Thaipusam this year, was a walk down memory lane to me. If I remember well, it's been 5years, since my last Thaipusam at Batu Caves. I think it all started with NS, then STPM & Uni. This year however, I guess the vibe at Batu Caves is so strong, that had another reason to come down.
The plan was very simple. Shave bald, pay Murugan a visit, windows shopping, a walk to the Sivananda Ashram & back home. I particularly look forward to go the ashram, to feast on the vegetarian burger!! Somewhere in between, the plan to follow the chariot to the river side slipped in, when I agreed to stay with Bangsar aunty and send her back.
As early as 1am, amma knocked my door to see if I were asleep and checked if I needed alarm. Half hour later she comes again, to ensure I'm geared up to shave bald and shower before going into the temple. Only then did I realise, my door knob was faulty. That was an hour of struggle, with appa and anne getting up to see what's all the noise about. Appa had the screw drivers and necessary tools tied on to one end of the mop-stick, while anne was reaching it to me form the bathroom. One hour of adventure before I were able to get myself out of the room to realise it's already 215am.
I were out on the road by 3am and I stepped on the pedal to be there in time, such that aunty doesn't wait for me. I began to panic when the empat-tin road was not accessible to go Batu Caves. Then I realised that the new flyover had been built, just a few metres away, hidden by the building. I managed to park my car by 320am. With my long legs, I reached as far as they could, and made my way through the I-can't-be-bothered-if-you're-rushing crowd.
I found my way to the barber, managed to return to my car and despite then my aunty had not arrived. Lucky me, I had a friend who happened to be there since the previous night. I got her to accompany me till they came. She kept to her words, just as I left towards my aunty, she disappeared form the spot she was. Didn't get to say a proper bye. Uncle stayed down, so aunty, Praba akka, Dhev anne and me we walked up. I always liked being with aunty, becasue she doesn't push, but she just slips her way in, between the crowd. I knew that I had to be prepared if I wanted her to be within my sight. Akka is not too bad, she finds her way in. Dhev anne, prefers to just follow the flow, but I think later he understood that he had to stay close to aunty? We didn't feel the crowd on the stairs, but in the inside, it was really really bad!!?
Took us nearly 45minutes to get inside the Murugan's mandapam. Better than India, it was just a 1-2minutes glance as the we walked pass Him. Aunty as usual used her "cable" to get some vibuthi, garland of flower and etc. As we reached down the cave, it was just about time for the Puja at the Eluntharulhi mandapam, where the Murugan deity from Maha Mariamman temple resides. We then walked with the chariot to the river-side and back to the mandapam. In my heart, I was hoping hard that aunty would walk again with the priest as he brought up the Vel, but I guess she was too tired.
Picture of me, at the river side, while bathing the Vel. Somewhere at the back, if you would recognise me.
As usual, we walked to the ashram. Aunty's and amma's usual gang was there. I grabbed 2pieces of burger, while aunty's friend packed some food and we were off back home.
I missed walking with my aunty with the chariot, on the eve, the Thaipusam and also the day after. But I ought to thank her, cause I got to see the Vel bathing ceremony. Though witnessing Thaipusam at my home town is so memorable, next year I look forward to go Penang!!