While driving to Batu Caves, I am thinking on what kind of images should I take at the Thaipusam Festival.
I did not go inside the Batu Caves compound today. I am lucky to meet 2 groups of devotees whom I have taken picture on the previously year. So I though I should take the opportunity to record down the entire preparation process.
The approach taken by the two groups were different. There is no large kavadi for this group but dramatic trance induction.
I arrived at the temple and recognize all the faces who I met last year.
In fact, the same lady who blessed me the same way last year.
I guessed this devotee was playing the role of God Hanuman (the Monkey God) after entering into trance. He was continuously chewing fruits like orange, banana, and even coconut (now holding in his right hand).
The heavy oranges were hooked to his skin. The extreme demonstration is hooking 20+ coconuts onto one’s body.
The second devotee was lying on the ground with his back hooked with many large metal hooks pulled by nylon strings.
This was another commonly seen method to repay the vow to Lord Murugan.
The young man on the first image in this post has also put himself into trance and started enjoying cigars.
The lady was the last of the four to go into trance. She is ‘talented’. Some of the technique seen like pushing is also widely used in western hypnotic therapy.
Although I stayed put with 2 groups and did not take the normal Thaipusam festivity pictures, I am somewhat content with the outcomes. Sometimes less is more. What I gained was the slightly more insights into the preparation process before the journey.
Perhaps 2014 I should accompany a group on their walking journey to the cave temple.