Anargi’s CAS Journey

Journey of an IB student

Walks along Nuwara Eliya Town

Hoping to find a change a scenery, along with a change of pace, I convinced my parents to visit our house in Nuwara Eliya for a few days. Turns out that I didn’t really have to put in much effort because moving away from the smog and pollution covered city to literally greener pastures seemed to be a wonderful idea before the curfew was placed on the Western Province,  thus initiating and planning my own CAS experience.

A tree I passed during my walks at Viharamadhevi Park

Stunned by the crisp morning air, I was quite dumbfounded by how serene and utterly tranquil the ambience was, and although I did have to continue online school, the stress and anxiety drastically lessened making me feel as if I was floating through the thick cumulus clouds of the central province. The clear bright skies and spending time with my dog was not only an antidote to heal my otherwise dampened mentality but also gave me incentive to exercise. In Colombo, exercise and even going for my 5 am walks seemed like a chore and I had already assigned it an ulterior motive; you have to walk a certain distance to burn off certain calories so you remain fit. Although the motif stayed the same for physical fitness when walking along Nuwara Eliya town and around the perimeter of my house, my optimistic attitude changed my perception of the activity into something of a hobby. Never being an early riser, I surprised myself as I woke up to the rhymical chorus of yellow bulbus and my dog yapping at the foot of my bed and allowed the wall of last night’s rain and the morning cold to flutter around me as I put on my wool slides and began my morning walk.

View into the Garden

Being completely honest, I did miss the sunny hue and warmth of my Colombo walks, especially the way in which I quite literally saw the city wake itself. Although the scenic pastures of horses grazing and the green expanse of the Nuwara Eliya Golf club were animated enough to captivate me, the hustle and bustle of a city begrudgingly waking alongside me, was well missed. Another aspect that I terribly missed in Nuwara Eliya was walking with my exercise partner as having someone to share an activity with was not just socially invigorating by mentally motivating in achieving new heights. However, I soon shattered the former sentiment as my dog excitedly tugged at my heels, urging me to keep up with not just his speed but his electric exhilaration.

The morning walks before virtual school were not only brilliant for me to maintain my fitness but also to instill in me values and ideas that have gotten lost amongst the froth of internal assessments and exams. Passing the Nuwara Eliya market, the chaotic but strangely systematic disorder highly juxtaposed with the post office a few meters to its right. The red brick wall and its blatant colonial architecture reminded me of this city’s rich history and made me appreciate the amalgam of two cultures even more so that I did. Walking around union place and the Torrington avenue, there was a dusk overlay on my vision; the plainer buildings seemed to dazzle with the morning rays, however my Nuwara Eliya rambles hinted at an outer-worldly feeling. The beauty of the morning fog; how the mist dissipated as my dog ran through the pavement and how the wisps floated above us and settled on a cloudy plain just shy of the mountain tip; forming something of a halo.  The valley that my house was located in was blessed as its perimeter was embellished with a series of mountain ranges and although the clear blue skies reflected onto our property, the mystique and even ominous nature of the mountains seemed like something of a fairytale.

Specifically focusing on the physicality of the activity, the unfamiliar coldness made my pulse increasingly higher and made me work harder to not only achieve my usual distance but to keep my insides warm. The difficulty was at its climax during my first walk as how unaccustomed I was to keeping up my dog’s pace and even achieving a similar distance on Nuwara Eliya’s winding roads, coupled with the threat of altitude sickness, seemed too daunting a challenge to bear. This feeling of disappointment and failure in achieving my usual eight kilometers seemed to surpass my urge to stay positive and almost convinced me to sleep in the next day. However, I showed perseverance and commitment to my CAS activity, when reminding myself that it is completely normal to face failure, but it is important to process it and challenge myself to be better. I used this feeling as the fuel that drove myself to brave the mountainous roads of Nuwara Eliya’s inner city and make my way back to the house, drenched with exhaustion and accomplishment.

Walking Path

I feel as if this getaway did not just improve my mental and physical health but encouraged me to be more open-minded and face adversity with a bolder attitude, thereby showing evidence of personal growth. More times than not, I have always managed defeat with subservience and silent acceptance, however now I feel as if these past few days have embolden me with tools to tackle issues with a brighter approach. This new change that was instilled me can be adapted to not only my school work but my general outlook on life and thus am proud to say that I’m coming back to Colombo a changed woman!

ajayakody2 • November 19, 2020

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