Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Metaphor of Spiritual Dancing of the Human Soul

Bengali Association Durga Antop Hill

Bengali Association Durga Antop Hill

98,345 items / 595,439 views

I was planning to move out of Dadar Beach as I was not satisfied shooting the Durga Visarjan in pitch darkness , the light on the beach came from the Artis ..

As I started moving out I saw the truck bringing in the Bengali Durga , on inquiry I was informed that they were from the Bengali Association of Antop Hill.. I told this person I was a shooting for the Internet..

It was here while shooting this Durga that I faced the ire of a gentleman who was absolutely rude and did not like me shooting pictures , I have shot so many Bengali pandals and this man educated , Bengali not drunk really shocked me no end..Maybe it was my attire or maybe it was his bad hair day , but I never expected such a behavior,.. Durga belongs to everyone and I as barefeet Muslim blogger brings her message of Peace Hope and Harmony ..as I shoot her with a divine passion and spiritual intensity as a photographer so she can be shared with all who pass by my blogs on Flickr Facebook Twitter Wordpress Blogspot and other sites that I post to including Live Journal and Vox.

I shot this man too.. and I am sure when he sees his picture he will realize that being polite courteous is also the most important ingredient of Ma Durgas hospitality.

Farewell Mumbai

98,298 items / 595,349 views

into the heart
of the ocean
for my home
i leave
farewell mumbai
farewell mumbaikars
be happy be content
do not grieve
i shall return
the following year
a new dream weave
love of humanity
is greater than any belief
a god within mankind
is what you must perceive
when you hurt man
you hurt god
nothing achieve
what you give
is what you receive
hope harmony peace
from chaos
you must retrieve

Arti To Goddess Durga

www.theholidayspot.com/durgapuja/durga_aarti.htm

MA DURGA AARTI


Jai Ambe Gauri, Mayya Jai Shyama Gauri
Tumko Nish-Din Dhyavat, Hari Brahma Shivri [1] Jai Ambe Gauri
Maang Sindoor Virajat, Tiko Mrig-Mad Ko
Ujjwal Se Dou Naina, Chandra Vadan Niko [2] Jai Ambe Gauri
Kanak Samaan Kalewar, Raktaambar Raaje
Rakt Pushp Gal-Mala, Kanthan Par Saaje [3] Jai Ambe Gauri
Kehri Vahan Rajat, Kharag Khapar DhaariSur Nar Muni Jan Sevat,
Tinke Dukh Haari [4] Jai Ambe Gauri
Kanan Kundal Shobhit , Naas-Agre Moti
Kotik Chandra Divakar, Sum Rajat Jyoti [5] Jai Ambe Gauri
Shumbh Ni-Shumbh Vidare, Mahisha Sur Ghati
Dhumra-Vilochan Naina, Nish-Din Mad Mati [6] Jai Ambe Gauri
Chandh Mundh Sangh-Haare, Shonit Beej Hare
Madhu Kaitabh Dou Maare, Sur Bhe Heen Kare [7] Jai Ambe Gauri
Brahmani Rudrani, Tum Kamla Rani
Aagam Nigam Bakhani, Tum Shiv Patrani [8] Jai Ambe Gauri
Chon-Sath Yogini Gavat, Nritya Karat Bhairon
Baajat Taal Mridanga, Aur Baajat Damaroo [9] Jai Ambe Gauri
Tum Ho Jag Ki Maata, Tum Hi Ho Bharta
Bhakto Ki Dukh Harata, Sukh Sampati Karata [10] Jai Ambe Gauri
Bhuja Chaar Ati Shobhit, Var Mudra Dhaari
Man Vaanchit Phal Pavat, Sevat Nar Naari [11] Jai Ambe Gauri
Kanchan Thaal Virajat, Agar Kapoor Baati
Shri Maal-Ketu Me Rajat, Kotik Ratan Jyoti [12] Jai Ambe Gauri
Shri Ambe-Ji-Ki Aarti, Jo Koi Nar Gaave
Kahat Shivanand Swami, Sukh Sampati Paave [13] Jai Ambe Gauri



TRANSLATION

Glory to you, O divine Mother Gauri, glory to you, O Parvati, who are so rich in maiden grace , the object of daily meditation by Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. O Ambe! On your forehead is a mark of vermilion along with a mark of musk . Your twin eyes are bright and your face beautiful as the moon. Your body with a tinge of gold is beautifully dressed in red attire; on your throat there is a wreath of red blossoms like a beautiful necklace. Your vehicle, the lion, is, O Mother in keeping with your majestic form; you hold a sword and a skull in your hands, and on you attend the gods, hermits, men and your devotees, whose grief you drive away. You are adorned with rings on your ears and with pearl on the tip of your nose, your radiance looks as beautiful as that of myriad of moons and suns. O slayer of the demon Mahish, you tore apart the bodies of Shumbha, Nishumbha and Dhuumravilochana. Your eyes reflected a frenzy of wrath everyday and night. You are the beloved companion of Brahma, Rudra and Vishnu. The Vedas and the Shastras describe you as the queen companion of Shiva Sixty-four Yoginis chorus your glory and glorify you, while Shiva dances in tune to the accompaniment of the sound of tambour and drum . You are mother of the universe, the almighty, its sustainer, reliever of your devotees' hardships and bestower of prosperity and happiness The four arms you have adorned your person, while the hand raised in benediction reveals your compassionate aspect. Those among men and women who wait on you and worship you have all their wishes fulfilled. In a golden platter are beautifully laid aloe and camphor, both of which have lighted; and the radiance of your forehead is reflecting the splendour of gems.

DURGA CHALISA

Namo Namo Durge Sukh karani,
Namo Namo ambe Dukh harani.
Nirakar hai jyoti tumhari,
Tihun lok pheli ujayari.
Shashi lalat mukh mahavishala,
Netra lal bhrikutee vikarala.
Roop Matu ko adhika suhave,
Daras karat jan ati sukh pave.
Tum sansar shakti laya kina,

Palan hetu anna dhan dina.
Annapurna hui jag pala,
Tumhi adi sundari Bala.
Pralaya kala sab nashan hari,
Tum gauri Shiv-Shankar pyari.
Shiv yogi tumhre guna gaven,
Brahma Vishnu tumhen nit dhyaven.
Roop Saraswati ko tum dhara,
De subuddhi rishi munina ubara.
Dharyo roop Narsimha ko amba,
Pragat bhayin phar kar khamba.
Raksha kari Prahlaad bachayo,
Hiranakush ko swarga pathayo.
Lakshmi roop dharo jag mahin,
Shree Narayan anga samihahin.
Ksheer sindhu men karat vilasa,
Daya Sindhu, deeje man asa.
Hingalaja men tumhin Bhavani,
Mahima amit na jet bakhani.
Matangi Dhoomavati Mata,
Bhuvneshwari bagala sukhdata.
Shree Bhairav lara jog tarani,
Chhinna Bhala bhav dukh nivarani.
Kehari Vahan soh Bhavani,
Langur Veer Chalat agavani.
Kar men khappar khadag viraje,
Jako dekh kal dan bhaje.
Sohe astra aur trishoola,
Jase uthata shatru hiya shoola.
Nagarkot men tumhi virajat,
Tihun lok men danka bajat.
Shumbhu Nishumbhu Danuja tum mare,
Rakta-beeja shankhan samhare.
Mahishasur nripa ati abhimani,
Jehi agha bhar mahi akulani.
Roop karal Kalika dhara,
Sen Sahita tum tin samhara.
Pan garha Santan par jab jab,
Bhayi sahaya Matu tum tab tab.
Amarpuni aru basava loka,
Tava Mahirna sab rahen asoka.
Jwala men hai jyoti tumhari,
Tumhen sada poojen nar nari,
Prem bhakti se Jo yash gave,
Dukh-daridra nikat nahin ave.
Dhyave tumhen jo nar man laee,
Janam-maran tako chuti jaee.
Jogi sur-muni kahat pukari,
Jog na ho bin shakti tumhari.

The Mind is An Ocean of Words

98,254 items / 595,132 views

the mind is an ocean of words
churning milk into curds
or a gilded cage that releases
more words like birds
flying northwards
from here forth
onwards
words within words
opening the minds
computer
without passwords

to vinod mirani
in wordly humility
of a mother and a goddess

Farewell Mother Goddess

98,246 items / 595,122 views

we will wait
till you return
on vijay dashami
ravan
we will burn
good over evil
a job well done
invoking ganesha
your beloved son
farewell mother goddess
what you teach we learn
through karma
good deeds we earn
our human minds
godly dreams we churn
hope and hindutva
a message of peace
we yearn

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Good v/s Evil

Ram and Ravan
a tug of war
between
good and evil
within man
encompassed
as a cosmic plan
humility
love of humanity
the core essence
of superman
a blog
riding
the chariot
of a pressman
g mail
that killed
the soul
of a postman

My Bare Feat

shoes and slippers
pay homage
to my barefeat
kissing the soul
of mother India
dust and heat
my karma
as a pedestrian poet
of pain
on the bare roads
meet
holding an olive
branch
in a tweet
my destiny
i could not cheat
a distorted
path
of my restlessness
incomplete
the best of me
hidden as an update
from a winding sheet
death plays
hide and seek
downbeat
divinity
captured
on mumbai
streets
unforgiving thought
embedded as a blog
control alt
delete

Behind Every Great Photographer Lies Ravan....

behind every great photographer lies ravan

pedestrian wisdom
frozen truth
the soul of photographer no1
shooting two great personalities
under the blazing sun
not in the picture hidden from view
a Mumbai cop
with a rusty gun
de dana dhan
dreams that
ramlila
over the ages
spun
recession times
hard cash on the run
the politician wanting
the common mans dhun
good luck restaurant
brun maska butter bun
sharing it with
my bawa friend rohinton
slamming the soul
of pictorial divinity
some moments
embedded in frolic and fun
a camera
an instrument of peace
hung round the neck
like a lucky talisman
holistically healing the soul
of man lost in an ocean
the third eye of shiva
releasing the energy
of a poetic python
poem dedicated
to dear friend
ashok salian
mumbai's
most wanted lensman

Ashok Salian and Me at Shivaji Park Dasshera

98,053 items / 594,444 views

Ashok and I walked at Patwardhan Park to stay trim and fit once upon a time , I have completely stopped walking but Ashok Salian has kept himself trim and fit..he told me has stopped walking too.

This was a surprise meeting at Shivaji Park during the Dasshera burning of Ravan's effigy..

About Ashok Salian

www.ashoksalian.com/

Fine Art & Fashion Photography

Film Direction & Production

Exhibition Concepts & Execution

Workshop Leader & Lecturer



Fashion: Began commercial photography career specializing in fashion in 1987 having shot for India’s leading fashion designers such as Abu Jani – Sandeep Khosla, Suneet Verma, Shahab Durazi & Bhairavi Jaikishan amongst others. Also, created audio-visuals for fashion shows.



Advertising: VIP luggage assigned by Hindustan Thompson Associates was the first advertising campaign shot, this was followed by several other prestigious brands in the country & overseas. Raymond’s Suitings, Bombay Dyeing, Nivea, Cinthol, Mafatlal Suitings, Lakme shampoo, Sunsilk, Smirnoff, Shoppers’ Stop, Vimal Suitings, Gwalior Suitings, Graviera Suitings, Digjam Suitings, Videocon, L’Oreal, Van Heusan, Allen Solly, Monte Carlo, Louis Phillipe & Provogue to name a few.



Magazines: Shot magazine covers & features for Gladrags, India’s first fashion magazine & was associated with them for the next 7 years making path-breaking strides in the field of fashion photography. Also, consistently shot for other magazines- Elle, Verve, L’Officiel, Beautiful People, Oomph, Femina & Savvy.



Movie Stars: Photographed popular film stars Amitabh Bachchan, Hema Malini, Rekha, Dimple Kapadia, Sanjay Dutt, Madhuri Dixit, Urmila Matondkar & Hrithik Roshan besides others for movie magazines such as Stardust, Movie, Filmfare, Showtime, Cineblitz, G & for fashion magazines as above.



Book: Abu Jani – Sandeep Khosla’s ‘A Celebration of Style’ by Sharda Diwedi.



Awards: Awards received for excellence in photography & film-making. Involved in advertising campaigns that have won numerous national & international awards that have featured in the L’Archive, the New York festival and the One Show. Awarded the Asian Photography ‘Photographer of the Year’ award in 2002. In the year 2004, felicitated by the Government of Maharashtra, India with an award for ‘Important contribution to Indian Photography’. In 2005, received the Rotary Club award for Photography.

India’s foremost advertising award – ‘AAA of I’ awarded a bronze in 2007 for excellence in film-making. Commercial film for Wave Cinema (a chain of multiplexes in New Delhi).

Fine Art : Limited edition art works have been published and can be found in private collections in India and abroad.



Exhibitions :

2007: ‘Subliminal’, debut solo show @ Jamaat Art Gallery & ‘Pure’ @ The Osmosis Gallery, 2007.

2006: PGI’s ‘Exhibit - A’ 2006.

2005: ‘VI @ Zenzi’ & PGI’s ‘Exhibit - A’ 2005.

2004: The Harmony Show @ Nehru Centre & PGI’s ‘Exhibit - A’ 2004.

2003: PGI Group Exhibition @ Mercedes-Benz Showroom, 2003.

2002: PGI’s ‘Exhibit - A’ 2002 @ Jehangir Art Gallery’s Golden Jubliee Celebrations.

2001: PGI’s ‘Exhibit - A’ 2001 @ Nehru Centre.

1996: ‘Exhibit - A’ @ Jehangir Art Gallery. A landmark exhibition of fine art photography, a show of this kind was held for the first time in India.



Filmography:

* Made 5 advertising commercials for Killer Jeans, Blue Stratos, Heimtextil India and Wave Cinemas.



* ‘Vintage Rusi’, a 22-minute short feature film for the Kala Godha Arts Festival, Mumbai.



* Currently, working on a feature film script & looking to direct feature films in the future.





Honorary work:

NGO’s: PETA, School for the Deaf & Paramparik Karigar.



Commissioned by the Swiss Consulate to paint benches to raise funds for charity. Christie’s auctioned the works of 18 artists including painters & sculptors.



The Photographers’ Guild of India (PGI):

Honorary Secretary of PGI from 1999 to 2006.



‘Exhibit – A’ Convenor from 2002 to 2006. Involved in the promotion of ‘Photography as a form of art’, a movement started through exhibitions titled ‘Exhibit – A’ to encourage photographic print buying in the country.



Newschool 2005 Team – Newschool was revived after 10 years in 2005. The interactive 5-day seminar held at the Hyatt, Mumbai in February showcased amazing talent from the U.S.A. and masters’ in their field. Namely Joyce Tenneson, Jay Maisel, Max Vadukul, David Zimmerman and Sanjay Kothari.



Other:

* Judging panels of creative & fashion bodies like the Ad Club Awards – Chairman of the Jury for Photography 2005 & 2006, Commercial Artists Guild; Sir. J.J. School of Art and ‘F’ (fashion) Awards, Miss India & the Gladrags Mega Model Contest.



* Workshop leader & lecturer – ‘Newschool 1991’. A photography seminar held in Bangalore featuring international photographers Adrian Flowers, Hidike Fuji and myself.



* Invited to speak to the students of The Indian Business School, Hyderabad on Photography and Trends in India. Fellow speakers included gallerist Phiroza Godrej, artists Navjot Altaf and Paresh Maity and film director Nagesh Kukunoor who spoke on subjects of their expertise.



Education:

Master’s degree in Business Management, Bombay University.



Bachelor’s degree in Business Management, Mithibai College of Commerce & Economics, Mumbai & M.M.K. College of Commerce & Economics, Mumbai.



Primary & Secondary Education – St. Teresa’s High School, Mumbai.

Lord Hanuman at Hand

Lord Hanuman at Hand

98000 Photo Blogs at Flickr

98,034 photo blogs
594,337 views

I complete 98000 Photo Blogs at Flickr .

Thanks To All Of You .

Firoze Shakir
PhotographerNo1

I am learning photoshopping tricks from my whiz son in law Assad Dadan.

Guru and Chela

Barefeet Blogger of Mumbai

The Source Of Ramlila

97,949 items / 594,191 views

Recited by them...

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramlila

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Ramlila (Hindi: रामलीला) (literally 'Rama’s lila or play') is a dramatic folk re-enactment of the life of Lord Ram, ending up in ten day battle between Lord Ram and Ravan, as described in the Hindu religious epic, the Ramayana.[1] A tradition that originates from the Indian subcontinent, the play is staged annually often over ten or more successive nights, during the auspicious period of 'Sharad Navratras', which marks the commencement of the Autumn festive period, starting with the Dussehra festival. Usually the performances are timed to culminate on the festival of Vijayadashami day, that commemorates the victory of Lord Ram over demon king Ravana, when the actors are taken out in a procession through the city, leading up to a mela ground or town square, where the enactment of the final battle takes place, before giant effigies of Ravana, his brother Kumbhakaran and son Meghanath are set fire, and coronation or abhisheka of Rama at Ayodhya takes place, marking the culmination of festivities and restoration of the divine order.[2]

Rama is the 7th incarnation of Vishnu and central figure of the Ramayana. The Ramayana is based on the life, times and values of Lord Rama. Lord Rama is called the Maryada Purushottam or the 'The best among the dignified'. The story of Lord Rama and his comrades is so popular in India that it has actually amalgamated the psyche of the Indian mainstream irrespective of their religion. The very story of Ramayana injects ethics to the Indian mainstream.

Most Ramlilas in North India are based on the 16th century Avadhi version of Ramayana, Ramacharitamanas, written by Gosvami Tulsidas entirely in verse, thus used as dialogues in most traditional versions, where open-air productions are staged by local Ramlila committees, 'Samitis', and funded entirely by the local population, the audience.[3] It is close to the similar form of folk theatre, Rasa lila, which depicts the life of Krishna, popular in Uttar Pradesh, especially Braja regions of Mathura, Vrindavan, and amongst followers of Gaudiya Vaishnavism and Vaishnavism in Manipur, with some similarity with Pandavlila of Garhwal, based on life of Pandavas of Mahabharat and Yakshagana of Karnataka, based on various epic and puranas.[4]

Ramlila has received considerable global attention, especially due to its diverse representation throughout the globe, especially amongst the Indian diaspora community, and regions where Hinduism has spread over the centuries, like Africa and several South East Asian countries. UNESCO proclaimed the tradition of Ramlila a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2005.[5] Subsequently, Govt. of India and IGNCA produced a two hour documentary, titled "Ramlila - The traditional performance of Ramayana" for UNESCO, on 'Ramnagar Ramlila', and Ramlila traditions of Avadh, Braj and Madhubani, and that of Ayodhya, which assimilates elements of all three.[6] Another unique Ramlila, is being staged since 1972, at Bakshi Ka Talab, about 20 km from Lucknow, where lead characters like Rama, Lakshman and Hanuman are played by Muslim youths, a clear departure in a region known for communal flare-ups; this four-day Ram Lila starts on the day of Dusshera day, and has also been adapted into a Radio play, 'Us Gaon ki Ram Lila', by Lucknow All India Radio, which won the Communal Harmony Award in 2000.[7]

Historically it is believed that first Ramlila shows were staged by Megha Bhagat, one of the disciples of Tulsidas, the author of Ramacharitamanas in about 1625 AD, though there are some evidence of its existence in some form before the creation of this version as well. Some scholars believe its first appearance somewhere between 1200 and 1500 AD. Later during in the time of Mughal emperor Akbar, according to some, Akbar is said to have watched a performance. Krishna Das Kaviraj mentions in his 16th century hagiography of saint Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (1486–1533), Chaitanya Charitamrita, that once he got carried away while performing the character of Hanuman at a play in Puri, thus proving the existence of Ramayana plays, before the Ramcharitamanas appeared.[4] Though it would safe to conclude that its implosion into the Hindu heartland, happened only after Tulsidas created his version in people's language of the time, the Avadhi, unlike the original written by Valmiki, in Sanskrit, the language only spoken by Brahmins by then, which excluded much of masses from experiencing the inspirational saga, which is essentially the victory of good over evil.[8]
[edit] Styles of Ramlila

Today, several regions have developed their distinctive form of Ramlila, Uttar Pradesh itself has numerous variants of presentation styles, most prominent among them is that of Ramnagar, Varanasi, staged over multiple venue, the pantomime style is visible in jhankis or tableaux pageants as seem in Ramlila of Varanasi, where colourful Jhankis and pageants depicting scenes from the life of Lord Rama are taken out through the city.[9] According to a 2008 UNESCO report, the most representative Ramlilas are those of Ayodhya, Ramnagar and Varanasi, Vrindavan, Almora, Satna and Madhubani.[5]

Next is the operatic style incorporates elements of folk theatre elements generously, while the traditional style remains, where the couplets of Ramacharitmanas not only act as dialogues, but also as chorus as well, and lastly there is the Ramlila staged by professional troupes called "mandalis".[10] Many urban Ramilias now have dialogues written in Khadi Boli or in local dialects, but the treatment remains melodramatic as always to achieve maximum impact amidst an audience that knows the story by heart, but watches the enactment nevertheless for religious fervour and also for its spectacle value, making Ramlila an important event in the religious as well as social calendar of not only in small town and villages but also many big cities. Just other folk theatre form of India, like Jatra of Bengal, topic themes are often interwoven in the script to had relevance and sometimes humour is used to offer a critic or commentary over current happenings.

A unique staging of Ramlila, takes place at Chitrakoot, over five days every year during the last week of February, beginning from the Maha Shivratri day, here the episode of Bharat-Milap is of prime importance, and is watched by eager devotees.[11] The Ram Barat of Agra is another interesting tradition connected with Ramlila, where in during the three festivities, a marriage procession of Rama is taken through various localities of the city.

Delhi holds many prominent Ramlilas across the city, including the oldest one on the Ramlila Grounds, outside the historic Red Fort, it was started in times of Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar,[12] and in 2004, for the first time, Ramlila celebrations organised by Luv-Kush Ramlila Committee were telecast to over 100 countries.[13]
[edit] Ramlila at Ramnagar, Varanasi

The tradition of staging the Ramlila at Ramnagar, Varanasi, which lies across the Ganges river from the Hindu pilgrimage city of Varanasi, was started in ca 1830 by Maharaja Udit Narayan Singh, Kashi Naresh.[14][15] It rose in popularity during the reign of his successor Maharaj Isvari Prasad Singh, and received continued patronage from the subsequent Kings of the Royal House of Benares to create a participatory environmental theatre (Site-specific theatre) on a grand scale, where attendance ranges from few thousands to 100,000 for others.[16] The Ramlila is a cycle of plays which recounts the epic story of Lord Rama, as told in Ramcharitmanas, the version of the Ramayana penned by Tulsidas. The plays sponsored by the Maharaja, are performed in Ramnagar every evening for 31 days.[15]

Though several local legends exist regarding the beginning of this Ramlila, including one of which suggests that it was first staged at a near by village, Chota Mirzapur as the one at Varanasi was disrupted due to the floods in the Ganges, from where it evolved to the present Ramlila, which is by far the most traditional rendition of the Ramayana, and has been a subject of study by scholars from all over the world for many decades now.[17]

The Ramnagar Ramlila is held over 31 days instead of usual 10, and is known for its lavish sets, dialogues and visual spectacle. Here permanent structures have been built and several temporary structure are also added, which serve as sets, to represent locations like Ashok Vatika, Janakpuri, Panchavati, Lanka etc., during the performance. Hence the entire city turn into a giant open-air set, and audience moves along with the performers with every episode, to the next locale. Preparations begin, weeks before its commencement, even the audition process is traditionally attended to by the Maharaja, where Svarupas, literally divine embodiment, the various characters of the Ramayana, are chosen from amongst local actors. Important roles are often inherited by families, for example, the role of Ravana was held by same family from 1835 to 1990, and roles of Hanuman, Jatayu, and Janaka traditionally belong to one Vyasa family.[18] When the Dussehra festivities are inaugurated with a colourful pageant Kashi Naresh rides an elephant at the head of the procession.[15] Then, resplendent in silk and brocade, he inaugurates the month long folk theatre of Ramlila at Ramnagar.[15] During the period, hundreds of sadhus called 'Ramayanis' descend into the town to watch and recite the Ramcharitmanas text. Many a audience carry a copy of the Ramacharit Manas, simply called Manas, and follow stanza after stanza, after the characters delivering their dialogue.[19][20]

During the course of the performance, there is a double transformation of the space within the city, as it first transforms from a city to theatre and then to mythic geography, as the scale of the performance is gradually increased to mythic proportions, coming down only in the end, when Rama finally returns back home, this is when the Raja himself becomes part of the theatre thereby incorporating local element into the story itself. In the end, as the swarups, actors depart, they take off their garlands and offer it to Royal family members and give darshan to audience, after the performance one last time.[21] At the end of each episode, lila, an aarti is performed, chants of 'Har Har Mahadev' or 'Bolo! Raja Ramchandra ki Jai!' resound in the air, as the audience join in. Thereafter, a jhanki, literally a peep or glimpse, tableaux of frozen iconic moments from the 'Manas', is presented, which not only distill and crystallize the message of the story for the audience, but is also appreciated for its spectacular effect.[21]

On the last day the festivities reach a crescendo as Rama vanquishes the demon king Ravana.[15] Over a million pilgrims arrive annually for the vast processions and performances organized by Kashi Naresh.[22]

Traditionally organized in a makeshift open-air theatre at night, it is usually staged by amateur actors drawn from the same social grouping as the audience. There is often a singer (occasionally a priest) in the sidelines who recites relevant verses from the Ramayana during scene-changes or at moments of dramatic tension. These recitations and the narrative of the play are usually based on Ramacharitamanas, Gosvami Tulsidas' version of the Ramayana, in the Awadhi language, written in 16th century. The dialog is improvised, and often responsive to audience reactions. Dhol drummers and other musicians participate. The atmosphere is usually festive and free, with the audience whistling and commenting as the story proceeds.

In many rural areas, traditional venues for Ramlila have developed over the centuries, and hundreds of people will often make the trip nightly to attend the play. Surrounding areas temporarily transform into bazars to cater to the audience. Depending on the region, interspersed breaks in the play can become impromptu talent shows for local society, and a de facto competition takes place between neighbouring Ram lilas, each vying to stage a more lavish production. Though the play itself is thematically religious, this social aspect often draws in people from non-Hindu segments of the community as well. Performance costs are usually financed by fundraising in the community, often by self-organized Ramlila Committees.
[edit] Geographic spread

Over the centuries, Ramlila has evolved into a highly venerated art form, and has travelled to far corners of the globe, through Indian diaspora, not as acts of "cultural recovery", rather as fresh expressions of a persistent faith. Today, Ramalila is staged in most countries that with immigrant Hindu populations from the Indian subcontinent, including that from India, Nepal and Pakistan. Outside the Indian subcontinent, this includes Fiji, Mauritius, South Africa, Canada, Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Great Britain, the United States, and Australia. Some Asian cultures have similar drama traditions based on the Ramayana, for instance the Phra Lak Phra Lam (Lak and Lam are the Laotian names for Lakshman and Ram, respectively) folkplay of Laos and northeastern Thailand.

Durga Visarjan Dadar Beach 2009

97,941 items / 594,187 views

After shooting the finale and the burning of the effigy of Ravan , I walked barefeet from Shivaji Park to Dadar Beach to shoot the Durga Visarjan..The beach was pitch dark and shooting this event was next to impossible but I managed to shoot a 1 GB Card and returned home at 9.30 pm.. I was not happy with what I shot..I hate flash , but there was nothing else I could do,and I shoot with a defective Nikon D80..

This too constitutes Hope and Hindutva a message of Peace shot by the barefeet blogger of Mumbai..

Backstage Ramlila Pictures on Hold..

I am keeping this lot and another lot of pictures shot backstage today in abeyance here at Flickr in order to post the last segment of Ramlila and the burning of the effigy of Ravan.

Shia Pandit and Ramlila

The Shia Pandit and Ramlila

Monday, September 28, 2009

Ramlila Behind the Scenes

Backstage With Ramilila Artistes

Backstage with the Ramlila artistes in their sanctum sanctorum, the place where they collectively help each other to dress up, apply make up, accessorize their characters .

There is no dress man as found in film or theater productions.

The actors are kids , young men senior people from different walks of life .. bought here from Mathura , to portray good over evil.. through a theatrical vehicle called Ramlila.

They later on stage become divine characters they portray..be it Ram Lakshman Sita or Ravan or Hanuman.

A lot of effort goes in bringing their characters to life , this is is my pictorial tribute to all of them and a part of my story board called Hope and Hindutva a message of Peace.

It was a field day for photo journalists each trying to invent a different approach to their shots..I as a blogger dont get intimidated by their fancy cameras or their fancy names..I shoot this with a divine passion that borders on a spiritual lunacy of my mind and soul.


A day before the artistes and the Ramlila management had stopped access to photographers from going backstage , and I faced their ire too, and it was allegedly an article written by a reporter and shot by a photographer of Hindustan Times that had hurt their religious sentiments.

I was made the scapegoat , insulted humiliated by one of the Ramlila volunteers for this aberration for no fault of mine.

But last evening I believe matters had been sorted out between the Press and the Ramlila management , I was lucky to be able t shoot all this.
The persons who play Ram and Lakshman are very fond of me, and interestingly it is the person that played Ram last year is playing Lakshman and vice versa , because of height change in an year..Ram has to look taller than Lakshman.

The person who portrays Ravan is Siddha Chaturvedi I call him the Wise One he is indeed wise and full of wisdom..

I am great fan of Lord Shiva so you can see much of my affection and sympathy lie with Lord Ravan a victim of his karmic destiny..In a way Ravan is a Hero too in his own rights..He did what he had to do..

Dasshera symbolizes good over evil is a bold and beautiful message for all of us.

This is one of my most interesting photo shoot and I knew when to bring it to a halt , I left backastage as soon as the curtain rose for the show..

I am grateful to all the Ramlila committee members specially Mr Sundar I Kannar who loves photography with a passion , a very hospitable polite and a very human person..

I dd not stay too long once again walking barefeet from Shivaji Park to Mahim , I shot a few frames of Durga at Sitla Devi too at their Arti.

"Cancalam Hi Manah Krsna Pramathi Balavaddrdham
Tasyaham Nigraham Manye Vayoriva Suduskaram"

This Sloka states that the Individual self is the traveler in the chariot of the material body and the intelligence is the driver. Mind is the driving instrument and the senses are the horses. Thus, the self is the enjoyer or sufferer in the relationship of the mind and senses.

for more shlokas see

www.iloveindia.com/spirituality/sloka/slokas-from-bhagwad...

Amchi Mumbai and Dasshera

97,742 items / 593,749 views


I shot the streets at Dadar literally littered with flowers and mango leaves for Dasshera puja.Poor families making garlands to be bought by people to appease the Gods.. requesting the Gods for Peace and Prosperity calm in the city that we all love and fondly call it Amchi Mumbai..A city that has blessed us all in bad times good times and in all seasons.

Mumbai is a cauldron of calm , I have had many offers to shift professionally to Bangalore and Pune , but I just cant think of relocating my made in Mumbai soul..the power of Mumbai has its hold on me far too deeply..I am enslaved to the warmth , the love that I get from this city , this city of loved ones friends and well wishers.

So I shoot this city , despite my ill health, despite all my problems that have enmeshed me badly..I shoot to share, to show you through my camera eye the world that appears to me vividly , ritualistically culturally ..yet it all becomes a single spread weft and warp of godliness depending on how you see it..

Yes Mumbai is a neighborhood , Arti at your end and Azan at my end synchronizing the spirituality of our diverse souls.. so many other religiosity living as bricks in a single wall holding a edifice that is the heritage of our children s children.

I wonder apprehensively had I not taken up photography , what would have been the condition of my inner soul , maybe a vast wasteland that gave birth to blogs ..Prior to this I never wrote anything , but I was a good letter writer no poems nothing..

Photography made me an incorrigible Blogger , barefeet blogger of Mumbai..

About Dasshera

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vijayadashami

Vijayadashami (Bengali: বিজয়াদশমী, Kannada: ವಿಜಯದಶಮಿ, Malayalam: വിജയദശമി, Marathi: विजयादशमी, Nepali :विजया दशमी, Tamil: விஜயதசமி, Telugu: విజయదశమి) also known as Dasara (also written Dussehra) Bengali: দশেরা, Kannada: ದಸರ, Malayalam: ദസറ, Marathi: दसरा, Telugu: దసరా) and Dashain (in Nepali), is a festival celebrated in varying forms across Nepal and India. It is celebrated on the tenth day of the bright fortnight (Shukla Paksha) of the Hindu autumn month of Ashvin or Ashwayuja, and is the grand culmination of the 10-day annual Navaratri (Sanskrit: नवरात्रि, 'nine nights') festival. It is the largest festival of Nepal, and celebrated by Hindu and non-Hindu Nepalis alike.

Vijaya Dashami also known as Dasara, Dashahara, Navaratri, Durgotdsav... is one of the very important & fascinating festivals of India, which is celebrated in the lunar month of Ashwin (usually in September or October) from the Shukla Paksha Pratipada (the next of the New moon day of Bhadrapada) to the Dashami or the tenth day of Ashwin.

In India harvest season begins at this time and as mother earth is the source of all food the Mother Goddess is invoked to start afresh the new harvest season and to reactivate the vigor and fertility of the soil by doing religious performances and rituals which invoke cosmic forces for the rejuvenation of the soil.

On the day of Dasha-Hara, statues of the Goddess Durga are submerged in the river waters. These statues are made with the clay & the pooja is performed with turmeric and other pooja items, which are powerful disinfectants and are mixed in the river waters. This makes water useful for the farmers & yields better crops.

Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the founder of the Hindawi (Hindu) Swarajya - Maratha Empire used to always worship Lord Shiva & Goddess Durga in the form of goddess Bhawani before any military expedition. Goddess Bhavani had blessed Shivaji Maharaj with her own sword called “Bhavani Talwar” on this blessed day.

Buses, trucks and huge machines in factories are all decorated and as Dasha-Hara is also treated as Vishwakarma Divas - the National Labor Day of India.

Veda Vyasa is considered as the foremost Guru and Vijayadasami is also celebrated as Vyasa puja.

Dasha-Hara is the festival of Victory of Good over Evil.

The history of Dussehra is an ancient one and derives its origin from a number of popular legends found in the scriptures.
[edit] Victory of Prabhu Ramachandra over Ravana

On this day in the Treta Yug, Shri Ram (7th incarnation of Vishnu), killed the great demon Ravan who had abducted Ram's wife Sita to his kingdom of Lanka. Ram, along, with his brother Lakshman follower Hanuman, and an army of monkeys fought a great battle to rescue his wife Sita. The war against Ravan lasted for ten days.

Rama had performed "Chandi Hom” and invoked the blessings of Durga to kill Ravana. Durga blessed Rama with the secret to kill Ravana. Ravana was defeated in his own kingdom of Lanka by Rama & the vanarsena. Rama with Sita & Laxman returned victorious to his kingdom of Ayodhya on the Ashwin Shukla dashami. This victory of Rama is since then celebrated as “Vijaya Dashami”.

So also prior to the defeat of Ravana, when Rambhakt Shri Hanuman went to Lanka to search Sita, he found her on the day of Ashvin shukla dashami.

During these 10 days of Dasha-Hara, huge idols of Ravana, Kumbhakarna (brother of Ravana) & Meghanad (son of Ravana) are erected and are set on fire by the enthusiastic youth at the sun set.

After Dasha-Hara, the hot weather of the summer ends, especially in North India and as the winter starts, the cold weather becomes breeding ground for many kinds of infections. Hence burning huge Ravana statues filled with the crackers containing phosphorous purifies the atmosphere. At the same time the temples perform Chandi Homa or Durga Homa which also helps in purifying the atmosphere.

Many houses also perform Aditya Homa as a Shanti Yagna and recite Sundara Kanda of Srimad Ramayana for 9 days. All these Yagna Performances are to create powerful agents into the atmosphere surrounding the house so as to keep the household environment clean & healthy.

The purpose of performing these homas is also to kill & sacrifice the 10 bad qualities, which are represented by ten heads of Ravana as follows:

(1) Kama vasana (Lust), (2) Krodha (Anger), (3) Moha (delusoion), (4) Lobha (Greed), (5) Mada (Over Pride), (6) Matsara (Jealousy), (7) Manas (Mind), (8) Buddhi (Intellect), (9) Chitta (will) & (10) Ahankara (Ego).

Some houses perform Yagnas 3 times daily along with sandhya vandana, called as Aahavaneeya Agni, Grahapatya Agni, Dakshina Agni. In addition to this, the Aditya Homa is performed with the Maha Surya Mantras and the Aruna Prapathaka of the Yajurveda. The effect of these mantras is to keep the heart, brain and digestive functions of the body in balance. The imbalances in these occur in the absence of adequate sunlight in the winter months.
[edit] Victory of Durga Mata over Mahishasur

Some of the Aasuras (Demons) were very powerful and ambitious, and continually tried to defeat Gods and capture the Heaven. One such Aasura called Mahishasur, who looked like a buffalo, grew very powerful & created havoc on the earth. Under his leadership the Aasuras even defeated the Devas (Gods), all of whom were powerless including Brahma, Vishnu etc... Finally, when the world was getting crushed under Mahishasura's tyranny, the Devas came together & contributed their individual energy to form “Shakti” a single mass of incandescent energy to fight & kill Mahishasur.

A very powerful band of lightening dazzled from the mouths of Brahma, Vishnu & Mahesh (Shiva) and a beautiful, magnificent, radiant young virgin with ten hands appeared. All the Gods gave their special weapons to her. This Shakti coalesced in the form of Goddess Durga.

Durga with weapons in her ten hands, riding on Lion, who assisted her in the fight, took on Mahishasur. The battle raged for nine days and nights. Finally on the tenth day of Ashwin shukla paksha, the evil demon Mahishasur was defeated & killed by Durga.

Hence Dasha-Hara is also known as Navaratra or Durgotsava and is a celebration of victory of Goddess Durga. Durga as Consort of Lord Shiva represents two forms of female energy - one mild & protective and the other fierce & destructive.
[edit] Home Coming of Durga Mata

Daksha, the Lord of the Earth, and his wife, Menaka, had a daughter called Sati. Uma, right from her childhood, started worshipping Lord Shiva as her would-be-husband. Lord Shiva, being pleased with the worship of Sati, came to marry her. Daksha was against their marriage but could not prevent it to happen. A little time later, Daksha arranged a `yagna` where everyone except Lord Shiva was invited. Sati, feeling ashamed of her father`s behaviour and shocked by the attitude metted towards her husband, killed herself. There was no end to his anguish when Lord Shiva came to know about this. He lifted the body of Sati on his shoulders and started dancing madly. With the supreme power dancing with wrath, the World was on the verge of destruction.

Then Lord Narayana came forward as a saviour and used his `Chakra` to cut Sati`s body into pieces. Those pieces started falling off from the shoulder of the dancing Shiva into different parts of the World. Shiva was finally pacified when the last piece fell off from his shoulder. Lord Narayana, however, revived Sati to new life. The places where the pieces had fallen are known as the `Shakti Piths` or energy pits. Kalighat in Kolkata, Kamakshya near Guwahati and Vaishnav Devi in Jammu are three of these places.

In her next birth Sati was born as Parvati/ Shaila-Putri(First form of Durga), the daughter of Himalaya. Lord Narayana asked Shiva to forgive Daksha. Ever since peace was restored, Durga, with her children, Kartikeya, Ganesh and her two `sakhis` - Jaya and Vijaya, comes to visit her parents each year during the season of `Sharatkal` or autumn when Durga-Puja is celebrated. Thus the other name of Durga-puja is `Sharodotshob`.
[edit] End of Agnyatwas of Pandavas

In Dwapar Yuga, after Pandavas lost to Kauravas in the game of Dice, they had to proceed to 12 years of “Vanawas” (exile to forest) followed by one year of Agnyatawas. Pandavas spent 12 years in forest and hid their weapons in a hole on a “Shami” tree before entering the Kingdom of Virat to complete the last one year of Agnyatwas. After the completion of that year on Vijayadashmi they took the weapons from the Shami tree, declared their true identity & defeated Kauravas, who had attacked King Virat to steal his cattle wealth.

Since that day the exchange of Shami leaves on Dassera day became symbols of good, will and victory. Hence on Dasha-Hara Shami Tree & the weapons are worshipped.
[edit] Kautsa's Gurudakshina

Kautsa, the young son of Devdatt, a Brahmin, was living in the city of Paithan. After completing education from Rishi Varatantu, he insisted on his guru accepting Guru Dakshina (present).

But Guru said, "Kautsa, to give 'dakshina' in return for learning wisdom is not proper. Graduation of the disciple makes the guru happy, and this is the real Guru Dakshina."

Kautsa was not satisfied. He still felt it was his duty to give his guru something. Finally the guru said, "Alright, if you insist on giving me dakshina, so give me 140 million gold coins, 10 million for each of the 14 sciences I have taught you."

Kautsa went to king Raghu. Raghuraja was an ancestor of Lord Rama, famous for his generosity. But just at that time he had emptied all his coffers on the Brahmins, after performing the Vishvajit sacrifice. He asked Kautsa to give him three days' time. Raghuraja immediately left to get the gold coins from Indra. Indra summoned Kuber, the god of wealth. Indra told Kuber, "Make a rain of gold coins fall on the "Shanu" and "Aapati" trees round Raghuraja's city of Ayodhya."

The rain of gold coins began to fall. King Raghu gave all the coins to Kautsa, and Kautsa hastened to offer the coins to Varatantu Rishi. Guru had asked only 140 millions, so he gave the rest back to Kautsa. Kautsa was not interested in money. In those days honor was considered more valuable than wealth. He asked the king to take the remaining gold coins back. But the king refused to take them back as kings do not take back the daan (gift).

Finally Kautsa distributed the gold coins to the people of Ayodhya on the day of Ashwin shukla dashami. In remembrance of this event the custom is kept of looting the leaves of the "Aapati" trees, and people present each other these leaves as "sone(gold).
[edit] Simollanghan – crossing the border - War Season

In ancient times kings used the feast of Dasha-Hara to cross the frontier and fight against their neighboring kingdoms. This border crossing is known as "simollanghan". Thus Dasha-Hara also marks the beginning of the war season.

Lord Hanuman

97,737 items / 593,704 views

www.hindunet.org/god/Gods/hanuman/index.htm

Hanuman is a monkey god. He is a noble hero and great devotee of Lord Rama of the Ramayana.

This deity is a provider of courage, hope, knowledge, intellect and devotion. He is pictured as a robust monkey holding a mace (gada) which is a sign of bravery and having a picture of Lord Rama tatooed on his chest which is a sign of his devotion to Lord Rama.

He is also called Mahaveera (the great hero ) or Pavan-suta (son of air) or Bajarangbali.

Happy Dasshera

97,684 items / 593,625 views


evil too is a blessing
in sartorial disguise
evil the worlds
most flourishing enterprise
every experience bitter hurtful
brings forth wisdom
teaches you to be wise
in a world where
corruption rules
the poor man cries
in a world where truth is
bartered for a wealth of lies
ravan and ram
lie within man
good bad ugly
all at a price
at the feet of
mother
one's paradise
happy dassheraa
from a barefeet blogger
pictorial harmony
hope and hindutva
with a pinch of spice
it does not cost a penny
to be good and nice
every time you fall
you need to rise
mind matters
not just size

Ramlila Shivaji Park 2009

97,578 items / 593,348 views

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramlila

Ramlila (Hindi: रामलीला) (literally 'Rama’s lila or play') is a dramatic folk re-enactment of the life of Lord Ram, ending up in ten day battle between Lord Ram and Ravan, as described in the Hindu religious epic, the Ramayana.[1] A tradition that originates from the Indian subcontinent, the play is staged annually often over ten or more successive nights, during the auspicious period of 'Sharad Navratras', which marks the commencement of the Autumn festive period, starting with the Dussehra festival. Usually the performances are timed to culminate on the festival of Vijayadashami day, that commemorates the victory of Lord Ram over demon king Ravana, when the actors are taken out in a procession through the city, leading up to a mela ground or town square, where the enactment of the final battle takes place, before giant effigies of Ravana, his brother Kumbhakaran and son Meghanath are set fire, and coronation or abhisheka of Rama at Ayodhya takes place, marking the culmination of festivities and restoration of the divine order.[2]

Rama is the 7th incarnation of Vishnu and central figure of the Ramayana. The Ramayana is based on the life, times and values of Lord Rama. Lord Rama is called the Maryada Purushottam or the 'The best among the dignified'. The story of Lord Rama and his comrades is so popular in India that it has actually amalgamated the psyche of the Indian mainstream irrespective of their religion. The very story of Ramayana injects ethics to the Indian mainstream.

Most Ramlilas in North India are based on the 16th century Avadhi version of Ramayana, Ramacharitamanas, written by Gosvami Tulsidas entirely in verse, thus used as dialogues in most traditional versions, where open-air productions are staged by local Ramlila committees, 'Samitis', and funded entirely by the local population, the audience.[3] It is close to the similar form of folk theatre, Rasa lila, which depicts the life of Krishna, popular in Uttar Pradesh, especially Braja regions of Mathura, Vrindavan, and amongst followers of Gaudiya Vaishnavism and Vaishnavism in Manipur, with some similarity with Pandavlila of Garhwal, based on life of Pandavas of Mahabharat and Yakshagana of Karnataka, based on various epic and puranas.[4]

Ramlila has received considerable global attention, especially due to its diverse representation throughout the globe, especially amongst the Indian diaspora community, and regions where Hinduism has spread over the centuries, like Africa and several South East Asian countries. UNESCO proclaimed the tradition of Ramlila a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2005.[5] Subsequently, Govt. of India and IGNCA produced a two hour documentary, titled "Ramlila - The traditional performance of Ramayana" for UNESCO, on 'Ramnagar Ramlila', and Ramlila traditions of Avadh, Braj and Madhubani, and that of Ayodhya, which assimilates elements of all three.[6] Another unique Ramlila, is being staged since 1972, at Bakshi Ka Talab, about 20 km from Lucknow, where lead characters like Rama, Lakshman and Hanuman are played by Muslim youths, a clear departure in a region known for communal flare-ups; this four-day Ram Lila starts on the day of Dusshera day, and has also been adapted into a Radio play, 'Us Gaon ki Ram Lila', by Lucknow All India Radio, which won the Communal Harmony Award in 2000.[7

Historically it is believed that first Ramlila shows were staged by Megha Bhagat, one of the disciples of Tulsidas, the author of Ramacharitamanas in about 1625 AD, though there are some evidence of its existence in some form before the creation of this version as well. Some scholars believe its first appearance somewhere between 1200 and 1500 AD. Later during in the time of Mughal emperor Akbar, according to some, Akbar is said to have watched a performance. Krishna Das Kaviraj mentions in his 16th century hagiography of saint Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (1486–1533), Chaitanya Charitamrita, that once he got carried away while performing the character of Hanuman at a play in Puri, thus proving the existence of Ramayana plays, before the Ramcharitamanas appeared.[4] Though it would safe to conclude that its implosion into the Hindu heartland, happened only after Tulsidas created his version in people's language of the time, the Avadhi, unlike the original written by Valmiki, in Sanskrit, the language only spoken by Brahmins by then, which excluded much of masses from experiencing the inspirational saga, which is essentially the victory of good over evil.[8]
[edit] Styles of Ramlila

Today, several regions have developed their distinctive form of Ramlila, Uttar Pradesh itself has numerous variants of presentation styles, most prominent among them is that of Ramnagar, Varanasi, staged over multiple venue, the pantomime style is visible in jhankis or tableaux pageants as seem in Ramlila of Varanasi, where colourful Jhankis and pageants depicting scenes from the life of Lord Rama are taken out through the city.[9] According to a 2008 UNESCO report, the most representative Ramlilas are those of Ayodhya, Ramnagar and Varanasi, Vrindavan, Almora, Satna and Madhubani.[5]
An Ramlila actor the traditional attire of Ravana

Next is the operatic style incorporates elements of folk theatre elements generously, while the traditional style remains, where the couplets of Ramacharitmanas not only act as dialogues, but also as chorus as well, and lastly there is the Ramlila staged by professional troupes called "mandalis".[10] Many urban Ramilias now have dialogues written in Khadi Boli or in local dialects, but the treatment remains melodramatic as always to achieve maximum impact amidst an audience that knows the story by heart, but watches the enactment nevertheless for religious fervour and also for its spectacle value, making Ramlila an important event in the religious as well as social calendar of not only in small town and villages but also many big cities. Just other folk theatre form of India, like Jatra of Bengal, topic themes are often interwoven in the script to had relevance and sometimes humour is used to offer a critic or commentary over current happenings.

A unique staging of Ramlila, takes place at Chitrakoot, over five days every year during the last week of February, beginning from the Maha Shivratri day, here the episode of Bharat-Milap is of prime importance, and is watched by eager devotees.[11] The Ram Barat of Agra is another interesting tradition connected with Ramlila, where in during the three festivities, a marriage procession of Rama is taken through various localities of the city.

Delhi holds many prominent Ramlilas across the city, including the oldest one on the Ramlila Grounds, outside the historic Red Fort, it was started in times of Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar,[12] and in 2004, for the first time, Ramlila celebrations organised by Luv-Kush Ramlila Committee were telecast to over 100 countries.[13]
[edit] Ramlila at Ramnagar, Varanasi

The tradition of staging the Ramlila at Ramnagar, Varanasi, which lies across the Ganges river from the Hindu pilgrimage city of Varanasi, was started in ca 1830 by Maharaja Udit Narayan Singh, Kashi Naresh.[14][15] It rose in popularity during the reign of his successor Maharaj Isvari Prasad Singh, and received continued patronage from the subsequent Kings of the Royal House of Benares to create a participatory environmental theatre (Site-specific theatre) on a grand scale, where attendance ranges from few thousands to 100,000 for others.[16] The Ramlila is a cycle of plays which recounts the epic story of Lord Rama, as told in Ramcharitmanas, the version of the Ramayana penned by Tulsidas. The plays sponsored by the Maharaja, are performed in Ramnagar every evening for 31 days.[15]

Though several local legends exist regarding the beginning of this Ramlila, including one of which suggests that it was first staged at a near by village, Chota Mirzapur as the one at Varanasi was disrupted due to the floods in the Ganges, from where it evolved to the present Ramlila, which is by far the most traditional rendition of the Ramayana, and has been a subject of study by scholars from all over the world for many decades now.[17]

The Ramnagar Ramlila is held over 31 days instead of usual 10, and is known for its lavish sets, dialogues and visual spectacle. Here permanent structures have been built and several temporary structure are also added, which serve as sets, to represent locations like Ashok Vatika, Janakpuri, Panchavati, Lanka etc., during the performance. Hence the entire city turn into a giant open-air set, and audience moves along with the performers with every episode, to the next locale. Preparations begin, weeks before its commencement, even the audition process is traditionally attended to by the Maharaja, where Svarupas, literally divine embodiment, the various characters of the Ramayana, are chosen from amongst local actors. Important roles are often inherited by families, for example, the role of Ravana was held by same family from 1835 to 1990, and roles of Hanuman, Jatayu, and Janaka traditionally belong to one Vyasa family.[18] When the Dussehra festivities are inaugurated with a colourful pageant Kashi Naresh rides an elephant at the head of the procession.[15] Then, resplendent in silk and brocade, he inaugurates the month long folk theatre of Ramlila at Ramnagar.[15] During the period, hundreds of sadhus called 'Ramayanis' descend into the town to watch and recite the Ramcharitmanas text. Many a audience carry a copy of the Ramacharit Manas, simply called Manas, and follow stanza after stanza, after the characters delivering their dialogue.[19][20]

During the course of the performance, there is a double transformation of the space within the city, as it first transforms from a city to theatre and then to mythic geography, as the scale of the performance is gradually increased to mythic proportions, coming down only in the end, when Rama finally returns back home, this is when the Raja himself becomes part of the theatre thereby incorporating local element into the story itself. In the end, as the swarups, actors depart, they take off their garlands and offer it to Royal family members and give darshan to audience, after the performance one last time.[21] At the end of each episode, lila, an aarti is performed, chants of 'Har Har Mahadev' or 'Bolo! Raja Ramchandra ki Jai!' resound in the air, as the audience join in. Thereafter, a jhanki, literally a peep or glimpse, tableaux of frozen iconic moments from the 'Manas', is presented, which not only distill and crystallize the message of the story for the audience, but is also appreciated for its spectacular effect.[21]

On the last day the festivities reach a crescendo as Rama vanquishes the demon king Ravana.[15] Over a million pilgrims arrive annually for the vast processions and performances organized by Kashi Naresh.[22]
[edit] Format
Lead performers of a Ramlila troupe mandali, with the director, called vyasa

Traditionally organized in a makeshift open-air theatre at night, it is usually staged by amateur actors drawn from the same social grouping as the audience. There is often a singer (occasionally a priest) in the sidelines who recites relevant verses from the Ramayana during scene-changes or at moments of dramatic tension. These recitations and the narrative of the play are usually based on Ramacharitamanas, Gosvami Tulsidas' version of the Ramayana, in the Awadhi language, written in 16th century. The dialog is improvised, and often responsive to audience reactions. Dhol drummers and other musicians participate. The atmosphere is usually festive and free, with the audience whistling and commenting as the story proceeds.

In many rural areas, traditional venues for Ramlila have developed over the centuries, and hundreds of people will often make the trip nightly to attend the play. Surrounding areas temporarily transform into bazars to cater to the audience. Depending on the region, interspersed breaks in the play can become impromptu talent shows for local society, and a de facto competition takes place between neighbouring Ram lilas, each vying to stage a more lavish production. Though the play itself is thematically religious, this social aspect often draws in people from non-Hindu segments of the community as well. Performance costs are usually financed by fundraising in the community, often by self-organized Ramlila Committees.
[edit] Geographic spread

Over the centuries, Ramlila has evolved into a highly venerated art form, and has travelled to far corners of the globe, through Indian diaspora, not as acts of "cultural recovery", rather as fresh expressions of a persistent faith. Today, Ramalila is staged in most countries that with immigrant Hindu populations from the Indian subcontinent, including that from India, Nepal and Pakistan. Outside the Indian subcontinent, this includes Fiji, Mauritius, South Africa, Canada, Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Great Britain, the United States, and Australia. Some Asian cultures have similar drama traditions based on the Ramayana, for instance the Phra Lak Phra Lam (Lak and Lam are the Laotian names for Lakshman and Ram, respectively) folkplay of Laos and northeastern Thailand.

Ramlila Hope and Hindutva Message of Peace

Last night after shooting the Bengal Club Durgotsav at Shivaji Park, I cut across barefeet to reach the other end of the park where Ramlila is held by the Adarsh Ramila Committee.

I had shot this last year too, and I am grateful to Mr Sundar I Kannar a commitee member who has been extending me total cooperation and has taken a special liking to my pictorial quest of Hope and Hindutva - a message of Peace.

Last year I had shot the Dasshera Burning of Ravan and was approached by a dear friend who blessed me for posting the pictures of it on the net as he could not make it to the venue due to ill health.. this is the holistic healing power of a photo blog..

It cuts across all religion , caste color or creed , and being human being Indian is more important than just being an adherent of a religion..Hindu is not just a Hindu person ..a Muslim too can be messenger and harbinger of Peace as symbolized by the tenets of Hinduism... For me Hinduism or Islam is a state of mind that leads us to our individual goals of Godliness and universal Peace..

That I am able to share all this over 97600 photo blogs that I have posted here at Flickr since July 2007..is my humble tribute to all those who visit my photo stream..I am indebted to each and everyone of you..

I shot the Ramlila this evening too , much of it backstage , I keep my remaining pictures of the Bengal Club Durgotsav 2009 on hold.. to post this set a long series mind you.

I also wish all my Hindu friends well wishers a very Happy Dasshera.. Good over Evil.,,

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Kali Mata Mandir at Bengal Club Shivaji Park

Last evening I went to Shivaji Park to shoot the oldest Pandal known as the Bengal Club Durogotsav. Before I entered the Pandal I passed the Kali Mata temple , which was totally packed , people head bowed , placing offerings to Kali..
The Pandit gave me a smile as he remembered me from last few years that I have been coming here to capture the Bengali ambiance and love of Durga.

About Kali

www.iloveindia.com/spirituality/goddesses/kali/index.html

Goddess Kali
Kali is one of the many forms of Shakti. Maha Kaali is the fiercest of all goddesses of Hinduism. The word Kali has its roots in the Sanskrit word "Kaal", which means time. And nothing escapes from time. Goddess Kali is sometimes referred as the goddess of death. But actually Kali brings the death of the ego. Even in the scriptures, she has killed demons but not anyone else. Kali is also not associated with Yama (the Hindu God of Death). Kali is considered a form of mother too. Maa Kali is one of the few Goddesses who are celibate and practice renunciation.

Goddess Kali and Lord Shiva
Goddess Kali and Lord Shiva, both are regarded to inhabit cremation grounds. Devotees go to these places to meditate with the purpose of overcoming the ego. The cremation grounds emphasize the idea that the body is temporary. Kali and Shiva are known to stay in cremation grounds because it is our attachment to the body that gives rise to the ego. Kali and Shiva give the idea of liberation by dissolving the illusion of the ego. The corporeal frame ultimately vanishes but the soul still remains. This is emphasized by the scene in the cremation grounds.

Maa Kali - The Compassionate Goddess
Maha Kaali is the most compassionate of all the forms of goddesses as she provides salvation or liberation to her children. Kali is equivalent to Shiva because both of them are the destroyers of evil fake and unreal. It is considered that with the glimpse of Maa Kali, ego trembles with terror seeing its own eventual demise in her.

People who are attached to their ego would not be able to receive the idea of Kali and she will appear in a wrathful form to them. But people, who are engaged in spirituality, removing the illusion of the ego, will find Maha Kaali in a different form. Maa Kali will appear as sweet, affectionate, and overflowing with perplexing love for them.

Maa Kali - The Image
Goddess Kali has four arms and hands depicting her immense strength. In two of her hands, she holds a sword and a fresh severed head, representing a great battle in which she defeated the demon Raktabija. The other two hands are there to bless her true devotees, suggesting that they will be saved as she will guide them here and in the hereafter.

Kali wears a garland made of 52 skulls and a skirt made of dismembered arms because the ego comes out of identification with the body. It suggests that physical body is false and spirit is the only reality. Her black or sometimes dark blue skin represents the womb of the unmanifest from which all of creation is born and into which all of creation will ultimately return. Therefore, the concepts of color, light, dark, good or bad do not apply to her as she is the pure, un-manifested energy, the Adishakti.

Goddess Kali is seen standing with her one feet on Lord Shiva who is pure formless awareness Sat-Chit-Ananda (being-consciousness-bliss) while Kali represents "form" eternally sustained by the underpinning of pure awareness.

Kali Aarti
Goddess Kali Arti completes the worship or prayers made to the Goddess. It is believed that Kali aarti provides a completion to the Kali puja.

Flashback


Flashback, originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1.

lost in the wilderness
of a romantic bus stop
a love life once idyllic
now flippity flop
holding the heart
of loneliness
pain revolving like a top
dreams washed away
on the rocks of carter road
memories non stop
the pesky hijda
the intruding eyes of the cop
life once full of fun
now a full stop
a woman's life aging
in a post marital
antique shop
the love of life
once a Sallu look alike
now a bank teller
white collared slop
a wife also
a domestic prop
from the corners
of the corridors
of despair
the neighbors
eavesdrop
what you sow
is not what you reap
a bad seed brings forth
a bad crop
tears that fall from
moistened eyes
like raindrops

to my great friend David Hazell
a poetic satire on married life...

Living in Peace at Mori Road Mahim

Mutual coexistence is the core essence of faiths living side by side in Mumbai.. and this was visible at Mori Road Mahim..
It is vested interests that create a wedge between people of different faiths , live and lets others live too, is my message to politicians before they begin their onslaught for the Assembly seats.

I am proud of the very fact tha I was born as a Muslim here in India , a land of plenty a land of hospitality and land of universal Peace.

Yes India is shining not because of politics because it is all of us that have made it possible with our restrain our tolerance and our collective will.

The Muslims of Mori Road to chip in and shoulder to shoulder usher in a deity that embodies Mother ..and what are we without our Mothers.. zilch.

We live through the memories of our Mother living or dead .. and even if they have passed away their legacy lives in our childrens hearts and soul..

Yes this is Mumbai a city a paradise embedded in our quintessential soul.. whether we are migrants or sons of the soil or Marathi Manoos or Am Admi.
Jai Ho

Bollywoods Most Wanted

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Abhijeet Bhattacharya and Me

My Diabetes

97,265 items / 591,699 views

My late mother Shamim Shakir had diabetes , I was diagnosed with borderline diabetes about 15 years back, it took a turn for the worst as I was an alcoholic too, I gave up booze almost 10 years I have never touched a drop since than , nor do I smoke or do drugs.
I was being treated for diabetes at Nanvati Hospital those days thanks to my dear friend Mr Prakash Pange we shared the same doctor.

However I continued with my medication , till I began cutting my head with a sword for Ashura Moharam rituals , at Lucknow in a segment called Athvi I bled for a very long time I had cut open a blood vessel , but without any injection or medication the grievous wound healed in two days.

I continued cutting myself and also walked on fire a ritual called Ag Ka Matam.
It was at Delhi during Chehlum - Moharam while cutting myself again , someone grabbed my sword from my hand thereby cutting a vital tendon of my hand ..this turned gangrenous on my way to Mumbai, my blood sugar was over 500 so I went to SL Raheja Hospital , and was treated by Dr AG Talwalkar ..

{The wound healed but permanently damaged my right hand I type with one finger of this hand and shoot pictures too , it has taken the shape of a Cobras hood..}

I had to take insulin to bring my sugar down or have my right hand amputated..

I continued with the insulin but stopped visiting the hospital completely..blogging made me stop walking too..I used to walk at Carter Road.

In June this year my son in law Assad Dadan, coaxed me to go for Ayurvedic treatment , I was hesitant but gave in , the lady doctor Dr Rekha J Paralkar of Chembur , was treating him for kidney stones and had successfully got rid of his stones in 3 days simply by intake of Ayurveda medicine.

I met Dr Rekha Paralkar and began my treatment 16 June 2009 ..She promised to bring my blood sugar down and get rid of my dependence on Insulin..gradually.

My blood sugar when I met her was
fasting 179
pp 374

the next visit
fasting 155
pp 162

9 july

fasting 81
pp 192

on 31 july 2009

fasting 96
pp 192

Than came Ramzan where my blood sugar goes haywire I completed 30 days of fasting ,
my blood sugar
yesterday was

fasting 82
pp 150

I take a tablet and a green powder before breakfast and before dinner ..prescribed by her, all my Allopathic medicines she had stopped .
My insulin dosage has reduced considerably from what it was
morning 10 unit
evening 4 unit..

I have placed my faith in her , and on myself too..I am not writing a testimonial for her but this kind lady has helped me a lot I still dont walk ..though my photo shoots could be considered marathon walks in a way..

I shoot pictures to share my cultural inheritance I dont sell pictures and photography as a blog has made me connect with some great people like you..

I would have gone insane without blogging.. It is addictive there is no denying it and can play havoc with family life too..I have manage to walk the tightrope without falling off balance..
This year has not been conducive to me personally or professionally.

Abhijeet Bhattacharya- Ma Durga's Chosen Son

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abhijeet_Bhattacharya


Abhijeet was born as Abhijeet Bhattacharya in a middle-class family in Kanpur, the youngest of four siblings. He passed his class X (Ten) from Ramakrishna Mission Higher Secondary School, Kanpur and Class XII from BNSD Inter College Chunni Ganj, Kanpur. Although his parents were against the idea, he went against their wishes and became a singer. He is an established singer in Bollywood, having done extensive playback singing for actor Shahrukh Khan. Nowadays, he also appears as a judge in reality shows based on singing contests on TV.
[edit] Career

Abhijeet left home for Mumbai in 1981 to study Chartered Accountancy. Due to his fascination for singing and music, he decided to pursue a career in playback singing and quit Chartered Accountancy. Despite being gifted with a melodious voice, he struggled for a long time.

After his long struggle in Mumbai, he received a call from Rahul Dev Burman to sing for Dev Anand's sons debut film. Abhijeet also sang with Kishore Kumar, his idol, in the same film.

In the 1990s, Abhijeet established himself as a notable playback singer. His first notable hits were the songs from the film Baaghi, composed by Anand-Milind - Ek chanchal shokh hasina, Chandni raat hai and Har kasam se badi hai. Then in 1994 when he gave hits in movies like Yeh Dillagi, Anjaam, Raja Babu and Main Kihildi Tu Anari.. there was no looking back.. He became a hit machine along with his competitors Kumar Sanu and Udit Narayan he was among the top 3 play back singers of 90s and finally won the Filmfare Best Playback singer Award for Yes Boss in 1997.He went on to give hit numbers in the movies Baadshah, Yes Boss, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, Josh, Dhadkan, Chalte Chalte, Main Hoon Na

Some of his songs such as Kurta phaadke from Anari No. 1 did not do well with the public.

Abhijeet has given his voice for actors such as Shahrukh Khan, Sunil Shetty, Jackie Shroff, Anil Kapoor, Akshay Kumar, Govinda, Sanjay Dutt, Sunny Deol, Saif Ali Khan, Bobby Deol, Salman Khan, Aamir Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Ajay Devgan, among many others.

Abhijeet left home for Mumbai in 1981 to study Chartered Accountancy. Due to his fascination for singing and music, he decided to pursue a career in playback singing and quit Chartered Accountancy. Despite being gifted with a melodious voice, he struggled for a long time.

After his long struggle in Mumbai, he received a call from Rahul Dev Burman to sing for Dev Anand's sons debut film. Abhijeet also sang with Kishore Kumar, his idol, in the same film.

In the 1990s, Abhijeet established himself as a notable playback singer. His first notable hits were the songs from the film Baaghi, composed by Anand-Milind - Ek chanchal shokh hasina, Chandni raat hai and Har kasam se badi hai. Then in 1994 when he gave hits in movies like Yeh Dillagi, Anjaam, Raja Babu and Main Kihildi Tu Anari.. there was no looking back.. He became a hit machine along with his competitors Kumar Sanu and Udit Narayan he was among the top 3 play back singers of 90s and finally won the Filmfare Best Playback singer Award for Yes Boss in 1997.He went on to give hit numbers in the movies Baadshah, Yes Boss, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, Josh, Dhadkan, Chalte Chalte, Main Hoon Na

Some of his songs such as Kurta phaadke from Anari No. 1 did not do well with the public.

Abhijeet has given his voice for actors such as Shahrukh Khan, Sunil Shetty, Jackie Shroff, Anil Kapoor, Akshay Kumar, Govinda, Sanjay Dutt, Sunny Deol, Saif Ali Khan, Bobby Deol, Salman Khan, Aamir Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Ajay Devgan, among many others.

He was recently seen as a Judge in a reality show called Star Voice of India. Mr Abhijit , refused to judge a contestant in an indian Idol (Singing show), only based on his place of birth was outside of india. He simply stated he can't judge him. As a reaction to his gesture the singing partner for the Artist , who Abhijit refused to judge , told him if you will not judge my Partner , I will not like to be judged by you I would rather get 0 marks from the fellow judge but its far better then , getting marks form a biased judge.[1] Abhijit also violated the honor of being a judge since he was personally biased on his judging he never listened to the singing rather he was more interested in nationalities of people. [2]
[edit] Non-film music

After his success in playback singing, Abhijeet decided to try non-film pop music. He released two albums, Main Deewana Hoon and Tapori No.1. The albums did not achieve commercial success. Later he launched Aashiqui, which was appreciated by the audience. Recently, he has launched a pop album, called Tere Bina, whose songs and videos are chartbusters.

On May 3, 2006, he released another non-film album called Lamhe, which was well-appreciated. Currently Abhijit is a judge on the Sa Re Ga Ma Pa - Little Champs show.
[edit] Notable songs

* Dil Tujhpe Aa Gaya--1991 -Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin
* Ole Ole -94 - Yeh Dillagi
* Main Khiladi Tu Anari -94 (title track) - Main Khiladi Tu Anari alonwith king of melody Udit Narayan
* Haan mujhe pyaar hua pyaar hua allahmiya- Judaai
* Zara sa Jhoom loo main -95 - Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge
* Wada Raha Sanam -90 - Khiladi
* Darwaza Band Karlo -93 - Darr
* Meri Jaane Jaana- Mohabbat
* Woh Ladki Jo Saab Se - Baadshah
* Title song - Baadshah
* Tum aaye to -2000 - Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani
* I'm The Best - Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani
* Kuch to Baata - Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani
* Tauba Tumhare Ye Ishare -2003 - Chalte Chalte
* Suno Na - Chalte Chalte
* Title Song - Chalte Chalte
* Chaand Taare -97 - Yes Boss
* Main Koi Aisa Geet - Yes Boss
* Title Song[Sad]-2004 - Main Hoon Na
* Mere Khyaloon Ki Malika -2k - Josh
* Tum Dil Ki Dhadkan -2k - Dhadkan
* Roshini Se - Asoka
* Raat Ka Nasha - Asoka
* Aye Nazaneen - Dil Hi Dil Mein
* Teri ankhen jhuki jhuki -96 - Fareb
* Shaher Ki ladki - Rakshak
* Jhanjhriya - Krishna
* Pyaar Se Pyaar Hum Ab To Karne Lage -01-Raaz
* Ishq chupta nahin chupaane se - Bewafaa
* Aisa koi zindagi mein aaye - Dosti
* Tan tana tan tan tara --98 - Judwaa
* Sandesa Aya, Jab Tak Hai Saans, Kabhie Kabhie Sapne - Kaafila
* Dhoom Taana -07 - Om Shanti Om
* Dil le le-Khiladi 420
* Yeh Dillagi--94-Yeh Dillagi
* koi nahi tera jaisa-Keemat
* main rahu naa rahu meri aawaz -2006-lamhe
* Ek Chanchal Shook Haseena -90-BAGHI
* Deewana Deewana Main Tere Liye-Daraar
* Lahma Lahma Doori -06-Gangstar
* Badi Mushkil Hai -94-Anjaam
* Ah a e O oh O -94-Raja Babu
* itna mujhe pata hai-Khiladiyon ka khiladi
* Bharo meri mang baro-Sabse bada khiladi
* jab tak rahega samosa main aloo-mr and mrs khiladi
* Maine to khai kasam-Awara pagal deewana
* Tumhain kaise main batoo-Dastak
* Aankhon main base ho tum-Takkar
* Jhanjarya-Krishna
* Tum dil ki dhadkan main-Dhadkan

[edit] Awards

* Filmfare Best Male Playback Award (1997) for Main Koi Aisa Geet Gaaon (Yes Boss)
* Screen-Videocon Award for the best singer in 1997 for Chand taare in Yes Boss
* MTV Life Time Achievement Award.
* Uttar Pradesh Gaurav Samman[3]

[edit] Personal life

Abhijeet is married to Sumaati.[4] The couple have two sons.

Abhijeet's Lokhandwala Durgotsav 2009

97,242 items / 591,439 views

This is my new set on Flickr shot this evening,singer Bollywood celebrity Abhijeets Lokhandwala Durgotsav 2009.
This pandal is Abhijeets baby from the word go, period , sponsored by Times of India.

One of the most beautiful Pandal of the few I have shot at Bandra Khar and Juhu. I was here for a short while , I had come on some work at Veera Desai Road and cutting across a lane reached the Pandal by rickshah.

I met Abhijeet too,in a silk kurta and the most exotic Bengali dhoti, he was really very humble , crowds gathering around him to shoot his pictures , and Abhijeet is Ma Durgas chosen son..he has made her a brand equity , she touches the core of all Bengali hearts including this Muslim one too.
I have shot Abhijeets Durga Visarjan a few years back at Juhu..

Abhijeets love and dedication and devotion for Durga has borne fruit.. this pandal mystifies your soul holding you in a clutch and wont let you go...I have captured the magic of this pandal on digital film..I must mention the volunteers of this Pandal in designer threads made for the occasion are exemplary in their duty to Ma Durga ..their humility touched me immensely.

The Times of India journos dont much care for bloggers writing them off in carefully worded obits, , but blogs dont die unless you delete them...and a photo blog lives on forever blessed by divinity for all time..be it Lalbagh Cha Raja or Durga or Jesus on the streets of Kalina on Good Friday..Pitru Paksh at Banganga or Idd Namaz at Bandra Station Road..

Thank you Times of India ..
Thank you Abhijeet.

Lalbaugh Chya Raja Mukut Darshan 2019

I am perhaps the only Muslim shooting Lalbaugh Chya Raja for over 20 years or more ,,thanks to Mr Sudhir Salvi head honcho of the Mandal.....