Saturday, August 4, 2007

Death in a Distant Land

British Residency

British Residency
Originally uploaded by flickr photographerno1

British Residency

British Residency
Originally uploaded by flickr photographerno1
This was the first time I shot the British Residency maybe in 2004 ..I had taken my Manfrotto tripod they did not allow me to use it, I was new absolutely fresh to photograpphy when I shot all this..
I shot the way my eye saw it, as I read it o my camera consciousness.

Elephant wont come to town

This is my favorite elephant who visits my shop from time to time with the new government stricture banning their entry into Mumbai.. I wont be seeing him for a long time..

Anil Risal Singh From Lucknow

Anil Risal Singh is the finest photographer on the Indian firmament, his pictures are created magic where no magic existed ..he gives a new dimension breathing life into what he shoots.
I am lucky to have been guided in my photography by the tips I took from him.. He s a Christian.. family loving Man .
Another great photographer was the late Kuldeo Singh both from Lucknow Camera Club.
Lucknow is the city of my birth.

Wooden Leg

Wooden Leg
Originally uploaded by flickr photographerno1
This wooden leg belongs to a Catholic guy from St Peters Church, he takes part in the Marathons..

Fuck Shoes

Fuck Shoes
Originally uploaded by flickr photographerno1
For quite some time I wore a black shoe ans white shoe , walking down Linking road Bandra it was a street sensationalism to shock the shoe stores.. I orderd two similar pairs black and white , so I could wear it this way or regular with both same colored.For about two years I gave up footwear completely , walking the dirt grime of Bandra Bazar Road , but after my unhealing hand injury the diabetic doctors put the fear of the diabetic foot in me.. so I wear a nondescript cloth pair.However I have decided to go barefett duing Moharam all of two months eight days.. the time I wear only black clothes mourning for my Imam.

Lord Siva His Highness Sri Sambhaji Chattrapati Maharaj

This is one of my most visited post at Word

By The Powers Of Lord Shiva!

Part 1: The Fascinating Deity

Shiva is ‘Shakti’, Shiva is power, Shiva is the destroyer, the most powerful god of the Hindu pantheon and one of the godheads in the Hindu Trinity. Known by many names - Mahadeva, Mahayogi, Pashupati, Nataraja, Bhairava, Vishwanath, Bhava, Bhole Nath - Lord Shiva is perhaps the most complex of Hindu deities. Hindus recognise this by putting his shrine in the temple separate from those of other deities.

Shiva As Phallic Symbol
Shiva, in temples is usually found as a phallic symbol of the linga, which represents the energies necessary for life on both the microcosmic and the macrocosmic levels, that is, the world in which we live and the world which constitutes the whole of the universe. In a Shaivite temple, the linga is placed in the centre underneath the spire, where it symbolises the naval of the earth.

A Different Deity
The actual image of Shiva is also distinct from other deities: his hair piled high on the top of his head, with a crescent tucked into it and the river Ganges tumbling from his hairs. Around his neck is a coiled serpent representing Kundalini or the spiritual energy within life. He holds a trident in his left hand in which is bound the ‘damroo’ (small leather drum). He sits on a tiger skin and on his right is a water pot. He wears the ‘Rudraksha’ beads and his whole body is smeared with ash.

The Destructive Force
Shiva is believed to be at the core of the centrifugal force of the universe, because of his responsibility for death and destruction. Unlike the godhead Brahma, the Creator, Shiva is the dissolving force in life. But Shiva dissolves in order to create, since death is the medium for rebirth into a new life. So the opposites of life and death and creation and destruction both reside in his character.

The Most Fascinating of Gods
He is also often portrayed as the supreme ascetic with a passive and composed disposition. Sometimes he is depicted riding a bull called Nandi decked in garlands. Although a very complicated deity, Shiva is one of the most fascinating of Hindu gods.

The God Who’s Always High!
Since Shiva is regarded as a mighty destructive power, to numb his negative potentials he is fed with opium and is also termed as Bhole Shankar, one who is oblivious of the world. Therefore, on Maha Shivratri, the night of Shiva worship, devotees, especially the menfolk, prepare an intoxicating drink called Thandai (made from cannabis, almonds, and milk) sing songs in praise of the Lord and dance to the rhythm of the drums.

By The Powers Of Lord Shiva! Part 2: Maha Shivratri: The Night of Shiva

Maha Shivratri, the night of the worship of Shiva, occurs on the 14th night of the new moon during the dark half of the month of Phalguna. It falls on a moonless February night, when Hindus offer special prayer to the lord of destruction. Shivratri (Sanskrit ‘ratri’ = night) is the night when he is said to have performed the Tandava Nritya or the dance of primordial creation, preservation and destruction. The festival is observed for one day and one night only.

Origin Of Shivratri
According to the Puranas, during the great mythical churning of the ocean called Samudra Manthan, a pot of poison emerged from the ocean. The gods and the demons were terrified as it could destroy the entire world. When they ran to Shiva for help, he in order to protect the world, drank the deadly poison but held it in his throat instead of swallowing it. This turned his throat blue, and since then he came to be known as Nilkantha, the blue-throated one. Shivratri celebrates this event by which Shiva saved the world.

A Festival Especially For Women
Shivratri is considered especially auspicious for women. Married women pray for the well being of their husbands and sons, while unmarried women pray for an ideal husband like Shiva, who is the spouse of Kali, Parvati and Durga. But generally it is believed that anyone who utters the name of Shiva during Shivratri with pure devotion is freed from all sins. He or she reaches the abode of Shiva and is liberated from the cycle of birth and death.

Shiva Rituals
On the day of Shivratri, a three-tiered platform is built around a fire. The topmost plank represents swargaloka (heaven), the middle one antarikshaloka (space) and the bottom one bhuloka (earth). Eleven urns or kalash, are kept on the swargaloka plank symbolising the eleven manifestations of the Rudra Shiva. These are decorated with bilva (woodapple leaves) and mango leaves atop a coconut representing the head of Shiva. The uncut shank of the coconut symbolises his tangled hair and the three spots on the fruit Shiva’s three eyes.

Bathing The Phallus
The phallus symbol representing Shiva is called the lingam. It is usually made of granite, soapstone, quartz, marble or metal, and has a yoni or vagina as its base representing the union of the male and female sexual organs. Devotees circumambulate the lingam and worship it throughout the night. It is bathed every three hours with the five sacred offerings of a cow, called the panchagavya - milk, sour milk, urine, butter and dung. Then the five foods of immortality - milk, clarified butter, curd, honey and sugar are placed before the lingam. Dhatura and jati, though poisonous fruits, are believed to be sacred to Shiva and thus offered to him.

“Om Namah Shivaya!”
All through the day the devotees keep severe fast, chant the sacred Panchakshara mantra “Om Namah Shivaya”, make offerings of flowers and incense to the Lord amidst ringing of temple bells. They maintain long vigils during the night, keeping awake to listen to stories, hymns and songs. The fast is broken only the next morning, after the nightlong worship. In Kashmir, the festival is held for 15 days. The 13th day is observed as a day of fast followed by a family feast

This Lord Shiva statue too was roughly made by the Naaga Sadhu at Vasai Fort, he has a lot of land in his possession, in the front is this make shift Mandir with the statues, at the back is his residence in the form of a cottage, there is a family living with him, I do not ask unwarranted questions, I am here to shoot pictures weave a story keeping the facts in mind.

Usurping of forest land is common feature at the National Park, where the Naaga Sadhu have made their Mutts, Ashrams, here too you can smoke hash or ganja without of any fear, and by paying a donation you can hang around and drink in the scenic beauty, eat bhojan, like prasadam, get away from the urban headaches.
And most of these these Ashrams are patronised by the politicos the local Mafia don,, so they are flourishing without fear of ever being Demolished.

Some yeas back quite a few had been demolished, I had come here with a mountain climbing group called Pinnacle, I became a member, went with them to Raigad Fort shot pictures of their rappeling had the pleasure of meeting the living scion of Shri Chattrapati Maharaj, His Highness Shri Sambhaji Chattrapati, a young , dashing dynamic adventurer who resides at the New Palace Kolhapur, I took his pictures with the mountains in the background, shook his royal hands, sent him the pictures , he was so impressed that I had not forgotten him, he sent me a letter inviting me to his palace if I ever visit Kolhapur.Such is Hospitality, such is the Heritage of a Giant of a Ruler who shook the Might of the Moghuls, the English..
Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj.

Every year I sent this royal personality a New Years Greetings Card.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj (1627-1680)

Shivaji was born of a Maratha family in 1627 A.D. His father was a chief of the kingdom of Bijapur. Though he was high up, he was not allowed to control any fort. In his early youth, Shivaji inspired the local peasant youths around Poona to follow him in his idealistic pursuits.

In his early, his band attacked the mountain fort of Torna about twenty miles from Poona. He took control from the fort as Governor. It was characteristic of him immediately send a word to the King of Bijapur, that he had done purely in the king’s interest as the ex-governor was not given all the revenue due to the king. This brought more time, and Shivaji used this technique of cunningness to conquer more and more such forts. The king eventually ordered Shivaji to stop these activities. But Shivaji knew that by now the whole region was behind him and thus ignored any warnings from the King of Bijapur.

The King then sent a small army under Afzal Khan to catch him dead or alive. Shivaji now portrayed even more cunning techniques. He pretended to be extremely afraid of Afzal Khan and his army, and offered to surrender personally to him provided his well-being was guaranteed. He suggested that he should be accompanied by two unarmed followers to meet Afzal Khan and two of his guards personally. This was agreed to. When the meeting took place, Afzal Khan (a big, stocky and giant of a figure, compared to short and agile figure of Shivaji) tried to kill Shivaji with a big embrace and stab at Shivaji. Shivaji was however prepared with a short knife under his palm. With a swift action, he slayed the giant.

When the ruler in Delhi heard of this he sent his general Shaista Khan to suppress this uprising which was gaining momentum at great speed. Shivaji had to abandon temporarily the plains to a much more powerful Moghul army. With the help of the locals, he could enter into the living quarters of the general with his followers and created chaos. He had caused irreversible injury to the generals’ body and pride, so much so that he was recalled to Delhi.

Due to requirement of maintaining a large army, Shivaji felt the need of finance. His next crusade was to loot the Mughal city of Surat, which was the centre of the rich, traders from all over. He is likened here to Robin Hood here. No injury to women, children of elderly was ever caused. This wealth gave Shivaji sufficient wherewithal to continue his crusade.

This time the Mughal emperor sent a vast army under its senior general, Jai Singh. After a few skirmishes Shivaji thought it prudent nominally to accept the emperor’s sovereignty and offered to come to court itself to pay homage. The trick worked and his army remained intact. He proceeded to Agra to present himself at the mughal court. However the perfidious emperor arrested him. As is well known, Shivaji tricked his jailors and escaped. By the time he returned to Poona, his army was in good condition. This was his opportunity to give a crushing defeat to the retreating armies.
Shivaji drew strength from the guidance of his guru, Guru Ramdas who together with mata Jijabai in his young life, made him a national hero.
Now Shivaji had an unquestioned sway over a big area. Fort Raigad was to become the centre of power and prowess. During the coronation ceremony he gave magnificent gifts to holy men and the poor. He died after three years. His son could not amass sufficient strength to finish the work of liberation throughout Bharat. Nevertheless, Shivaji had laid the foundation of a great Hindu empire which lasted for two centuries

Also Read:
Tanaji Malusare
Timeline of Shivaji Maharaj

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj (1627-1680

This is another most visited post at Word Press.
Had I not come to Flickr I would be posting only at Word Press , but I amcertain I would have not posted as much as 8000 phots, as the photos posted at Flickr are ones I neever posted before , most of them.My coming here is all because of my eldest son Asif Shakir a web programmer.
I remember a few years back he wanted to learn computers at NIIT I was going through a very bad patch but I managed to give him what he wanted those days it cost Indian Rs 50000/
I never begrudged him this amount..
It did help..

My post

As you exit the Pandal you are greeted by the bust of our great Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj..

He founded the Hindu kingdom in the Deccan against all odds , fighting against the mighty Mughals.He inspired and united the common man to fight against the tyranny of Mughal ruler Aurangjeb, by inculcating a sense of pride and nationality in them. At the age of 16, he took a pledge to establish a sovereign Hindu state.He clearly outstands all the rulers and generals of India by the exemplary life he lived and is thus respected by the entire cross section of Indians. Shivaji’s military skills could be compared to those of Napolean. He raised a strong army and navy, constructed and repaired forts, used gureilla warfare tactics,developed a strong intelligence network,gave equal treatment to the people from all religions and castes based on merit, and functioned like a seasoned Statesman and General. He appointed ministers with specific functions such as Internal security,Foreign affairs,Finance,Law and Justice,Religious matters,Defence etc. He introduced systems in revenue collection and warned the officials against harassment of subjects.He thought ahead of times and was a true visionary.In his private life, his moral virtues were exceptionally high.His thoughts and deeds were inspired by the teachings of his mother Jijabai,teacher Dadaji Konddev,great saints like Dnyaneshwar & Tukaram and the valiancy and ideals of the Lords Rama and Krishna. The tiny kingdom established by Chhatrapati Shivaji known as “Hindavi Swaraja” (Sovereign Hindu state) grew and spread beyond Attock in Northwest India (now in Pakistan)and beyond Cuttack in East India in course of time, to become the strongest power in India. After the death of Chhatrapati Shivaji & his son Sambhaji, their prime ministers or ‘the Peshwas’ became the defacto rulers. The Peshwas and the Maratha Sardars (Chieftans) like Shindes of Gwalior, Gaekwads of Baroda & Holkars of Indore contributed to the growth of the Maratha Confederacy.The history of India is incomplete without the history of Marathas and Shivaji is the nucleus of Maratha history. Shivaji has been a source of inspiration and pride to the past generations and will continue to inspire generations in future. We salute this legend and humbly dedicate this website to him.