A Giant Man Named Nipun :)

Posted by Thu Nguyen on Jun 1, 2018
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[My sister in Australia just translated a Vietnamese Facebook post that was going around -- and among Nipun's many qualities, "Giant Nipun" is new to me! :)]

Just as I had promised everyone, I would write a series of posts about our talkshow on "Giftvisim -- Live Like a Gift" in Ho Chi Minh City.

Today I will write my first post, about Nipun, the lead speaker for the talkshow. In my view, he can be described as follows:

A young girl meticulously folds the welcome mats in front of the steps leading up to the auditorium, as the rain had soaked the path and without the mats, it would be very slippery, and dirty as well. All of a sudden the lead assistant’s voice echoes through and she turns around to see the tiny lead assistant, miniscule next to a towering man, akin to a midget standing beside a giant :D And of course the giant man was Nipun.

A gorgeous smile was directed towards the young girl: “Oh, are you a volunteer for this speaking event? That’s wonderful. Thank you.” He then gives me a big hug and pats my back in support.

Oh my heart, how it warmed. I thought to myself, “How can this person have a smile so kind, a hug so soothing, and above all an energy full of love, very gentle but at the same time so filling?”

And so the girl gawkily follows everyone else into the auditorium, carefully gazing after the silhouette of the giant man: he hugs everyone he meets, with a pat on the back and greeting, his lips never forgetting to blossom into an incredibly warm smile. The concept of stranger doesn’t seem to exist for him. The auditorium was full of faces he was meeting for the first time, but the affection he shared is an old love, for loved ones of many years. How can there exist such a strange person, how can someone smile so much? (I felt like calling my mom that I’ve finally met someone as nutty as me, who is constantly grinning – although in my case, the amount of time I spend frowning isn’t lacking either. :D)

Throughout the Talkshow, Mr. Nipun spoke with passion, with energy, but full of humility. Though I stood very far away, I could clearly sense the humility through his eyes, through his gestures when expressing his viewpoint on any issue. And above all, despite a long journey from America to Taiwan to the Philippines, then to Vietnam, on which he has not stopped to rest for a single day, his charisma nonetheless showed no hint of any fatigue. He still gazed into each person’s eyes with energy when he speaks.

No matter who he is speaking to, his eyes always gaze at them with focus, attentively listening. I felt that through his eyes he could understand people’s stories, how they’re hurting or how they’re joyful. Those eyes have more power than any words.

And you know what, for every question posed, he always responded with a very deep and meaningful answer. It is as if the giant standing up there were an encyclopedia, always ready, always enthusiastic for every question. And we didn’t just listen to the answers through our ears, we had to listen through our souls as well, to see that the world does not just consist of right and wrong, but also care and love. In that love, right and wrong aren’t important, but what was vital was how much we have loved.

Looking at the giant, I’d asked myself:

1. I enjoy meeting friendly people, but have I made an effort to become friendly? Would I rid myself of ego to open myself to everyone, to love with no reservations?

2. Do I always restrict myself within a community that would understand me, would respect my way of living, and consequently isolate myself from the rest of the world who thought differently? Wouldn’t the reason for that be because I do not possess enough love? If I had that love, would I not just live my life, be happy with my own decisions, not judge or place expectations on others and embrace our differences?

3. Generosity is so simple, but yet difficult. Generously giving away an amount of money is very easy, but to generously love requires a lot of practice, to tackle lots of obstacles. To train until you can gift love in a natural way. Am I prepared and disciplined enough to practice?

And you know what, at the end of the meet and greet, Nipun handed the organizers an envelope and said, "This is the money our friends in the Philippines had given me, and now I hand it over to you all. Please use it for what you need." Our tiny lead assistant walking behind our giant had said to us, “This is a person poor in finance, poor in money. Were we to check his body now, we couldn’t be sure if he had a cent on him. Yet he can still give everything, and have everything to give.”

He is a great gift, and how lucky we were to be here with him.

Posted by Thu Nguyen | | permalink

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Comments (3)

  • Gayathri Ramachandran wrote ...

    What a lovely treat to read a piece on this Vietnam trip from the local volunteer perspective -- such fun when paired with Nipun's account below! And, love the description of Nipun as a Giant :D

  • Nipun Mehta wrote ...

    Super cute! :)

  • Richard Whittaker wrote ...

    Love this!!
    "Looking at the giant, I asked myself..."
    Thank you, Thu!