Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Muslim Vote Matters

an age old myth
it shatters
muslim vote matters
says the muslim slum dog
in a hurry
a few sons lots of daughters
faded hopes
broken promises
after elections
back to the grass roots
bulldozers broken down
slums and tenements
life of squatters

Iraqi Kama Matam Chehlum Mumbai 2009

Habib Nasser a Shia photographer is the founder of this unique form of Iraqi Matam on the streets of Mumbai as part of the Chehlum Juloos that starts at JJ Hospital and moves towards the Rehmatabad Shia cemetery Mazgaon.

Men boys cut their heads in unison to the quintessential chant of Ya Hussain Ya Hussain..

Its here that I cut my head too, the ritual known as Kama Zani or Kama Matam. Habib does not participate in the event here but he does the hardcore sword matam at the Rehmatabad Shia cemetery.The scenes in the interior of the cemetery is akin to a war zone , blades flying in the air and the entire area flooded with blood.

However I will only show you the choreography of pain through the Iraqi Kama Matam..

Chehlum is the 40 day of Moharam or also known as Arbaeen ..of the Martyrdom of Imam Hussain, this is a peaceful, mammoth juloos or procession, with kids women and elders trailing the procession all the way to the cemetery.

Mumbai Moharam is larger than life and one of its kind..and the Iraqi Kama Matam takes you back to the streets of Karbala where this Matam is performed .

Habib has imported all the daggers, machetes , and the carbonized razor sharp blade is enough to cut the flesh all the way to the bone.

There is no casualty, the bleeding is stopped by rose water or plain water and nothing else.

No septic shots, no ointment no antiseptics or antibiotics.

I dont cut myself severely because than its impossible to shoot pictures with the blood flowing into the viewfinder of the camera.

This is another pictorial journey into the LIfe of the Shia.. a great moment called Ghame Hussain.