A trusted relative pierces tens (or hundreds?) of spikes into the devotee's body. Or a large skewer trough his mouth.
Nobody cringes. Nobody bleeds! I mean I didn't see anybody feeling pain at Thaipusam in Kuala Lumpur.
The prayers done, friends and relatives start loading the kavadi frames onto the shoulders of devotees. They will go up the steps deep into the Batu caves, where the skewers and hooks will be taken out as the final part of the prayer ....
Thaipusam preparations are never quiet affairs. In the background, musicians pound drums and blow bugles.
This music gets the devotees into the right frame of mind, I am told."
Taken by Igor