Tuesday, January 25, 2005
late last night, i trooped down to the 24 hour mr bean cafe at selegie for supper. and found myself right smack in the middle of the thaipusam procession.
the procession was travelling from little india, right down selegie, right in front of the cafe, so i had something to observe while stuffing my face.
thankfully, the roads werent closed last night but the entire stretch of pavement right in front of the cafe was cordoned off for the procession.
i had to get the taxi driver to turn into the back lane to enter the cafe. there was no way i was going to alight by the roadside and squeeze my way through that throng of people!!
i actually wanted to take photos but i was forbidden by my supper kaki - "dont be rude lah! have some respect!"
meh. i think he was just worried about me embarrasing him with the very bright flash on my digicam and my suaku-ness. bah.
it was kinda scary. such a huge mass of people! and the flow seemed neverending, i tell you.
but (thankfully!) it wasnt the actual procession so the devotees werent carrying their kavadis in full.
i think if i saw kavadi bearers - like the one in the photo - i would probably faint on the spot (all those sharp needles and rods and hooks piercing their bodies! eeeee!)
eh, i may have a sadomasochistic streak but not to that extent! besides, i dont like needles!
it was just a couple of people carrying (milk?) pots on their heads, kavadis over their shoulders (without the piercings!) and a whole lot of chants and cheers and whistling.
there was even a guy pounding a beat on one of those indian drums (called a tabla?) as he walked, while the people around him sang and cheered.
hmm. i remember witnessing a thaipusam procession along little india when i was younger. i dont recall if i was scared shitless by it or if i was fascinated, but i think it was probably a little of both. but i remember wondering how they managed to endure the pain. me and my morbid curiosity.
but it amazes me, really - the pain and the lengths the hindu devotees are willing to go through and endure for the sake of penance / thanksgiving / devotion. i heard they even walk on burning coals / fire!! and some do it while still carrying their kavadis and piercings! wah.
scary. but power. must really salute them for their efforts.