Finally I have come to the very end of my detailed description of RYLA. All the dignitaries assembled on the dais at 2:30 as planned. The camp commandant presented his report. He started with English, but told us he intended to present the report in Bangla. It was the only instance when Bangla was spoken on stage. He said many a nice thing about the participants. There were no complaints from him. He also mentioned that though he had to give more marks to some, the rest were as precious and good (the clichéd comment all judges have to make). After the report, all the dignitaries were introduced and welcomed. Then there was a brief selected presentation called “Recap” by few participants. They asked me to sing, another girl to recite and the green team to repeat their skit, which was on drugs. Thus it became easier to guess the results of the singing, recitation and skit categories.
“Recap” followed an address by the Guest of Honour and another one by the Chief Guest DG. He had been down with heart problems but still came along to join us and delivered a touching speech. “At my age, the only thing I am concerned about is who is going to cry when I die?”, he said. Finally it was time for the awards ceremony. I shall make this short. The first prize for diary writing was for me, so was the first prize for singing. Then I got three second prizes in the categories of recitation, debate and extempore. Then it was time to find out who the most popular girl and boy were. We were asked to vote on pieces of paper and submit it (we were not to vote for ourselves of course). The results were collected and I got the most popular girl award. The green team came first in skit. The red team won the first prize in painting. The yellow team came second. For quiz, the blue team had bagged the first prize, while we, again, were second. Finally it was time for the big prize – the huge trophy for the best RYLArian. The award was based on overall performance that included everything from behavior, personality, punctuality, interactive skills, participation etc. Anyone could win from the 30, but I think only around five stood a chance. They said that there had been stiff competition between the best and the second best. The second best was announced. Then the best was declared. It was my name. I went on to collect my 7th and biggest trophy of the day. We all got certificates as proofs of participation. Then they announced the scores of the teams. The blue team was first, followed by yellow, red and green. Although I did really well for myself and was liked by my fellow participants, I don’t think it helped my team as a whole. The blue team was thus the best team, while I was the best individual performer, as per the results. The winning team members got a medal each. Then we were made to pose with our trophies. I met Rtn Prabir Chattejee, the president of my sponsoring Rotary Club (Calcutta South Extension). He had come all the way to Joka to attend the ceremony and I am glad I didn’t disappoint anyone who wanted me to do well.
5:30 was the time to leave and we had a brief tea and refreshment break before that. The rooms were vacated and the luggage was taken out. I jumped into a Taxi waiting to take us home while my parents hopped in, their hands overflowing with my trophies.
It was a good experience and a nice vacation out of home for me. I enjoyed it immensely. I hope RYLA continues its progress and stays as enjoyable as ever in the coming years.