Daily Express
INDEPENDENT NATIONAL NEWSPAPER OF EAST MALAYSIA
Established since 1963
Carrying the biggest kavadi for reason

Published on: Saturday, January 18, 2014

Kota Kinabalu: He has been at it for more than 20 years now and these days he is also nursing a heart problem but there's no stopping Selvaraj.

Not when it comes to fulfilling his vows on Thaipusam at which he is known to carry the biggest kavadi among devotees who gather at the Sri Subramaniyar Temple in Lok Kawi each year.

The 54-year-old father of six has been carrying the kavadi - complete with piercings - without fail to implore Lord Murugan's continued blessings and at the same time to express his gratitude.

"I ask for happiness for my family and blessing on my business," said the scrap metal dealer from Papar who is blessed with two daughters, four sons, 11 grandchildren and a good business to contend with.

Many of those present at the Thaipusam procession starting ground at an abandoned land in Lok Kawi attest to Raju's commitment to the religious devotion.

He was one of four devotees on Friday morning who took up the physical burden of carrying the bigger kavadis in a procession which saw close to a hundred people take a 2km walk to the temple just behind the army base.

Raju's family members are now worried about his heart problem as there had been a time he had fainted while carrying the heavy kavadi mounted to his body.

"This year he has lessened the weight to 80kg," said his youngest son, 19-year-old Jayasantan.

"He is no longer as strong as when he was younger. His age is catching up," added his youngest daughter.

All of his two daughters were present to support him along with two of his son who are all working or have opened up their own businesses.

A group of 30 devotees carried pitchers filled with milk earlier before Raju and the rest followed in the ceremony that began from 7.30am and lasted half a day, ending at the temple where about 300 people were present.