Friday, August 7, 2009

Shia Shabbarat Gateway 2009

The Nazar on the Bajra

The Nazar on the Bajra

All this is on the Bajra or the boat, as soon as it berths the crowds from the pier start entering the boat, to taste the Nazar, which consists of halwa puri, sweets of all varieties ..and it gets packed completely , they move out another lot come in and more than thousands of people only male partake in this event on the boat,above near the pier is a section for the ladies to taste the nazar too, and it is an irony I stayed close to the Gateway of India , but never came here , when we were kids, even my mother a diabetic came and saw this once just a few days before she died on 21 Shaban.

My wife makes it a point to come here from Bandra ..we hardly have to visit our ancestral home near Strand Cinema.

We come here and get back to Bandra as fast as we can.

This is a very momentous event for the Shias of Mumbai, eagerly awaited by Shia poets ..who have to yell out their poetry in praise of the Imams to really be heard.

But there are a lot of Shias in Mumbai who do not even know about this event , main stream media hardly covers events like this..all this is left for the blogger to shoot and share on the internet.

Shia Shabbarat 2009 Wiladate Imame Zamana

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I start a new series at my Flickr photo stream, Shia Shabbarat 2009 and Wiladate Imam Zamana.

Last night the Shia spent head bowed in prayers at the mosque and than visit to the graveyards , to commemorate and remember the dead , almost akin to All Souls Day.

My wife and my younger daughter in law made halwa puri, than said fatiah to the Imams and later our mothers family , my fathers family including her parents family.
I did not go to town as I normally did as it is far too strenuous in my diabetic state , so I skipped the cemetery visit and the Moghul Masjid celebrations too.

But in the morning at 5 am,wife and I went to the Gateway of India where the birthday of our Twelfth Imam , known as Imame Zamana is celebrated.

A boat called the Bajra comes from Bhaucha Dhakka all decorated and berths at the pier where halwa and puri , sweets , kheer is served , to the male members only.

There are hordes of Shia women who come here to drop the Arizah, a request letter to the Imam , wrapped in flour and thrown to the fish.

This time the berthing of the Bajra was not at its usual place but , from where we catch the evening ferry , the entire area in and around the main Gateway building was cordoned off, there was a huge police presence because of the recent bomb blast.

I was stopped because of my saffron clothes by the cop, but I showed my Pres Card and one of the organizers recognized me just in time..

I found this time , the celebrations were more manageable as a podium was made for the poets , who recite poems appeasing and invoking the love of Ahle Bayt..

From there we walked past Dhanraj Mahal, I showed my wife the place where I began my career with Burlingtons at their ladies boutique , called Treasures of India , and the Alliance Francaise where I learnt French under Alain Ficat my French teacher.And the Bombay Yacht Club where the ex consul of Ireland late Mr Leybourne Callaghan lived...he was my batch mate at the Alliance , celebrity Rugby player fondly known as Callaghan of India.,
I had attended his funeral too, and a memorial service held for him by Cyrus Gazdar.

I showed her Suleiman Chambers where my teacher Mrs Alex stayed , my school - Holy Name High School being in the vicinity.

We had a cup of chai at a Chilya restaurant and than took a cab back home.

It Rains Fatwas Everyday.......

a silence her soul wont betray
muslim society is to blame in every way
deprived of her education
married away to a good for nothing
unemployed lazy
who wont work his way
playing cards drinks drugs
she did say
it is raining fatwas everyday
from door to door she begs
next morning begins
another day
anti islam is not just about terrorism
it is how we treat our women this way
a hidden face a hidden sorrow
reflected in her child's eyes
is her pain today
hung on her waist
a broken toy
no toys to play
heads bowed
within the four walls
of gods house
those who pray
mother and son
searching for hope
in the coins you pay

When I first joined Flickr , I got a lot of stick from rich Mujhaidas of the opulent Arab world for showing the other side of disfranchised Muslim society, but now 2 years down the line ,85800 pictures and the pain still lingers , my camera eyes shows me pain that others dont want to see , they take is a normal occurrence , and yet the mullahs assistant runs around with his donation book, to build a new mosque.

On Bakra Idd one sees a ghastly side of the Muslim rich man , buying Dumba costing over a lakh in Indian money, goats bought for thousands of rupees , but no they wont buy a goat for a nominal sum , and give the the rest of the money to a widows home or an orphanage, say this to someone he hits back,,oh sometimes the ladies in the burkha are not Muslims but from another community..

At Friday Namaz you see spirituality working two ways , and I wont go into detail.. the poor will always remain poor and the rich will become super rich it has been ordained before this world of pain was born..

We as Muslims have done nothing to rehabilitate the poor down trodden woman, and that is why they wont photograph the pain of the poor Muslim woman , I do..

My religion is my faith lies in the powerhouse of a perhaps it might sound like Shiaspeak, but yes Mother is the source of the foundation of my faith..under the feet of a Mother lies the destiny of Man.

I am what my Mother made father may have watered this plant and its growth but it was my Mother who gave me the touch of life in the sacred hallowed domain of her womb.

I dont just shoot the poor Muslim woman merely as a beggar but as a Mother too.

Her pain must be seen and felt by all, not as a subject of my photography but as a subject of mans neglect of the woman is accursed Man who brings woman down to earth for his vicious needs and wants..evil is not outside but within Man..

dedicated to all mothers mother and your mother too..

Two Sides of Pain

dichotomy of mans nature
the heart and the brain
a single coin
two sides of pain
a dry spell and rain
humanity and hussain
karmic calisthenics
the soul entertain
yogic kundalini
uncoiling the serpent
for spiritual gain
facebook flickr twitter
my insanity maintain
web pages contrived
calamity contain
the angst and anxiety
of a poets domain

The Picture Storyteller of Bandra

Storytelling is the conveying of events in words, images, and sounds often by improvisation or embellishment. Stories or narratives have been shared in every culture and in every land as a means of entertainment, education, preservation of culture and in order to instill moral values. Crucial elements of stories and storytelling include plot and characters, as well as the narrative point of view.

The earliest forms of storytelling are thought to have been primarily oral combined with gestures and expressions. Rudimentary drawings scratched onto the walls of caves may be forms of early storytelling for many of the ancient cultures. The Australian Aborginal people painted symbols from the stories on cave walls as a means of helping the storyteller remember the story. The story was then told using a combination of oral narrative, music, rock art and dance. Ephemeral media such as sand, leaves, and the carved trunks of living trees have also been used to record stories in pictures or with writing.

The evolution of technology has changed the tools available to storytellers. With the advent of writing, the use of actual digit symbols to represent language, and the use of stable, portable media stories were recorded, transcribed and shared over wide regions of the world. Stories have been carved, scratched, painted, printed, or inked onto wood or bamboo, ivory and other bones, pottery, clay tablets, stone, palm-leaf books, skins (parchment), bark cloth, paper, silk, canvas and other textiles, recorded on film and stored electronically in digital form. Complex forms of tattooing may also represent stories, with information about genealogy, affiliation and social status.

Traditionally, oral stories were committed to memory and then passed from generation to generation. However, in the most recent past, written and televised media has largely surpassed this method communicating local, family and cultural histories.

* 1 Oral traditions
* 2 Storytelling as art form
o 2.1 Storytelling aesthetics
o 2.2 Storytelling activities
* 3 Emancipation of the story
* 4 See also
* 5 References
* 6 Further reading
* 7 External links

[edit] Oral traditions

Albert Bates Lord examined oral narratives (see also oral storytelling) from field transcripts of Yugoslav oral bards collected by Milman Parry in the 1930s, and the texts of epics such as The Odyssey and Beowulf.[1] Lord found that a large part of the stories consisted of text improvised during the telling process.

Lord identified two types of story vocabulary. The first he called 'formulas': "rosy-fingered dawn," "the wine-dark sea," certain set phrases had long been known of in Homer and other oral epics. But no one realized before Lord how common these formulas were. He discovered that across many story traditions that fully 90% of an oral epic is assembled from lines repeated verbatim or with one-for-one word substitutions. Oral stories are built out of phrases stockpiled from a lifetime of hearing and telling stories.

The other type of story vocabulary is theme. A theme is a set sequence of story actions that structure the tale. Just as the teller of tales proceeds line-by-line using formulas, so he proceeds from event-to-event using themes. One almost universal theme is repetition, as evidenced in Western folklore with the 'rule of three': three brothers set out, three attempts are made, three riddles are asked. A theme can be as simple as a specific set sequence describing the arming of a hero, starting with shirt and trousers and ending with headdress and weapons. A theme can be large enough to be a plot component. For example: a hero proposes a journey to a dangerous place / he disguises himself / his disguise fools everybody / except for a common person of little account (a crone, a tavern maid or a woodcutter) / who immediately recognizes him / the commoner becomes the hero's ally, showing unexpected resources of skill or initiative. A theme does not belong to a specific story, but may be found with minor variation in many different stories. Themes may be no more than handy prefabricated parts for constructing a tale. Or they may represent universal truths - ritual-based, religious truths as James Frazer saw in The Golden Bough, or archetypal, psychological truths as Joseph Campbell describes in The Hero With a Thousand Faces.

The story was described by Reynolds Price, when he wrote:

A need to tell and hear stories is essential to the species Homo sapiens--second in necessity apparently after nourishment and before love and shelter. Millions survive without love or home, almost none in silence; the opposite of silence leads quickly to narrative, and the sound of story is the dominant sound of our lives, from the small accounts of our day's events to the vast incommunicable constructs of psychopaths."[2]

Folklorists sometimes divide oral tales into two main groups: "Märchen" and "Sagen". These are German terms for which there are no exact English equivalents; the first one is both singular and plural.

"Märchen," loosely translated as "fairy tale(s)" (though fairies are rare in them) take place in a kind of separate "once-upon-a-time" world of nowhere-in-particular. They are clearly not intended to be understood as true. The stories are full of clearly defined incidents, and peopled by rather flat characters with little or no interior life. When the supernatural occurs, it is presented matter-of-factly, without surprise. Indeed, there is very little affect, generally; bloodcurdling events may take place, but with little call for emotional response from the listener.

"Sagen," best translated as "legends," are supposed to have actually happened, very often at a particular time and place, and they draw much of their power from this fact. When the supernatural intrudes (as it often does), it does so in an emotionally fraught manner. Ghost and lover's leap stories belong in this category, as do many UFO-stories, and stories of supernatural beings and events. .

Another extremely important examination of orality in human life is Walter J. Ong's Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word (1982). Ong studies the distinguishing characteristics of oral traditions, and how oral and written cultures interact and condition one another, and ultimately influence human epistemology.

[edit] Storytelling as art form

[edit] Storytelling aesthetics

The art of narrative is by definition a highly aesthetic enterprise, and there are a number of aesthetic elements that typically interact in well-developed stories. Such elements include the essential idea of narrative structure, with identifiable beginnings, middles and ends or exposition-development-climax-resolution-denouement, normally constructed into coherent plot lines; a strong focus on temporality that includes retention of the past, attention to present action, and protention/future anticipation; a substantial focus on characters and characterization which is “arguably the most important single component of the novel” (David Lodge The Art of Fiction 67); a given hetergloss of different voices dialogically at play—“the sound of the human voice, or many voices, speaking in a variety of accents, rhythms and registers” (Lodge The Art of Fiction 97); possesses a narrator or narrator-like voice, which by definition “addresses” and “interacts with” reading audiences (see Reader Response theory); communicates with a Wayne Booth-esque rhetorical thrust, a dialectic process of interpretation, which is at times beneath the surface, conditioning a plotted narrative, and other at other times much more visible, “arguing” for and against various positions; relies substantially on now-standard aesthetic figuration, particularly including the use of metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche and irony (see Hayden White, Metahistory for expansion of this idea); is often enmeshed in intertextuality, with copious connections, references, allusions, similarities, parallels, etc. to other literatures; and commonly demonstrates an effort toward bildingsroman, a description of identity development with an effort to evince becoming in character and community.

[edit] Storytelling activities

Storytelling Festivals feature the work of several storytellers. Elements of the oral storytelling art form include visualization (the seeing of images in the mind's eye), and vocal and bodily gestures. In many ways, the art of storytelling draws upon other art forms such as acting, oral interpretation, and performance studies.

Several storytelling organizations started in the US during the 1970s. National Association for the Perpetuation and Preservation of Storytelling (NAPPS), now the National Storytelling Network was one of them. This professional organization helped to organize resources for tellers and festival planners. Australia followed their American counterparts with the establishment of storytelling guilds in the late 1970s. Australian storytelling today has individuals and groups across the country.

As of 2007, there are dozens of storytelling festivals and hundreds of professional storytellers around the world, and an international celebration of the art on World storytelling day. The internet storytelling forum, STORYTELL,sponsored by the School of Library and Information Studies at Texas Woman's University in Denton, has over 500 subscribers worldwide.

[edit] Emancipation of the story

In oral traditions, stories are kept alive by being re-told again and again. The material of any given story during this process naturally undergoes several changes and adaptations. When and where oral tradition was pushed back in favour of print media, the literary idea of the author as originator of a story's authoritative version changed people's perception of stories themselves. In the following centuries, stories tended to be seen as the work of individuals rather than a collective. Only recently, when a significant number of influential authors began questioning their own role, the value of stories as such - independent of authorship - was again recognized. Literary critics such as Roland Barthes even proclaimed the Death of the Author.

Pedestrian Poetry of Despair

He is dead drunk ..makes no difference in a few minutes a dog will come raise his leg pee on him and move away ...this is life on a slow track elitist call it street photography , others call it street art

from the shadows of despair
a mangy leprous dog will creep
lifting up his scrawny leg
will pee on his dreamy sleep
at home his wife and children weep
a path of life too steep
today was salary day
at the bootleggers joint
all his money
lost in a sweep
man from the womb
to the tomb
into dog shit
neck deep
hardly looks
before he leaps
his soul into
the gutter seeps

to glenn and angel

A Blind Man Emotes

his inner thoughts
his feelings
his shortcomings
my camera takes notes
in the wilderness of the living
'a blind man emotes
longings fulfillment
a saturated spirituality
silently floats
does he know
what I look like
on his blindness a moat
his world of darkness
like parched throats
memories wandering
aimlessly as paper boats
from the beauty of his soul
ghalib he quotes

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