For the first time in a long time, I took the public transport to and from work. Not because I wanted to, but because I am desperately saving up and had nobody to fetch me for dinner today. Worst still, I had a whole day of training (under the thirty five degree weather) today, on the other side of the country.
On my way back home, I had to sardine myself into the peak hour crowd but had enough space to tweet about how I have not been physically tortured like this for a long time. I was exhausted, cranky and all I wanted was to crash on my bed. During my transit at Jurong East, I placed all the (noob) rugby skills I had left in me and got myself a seat, so I could sleep.
Fifteen minutes later, I realized an old man standing in front of me. It was Marsiling station, I was so zonked out from my slumber and I was contemplating on whether or not I should give up my seat to him, or just wait til I was alighting at Sembawang. You probably wanna slap my face for being such a pampered bitch for the whole introduction of this post but please don't, because by then I figured, I should stop pampering myself, so I stood up and gave the seat up to him.
I'm glad I did because it turned out to be such a rewarding encounter.
Uncle: Thank you so much.
Nurul: It's okay, Uncle! I'm sorry I was asleep, didn't realize you earlier.
Uncle: Oh, I just came into the train actually. People usually ignore me until they are about to alight.
Nurul: Aiyo. I hope you don't face that everyday.
Uncle: It's okay, I'm used to it. Today the train was late though. Usually the train will come in three minutes, but today it came in seven minute intervals. That's why it's so crowded.
Nurul: Oh no wonder! You take the train everyday?
Uncle: Ya, after work I usually take the train home.
Nurul: Where are you heading to uncle?
Uncle: From here I will alight at Bishan.
Nurul: Wow, that's far. Marsiling to Bishan everyday?
Uncle: Singapore is really small, so everything isn't that far apart, really.
Nurul: Hmm, quite true. Everywhere is accessible hor.
Uncle: Yes, definitely. That's why we need to be thankful. Always be thankful to God.
Nurul: You're right, you're right. *checks phone*
Uncle: Oh, go ahead I'm sorry I'm disturbing you.
I was fascinated that his command of English was really good. I mean, he looked younger than my gramps but he is definitely one of the pioneer generation. I could also see that he enjoyed talking. It's either he doesn't have anyone else to talk to or he simply just enjoys talking. Either way, I was actually enjoying the conversation.
Nurul: It's okay, Uncle! Nothing urgent.
Uncle: Ah, good good. So where were you from? School? Work? Your bag looks so big.
Nurul: Oh, I'm from work actually but I'm still studying, yes.
Uncle: Ah, good good. Study hard, don't give up. Not everyone can continue studying. Did you know that some parts of Malaysia closed off the schools cos it's the weather there is too hot?
Nurul: Huh? Seriously?
Uncle: Yes, yes. So study hard and don't waste your opportunities.
Nurul: True that.. Sadly Singapore needs the qualifications in order for you to go far.
Uncle: Yes, correct, but no matter what you face, always remember to say syukur alhamdulillah.
Nurul: You're right, Uncle..
I could have sworn I thought he was Chinese from his fair complexion and eyes like mine, but he was pretty fluent in Malay as well. For the next few minutes, he went on about making wise decisions, how everything is so fast paced, and then talked about his son, who was majoring in events management but right before I asked whether his son is good looking, he told me his son is getting married next year. But that's besides the point.
Before I alighted, he gave me three advice that hit all the right spots.
Advice 1Sometimes, if you want to get things done to your definition of perfect, just do it yourself. Not only because you wish to it turn out exactly the way you want it to, but because sometimes you're troubling yourself by troubling others. If you do things yourself, you get to improve your skills too.
Advice 2Always remember where you come from and how you got this far. Whatever you receive, say syukur alhamdulillah. Don't be so stingy to say thank you to him. Even if you're faced with hardship or when you only get $1000 pay, just take it in and always say syukur alhamdulillah.
Advice 3No matter which God you believe in, always remember, no matter how high you go, you will never be able to be above God. Don't forget your prayers. It's the best way to let Allah know that you remember him, no matter what. Your life will be easier when you remember your Creator.
I was so moved by the conversation that I took my phone out to type all these down right after I alighted. I couldn't have quoted it better from how the uncle said it. It hits all the right spots because, I don't know about you but sometimes, you just need a reality check.
That was when I realized that sometimes, we are all too busy to even think of Him, what more dedicate some time to serve Him. I am too busy, or rather, it was more convenient for me to find excuses rather than find the discipline to just make time. It barely takes five minutes but yet, we choose to occupy our time with something else and worst still, find it to be like an inconvenience. Masya'Allah.
I didn't catch his name, neither did I sneak in a selfie with the old man, but may God bless you, Uncle :) There is indeed more to life than just earning money, getting a degree, paying the bills and living comfortably. As much as we want to achieve all the good things in life, if you have a religion (no matter which one) there must be something more that you live for. Time for me to put more faith in mine.