10 years… 10 years is the amount of time it has taken me to realize that good will come to those who have done good. You are probably wondering what this is all about, to be honest I have no idea but I guess at the end of this story things would be so much clearer.
Every story needs a captivating starting line to keep readers hooked so let’s start things off by introducing myself. My name is Chirag Amit and I am not the fastest man alive nor was I stuck on a hellish Island for 5 years. However it was exactly 10 years ago that right after my schooling years that I discovered the next best thing to ‘El Dorado’.
It all started in the year 2008 when I would constantly hear my brother talk to my parents about ‘Rotaract’ and how they organize charity events and sports events. The question that would pop up in my thick head, what was Rotaract? back in the day we didnt have easy access to fast internet so it was not that easy to do actual research but instead we would use the little time we had on the internet to update our ‘Hi5 pages’ (Incase you podi lamai are wondering what is Hi5, it was the facebook of our time). So as time went by, my brother’s friends from Rotaract would come over and spend the night and they were having plenty of laughs and fun. So I summoned the courage to actually speak to one of them and coincidentally it was the late Abdul Sanoon (who would later on go on to be my mentor), he gave me a good understanding of Rotaract and how it is connected to Interact and Rotary. At first I was not that keen on signing up as I remember from the few months I was in Interact all I ever did was sell pocket calendars. His exact words were “Machan, Rotaract is all about helping the community whilst improving your own personality”, so being the thick headed fool I told myself in order to do community service projects I will have to sell pocket calendars.
3 months pass by and I am now officially a member of the Rotaract Club of Colombo Millenium City. I was also the youngest member and the girls loved me but to me they were more like ‘akkis'(my favourite akkis were Aeshya and Umesha Akki :p). So what made me join Rotaract after all, Girls and Sports (Yes it was the raging hormones of an adolescent boy making the decisions). So in my first couple of years in Rotaract I was in the winning teams of IRBT (Inter Rotaract Basketball Tournament) and T.R.R Rajan Cricket Tournament. However, this was not enough as I was now hungry for the deeper meaning of Rotaract. So I got more involved in Rotaract and participated in many projects and started to understand the meaning of life through the eyes of a Rotaractor.
As the years rolled by life kept throwing curve balls at me and it started to take a toll on me. With the loss of my grand mom and my parents getting divorced I started to hate the world and life itself. Im pretty sure this was very visible as my fellow club members intervened and helped me recover and fight the mental battle I was going through. It was indeed a magical moment when a bunch of strangers become your family and end up being your support system. It is with this moment that I realized that this is what Rotaract is all about. FAMILY.
From 2008 to 2015 I was fortunate to serve the Rotaract Club of Colombo Millenium City as the community service director, club service director, vice president and president. However my tenure at Millenium City came to an end as most of the members moved on with other endeavours and of course I wished them all the very best as they were the best thing that happened to me or was I wrong?
Enter young Insaaf Hussain, young, dumb and broke but always with a smile on his face introduces me to Insaf Ismail. What could be more disastrous than meeting 2 people with the same name? it was absolutely bonkers! It was indeed one of those moments you could say “Sprite Beela, Bright Wemu”. So after a few meetups I decided to join Colombo Mid Town with my first meeting at Chemical Science (I won the Kahoot Quiz that day). Unfortunately Insaf’s year as president came to a quick close but I gotta admit that Insaf and his board backed by Rtr. Dina Ali did an excellent job in building the club from where it was back in the day.
Are you still with me? Well here we are now! The current year of Rotaract. President Nipun’s year at the helm was interesting with a lot of ups and downs but there was never a dull moment. Over the past 12 months I’ve met some of the most interesting characters in the universe each with their own signature trait. Most importantly each individual has taught me a lesson in their own way and some of them don’t even notice that. So to cap things out let me summarize things out (10 years is a long time, I could have written a novel and who knows sold millions of copies).
- Enjoy your years at Rotaract because it is a unique experience like no other.
- Rotaract is a support system that you don’t have to hesitate to ask help from.
- It doesn’t matter if you win or lose. As long as you play the sport in the right spirit.
- When you come towards the end of your Rotaract years, you will end up having kids in the movement (Daddy loves all of you equally).
- If you ever need advice feel free to come talk to me (I don’t bite).
Things surely became clearer from where we began. No matter how many times life puts you down, Rotaract will always lift you up and it took me 10 years to realize that and I am ever so grateful to those who influenced me to be part of Rotaract.
Viva la Rotaract.
By Rtr. Chirag Amit | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org