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Thaipusam through the eyes of a photographer

post1   My 25th birthday was around the corner and knew nothing about the widely looked upon Hindu festival practiced all over the world by both Hindus and non-hindus. I can’t blame my parents or those around me for this non-education. I just didn't ask and I wasn’t intrigued to know more. With the ban of the instruments and other rules and regulations in place, the pompousness and aura round Thaipusam faded away as the years went by. Then, 2016 came. After many years, the music was back and I had a sudden overwhelming need to understand the practices of my culture. I wanted to be part of Thaipusam and experience it from the focus of my camera’s lenses. I see much more through my lenses than my naked eye. post2 Before heading to the spiritual journey through my lenses, I spoke to many individuals including priests, elderly family members and even to Mr. Google. The generic story behind Thaipusam was relatively the same. These words came cropping up in all the conversations I had: Idumban, Hills, Murugan and Walking. That wasn’t too hard to understand, but there was something missing. There however was no mention of these: milk, milk pot, kavadi or piercings. For those who know the story, there is actually a sequel. It is where Idumban actually brings offerings of milk and water up Palani to the Lord Murugans temple the same way he carried the hills. The villagers nearby who were witnessing what he was doing also wanted the lords blessings and thus followed suite. This occurrence is what has evolved to what we witness today. Simply put, the devotees endure the piercings, put up heavy décor and sometimes even walk on the nail shoes to increase the difficulty level of reaching the final destination just to show their devotion to the six faced deity. post3 I was enthralled by what I saw through my lenses. I saw familiar faces and friends participating and supporting each other. To some people, Thaipusam is a yearly affair and I even saw an extended family of at least 30 people who were there to support their men carrying the kavadis’. The music. Oh my lord Muruga!!! It was loud. It was fast. It was mind blowing. I could not stop myself from tapping my feet and kept snapping everything that caught my attention with the music fuelling my energy. Without me knowing, I was in the zone( if i didn't control myself i would have been dancing with my camera, not a very nice scene). The pictures you see are some of those that had tugged deep within me to take a snap. It was beautiful though in essence it was possible physical pain that my lenses were capturing. However the expressions of the devotees did not showcase pain. It was more of faith, believe and devotion which could surprisingly be seen through a picture. (Click next below to view the pictures)
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