Friday, January 11, 2008

The Hijda Rafaee of Mahim

The Hijda Rafaee of Mahim
Originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1

he is a transgender
criss crossing
a sufi spiritual dream
with the cream of cream
the chancawalli rafaees
body piercers
in full steam
mendicant s
eye ball piercing
tongue cutting
chest piercing team
ganja chillum charas afeem
holy smoke
bursting through the seams
the smile of the hijda rafaee of mahim
they call him bawa abdul karim

*afeem is opium

The Hijda Rafaee

The Hijda Rafaee
Originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1

The Hijda Rafaee is a transgender who was in the procession of the Sandal of Fakhrudin Shah Baba , he was along with the Chancawalli Rafaees and Handi the Head of the Chancawalli Rafaeeas did not like my photographing him, a clear distaste that Handi did not hide..
I was surprised as I know in Ajmer the Hijda Bawas and the Rafaees get along pretty well ...He the Hijda Rafaee did not seem to be bothered by Handis insulting remarks , and he was wearinga gents coat and trousers unlike the Hijdas who dress as women..
it was his masculine side spiritually displayed.. I took two shots .

The Cucumber Stroke

The Cucumber Stroke
Originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1

Mohammad Rafaee brings down the sword on the belly of the sleeping peson splitting the cucumber into two pieces

The Cucumber Slash

The Cucumber Slash
Originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1

The cucumber is placed on the belly of another Rafaee and Mohomed Rafaee slashes it into two halves with his sword -in the next picture..

please visit my flickr photo stream to see this entire series on Sufi body piercers called rafaees..

What is Moharam?

What is Moharam?
Originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1

Moharam means different things to different people.
Moharam is the new year.
Moharam means remembering the rebirrth of Islam cleansed by the blood of its martyrs, led by a single man called Hussain on the burning sands of Karbala.
Moharam is a page tattered and torn by Yazidiyat, a black page in the history of Imam.Some call this a political battle , yes the Caliphs in the name of Islam did vie for political power, a power they needed desperately , a power that Imam Hussain the grandson of the Holy Prophet did not need.
If he needed political supremacy than I think the Battle of Karbala was uncalled for he should have shook hands with Yazid and history would have been read differently.
Moharam is a month that brings forth all these thoughts , throws us back into time , our earliest childhood memories.
This is what seperates a Shia Child from the child of the majority community.
Moharam is memories that live and relive year afrer year.It has the brilliance not found in any other Muslim feast on the Calendar .
We remember Idd, our first Roza, we remember Bakra Idd the Bakra bought to the house for slaughter, but Moharam we remember through Bakra Idd too, because here to the slaughter is depicted vividly, and as we watch the butcher place the knife on the Goats throat, that has had its last drink of water, we remember Hussain and Shimr straddled above him decapitating his head , the same neck that was kissed many a times by the Holy Prophet and his daughter Princess Fatima..
Yes Moharam we can never forget it is embedded in our cosmic comciousness passed on from mother to daughter , father to son.Yes you have to be a Shia to understand our Pain, our immortal tears , for the outsider it is an event , but for us Shias Moharam is a state of Mind.Its a continuance of a Pledge.A pledge that is marked as Hussainiyat.
A Shia child from the day sheis born or he is born is carried by the mother to the Majlis, Matam, and this grief becomes part of the childs Heritage.
Yes this is Moharam, its my grandaughters first Moharam, and I am shedding tears as I write this..This spontaneous shedding of tears of a grandfather is called Moharam.. and I can imagine what the Grandfather the Holy Prophet felt when he saw Hussain for the first time.. and when he looked at the snow white neck already silhouetted with the traces of blood.. Yes this is Moharam..
The Shias are a unique race and I am proud that my Grandfather a Sunni born accepted Ahle Bayth gave up his ancestry , his home his wealth.. my father too followed the tenets of his father , so did I and there is no looking back..
Yes this is Marziya Shakirs first Moharam..
We have come a very long way..and Karbala is not very far its waters drop and flow from the pitchers of our eyes..
Yes Ya Hussain two words that surmise the meaning of Moharam..
Ghame Hussain , the Tragedy of Karbala is our path that brings us closer to our Maker..
Shah ast Hussain, Baad Shah ast Hussain,
Deen ast Hussain, Deen Panah ast Hussain,
Sar dad na daad dast, dar daste Yazeed,
Haqqah ke binaaye La Ilaha ast Hussain!

India -A Pearl in an Oyster

India -A Pearl in an Oyster
Originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1

glenn losacks
karmic country of rebirth
yes its India a drop of tear
held as a pearl in an oyster
for all its worth
ponderous poverty
mystical meanderings
gaiety pain sorrow and mirth
life a suspended moment
between death and a new birth

Neck Cutting Sufi Style

Neck Cutting Sufi Style
Originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1

This was a different Rafaee troupe that displayed there genre of body piercing at the Darhah of Fakhruddin Shah Baba .
I shot a few frames rapidly, the wound was healed witrh the Holy Smoke of the Loban seen in the next following pictures.

pictures at flicks

Unending Pain of Man

Unending Pain of Man
Originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1

photo courtesy glenn losack md

pain is stretched bound
like a second skin
to the destiny of man they say
where there is a will
you still have to find the way
live the life of karmic sorrow
and deaf mute dumb god
you repay
yes man is infinitely
made of clay
man who man
loves to slay
man murdering mankind
on display
a puppet on a religious string
by the way
wars to keep the laws of god alive
by man the outlaw
you have to obey
suicide bombers
misguided martyrdom
misguided jihad
games that they play
imperialistic hegemony
held by the lady of libery
on the soul of USA
iraq afgahanistan
every arab country
in its pay
values as they die of decay
a moments thought
a dubious tear as
we remember our ancestors
their useless sacrifice
on a man made
all souls day

Navratri Khamkhya Temple Assam

Courtesy Jyoti A Deka Guwahati