Wednesday, July 1, 2009

HIJRAS OF AJMER 2009- Sizzling Simran

This was shot on the night I reached Ajmer , my rickshah had dropped me in the back lanes of Moti Katla the Hijra Paradise of Ajmer .
From Moti Katla I came to my host and benefactor Peersab Fakhru Miyas house dropped all my stuff and came to meet him at his spiritual darbar Hujra no 6, I paid my respects to him,at the Hujra , taking his permission I wandered out, collected my camera from his house , as photography is totally banned in the Dargah premises..

From there I went and paid my respects to the Head of the Rafaees Nobat Ali Baba at Char Yar than I met the Hijra Bawas the Malangs who live on the graves.

Finally I made my way to Moti Katlla to shoot Hijras ..I shot this hijra damsel, but she was rude to me in the beginning, I asked her the reason, it turned out to be a very flimsy one.

I had failed to recognize her she is Sizzling Simran from Delhi I shot her in Mumbai a few years back at the All India Hijra Sammelan...Park Site Vikhroli..

Than I began shooting her as gradually she started opening up, her picture at my Flickr photo the most viewed picture ..# 71 people call this photo a favorite
# Viewed 142,287 times ..this picture is my notoriety to fame..titled
Tantric Sex The Hijda Way

However I never saw her after that but her beauty , rare exotic can attack any normal mans fading libido..she has a Tantric power of seduction, she knows and uses it to her advantage a poison sweet and bitter that kills you permanently..
I am told men have given up all they had for her, but she belongs to no one..

She is what Hijra dreams are all about..She is the Introduction to my new Hijra series I am posting at Flickr and cross blogging to my Hijda -Eunuch blogs at Word Press .

And I have to sort and upload, I wanted to make a special set of the Bawas and ,Malangs of Ajmer 2009 but I type with a single finger so I let it pass.

Sultan e Hind..Hazrat Moinuddin Chishty Al Sabri

Sultan-ul-Hind, Hazrat Shaikh Khwaja Syed Muhammad Mu'īnuddīn Chishtī (Ajmeri) (Persian/Urdu: خواجہ سیّد محمد معین الدین چشتی اجمیری ) was born in 1141 and died in 1230 CE. Also known as Gharīb Nawāz (غریب نواز), or 'Benefactor of the Poor', he is the founder and the most famous Sufi saint of the Chishtī Order of South Asia. He was born in 536 A.H./1141 CE, in Sijistān, in Persian Khorasan, modern Iran[1]. He is also known as Sultān-e-Hind (The Sultan of India). He is a descendant of Muhammad through the Shī‘ī Imām, Ja‘far aṣ-Ṣādiq.

Mu'īnuddīn Chishtī grew up in a Persian family. His parents died when he was only fifteen years old. He inherited a windmill and an orchard from his father. During his childhood, the young Mu'īnuddīn was different from others and kept himself busy in prayers and meditation. Legend has it that once when he was watering his plants, a revered Sufi, Shaikh Ibrāhim Qundūzī (also called Kunduzi, after the birth place of the Sheikh, Kunduz), came to his orchard. Young Mu'īnuddīn approached him and offered him some fruits. In return, Sheikh Ibrāhīm Qundūzī gave him a piece of bread and asked him to eat it. The Khwāja got enlightened and found himself in a strange world after eating the bread. After this he disposed of his property and other belongings and distributed the money to the poor. He renounced the world and left for Bukhara in search of knowledge and higher education.[2]

[edit] His paternal ancestry

Mu'īnuddīn Chishtī, son of Ghiyāsuddīn, son of Najmuddīn Zāhir, son of ‘Abd al-‘Azīz, son of Ibrāhīm, son of Idrīs, son of Mūsā al-Kāzim, son of Ja’far al-Ṣādiq, son of Imām Muḥammad al-Bāqir, son of Imām Zayn al-‘Ābidīn, son of Imām Ḥusayn, son of ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib.

[edit] His maternal ancestry

Umm al-Wara' al-Ma’rūf, daughter of Māh-e Nūr, daughter of Dawūd, son of ‘Abdullāh Hanbalī, son of Zāhid, son of Murās, son of Dawūd, son of Mūsā, son of ‘Abdullāh, son of Ḥasan Masnā, son of Imām Ḥasan, son of ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib.

[edit] Journeys

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Mu'īnuddīn Chishtī visited the seminaries of Samarkand and Bukhara and acquired religious learning at the feet of eminent scholars of his age. He visited nearly all the great centers of Muslim culture, and acquainted himself with almost every important trend in Muslim religious life in the Middle Ages. He became a disciple of the Chishtī saint 'Uthmān Hārūnī. They travelled the Middle East extensively together, including visits to Mecca and Medina.

[edit] Journey to India

Mu'īnuddīn Chishtī turned towards India, reputedly after a dream in which Prophet Muhammad blessed him to do so, and after a brief stay at Lahore he reached Ajmer where he settled down. There he attracted a substantial following, acquiring a great deal of respect amongst the residents of the city.

[edit] Founding of the Chishtī Order in India

He apparently never wrote down his teachings in the form of a book, nor did his immediate disciples, but he laid the foundations of the Chishtī order in the city of Ajmer in North India. His firm faith in Waḥdat al-Wujūd (Unity of Being) provided the necessary ideological support to his holy mission to bring about emotional integration of the people amongst whom he lived.

The central principles that became characteristics of the Chishtī order in India are based on his teachings and practices. They lay stress on renunciation of material goods; strict regime of self-discipline and personal prayer; participation in Samā' as a legitimate means to spiritual transformation; reliance on either cultivation or unsolicited offerings as means of basic subsistence; independence from rulers and the state, including rejection of monetary and land grants; generosity to others, particularly, through sharing of food and wealth, and tolerance and respect for religious differences.

He, in other words, interpreted religion in terms of human service and exhorted his disciples “to develop river-like generosity, sun-like affection and earth-like hospitality.” The highest form of devotion, according to him, was “to redress the misery of those in distress – to fulfill the needs of the helpless and to feed the hungry.”

It was during the reign of Emperor Akbar (1556-1605) that Ajmer emerged as one of the most important centers of pilgrimage in India. The Mughal Emperor undertook an unceremonial journey on foot to accomplish his wish to reach Ajmer. The Akbarnāmah records that the Emperor’s interest first sparked when he heard some minstrels singing songs about the virtues of the Walī (Friend of God) who lay asleep in Ajmer.

Mu'īnuddīn Chishtī authored several books including Anīs al-Arwāḥ and Dalīl al-'Ārifīn, both of which deal with the Islamic code of living.

Quṭbuddīn Baktiyār Kākī (d. 1235) and Ḥamīduddīn Nagorī (d. 1276) were Mu'īnuddīn Chishtī’s celebrated Khalīfas or successors who continued to transmit the teachings of their master through their disciples, leading to the widespread proliferation of the Chishtī Order in India.

Among Quṭbuddīn Baktiyār’s prominent disciples was Farīduddīn Ganj-i-Shakar (d. 1265), whose dargāh is at Pakpattan, (Pakistan). Farīduddīn’s most famous disciple was Nizāmuddīn Auliyā' (d. 1325) popularly referred to as Mahbūb-e-Ilāhī (God’s beloved), whose dargāh is located in South Delhi.

From Delhi, disciples branched out to establish dargāhs in several regions of South Asia, from Sindh in the west to Bengal in the east, and the Deccan in the south. But from all the network of Chishtī dargāhs the Ajmer dargāh took on the special distinction of being the ‘mother’ dargah of them all.

A recent Bollywood movie "Jodhaa Akbar", directed by Ashutosh Gowariker, includes a qawwālī in praise of Mu'īnuddin Chishtī ("Khwāja Mērē Khwāja"). It depicts the Emperor Akbar being moved by the song to join the whirling-dervish-like dance that accompanies the song. The song is composed by A.R. Rahman.

[edit] Sufis of the Chishtī Order

He had more than one thousand khalīfas and hundreds of thousands of disciples. Sufis of different orders became his disciples and took ijāzah from him. Among the famous Sufis who trace their lineage to him are: Quṭbuddīn Bakhtiyār Kākī,Farīduddīn Mas'ūd, Nizāmuddīn Auliyā', Amir Khusrau, Muhammad Hussain-i Gisūdarāz Bandanawāz, Ashraf Jahāngīr Simnānī, Aṭā' Hussain Fānī and Shāh Jamāl Bābā Bahaya Aurangabadī.

Today, hundreds of thousands of people – Muslims, Hindus, Christians and others, from the Indian sub-continent, and from other parts of the world – assemble at his tomb on the occasion of his 'urs (death anniversary).

[edit] Spiritual lineage

1. Prophet Muhammad
2. 'Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib
3. Al-Ḥasan al-Baṣrī
4. 'Abdul Wāḥid Bin Zaid Abul Faḍl
5. Fuḍayll ibn 'Iyāḍ Bin Mas'ūd Bin Bishr al-Tamīmī
6. Ibrāhīm bin Adham
7. Ḥudhayfah al-Mar'ashī
8. Amīnuddīn Abū Ḥubayrah al-Baṣrī
9. Mumshād Dīnwarī

Start of the Chishtī Order:

1. Abū Isḥāq al-Shāmī
2. Abū Aḥmad Abdāl
3. Abū Muḥammad bin Abī Aḥmad
4. Abū Yūsuf bin Sam'ān al-Ḥusaynī
5. Maudūd Chishtī
6. Sharīf Zandānī
7. 'Uthmān Hārūnī
8. Mu'īnuddīn Chishtī


Neda Agha-Soltan (Persian: ندا آقا سلطان - Nedā Āġā-Soltān; b 1982 - d June 20, 2009)[2][3] was an Iranian woman whose killing, during the 2009 Iranian election protests, was captured on video by bystanders.[4] The graphic videos were posted on the Internet, and her name quickly became a rallying cry for the opposition.[4] Neda means "voice" or "calling" in Persian, and she has been referred to as the "voice of Iran" and "a symbol of pro-democracy protesters battering the Islamic regime" in the world.[5][6][7][2] Her last name has also been spelled as Soltani in some media reports.[8]

Circumstances of death

On June 20, 2009, Neda, a philosophy student[9], was sitting in her car in traffic on Kargar Avenue in the city of Tehran[4], near the Amir-Abad area, accompanied by her music teacher. Having gotten out of the car because of the excessive heat, she was allegedly targeted and shot in the chest by plainclothes Basij paramilitaries who were attempting to subdue a protest march.[10] Undated amateur videos depicting Neda collapsing to the ground, being tended to, and apparently dying, were uploaded to Facebook and YouTube[4], and spread across the internet virally.

The videos were accompanied by a message from a doctor, allegedly a frontline physician during the Iran-Iraq war, who claimed to have been present during the incident:

At 19:05 June 20th Place: Kargar Ave., at the corner crossing Khosravi St. and Salehi st. A young woman who was standing aside with her father [SIC, later identified as her music teacher] watching the protests was shot by a basij member hiding on the rooftop of a civilian house. He had clear shot at the girl and could not miss her. However, he aimed straight her heart. I am a doctor, so I rushed to try to save her. But the impact of the gunshot was so fierce that the bullet had blasted inside the victim’s chest, and she died in less than 2 minutes. The protests were going on about 1 kilometers away in the main street and some of the protesting crowd were running from tear gass used among them, towards Salehi St. The film is shot by my friend who was standing beside me. Please let the world know."[11]

Neda was taken to a morgue outside Tehran, where her family agreed to the removal of her organs for transplanting to medical patients. Her body was buried at the Behesht-e-Zahra cemetery in southern Tehran. Iranian authorities had allegedly set aside empty graves for those killed during the protests.[12]

Discussions about Neda on Twitter, using a hashtag of #neda became one of the "'trending topics'" by the end of the day on June 20, 2009.[4] The authenticity of the videos, the location of the incident, and the identity of the alleged killer have not yet been independently confirmed by the mainstream media. Neda's death was not reported by the state-controlled Iranian media, but was reported by international media. CNN has shown the video multiple times, both with and without censoring of the blood as it poured out of her mouth and nose.

Sources have variously identified Neda as a 16-year old and a 26 or 27-year old.[13] She is almost uniformly identified as a university student.[13] The authenticity of a portrait of her that has been used for many news stories is unknown. The Guardian has stated that Neda worked part-time at a travel agency.[14]

There are two videos depicting Neda's death; one shows Neda collapsing to the ground, apparently still conscious. The second shows Neda only after she appears to lose consciousness and begins to bleed heavily.

The first video appears to have been recorded using a mobile phone.[15] The cameraman approaches a group of people huddled together in front of a parked car at the side of the street. As he moves closer, Neda can be seen collapsing to the pavement with a large bloodstain at her feet. Two men, one initially assumed to be her father, but later confirmed to be her music teacher, are seen trying to revive her; as seconds pass, her eyes roll to one side and she appears to lose consciousness. Blood begins to pour from her nose and mouth, and screams are heard.

At this point in time, the second video begins.[16] The cameraman approaches Neda and the two men; the camera passes over them and centers on Neda's face; her stare is blank and she is bleeding profusely from her nose and mouth. Loud screaming can be heard.

The man next to Neda can apparently be heard speaking in the first video, saying her name;

"Neda, don't be afraid. Neda, don't be afraid. [obscured by others yelling] Neda, stay with me. Neda stay with me!"

A third video appeared which purportedly shows Neda at the protest march, before her death.[17]

On 22 June, 2009, Iranian presidential candidates Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Moussavi, who are contesting the validity of the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, called upon Iranian citizens to commemorate Agha-Soltan.[18] Karroubi announced his appeal on Facebook, asking demonstrators to gather in the center of of the Iranian capital at 4:00 pm local time.[18]

Twitter entries announced that Neda Soltani was buried at the Behesht-e Zahra cemetery, denied a funeral by government authorities.[18] The refusal of the government to allow a funeral was also alleged by a family acquaintance.[19] The Iranian government has issued a ban on collective prayers in mosques for Agha-Soltan in the aftermath of the incident.[20]

Time magazine and other news sources[21] have speculated that due to the widespread attention given to Neda's story by social media networks and mainstream news organizations, she is already being hailed as a martyr. There is also speculation that the Shi'ite cycle of mourning on the third, seventh and 40th day after a person's death may give the protests sustained momentum, in similar fashion to the Iranian Revolution, where each commemoration of a demonstrator's death sparked renewed protests, resulting in more deaths, feeding a cycle that eventually resulted in the overthrowing of Iran's monarchy.[22]

my poem for Neda
Searching for Peace in Paradise

the spirit of freedom lives
choked battered trampled
will never die
death is better than slavery
hear my beloved country cry
My people - to you
I say goodbye
I Neda in the heart of Iran
now as a heartbeat lie
natarsim natarsim, ma hame ba ham hastim
from a bleeding shroud a reply
the voice the will of the people of Iran
no evil regime can ever deny
molten tears as they fall from
human eyes ..
seeking for Peace in Paradise

Indian Favorite Pastime - Crossing Railway Tracks

they came they saw
crossed the tracks they died
rules and regulations of safety
gone with the receding tide
blood on the tracks
that dried ..
death thy sting
thy haughty pride
you make no exceptions
nothing more to hide
taking the passenger free
for the last untimely ride

Stations of the Cross

crossing the railway tracks
a favorite India pastime boss
as a metaphor of death
stations of the cross
a kiss of the engine
forever gone for a toss
crushed bodies more loss
now no more once who was
on the tracks human sauce
a signature collection
some pause

Dogs and Indian Photographers Not Allowed at Ajmer Sharif

I start a new set at Flickr a very lengthy series Ajmer Urus 2009 , 3 cards of 4 GB each.. shot in two days , I had a 16 GB card too, but I did not use it, the reason being photography is totally banned within the precincts of the Dargah..

Permission is given on the whims of the Dargah authorities..the criteria of color is important ..racism exists in Holy Places too..

I applied for permission, presented my Press Card , my Pan Card two photographs, but as you see I dont look like a photographer so it was turned down as the Dargah authorities give permission to a white man first, the Indian photographer is deemed a terrorist according to the mind set of the people in charge..dogs and Indian photographers are not allowed at the Ajmer Sharif Urus..

My Belgian photographer friend was lucky enough to get the permission.

I have continuously stayed at the house of Peersaab Fakhru Miya Hujra no 6 my host, benefactor and patron every trip that I made to Ajmer Urus from 2005 to 2009, ..and I have shot Ajmer with the sincerity of my soul and Ajmer is my pictorial gospel, of the Message of Peace as expounded in love and brotherhood by the Holy Saint Khwajah Gharib Nawaz Moinuddin Chishty Al Sabri.

I call this Tablike Khwajah Gharib Nawaz..his message of humanity, this is the only Shrine that has millions of pilgrims from all over the bar on caste color or community ..Hindus throng to seek the Holy Saints blessings you ask for a single wish he extends it to your unborn child too, such is the bounty of the Khwajah Gharib Nawaz.

I am not an adherent of Sufism,but I am touched by the Holy Saint who beckons me year after year, I am going through very bad times in my business this trip was not happening, but he pulled me across ..I shot for two days that made a moment seem like a life time.

I hold no grudge towards the Dargah authorities , but I would like to display my inner hurt publicly so one can read in black and white, as in some cases Indian photographers are allowed at the Dargah with cameras and arc lights only if Katrina Kaif comes in as she generates the hoopla for commercialism in spirituality.

This is Truth as I see it..and it should hurt those whom the cap fits..

81669 pictures at display on my Flickr photostream, of all religions I have shot , is my testimony as a blogger showing you a world within the narrow corridors of another world.

This year I shot the Hijras . I shot the Malangs at the graveyards of Char Yar, I shot the Bawas of Char Yar.,.I shot the gemstone markets, the beggars, Dhai Din Ka Jhopda, and on the last day shot a Mehfil on the eve of Chatti on the terrace of the house of my host Peersaab Fakhru Miya Hujra No 6 one of the specil spontaneous events was the Whirring Dervesh of Ajmer a sight you normally dont see in public but at privately..

I had traveled barefeet and remained barefeet till I reached Mumbai this morning at 7 feet bled , I could barely walk, but I knew I would overcome the frailty of my flesh.I removed shards off glass in the evening from my tortured feet, and I did not carry my diabetic medicine or my insulin syringe at Ajmer , I felt if I come to a Spiritual Healer like Khwajah Gharib Nawaz why must I carry medicines , his love and affection protected me at all times.

I have a vardan of Hijras they cross my path at all times ..I must mention this significant detail..

I was boarding the train for Ajmer I was accosted by Hijras of Gharib Nagar Bandra ..and when I got off at Bandra Terminus I met hijras from Bombasy Central, who touched my feet and asked me to bless them..

it is not religion
But a racist system that
I curse .
wounds on my soul
an inner angst I nurse
humility the only currency
to reimburse
spirituality sometimes
is bartered for a purse