Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Malangs Call Me To Gwalior

I have been invited for an event by Syed Masoomi Baba head of the Asqan Malangs he asked Baba Wahid of Kolkatta to call and invite me and thus I tried to get ready for this trip... but I had a lot of work till last night that I was trying to complete .. I did .
Now I am waiting for my train ticket I am fascinated with the Malangs more deeply as a peoples photographer I can just go on shooting them non stop ,.. and as I was initiated into the fold by Masoomi Baba I am very close to his main Malang Syed Rafik Ali Baba ,, we both are Malang bhais ,,
I am perhaps nothing but a speck in the malang hierarchy ..I mean nothing most of them see me a a photographer but Rafik Ali Baba knows me very well he calls me Maulaiee follower of Imam Ali ..
He speaks highly of me to the other Malangs ,, as very few know my background ,,so thanks to him I made some good Malang friends Liaqat Baba ,Amin Baba Razzak Baba and others ..and though I try to make it to the Urus of Zinda Shah Madar ,, I somehow am unable to make this momentous trip..
I will be going there with a French world famous photographer a humble being ,, have known since 2007..
I have earnestly tried to document the Malangs , the Madarriya Order a very strong active and indomitable part of Sufism in India ,, the malangs are like the fakirs of yore ,,austere and inclusive ,, they hardly mix ,,but sometimes they visit the Dhunis at Mahim or Abdul Rehman Baba Dongri..
My granddaughter Nerjis and Zinnia call me Malang Dada ,,,
I never expected Masoomi Baba to call me at this huge Malang event ,, so I feel humbled all the same ,,their spiritual abode is 25 km away from Gwalior ,, if my ticket comes through I will reach there tomorrow ,,, if not I remain in Mumbai,
The Dhamal of the Malangs includes Qalandri Malangs and Rifais ,,mindblowing acts of zarb.. or body piercing performed by both the orders ,, but than it includes Sawali Malangs who beat themselves with a hard whip.. till their wish is fulfilled at the gates of the Dargah where they demand a wish from the Holy Saint..
Basically this is a genre that I like to document and there are Hindu families who felicitate the Malangs in their villages offering them food , clothes and other tributes and invoking the Malangs to pray for their good crop, family welfare etc.. I was at one such felicitation and the host bought tears to my house when he washed my hands feet ,,,and touched my feet when I told him Om Namo Narayan..
And this is the undivided India this love beyond caste color creed or spirituality I try to shoot and share with all of you ,,