Goodbye, Sri Lanka!

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)

That train ride

Railway Line taken from the Diyathalawa Station on a chilly morning

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?

Ten Generations of Prep Scouts in one photo along with the current set of Seniors | Foxhills, Diyathalawa, Sri Lanka

 

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.

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I'm going to miss this view 🙁

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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.

Tying the knot

My sweetheart Ishara Moulana. Future Cancer Biologist who will be going to Indiana University Bloomington | Picture Credits – Malin Ranwala

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?

Game Over Fadil! Captured by Malin Ranwala

Farewell Gavel!

The Delegation from the Gavel Club of University of Colombo at the 2017 Gavel Conference in Sri Lanka | Picture Credits – Wayoscope Legacy

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.

Gavel Conference 2017 – Sri Lanka | Picture Credits – Wayoscope Legacy

 

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.

 

Is it bad to be in Sinhala Buddhist Nation?
Sigiriya Trip (Day 2)

2 thoughts on “Goodbye, Sri Lanka!”

  1. Dear Fadil Ayya..
    I would like to bring my heariest wishes to you & thank you very much for being such a motivative big brother in my unversity life.
    You might have been forgotten me but here the little clue.. I was there @ Gavel club in my first-year as a very tall girl with spectacles named Dimuthu..hope you remember ..even you are not here accept my sincere gratitude again. You were such a remarkable personality in my academic career. Still remember how you pushed forward me to attend the Gavel meeting & how you adviced me to face exam while repeating? Thank You for all the memories..Cangrdulations Ayya..hope still you not remember me Cz even I don’t have fb a/c for recognition purpose. Best of Luck big bro? stay safely..May God Bless You.!

    1. Dear Dimuthu, thank you so much for your kind words! I remember you very well. I believe you are from Chamalka’s and Vimu’s batch? I am deeply honoured that I was able to help you some part in your life. Do the same to your juniors and you will find it a rewarding experience. Godspeed my friend!

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