Conversations With Uncle Chandra (Part 2)

Paris BaguettePHOTO: Reuel Eugene Tay (Ipad2)

 

I met uncle Chandra again the following night as he was once again on night shift. He beckoned me to receive a gift; Bacon and egg croissant from Paris Baguette. It was a gift from a Korean girl to him just 15 minutes from the time I met uncle Chandra. I kindly refused, but he insisted and said he can’t eat it anyway since he is on vegetarian today.

I told him about the Facebook post, and how so many are blessed by his words. Continuing from where he left off yesterday, he said that God comes in many forms (people). Uncle Chandra would never leave home for work without first making and drinking a warm cup of premium coffee. But when there are days that he had to give that a miss, there will be residents who come to him with a can of coffee from convenience stores. He said, buying the $1.50 coffee is one thing, thinking about him when they were buying the coffee and carrying it here makes all the difference. Even days that he did not have dinner before work, there will be residents who would buy Punggol nasi lemak for him. He said, “How would they know I haven’t eaten?” There was even one occasion when he gave away food given to him from a resident to other colleagues, and gotten other stuff(coffee) from another resident.

I like that.

I saw how he was blessed, how he blessed others, giving away what others gave to him and getting more blessed in return. I saw how he knew almost all the residents who came back home by the side gate after a long day. Truly all things will work together for the good of those who love God (and people), even if the faiths may be a tad different.

Before I left, uncle Chandra said he was saving the food for someone special. Thank you uncle Chandra. Though I am not hungry, I will eat it heartily, knowing that my stomach and heart will be filled tonight.

Conversations With Uncle Chandra (Part 1)

Last Friday after Good Friday service, tired as I am, I spent a good 20 minutes talking to the night guard, Chandra. Learnt so much from this fruitful and humbling conversation. Chandra shared that Jesus and Christianity is good and he respects that even though he is a Hindu. He revealed something new to me that back in the 1960s and 1970s, there used to be a public holiday for Easter Sunday too, thus stretching to ‘Easter Monday’, making it a long public holiday break. During those periods, car races were held and people had lots of fun both participating and spectating.

As we learnt about one another, Chandra shared that he was part of the first batch of soldiers trained by Israeli forces when SAF was just formed! How amazing was that? His son was an engineer, and a brilliant one who excelled during his time in MINDEF during his NS liability. He was the brains behind removing the ‘S’ when it comes to filling up data so that today we no longer need to key the extra ‘S’ when we want to key in our ID.

Chandra said that when I come to church, I need to come before Jesus with my feelings; my heart, I cannot just come to church like a religious obligation. By coming to Jesus with my heart, then only can I expect help from above. Many words was exchanged during the short conversation, and with it, life from a 60-year-old to a 24-year-old as well. I am blessed by this experience.

Before I left, he said today’s a Good Friday, and also a sad friday (because Jesus died). I replied, it’s okay because He came back!

Uncle chandraPHOTO: Reuel Eugene Tay (Ipad2)