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Happy New Year to you all. For me, my holiday turned out okay. Vegging out, watching movies, while the wife was still working! Bit of a bummer that.

I saw some young Chinese men have metal rods pierced through both their facial cheeks last Sunday. I visited a Hindu temple, where some kind of ceremony was being performed. As luck would have it, this facial torture was an added bonus, as it is usually reserved for the Thaipusam festival held at Batu Caves, near Kuala Lumpur, that is frequented by thousands of people. This one had a mere handful of spectators, so I got rather close to the action.

It was painful to watch, but for these chaps, they were in a state of mental bliss. The idea of the ceremony was to purge them of sins, and receive blessings from the Hindu deities. Two of them began to resemble the deities Hanuman (the monkey god) and Shiva (the 'dancing' god). That was some surprise. Their faces completely changed.

For the man possessed by Hanuman, his face puffed out to resemble a monkey, the shape of the nose flattened. For Shiva, he began to dance, while his face became rather handsome, nothing like how he looked naturally. Incredible.

When the time came for them to come back to reality, they felt the pain. But there was no blood. I guess there are certain things in this world that defy explanation, so I'll leave it at that.


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