Earlier this year I had the opportunity to visit Malaysia's Batu Caves complex on the eve of Thaipusam. The Hindu festival marks the Lord Murugan overcoming celestial evil and is celebrated by hundreds of thousands of Tamil-Malaysian pilgrims who pierce their flesh, shave their heads, and pour milk into a shrine at the top of 272 stairs.
The event is both visually arresting and spiritually complex. This is my attempt to put my experience into words, my images into context, and find some meaning behind my inexplicable attraction to this sort of act of (seemingly-blind) faith. Continue Reading