I sold my bike. Yes, the one that I went around the country with, the one that made me the Cycling Pissa I am today. I didn’t want to do it initially because it was something that was a big part of my life. Something that helped me inspire a generation of people to chase their dreams. The reason for me to get rid of it was the fact that I will be pursuing my dream of being a scientist in the USA. My flight is today (06th of August, 2018)
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It's one of those days where you take your bike to work and it's too early, so you pay a visit to the nearest beach – watching people fight their way through traffic. #Cycling #CyclingLife #AroundSL #Outdoors #SriLanka #Travel #Travelgram #LKA #CyclingPissa #DSIBikes #iPhone #StravaCycling #CyclingShots
That train ride
In April 2018 – while I was travelling by train with my Scouts from S. Thomas’ Preparatory School, I got the email from Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) that I was accepted to their PhD program. I received this news after getting around 10 rejections from USA and German universities. With my poor grades and qualifications, I wasn’t even hoping to go abroad for my studies because I knew I wouldn’t make it. A lot of people asked me, “Fadil, how did you get in without passing with a class?” and that’s something which I need to ask the Head of the Department at IUPUI. What did they see in me which others didn’t?
Thank you University of Colombo
It was a miracle – I couldn’t have done this alone, extremely lucky and not at all self-made. I am the result of the countless blessings I received from people who raised me on to their shoulders. I have never felt so thankful to have got such an offer. Allah must have looked down from the heavens and winked at me, “You’re welcome”. I hope and pray that I will be able to give back to people and to the world for all the good it has done to me.
Six years is a long time!
The PhD in Physics would take me six years to complete and it will be very expensive for me to come by for a visit whenever I could. Leaving my bike under the staircase and using it only once a year or once in two years is not proper justice for the bike that gave me so much. I sold it for 10,000 LKR to someone who wanted to make use of it. I was sad for a bit. My down stair Aunty came and told me that she felt the same when she sold her husband’s car, which was the only thing she had as a memory. This gentleman was the founder of Asoka Vidyalaya and its first Principal. After hearing that, I knew mine wasn’t a big sacrifice compared to hers – so it’s alright to let go of things.
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I still can't believe this letter. There must be a mistake. I was one of the weakest students in that class, I remember repeating whole semesters worth exams. I kept getting so many rejections and I knew it was because I didn't deserve it. It must be a miracle, it has to be. Somewhere amidst all of that confusion they saw something which others didn't see. I'm forever in debt to this world, for the people that shaped my life and always encouraged me that there is still a chance. Thank you Almighty for bringing me close to such people.
Tying the knot
I got married on the 15th of July, 2018 to my University sweetheart Ishara Moulana. I know, I know – I get the constant “Fadil, you’re already married?”. It’s just that I’ve known her for five years and it’s someone who reminds me of my mom. The type of woman that is hard working, determined, talented, questioning stereotypes and is also a good cook. Why wait people when you’ve found someone perfect for you?
I said my goodbyes to my Gaveliers from UOC, I felt so proud and thankful that I met such people who made the club an amazing place. Dharatha from the Gavel Club of SLIIT arranged a farewell for me and brought together many faces who worked with us at last year’s Gavel Conference. That was literally the fairytale that came to life. That was the dream team and they made it happen. This was done at a time when no one believed in a three-day out of Colombo, residential Conference. Rangana from WUSL told me that my flight is exactly on the second day of last year’s Conference. When I see them taking their clubs to greater heights, I feel so proud knowing that I had the chance to do amazing things with these people back then.
Am I sad about leaving the country? I truly am. It’s the beautiful people that made my time here wonderful. My only wish for them is to give love and hope to those around them, be willing to move mountains for them so one day they will do the same for someone else. This is the only way the world will move forward.