Thaipusam falls on a full moon day in the auspicious 10th Tamil month of Thai when the constellation of Pusam, the star of well-being, rises over the eastern horizon.
For me, I often think of the Batu Caves temple near the city where devotees converge for as long as I can remember.
I was there for three consecutive times as a young reporter assigned to cover the festival. At one occasion, I interviewed a priest there who told me why and how he embraced hinduism.
The first time I was there, I almost fainted when I saw - at very close range -- devotees with their bodies pierced as they made their way up to the caves. It was an experience.
The Batu Caves temple began to attract devotees as early as 1892 when two Tamils (among the earlyTamils who migrated to colonial Malaya) trekked up the ancient limestone hill and planted a vel in the cave.
The cave now houses a temple dedicated to Lord Murugan.
The vel, made of metal and shaped like a lance, symbolises Murugan who is also known as Velan.
Today, the tallest statue of Lord Murugan stands at the foot of the hill.
To my friends celebrating Thaipusam and those enjoying the holiday, may I wish everyone a Happy Thaipusam!