri Lanka’s leading technical academic institute, the University of Moratuwa. At the heart of this vibrant academia is the Sentra Court, reverberating with scholarly ambiance and youthful laughter. It’s a gloomy Wednesday morning, and not even the Sentra Court's cacophony bustling with lunchtime dwellers can outvoice the torrential downpour. As I rest seated, on a cold metallic bench with a smoking cup of Nestea warming my palms, I am reminded of the memories engraved within these university walls.
The Nostalgic Cultural Limelight
By August 2022, the university felt alive after months of lockdown and crisis. The Lagaan, the university grounds and the Sentra court itself were teeming with entertainment events organized in a never-ending cultural extravaganza. September was “Paduru Season”, as musical melodies echoed throughout the university every week. Monthly DJ nights became ideal remedies for post-quiz burnouts and emulating the club-going experience. Halloween parties like “Monster Mash” and Christmas decorations during December brought a lively vivid cultural experience to the university that has been in quiet slumber for some time. The sudden appearance of table decorations on canteen tables foretold the impending bursts of entertainment. But witnessing these remarkable performances from the crowd seems the most fun until you get a taste of organizing such an event. The late-night talks while preparing decorations were therapeutic as well as philosophical.
The Academic Comebacks
The one thing University of Moratuwa is known well for is its rigorous trials of academic valor. Assignment after assignment, quiz after quiz gets piled up as the semester nears its end. The university library becomes a refugee camp for last-minute crammers as the nights grow longer. The occasional 30-minute break from the void of unread lecture slides would mean a peaceful troll to the Goda canteen with your close ones. The discussions would then continue over a warm plate of fresh hoppers while getting sugar high from a cup of tea. Despite all the hardships of covering a substantial syllabus, the team effort would ease most of the pain. Every “Kuppi” session conducted, and every lecture note borrowed strengthens the bond and brotherhood of the batches. Soda cans and energy drinks start to pile up as sleep is sacrificed in exchange for a better GPA. Several weeks later, the sleepless nights and unhealthy diets would cease as the exam finishes, followed by chronic academic burnout. This would seem an ideal time for a batch trip to unwind.
In-service, with fun
Amidst the hustle of academia, everyone needs a sort of relief to add a unique hue to the vibrant tapestry of university life. Some find it in the playground or court while others pledge to a glorious mission. I found my solace at Rotaract Mora. Becoming a part of this dynamic club gifted me with a roller-coaster ride of experiences. It is a realm where service meets camaraderie. From exhausting yet memorable volunteering hours to breaking off dance moves with good company, those at Rotaract Mora found a family to serve with, grow with, and have fun with. It was a nurturing cradle for those who were looking to develop a skill. It is a social soup for those who are looking to network. Talent shows, musicals, parties, hackathons, beach cleanups, volunteer expeditions, fundraisers, and prom nights; This club was a gold mine of exotic experiences. It has been nearly two years since I joined Rotaract Mora, and it has been an enchanting, transformative journey.
As I exit my flashbacks and drift back into reality, I realize that my Nestea has gotten cold. I gulp the remaining while finishing up the report I was working on. The storm has reduced to a refreshing drizzle, under which I get going, leaving my seat but holding on to the abundance of treasured memories.