Living The Love

                                          A documentary about Thaipusam

Every religion has its culture of atonements and vows. Bigger the wish or deeper the gratitude, more eager is the follower to undertake an arduous and grueling journey. A Christian would walk miles on his knees out of faith. A Buddhist would prostrate and crawl on her stomach to gain her inner peace. A Muslim would self-flagellate to convey his sorrow while a Hindu would renounce the things she loves most out of devotion. But some take it even further.

Piercing the body out of faith is a custom in most of the older religions. Though it may induce fear, doubt and anxiety, it is also associated with a certain sense of mysticism and spirituality. I witnessed Thaipusam - the magical Hindu festival where devotees in a state of trance, painlessly carry offerings and symbols of faith in the form of heavy burdens (milk pots, kavadi, karagam) and/or have a range of intriguing attachments hooked to their body. But beyond the images of unbelievable crowds and fanfare, I also witnessed love, trust and devotion merging into an expression of faith through self-sacrifice. For many, Thaipusam is all about the flourish and the obscure customs. For many tourists, it is the defining evidence of the unique multi-cultural life in Malaysia. For many amateur photographers, it’s one of those places where you capture that ‘one’ unforgettable picture.

For me it's a story of love. I decided to capture this event through the eyes of a couple – a, married childless couple who apart from their love for their God have been loving each other for 9 long years. It's a personal story and a personal journey...

Greatest thanks to the people without whom the production of this video wouldn't be possible : Malliga, Murugan, Paulius, Sayan, Chris, Ragu and Durai.