Thaipusam: From the eyes of Siva Jr.


Hi, my name is Keshaav.

I am already 3 months old – becoming a big boy! In my family there is my Papa, my Mummy, and I. My Mummy’s name is Radhika, and my Papa is Siva. I have known my Mummy and Papa for 12 months (When I was in Mummy’s belly!) and have only seen them for 3 months, but I love them very much.

Mummy takes great care of me…

Me playing with Papa’s wallet with Mummy!

…and Papa is my role model!

Papa with 108 spikes embedded in his skin!

My Papa is a strong and devoted man. He went through the physical, mental, and spiritual journey of what we know as Thaipusam. I’m sure you have a gist of what that’s like through these guys’ documentary updates! When will they ever stop keeping us in suspense and show it to us anyway? I can’t wait!

Anyway, this is the first Thaipusam I have ever been to, and Mummy and I went through the whole procession. She pushed me in my pram all the way from Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple to Sri Thendayuthapani Temple. That means I saw my Papa starting, going through, and ending the journey. Yes – I saw his whole journey! Well, almost…

Oops – Taking a little snooze in ma crib

You see, I am probably cooler than your average baby because I have no problem sleeping through loud music or loud noises. Since I was young(er), I have always enjoyed my lullabies with the volume cranked up! I love Papa, but the lure of the sweet, sweet trumpets and drums made me float into deep slumber a little more than I would have liked!

 That’s not to say I wasn’t still an angel…

Chillin’ on Mummy’s shoulder

Look! Wide awake and not one tear in my eye!

Anyway, all that I did see was truly amazing. My Papa’s faith makes him not only a man of confidence, but also a man of his words. Afterall, he went through Thaipusam after his prayer from God was answered…

Maybe he prayed for a cute, healthy little boy? In that case, I can definitely attest to its fulfilment 😉

When was the last time you felt truly grateful?

The physically demanding trail of Thaipusam is definitely not an easy one to make. However an even bigger challenge, is to muster up the willpower, and the determination to make the decision to partake in something like that in the first place.

Thanking Lord Murugan during prayers

Thanking Lord Murugan during prayers

Research suggests that doing something out of gratitude provides much more of a drive, and gives one more willpower.

One of the reasons devotees such as Siva are able to take on the walk of Thaipusam, is because they feel grateful towards their god, for helping them in their life. Sometimes they pray for things to go well in their lives, and the gods they pray to ensures their wishes come true. Usually this helps them in huge ways. This then directly translates into huge amounts of gratitude for their gods.

Traditionally, festivals and events such as Thaipusam are common in Hinduism as a way to show your gratitude to your god for helping you. The trail of Thaipusam shows how grateful each and every devotee is of their god.

gratitude

Gratitude not only gives you willpower, but also makes you a happier person, and an emotionally stronger person. It gives you the ability to appreciate people better, and that translates into better relationships with the people around you. It really is a shame how little of it goes around in this day and age. When was the last time you were grateful for something?

The surefire way to boost gratitude both in you and others around you, is to help others out a little more. By giving more, your actions directly translate into gratitude in others. In turn, they will give more to you and the people around them, thus spreading both gratitude, and the spirit of giving.

Take a moment to think what you are grateful for. Let us know in the comments below!

Thaipusam, as film makers.

Producing a documentary is never easy. Not especially when your topic of choice is something like Thaipusam.

We aim to capture the Thaipusam event in its entirety, we did the whole Thaipusam walk along side Siva.

Setting up!

The ceremonies started at Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple. The walk of Thaipusam starts here, and ends at the Sri Thendayuthapani Temple, around 4.5km away. With Siva, we walked the whole way, doing a lot of filming on the way.

The number of sideline supporters was immense. The streets of Little India were packed with Hindu devotees supporting all who undertook Thaipusam. Some of them even volunteered their time and effort, passing out free drinks and food to the supporters accompanying the Thaipusam devotees on their long journey.

It was heartwarming to see the friends and family of the Thaipusam devotees singing and dancing loudly, cheering them on.

At the end of the walk, we arrived at Sri Thendayuthapani Temple. In front of the temple, the devotees and their supporters entered the Temple in groups, paying their respects to their gods, and performing their final prayers.

Even after then, we couldn’t rest. We were still tasked with the grueling job of filming the removal of the spikes, which was said to be the most painful part of the entire procession.

Filming the most painful part for Siva

Filming the most painful part for Siva

A couple cringes and some short action interviews later, we were finally done. Lugging all our equipment and personal effects across 4.5km, under the torturously blazing sun was not easy at all.

But it was worth it. For the experience, for the shots, and for the journey itself.

Want to see the fruits of our labor? Remember to follow this blog, our twitter, and like our facebook page as well.

The Power of Will

The procession of Thaipusam is not only a physically difficult one, but a mentally demanding one as well. Having nearly 110 long, potentially lethal spikes sticking into your body, all while supporting a 10kg heavy Kavadi (the structure they carry on their bodies) is ridiculously nerve-wrecking in itself. Once everything is in place, you have brave whatever Singapore’s terrible weather can throw at you, barefooted as well.

So how does Siva, and many others find the strength to do this?

Siva informs us that more than anything, it is about will power.

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With pain dampeners of any kind, Siva braces himself for the most painful part of the process.

Will power is defined as having self control, and discipline over your body to go through with your hardships. But where does this strong will of theirs come from? Over the course of our filming, we watched our profile Siva closely.

We learnt that Religion is a powerful tool. People like Siva, who devotes himself to his god, find within the strength to carry out something as tedious as Thaipusam, because they feel so strongly about their god and their beliefs.

We also learnt that people find strength and comfort in numbers. Siva wasn’t the only person doing Thaipusam. If everyone else around could do it, why couldn’t he?

But most importantly, we realized that what gave Siva the most strength, is the people around him. His closest friends and family. It is impossible to do Thaipusam without people supporting you. Not only do they help you with the procession, but they give you the strength you need to pull through.

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Siva’s supporters helping him out, making his journey just that much easier to make.

So what give YOU strength? Leave a reply below!

What is Thaipusam?

Our film documents one man’s journey going through Thaipusam.

But what is it? It’s not easy being interested in something you know nothing about.
But in this post, We’re hoping to solve that for all of you.

In a nutshell, Thaipusam is a Hinduism festival, associated with Lord Murugan.

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This is Lord Murugan, with six different faces

Murugan was created by the god Shiva, during a war between two groups of deities. The Asuras, and the Devas. During this particular war, the Devas were losing pretty badly. They then gave themselves and prayed to Shiva. They asked him for a leader that would lead them to victory. And thus, Murugan was born. Created by Shiva, and lead the Devans to victory against the Asuras.

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The cosmic wars between the Asuras and the Devas

Thaipusam is the festival commemorating Murugan’s triumph in battle. It was on Thaipusam when Murugan was given his signature divine javelin spear, Vel.

Many people seem to think that Thaipusam is Murugan’s birthday, but this is a misconception.

Many Hindus pray to Murugan for things they wish for, such as the strength to pull through a difficult point in their lives, ect. And when their prayers are answered, they go through Thaipusam to thank their gods for making their lives better.

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Praying to Lord Murugan in gratitude

And that is why people go through with Thaipusam.

Our documentary covers the entire procession of Thaipusam.. So look forward to that if you’re interested! So what do you think of Thaipusam? Leave your comments below!