Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Documenting Faith Religion Rituals of the Diversity of India

Doing Kama Matam at Shia Girls College Nakhas ,,, 2015

Followed by a Juloos on 9 Moharam . Kama zani and zanjir matam,,,

As you are all aware I am trying very hard to recover from a serious leg injury when I accidentally fell at Khamakhya while shooting the Ambubachi Mela the greatest Tantric fair in Assam and India,
I returned to Mumbai on 30 June but my leg because of my diabetes is not fully healed ..I can walk but the pain is awful/ so I am chained to my restless bed.
I had to kill time and so I went to my image archives I have 3 hardrives ,,,all full ,, one had a lot of image data it got corrupted ,
All my images close 4 million are at Flickr .. all in various sets since April 10 2007 ,, as I have a pro account I have unlimted uploading so Flickr is my main platform..
I know a lot of common people may not access Flickr ,,and so I began making slide shows of my storyboards ,,of whatever is with me on these hardrives ,,Its a tedious task..but as I have a great response to my stories on my You Tube Channel..I began adding my slideshows as videos of images that I had kept out of public view at Flickr ,,
So this is the Lucknow Moharam set shot in 2015 ...
Now I prefer video shooting the events but I am not very adept in continuity and stitching and overlapping ,, so my stills to have a very different dimension and I have bought them to the fore as a video.
I first tried the You Tube video editor but I found it tedious with stills ,,slow and a painful ... than my son suggested Windows Movie Maker and that is what I have used with my image sets ,,
It is simple and easy for me as I type with one finger of a permanently damaged hand.
So I have in a way extended the shelf life of my images at Flickr ,, and You Tube is one of the most powerful platforms if you have a storyboard and a story to tell.
Now whenever I go to shoot a religious event I shoot over 60 videos and stills that can be seamlessly stitched together .
Now all this I have created playlists ,,,Shiasm Hinduism Sufism, Transgender Other Ethnicity Beggars Ear Cleaners Street Barbers ,
All this is India ,, I shoot the sincere humility compassion of India as seen through different faiths religions and belief.
Luckily I give importance to all religions I disrespect none nor do I proselytize my own faith ,,
And I got a message at Flickr ,,, A person who is my follower on Flickr is coming to India ,,as he is excited about the India that he saw on my timeline ,, and he touched me deeply he wants to bring his wife too.. if they could spend a day with me in Bandra ,
And I must let you onto a secret it was photographers like this who came home and added to the photographic curiosity of Marziya and Nerjis ..they watched observed and they learnt at an age where no camera club teaches ... photography at grassroots level from the age of 2.
My grankids have relocated left Mumbai for good the lessons they learnt shooting the streets of Bandra will be part of their growth.. and upbringing ,, Photography is the only great textbook of Life ,, it gives religious importance to Man Humanity and his Surroundings ,,
Every religion faith has its resonance ,,,all are beautiful provided your parents taught you the value of Beauty ,, even in the Beholders eye .
Happy Morning from Bandra ,,
The above image was sent to me by my dear friend Jalal Kazim of his uncle Maulana Agha Roohi Sab.. I normally cut my head kama on 9 Moharam but than Agha Roohi sab cuts his head too on the same day ,, so I decided to shoot him and cut my own head on the streets of Nakhas with 2 daggers on Ashura morning.
Shooting Agha Roohi sabs kaa matam is tough highly crowded and I have decided to gift him my Kama .. which cuts open the flesh in one stroke ,,
I am sure Jalal will accept on his behalf as a gift from me ,, the kama Agha Rohi sab used this time was not upto the mark and it was frustrating to say the least,
My kamas are specially made and by my good friend Raj Tilak..from Pushkar ...and he brings tears to my eyes when he says Firoze Bhai when you cut your head I feel I am cutting it too for Imam Hussain.
So now you know why I shoot Hinduism as passionately as I shoot my own Faith in blood sweat and Tears ..
Jai Pushkar Ji ..Raj Telik.