Thaipusam 2009 Part 1

(Batu Caves – best visited on any day except on Thaipusam. Less crowd and easy parking but a big miss on interesting kavadis. Image source: http://www.malaysiasite.nl)

It is has been a long weekend for me. We managed to get some outstanding things done during the holidays but it comes at a price – body aching and foot pain. It gets worse once I reached the office, only to find urgent things to be done in the next 2 days and a meeting scheduled at night in KL. Certainly this is not the way to start the week.

It looks like the situation in Perak have not improved much but after reading RPK’s post titled “What More to Say”, I guess we have not much choice but to move on and be more prepared the next time around. Already there are other controversies lurking in the mist – the resignation of Kedah ADUN and the potential resignation of another Pakatan Rakyat ADUN.

UMNO is also taking the opportunity to gather cheap support and publicity by protesting against Karpal Singh’s decision to take up a legal suit against the Sultan of Perak. There are already talks of ISA and striping Karpal of citizenship by the UMNO fanatics.

Read Aisehman’s post titled “Umno Bapa Penderhakaan” which illustrates UMNO’s track record when it comes to defending the royalty in Malaysia.

One thing is clear – things have not settled down yet, so it will be interesting to see what both sides will be doing in the next few days further with 2 by-elections around the corner.

I was in Batu Caves on the night of Thaipusam, a tradition which I finally broke this year – I don’t go to Batu Caves during Thaipusam “season”. The crowd and traffic jam is just too much for me to handle and I have been maintaining the same for the last 6 – 7 years now (maybe more). But this year all that changed.

My wife was invited by my sister for a trip to Batu Caves together with my mother and another sister of mine. The main purpose for the trip is for shopping whilst taking the time to climb up the Batu Caves’ 272 stairs to the hill top temple but still shopping was the main item on the agenda. And included in this group was my son who refused to stay at home after seeing them getting ready to go to Batu Caves.

At first, I asked them to go whilst I stayed at home (it has been so year in, year out) but after considering that it may not be safe to allow the 4 ladies to go alone at night, I decided to tag along as the official bodyguard cum driver (we managed to drag my younger brother to join in as well). Further, they needed someone “strong” to hold on to my son who is known to be quick to disappear in large crowd.

The trip to Batu Caves was not a big surprise – with the roads closed, the crowd inching on the main road and selfish drivers double and triple parked their cars, the traffic jam bad, very bad. We opted to park at the industrial area as there was enough parking spot there and further it was closer to Batu Caves’ main entrance. We did not want to take the risk of double parking the car.

It was a long drive before we managed to snake into the industrial area and found a good parking spot near a closed factory. To tell you the truth, I did not like the surrounding area. Despite the parking spot and the nearest of the area to Batu Caves temple, it was dark and looks lonely. Easy pick for robbers with parang, if you ask me.

I don’t know why but I felt a cold chill as we exited from the car and started to walk toward the Batu Caves’ main entrance.

To be continued…

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