Friday, September 21, 2007

Ganesh Visarjan Juhu Beach 2007

My wife was quite upset when I told her this afternoon that I was going to shoot the 7 th day Immersion of the Ganesha at Juhu beach.
The reason is I have a wound on my leg and due to my diabetes she does not like me
taking chances and my sheer defiance.
So I went to my shop , and carried my raincoat and umbrella as it is raining since morning.I left for Juhu, shooting pictures, this was my first shot, here I want to convey to you how Lord Ganesha binds them all big and small in his own way, see each face,
the importance of Ganpati Bappa Morya..Only the Elephant God can create this magic and here the family that hosted the Lord for seven days are now come here to bid him farewell, he will ride on the crest of waves and return next year...there will be a last Arti, prayers on the beach..and happinessand sadness too...
I do not shoot Ganpati but human emotions ..human frailties human godliness..
Yes I begin this set here at Flickr as a tribute to the most favorite God of the Hindu pantheon...Lord Ganesha..

The Hijab Within A Hijab

most misunderstood garment per se
some say its to protect a Muslim Woman’s Modesty
some say its to hide the atrocity
some say like Taslima Nasrin want to burn its identity
these and so many such idiosyncrasy
but the Muslim Woman is a Hijab within a Hijab
layers of unpeeled onion you see
manacled to her lot will she ever be free
married early in life divorced
begs on the streets with her children
her fate her adversity
but she covers herself
in the protective armour of the Hijab
by the strictures of her destiny
uneducated, unskilled ,
a burden she was to her
ever blossoming family
8 daughters and 1 son
So she was given away
To the butchers son
A divorcee of forty
Her tailor father gave
Rs 10000 as dowry
4 children in quick succession
He uttered Talaq Talaq Talaq
The end of a Muslim matrimony
Her own family disowned her
Only Allah her savior
While she seeks Him
To set her free
Yes this criminality
Of being born a poor
Muslim Woman per se

Mee Mumbaikar Lal Bagh Chya Raja

This slogan of the masses of a migrant diaspora , is what the King of King of Mumbai Ganesha seems to say.. Mee Mumbaikar.. I am a Mumbaite.
And the Raja in his worldly splendour laden with Gold, Silver , precious stones is a humble Mumbaikar at Heart..He becomes one with all, the rich men the poor man even the beggars too..who stand for over a day in a serpentine line to get his Darshan..The volunteers or the foot soldiers of Lal Bagh Chya Raja are exemplary, polite, courteous , and ever helpful, giving all they have got to the Lord..
For them the Lord is everything, and so the atmosphere is congenial, pervading with a spirtual serenity..unseen anywhere else perhaps at the GSB Seva Ganesh Mandal..Both are territorial Kings of their Space ..but the largest space is in the Minds and Hearts of their Devotees..
As a Sufi thinking Muslim, as a Shia Pandit me and my camera eye misses nothing..
Lal Bagh Chya Raja is the Mascot and Lucky Talisman of a cosmopolitan city of Mumbai..and when he moves out of his Domain towards the final Immersion at 9 am and reaches Gigaum Chowpatty next morning at 4 am..
He passes through Muslim localities where the Muslims garland him, respect him, this is Tolerance for the greater good,beyond cheap Fatwas of Bareilly clerics who live in Caves and in Dark Ages.. This is not a single Salman Khan, but all the community , giving a farewell to the spirit of Mee Mumbaikar..
Being a Muslim in Mumbai, is a very special feeling, I know Muslims who climb the pyramid to break the Dajhi Handi, I know Maharashtrians who grab my scourging blades to shed blood for Imam Hussain on Ashura, yes I am crying as I write this, if this feeling of oneness labels me or my Hindu friends as Heretics so be it, it is better to live as a Heretic than die the death of a fundamentalist Dog..
There are Muslims of the Jamati kind who taunt me whether I have become a Hindu, I remain silent but honestly I am a Hindu since birth, born in Hindustan my nationalistic cultural identity..But I am a Muslim that Allah knows and my family knows..Why cant we be less bigotted and more human friendly is a cry that escapes from my lips..
So I shoot pictures , go great lenghts to show and share as feelings with all of you, I am not just a Shia I am a person of the world..and I intend to remain like this tiIl my death.The neo Islamists can stick to their beliefs , the neo Shia Wahabbis can also stick to their beliefs..I am happy at my end of the World ...
I have over 8000 pictures on my homesite that I have not bought to Flickr..a daunting task, and 11000 pictures posted here perhaps not on my homesite..
But Flickr is my homesite by default now..
I dont go and defecate my views on Flickr members pictures, I dont condemn their Faith so I dont see why or with what right they abuse me here as a Shia person or as a Muslim..I do not promote Shiasm , but yes I shoot pictures of all Faith..if your Faith is stronger than mine more pure, more closer to God you should not be worried by the words of this Shia heretic..
I shoot what I see and Truth cannot hide behind false Dogmas..

Ganga and Gauri Visarjan..

This was a shot , where I asked the lady who had this basket on her head for Immersion to bring it to camera level so I could show it to you all,,, and one is Gauri the other Ganga .
Gauri represents purity and austerity. She is the Kanya (young, unmarried) Parvati who had undergone severe penance in order to get Lord Shiva as her husband. Sita, the consort of
Lord Rama, had worshipped Gauri to fulfill her desire to marry Lord Rama.
Lord Ganesha is son of goddess Gouri who was created from her body mud as a body-guard. Lord Siva cuts his head & he gets elephant head as replacement.
Ganesa's wives are SIDDHI & BUDDHI. But some say he is a bachelor

Unmarried girls worship Gauri in order to get a virtuous husbands
Goddess Gauri or Parvati is the wife of Lord Shiva or the destroyer in the Hindu trinity. She is the symbol of virtue and fidelity and as such is the mythological role model of married women.

Ganga The Goddess Ganga, representing the river Ganga (Ganges) is shown white in color, wearing a white crown, sitting on the sea animal crocodile, holding in her right hand a water lily and in her left hand a lute.

Rig Veda mentions the name Ganga only twice but in the later Puranic period, Ganga assumes great importance as a Goddess. She is called Mandakenee in the heaven and Bhagirathi in patal. Purans declare that the sight, the name and the touch of Ganga takes away all sins and that bathing in Ganga bestows blessings of the highest order. The cremation of a dead body at the banks of Ganga and the immersion of the remains of a dead in its water after cremation elsewhere is considered propitious. Gangajal, the water of Ganga, is very sacred, and is used for many pujas (religious ceremonies). Those who die within specified limits of Ganga, called Gangakshetra (the land of Ganga), are believed to go to the heavenly world and all their sins washed away.

The other sacred rivers for Hindus are, Yamuna, Saryu, Sindhu, Godavari, Kaveri, Narmada, Gomti, and Brahmaputra..

Gauri Visarjan

Gauri Visarjan
Originally uploaded by flickr photographerno1
Now you will understand what I mean by saying I am an Indian Muslim, every festival of our neigbor touches us, we visit a Holy Communion at Chuch, but do we become Catholics, I went for Jagan Chawlas arti, but do I become a Hindu, but culturally I am a Hindu, my Faith is far too strong to be seduced by outer elements..I am answerable to know authority only to my God pertaining to my relgiosity and beliefs..
At the Chatt Puja at Juhu , the Pandits know I am a Muslm but seat me next to them, I am humbled by their strength of character and their far reaching broad mindedness unlike ogf this who hibernate and fart once in a while from Bareilly and impose Fatwas at the click of finger, I have never seen such bigotry, Mumbai is a different ball game we attend Satya Narayan Pujas, but it is our respect for our Hindu friend and his religion.
Anyway I have made one correction to my Flickr profile only my contacts can post a comment on my photo stream,thugh Flickr recommends to keep this option open to all members a broaderperspective but without Comment Moderation any sick Shia hater comes defecates on my pictures and moves away these are paid lackeys of Wahabbism and the fundamentalists that hate Shiasm more than America or President Bush..
Yes Hussain Ashura and Karbala are three words that keep our Faith alive...
This was shot by a Hindustan Times photographer on Gauri Visarjan day..

Gauri Visarjan

Gauri Visarjan
Originally uploaded by flickr photographerno1
I did not go for the 6 day Visarjan also known as Gauri Visarjan, and I remember I had shot Gauri at Girgaum Chowpatty..on negatives many years back.
This picture was shot two years back at Juhu beach,
Much as I tried to make it yesterday, but I was in a very depressedstate of mind, and I have hurt my feet walking barefeet I will have to be careful, I am lucky that I do not owe allegiance to any fanatic faith , and thank God I consider myself a Shia , thought the Shia Pandit title has been given to me by my detractors, one derogatory remark that I like, atleast I am also lucky not to be from the Sunni Faith so it saves me from Fatwas, imagine going to an Arti of a Ganeshotsav and to be condemned by the clergy in a hick town of Bareilly, any way it is nothing but a way of garnering free publicity, the Mullah needs more publicity to survive... than the uncommonly common man..

Now I copy my old post on Gauri from my homesite..

I shot the pictures a little ahead of Juhu Koliwada, as I knew the end near Ramada would be jam packed, and I did not have the strength , to be more adventurous , and these are small house Ganpatis that are immeresd on the 7th Day and also the Idols of Gauri and Ganga...and I came back to my shop at 7pm, to post them before you see it in the news papers tomorrow.

Gauri represents purity and austerity. She is the Kanya (young, unmarried) Parvati who had undergone severe penance in order to get Lord Shiva as her husband. Sita, the consort of Lord Rama, had worshipped Gauri to fulfill her desire to marry Lord Rama. Unmarried girls worship Gauri in order to get a virtuous husbands.

Goddess Ganga..
Ganga is the goddess of the river Ganges, India's most sacred body of water. Hindus believe that bathing in her holy waters will help wash one's sins away, and hence they conduct repeated ritualistic washings in the river to secure a place in heaven.
Her power to wash away sins and liberate is so strongly believed that the ashes of the dead are spread over her. Ganga is usually represented as a beautiful woman with a fish's tail in place of legs, and she rides on the Makara, a water monster.
One myth about the origin of Ganga is that the god Vishnu once heard Shiva play the flute. Vishnu was so entranced by the music that his feet began to melt. Brahma caught the liquefied portion of Vishnu in a pot and from it created Ganga. Hence Ganga is also known as Vishnu-padi (she-who-was-born-out-of-Vishnu's-feet).
Originally Ganga flowed only in the heavens, but then was ordered to go down to earth. Not wanting to, she threatened to flood the whole world. The gods were so afraid of her that they sought the help of Shiva.
Shiva broke the fall of Ganga by capturing her in his mighty locks of hair. Since then, Ganga resides on top of Shiva's head as his second wife, the first being Parvati.

Shivaji Maharaj-The Warrior King

a warrior like him
there never was
will never be
the pride of maharashtra
chatrapati shivaji
he had one singular vision
to fight against oppression
and tyranny
to see that mother india
was finally free he
single handedly took
on the might
of the british
and the mughal dynasty
under him hindus muslims
were branches of a
banyan tree
women were respected
no malady
giving them back
their human dignity
shiv shahi for
coming posterity
guru ramdas samarth
who instilled him
with love in totality
tolerance and brotherhood
live and let live
in peace and serenity
hope and hindutva
held high
the might and valour
of the warrior king
chatrapati shivaji
who gave a new meaning to
justice liberty and equality
a boon as blessing to humanity
in all its complete universality
jai maharashtra not just a slogan
but a mantra bound to our
secular nationality