Nine Emperor Gods Festival begins today. The road in front of Tow Boo Keong Ipoh had started to get jam-packed since morning. One side of the road became the temporary parking space for visitors and temporary stalls were build on the other side to provide space to sell the ‘ong khu’, flowers and incenses. People were bustling about with one hand carrying a bundle of incense and some others holding a stack of holy papers to be burnt. The older generation were sitting and waiting patiently in front of the performing stage for the opera show to start.
A girl and her dad walked pass the front entrance and there were three men performing some ritual acts. Mystical I thought, as I watched them walking passed the group of performers. They proceeded towards the praying area and searched for a nice spot on the first row of tables. The dad was happy to find a clear spot, not the most strategic but good enough to offer the ‘sou thou’, ‘ong khu’ and flowers to the gods. Being a Buddhist by default and receiving great influenced of Taoism since many generations ago, traditional festivals like this is hard to escape.
As a filial daughter, she helped him light up the incenses and followed him to pray to the Nine Emperor gods to seek for blessings, protection and well being. It took only a while to finish paying respect to all the gods. She took a rest at the edge of a pillar while he has his hands washed before asking for ‘chien’. She remained there for sometime while the dad went on to ‘qiu chien’. The girl appeared to have stomachache or something similar as her arms were wrapped tightly around her stomach. She became restless and perspired profusely. Crooked lines showed on her forehead. She squatted and moaned a little. Her face showed that she was in pain. Oh, life is full of sufferings.
After about 5 minutes of involuntary rapid hand and head movements, she went up to the dad to ask to leave early. Since there is only one more ‘chien’ left, she waited for another minute that seems like eternity. By the time the dad came over to her rescue, she was already sitting on the floor with her head between her knees. The dad tried to hold her up, but she was too weak. He held her up again and she fell. Again and again. A man who was praying nearby hurried to help and dragged her out of the smoky temple. The girl was feeling extremely dizzy, views blurred and almost collapsing. She didn’t know what went on until she was seated on a cold metal chair. Out of nowhere, few men came and helped to massage her to keep her consciousness. One lady who was selling towels in the stalls even offered a brand new towel to cover her from the chilly wind.
She remained subconscious and weak. Some suggested that the man massage the head, some aunty suggested massaging the shoulder. Some massaged the back. Finally she vomited brown liquid on the floor and requested for a toilet. Since she was only half conscious, few ladies held her into the toilet but only two were left inside to hold the vege-like fragile figure of hers. It is difficult to even hold up the head what more the whole body. The dad went to bring the car in despite the number of people and exhibitions there. By the time she came out, she was so weak that she couldn’t even walk. Thanks to these strong men they carried her into the car and she was finally lied down on the cushion.
The dad’s love is so great that it is incomparable to anything else. The dad must have been so worried. It is touching to feel the unconditional love showered upon his little girl. It is even more touching to be the girl. Thanks dad. I love you. May the people who helped be well and happy always. You guys have filled the world with LOVE. These good seeds you sow will soon bear their sweet fruits. Sahdu!