Friends are the Family we choose for Ourselves.

It was the 22nd of February, and out of nowhere, I got a message from our madam president, Loshini Akka, asking whether I would be interested in joining as an OC member of the 454th Gavel Educational Meeting. I had a lot on my plate at that time. However, with my reservations in mind, I decided to take up the position.

Then began the night meetings of our educational meeting headed by our lokka, Gavelier Siluni Akka, and the team members Nisali, Ashfaaq, Maristela, Kemindee, and of course our newly joined Gavelier Lavindu; “the meme maker”. The surprising fact was that we were given a theme based on a television show that none of us has watched. Try guessing??….. Hmmm, F.R.I.E.N.D.S. yes! Not only that, we haven’t watched the show, but almost everyone thinks it’s a very overrated TV series or is it only my opinion?


Our “Friends”-themed gavel educational meeting needed a lot more planning than we thought. Since we were expecting newbies, for us it’ll be “our poddas” and for our Lokkas, it’ll be podi poddas”. The round-robin session and table topics were all chosen with that in mind.


All in all, as the days passed, it kept getting closer to March 4th, where we had our date fixed for the meeting. The last OC meeting before that day will always be memorable for me. Why? Because I slept through the entire Google meeting and was roasted about it afterward.

There it was, finally the day of the “Friends at Gavel” educational meeting. Almost all the role players were ready. I came expecting a very small crowd since it was a Saturday. I mean, it was the weekend. I was surprised; the gavel room was filled with a lot of newbies. We all got to know each other a bit before our president, Gavelier Loshini Rodrigo, started the meeting and handed over the meeting controls to the one and only “sindu kiyana doctor” in Gavel, Gavelier Ashfaaq Sheriffu, the toastmaster for the day. He shared his own experiences about his public speaking journey and the Gavel Club, saying that “it’s where he grew from scratch”. We had a very interesting round-robin topic, “What makes you a good friend,” chosen by our Gavelier Nisali, also known as the “celebrity” in Gavel. The topic broke the ice in the room; everyone shared their views about themselves, which proved to me again that the Gavel is a place where no one will judge.


To add to that, we had eight amazing topics for the table topic session, which was conducted by Gavelier Kemindee. Almost all the newbies took a topic for the very first time, using the word of the day “considerate”, which was decided by the grammarian Gavelier Amjad. This is where we realized “We can do a lot more in Gavel to improve public speaking and leadership skills”, after seeing how enthusiastic the newbies were to do speeches.


After the evaluations, the official proceedings of the meeting were concluded by the president. But the meeting was not yet over. We had planned a few games, which I believe Gavelier Nisali would be the person who enjoyed the most. From guessing games to “rahas kochchiya,” all of us made new friends and memories to last a lifetime.


While on my way back home, what came to mind was that friends are indeed the family you choose for yourself. Our parents were ours from birth, but with friends, we decide who we are going to be close with. And I can proudly say Gavel Club is where I found friends who are indeed the family I chose.


With the hope that all our newbies would find friends at Gavel who are like family, I bid my goodbyes.

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