Thursday, July 23, 2020

Pulau Pangkor (Perak) - Masi Magam Thiruvalla 2020

Back from India by the first week of December, 2019 (New Delhi North India)? Of course. You know me? Me. The me, myself and I anytime me? Yea. Anytime. At any given time. Me? Always like, on your mark, ready, steady and go. Anything goes. As long as? Yessss!! Out of my home zone galloping again. Actually, I already have my plan in place. In the pipeline for this year, 2020. Two overseas trips. Confirmed and affirmed. Still? I wanted, a in between escape route beyond the borders and boundaries of my home. Anyway. Before anything else? Aha! Thaipusam, Lord Murugan and myself? Vel Vel Murugan for a different reason this year (Thaipusam Batu Caves 2020).

And later, in the month of February? Religionism again. What? Again? Yes again. Not the calling from god though. No. No. Not god because? I think god most probably must have forgotten about me. He or she, I'm assuming, must have had other pressing issues to deal or dwell about instead of needling me. The calling for Pangkor Masi Magam on the other hand? The phone calling from my friend. Lets do Pulau Pangkor Masi Magam she said. And I? Yes please. Why not? After all? There's always a first time for anything and everything? Even for such a religious purpose? Sure. Certainly. New experiences. I'm all game for it. Before I knowingly or unknowingly kick the bucket or the bucket kicks my ass hardest.

Furthermore? Pulau Pangkor. Can you believe it? Despite having galloped to other parts of the world, and some parts of "My Malaysia"? Pangkor is a virgin to me. Never been, neither have my legs touched the ground of Pangkor before. Obviously then? I said yes. I agreed. Bags packed, and off to, Klang Sentral Bus Station for the bus journey, and prior to getting down in Lumut. Lunch in Lumut? Just a meal. Hunger suppressing my hunger meal. Vegetarian lunch. Vegetarian dishes between the limited choices of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes in the Muslim eatery? Basically food for hunger and before the hunger in me triggered the anger in me.

Lunch and subsequently? To Lumut Ferry Terminal for the mini water world wonder ride prior to stepping foot in Pangkor Island Ferry Terminal within, lets say, approximately 45 minutes or so. Next? "Van Sapu" ride which came in place once the bargaining on the cost for being transported to our apartment, booked via Airbnb, was cleared. Apartment? RM250.00 per night for the home stay kinda apartment or like a budget hotel? Mmmm? Pathetic actually. Thank god though, cleanliness was not compromised and later, by 6.30pm? After showering and decent dressing, we walking to the main street for witnessing Masi Magam procession. Goddess Kaliamman procession, which as always, will begin at Pantai Pasir Bogak, one of the main beaches of Pangkor.
Masi Magam procession. Ooooo!! Being amongst the hundreds and seeing and experiencing from really a close distance? Sort of a shocker for me actually. Culturally shocking for this typical Hindu, especially the pulling of the chariot. Big hooks hooked at the back of the men and hooks tied to big ropes, and the men in return pulling the chariot. Goddess Kaliamman and her strength and holy power bestowed on these men? That's why they were not feeling the pain? I don't know. I really can't comment. I won't anyway. Because no Hindu, no one, not even Nava K, should, shall or is allowed to question such a religious faith and belief of Hinduism. Ditto!

Masi Magam Goddess Kaliamman procession. All the way. Right up to, by the sea Sri Pathira Kaliamman Temple, located 8km from Pantai Pasir Bogak and along the way, free food and drinks offered by those who have vowed for such a religious good deed. Also, a good and greatest number of Chinese being amongst the massive number of devotees. The Chinese. The faith believers of Goddess Kaliamman. Nothing new anyway. Chinese and even Western devotees? You can see them during Thaipusam in Batu Caves and in Penang, Chinese breaking coconut by the dozens is a norm actually (Penang Thaipusam). What about those who were in trance during this Masi Magam procession? Real? Unreal? Fakes? Or genuinely in trance? Nevermind. Not for me to dispute.  Let alone, should I judge them. Let them be judged by god.
The 8km walk we did? Ahead of the procession? Till Sri Pathira Kaliamman Temple? Like what? Am I suppose to lie? Must I say I didn't feel tired at all? Lying for the sake of god? Oh please. For god sake. I am no lair.  Of course, I was literally dead tired. Also, apart from sweating like a mad cow, my legs almost falling apart. Yet. The heroic Hindu me? I made it in one piece and once we were in the temple, we surrendered to god in prayers and later, some window shopping at the stalls within the compound of the temple. Magi Magam procession through the eyes and handphone lens of Nava K? Eyes almost bulging and popping out. Brain almost cracked opened up, trying to put, two and two together on such a religious faith and belief. What an experience.

The following day, day 2 in Pangkor Island? Our day to our pleasure and pleaser. The start? Half an hour walk from our apartment for our first meal in Restaurant Paradise Coconut House and prior to ordering Fried Mee and Jelly in Coconut.  Breakfast? Yums. Loved. Fried Mee and Jelly Coconut in tandem? As if, one of the best lovey-dovey pairing.

After breakfast? To the beach for water fun and camera clicking fun. Also, yoga in and by nature. Hah!  Body, mind and soul meaningfulness.

Subsequently? Lunch. At about 2.30pm in Wang Wang Seafood Restaurant. Chilli Crab, Lala Soup and Beansprout Soy, alongside rice? Nothing special. Ordinary tasting normal meal. Price? The standard same price as in other no-frill, coffee shop style Chinese eateries in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor. Day 2 concluded.

Next morning? Sunday. The finale. Bye Bye Pangkor. By 10am, to Pangkor Terminal before landing back in Lumut and this time, lunch? Yes. Malay food (Kedai Makan Asmah Chik). The love food of my love life. The typical Malay food. Wah! Superb!  Awwww! The ultimate satisfaction for Nava K.

What else thereafter? Nothing much. The journey back to home sweet home. Oh, oh! I must tell you about the "Ice Cream In Bread" I tried in front of the ferry terminal. Hah! Took me back to my Ipoh days years ago back then. One which brought a major delight to my palates as well.

Pulau Pangkor Masi Magam! My point of thought and mistake of ours? We should have stayed back on Sunday because this is the actual day of Masi Magam whereby the highlight I badly wanted to see had to be none except the "Flying Kavadi" amongst the other types. Damn! The wrong checkmate of ours. The other wrong checkmate of mine? Blindly following. Blindly heading to Pangkor without even knowing the head or tail on the meaning and significance of Masi Magam. Shame to my Hindu faith right? I know. Anyway. Once I returned home. Within next 2 day or so. I read up and this is what I gathered about Masi Magam festival.  Masi? The month (February - March) and Masi Magam festival is celebrated when Pornima (full moon day) coincides with Magha Star. Morever, on this day.  It is believed that "Celestial Beings", I like to consider these celestial beings as angels, they come down from heaven or god's kingdom and take a holy dip in the sacred waters in the good faith of washing their sins and also the sins of human kind.

Henceforth, the holy waters are endowed with more powers on this day. In return, pilgrims or devotees take a dip in the sacred waters. Of course the significance of Masi Magam in Pangkor has another chapter or a few different chapters too. The back then chapters, going back to many, many moons ago. The miracles of Goddess Kaliamman. Whereby believers have had visions of her. Goddess Kaliamman seen being seated on the rock, and combing her dark black hair in the shining moonlight of Pournami and Amavasai. Whereas others, other people have quoted that, they have also seen a different avatar of Kaliamman. In the form of a little girl with silver anklets running in and around the temple. It all makes sense to me now. Masi Magam festival for honouring Goddess Kaliamman. Next year? If I return to Sri Pathira Kaliamman Temple for Masi Magam celebration? My head will be held high up. Going with a purpose. Goddess Kaliamman and her holy presence in Pangkor Island.

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