He was incidentally my family friend's father-in-law. His wife passed away 13 months earlier.
And yes, it is a very rich life for Mr. Chanan Singh. Incidentally, references of Chanan appeared in an article of the news straits times and in a Perak PMR 2005 English trial paper. Quote from the paper:
The seventh child of eight siblings, Nasip Khor enjoys a wonderful relationship with both her parents but is closer to her dad, Chanan Singh. Her favourite childhood memory of him were the times when he took her and her siblings to town on his bicycle.
Ninety-year-old Chanan, a craftsman, came from Punjab in India to the then Malaya
in 1935. He lives in Ipoh with his wife, who is 84.
“My dad is healthy and is still going strong,” says Nasip. “He carves beautiful charpoys (a light bedstead of webbing stretched across a frame), rolling pins and rolling boards to make chapatti and other equipment.”
He works in a strictly traditional setting with tools that he designs himself. As a child,
Nasip helped him saw wood, weave charpoys, paint rolling pins and boards.
“I admire and am a big fan of his work,” says Nasip. “When I return to Ipoh, I spend time in his workshop, admiring his skills and determination to continue working.
Asked what she likes most about her dad, she replies: His simple lifestyle. He is
hardworking, humble and honest. Once his customer paid him an extra RM100 and he cycled all the way to return the money.”
He is not materialistic – his most important possessions are a charpoy to sleep on, a 45-year-old cupboard to put his clothes in and a self-made fan called pakhi.