Sometimes marvellous transformations take place in areas you frequent. One would be the Dhoby Ghaut area. Be it Christmas or Chinese New Year, the decorations of the season always lend the area a festive sense of the time at hand. The people seemed the same, though. Passers-by walking along the same street. Shoppers. Well, it was inevitable - the reason for the season tends to be commercial and centred around selling merchandise, so everyone around would do what they were meant to do in a shopping district. Shop. >_>
Today seemed rather different though. It's exactly the opposite of the other two aforementioned events. For one, there wasn't any pre-season decorations (let alone date back to one month before said holiday a la Nov/Dec). For another, there weren't any decorations period (In retrospect I think it'd be pretty funny). For a third, the people around weren't the same as the usual season would expect. It was the complete opposite.
Perhaps I'm being racist here but I'm more used to seeing the pathways full of Chinese, so it's always a bit of a shocker to find something quite completely different going on.
Then again, the awe of Thaipusam comes in the procession, especially since during the procession you can walk right next to them. It's really quite different seeing the kavadis in pictures in books and seeing them in real life. There's the mystical marvel at everything going on. The hooks pierced on the man that are bound by rope to the cart at the back (another person carries the rope so the man doesn't actually have to pull the cart, but the thought is still rather frightening), the silver-ringed staff in his hands (golden snake nicely wrapped around the head for an adornment similar to Asclepius) that clangs with every tap against the floor, with every step that he took, with every step that I took. It's a mysterious feeling just walking beside them and in pace with them, as if you're participating in the procession as well.
It kind of keeps you remembering the fact that even though certain races are statistically minorities, they're all still important folk in the picture and all take the limelight at some point of time.
Of course, the irony in the entire proceedings was that I was on the path they were going at until we deviated - they continued on the path along Park Mall while I crossed the road to church. Interesting events for a Sunday morning, no doubt.