Filling the gaps with Gappiya | Sunday Observer

Filling the gaps with Gappiya

9 February, 2020

It does not need a lengthy introductory paragraph to introduce him. He was born and bred in Sri Lanka, lives an ordinary peasant life of a Sri Lankan, as much as we all do in Australia, and more importantly, he hardly shows any significance even though he is quite a famous phenomenon in the global scene. More or less, he is a mind of seeking purpose in everything he does where contagious ideas are born as by-products. He is none other than Tharindu Wijesekara who is best known as “Gappiya”.

“I am an introvert who relishes in my own space and thinking. I am a nature lover who seeks solace in woods. Gappiya is just an avatar of me, yet the man behind is different” he initiated the chat revealing hidden yet intriguing truths of his life.

“Back in the days when I and Lily (currently wife, then girlfriend) were living in Maitland, after my departure from Sydney, I hardly found good job opportunities to work as a graphic designer. Thus, I was willing to take up any work. As a result, I joined a local restaurant as an assistant and absurdly that place wasn’t that busy. Out of pure boredom, I was constantly in search of doing something new, and interesting” he started narrating his long story in short.

“When I was wondering about something new, the only thing that came to my mind was creating videos. Youtube was a safe haven for aspiring video-makers, and I could not resist myself. Since my high school days, I always had a desire for creating vlogs.Further, Jehan: A Youtuber based in US inspired me a lot. Being a Sri Lankan and getting 30,000 views by him, back then was considered to be quite an achievement. Thus, I could plausibly state that “Gappiya” was born as a result of such chaos and inspiration” he proclaimed.

Gappiya’s creative work varies significantly, may it be a vlog or a quote, his unique identity was clearly established based on his astonishing life philosophy. In a context where Youtubers are mushrooming, Gappiya’s land marking projects shouldn’t be missed.

“It’s okay baby” was truly a project loved and dearly embraced by many which in return engrained my name as a Youtuber. No way, I planned such a hype. I was absolutely stunned by the adoration received for that video in 2013. More or less 4,000 likes were received in Facebook, itself” he ebulliently shared his early days.

When he was questioned about the driving force and its underlying intention of his calling,

“Many people via social media requested me for more videos as a result of this hype. Yet, I had no specific intention as a mission to calibrate me further. The growth of popularity was therefore rather a spontaneous and organic process. Neither I rushed nor forced myself to create vlogs for the mere sake of gaining a wider reach. Yet, I must not deny that I became more cautious about my work after receiving 50,000 likes” he added to the question.

Gappiya is known for his contagious thinking. His provocative thinking has greatly inspired his followers. It indeed is creating many positive and significant ripple effects. Quotes written by colourful chalks on backboards have never ceased to amaze us.

“To what extent I could make people think, is something I am very concerned of since the beginning. Three years ago, I started another channel called ‘Gappiya Thinking’ in which I try to share my inner thoughts on life, morals and incidents. Over the years, I had more opportunities to get to know about people, and experience different shades of daily mundane life. Living abroad while having solid connections with Sri Lanka made this much easier” he explained.

“Consequently, this brought me to a position where I started thinking of sharing minimalism, mindfulness, and way of living life truly, fully and honestly among my followers. Especially, in a context where most of our youth has lost faith in themselves, may be as a result of lower self-esteem, loneliness, purposelessness. Unlike my earlier works, ‘Gappiya Thinking’ always had a strong intention since day one to inculcate happiness, equanimity and hope in the minds of viewers” he answered wilfully.

“Although I wanted to see a positive change in the mindsets of people, I never had given a thought of its ripple effect. As far as I believe, the root needs to be solid in meeting its due course. Thus, I pay more attention to the initial idea than its subsequent escapades”, he fervently added to his answer.

Creativity can be used for social development. Ultimate expectation of social disruption is creating a positive impact. When Gappiya was inquired on recent ventures,

“I am more concerned of channelling my creative energy towards something better” he answered with a gleam. ‘Gappiya School’ was another venture that I got myself delved into recently. The main purpose is to educate English to people who seek novelty. Communication skills are essential anywhere in the world, especially in a country like Sri Lanka where language plays a plethora of roles in defining one’s status.

“Indeed, we can do many things. All we need is to find our forte in the sphere of capabilities. I am always inclined to do my bit than blaming the rest”, he added.

Social media is rapidly changing. Maintaining the status as a content creator in this space is quite an arduous task.

“When it comes to maintaining momentum, I hardly do anything. Further, it is the best way to secure my peace of mind. Do nothing doesn’t really mean giving up, but it helps me to understand effective ways to pour my energy. This mentality has been there on my mind for a while, I think I am currently practising more of what my mind says. It mediates my thinking and offers equanimity to think beyond the box” he sounded strong and contented.

“I also understand remaining in the top is not always easy. It is great to be No. 01, but what about the price we have to pay for remaining in that position? Is it truly worth your time? These are some of the questions that I deal with more often these days”, Gappiya revealed.

“As a person who is driven by creativity, I prefer my peace of mind more than anything else and I believe it adds value to my journey more than ever now”, he explained his status.

Life is a long journey. As Joan Miro once said, the works must be conceived with fire in the soul but executed with clinical coolness. I think Gappiya is his journey to venture many unseen aspects of life. Perhaps, this creative exile would bring him and many more! As ardent lovers of his work, let’s expect the best!

Till we meet again, I would request you to do something creative every day.