Thursday, August 4, 2016
The Dam Madar Malangs Of India
Giving me a rush of Adrenalin is the thought of shooting the Malangs of the Madariyya Order...most of them are celibate and sport long dreads that can be about 18 feet or more .
Within the Madariyya order are different sub orders but I belong to the Asqan headed by 102 year old Syed Masoom Ali Baba a very simple austere man .. he cuts through all religions and sects ..
The Hindus of Panihar his spiritual abode consider him an avatar of Lord Shiva and Masoomi baba has built schools toilets clinics in his village and here I must reiterate the Hindus and Muslims live as one ,,if someone in the village falls sick all stand by him..
Hindu feasts and Muslim feasts bring them all together ,,When little Shahnawaz a relative of Masoomi Baba dragged me up a hillock.. to see the Temple Of Durga Devi,, and I shot pictures , the head priest touched my feet and thanked me as Malang Baba ,, he offered me tea and I had tears in my eyes ,, this is Atithi Devo Bhava .
After Panihar close to Gwalior I went to document the Dam Madar Malangs at Makanpur the Urus of Zinda Shah Madar close to Kannauj UP,
The experience here was memorable ,,I had a wound on my leg and Masoomi baba knew I could not walk much would see that I was offered meals and well taken care of by Liaqat Baba Malang .
And I can seamlessly shoot the Malangs dressed in black as a Malang and shoot the Kumbh dressed as a Sadhu .. without jarring the inherent poetry of my LIfe ,,
Adding to my documentation of the unique diversity of India was meeting the dead flesh eating Aghoris Tantrics at Khamakhya Assam.
I have been to Vancouver ..Mauritius Singapore HongKiong Nepal had offers to see USA UK but I declined I want to live die in India ,, my flesh is part of the soil of my Indianness ,,,I have no issue with your religion your customs your rituals as a photographer I shoot it as the Magic of India ,,
I shoot Hinduism as Hope and Hindutva a Message of Universal Peace ,
And I must mention the Malangs the Rifais get along beautifully with the Naga Sadhus ,,,
I shot the Qalandaris and the Waris Piya Malangs too ,,,
Added to all this and almost poetically connected to all this is my documentation of the Hijras or Kinnars of India .. who are at home at all Dargahs but mostly Ajmer Sharif Kaliar Sharif and Haji Malang ..
They have their eponymous Kinnar Akhara thanks to Guru Laxmi Narayan Tripathi who fought for it teeth and nail and established the foundations of another pillar paying tribute to Ardh Nari Nareshwar ,,,a form of Lord Shiva