Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Siddis of Junagadh Born in Captivity

These are lion cubs of African descent- 100 % Indians born in captivity, they come from a warrior race but beg on the streets , performing acts to appease the soul of a god asleep..


We as Indians love Indianizing everything, lionizing our past but when it comes to heritage we publicly shit on it...I dont know about the Siddis I have just started documenting their street life here in Mumbai as much in demand Urus performers.

Their womenfolks are not with them..15 black guys in a brown mans world...dancing , doing acrobats, drumming the dead soul of a system that wont bring them solace , good jobs or god positions..

Sometimes I fail to understand the logic of right wingers they treated the North East populace as tribal people and junglees , the missionary gave them the bible and Jesus Christ as Hope and Salvation..so why did Hinduism not bring them into the fold, people convert because people want to live in Peace ..an Indian converts his nationality you make no issue about it and yet beat the Kandhamal Christian black and blue..

Dual nationalism is total hogwash.. loyalty lies with one nation and not two..

Well this is not my field I shall back track to the life of the Siddi..shooting the Siddis is nothing but reading a poem of human pain and despair.

The Siddis of Junagadh is now a set n Flickr.

There is a Siddi Chowk at Haji Malang..

The Siddis of Junagadh Born in Captivity

These are lion cubs of African descent- 100 % Indians born in captivity, they come from a warrior race but beg on the streets , performing acts to appease the soul of a god asleep..


We as Indians love Indianizing everything, lionizing our past but when it comes to heritage we publicly shit on it...I dont know about the Siddis I have just started documenting their street life here in Mumbai as much in demand Urus performers.

Their womenfolks are not with them..15 black guys in a brown mans world...dancing , doing acrobats, drumming the dead soul of a system that wont bring them solace , good jobs or god positions..

Sometimes I fail to understand the logic of right wingers they treated the North East populace as tribal people and junglees , the missionary gave them the bible and Jesus Christ as Hope and Salvation..so why did Hinduism not bring them into the fold, people convert because people want to live in Peace ..an Indian converts his nationality you make no issue about it and yet beat the Kandhamal Christian black and blue..

Dual nationalism is total hogwash.. loyalty lies with one nation and not two..

Well this is not my field I shall back track to the life of the Siddi..shooting the Siddis is nothing but reading a poem of human pain and despair.

The Siddis of Junagadh is now a set n Flickr.

There is a Siddi Chowk at Haji Malang..

Dargah Makhdoom Shah Baba Mahim

This the path littered with flower shops that brings you to a message of Peace Hope and Harmony called Makhdoom Shah Baba Al Mahimi.

I have been shooting the Rafaees at the Rafaee chowk here , the oldest rafaee chowk mind you..Maqdoom Shah Babs dargah brings people searching for a common goal.. Love.

Yes today we are wealthy but beg for love.. love has left us and gone as we mistreated love when we had it..we treated it as worthless easy to get commodity and today you cant get love even in the black market.

About Makhdoom Shah Baba Al Mahimi

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Makhdoom_Ali_Mahimi

Makhdoom Ali Mahimi (1372–1431) was a Sufi Saint from the Konkan in India, widely acknowledged for his scholarly treatises, liberal views and humanist ideals. Mahimi was born into a family of Arab travellers who had settled down on the island of Mahim, one of the seven islands that later formed the city of Bombay (now Mumbai).

Not much is known of his early childhood. He later became the disciple of Mohiuddin Ibne Arabi, a Spanish Muslim saint. Mahimi's reputation grew after the Sultan of Gujarat, Ahmed Shah of the Muzaffarid dynasty, chose him to be the town's Qazi (the Head Muslim Judge/cleric of a town).

Mahimi was the first Indian scholar to write an exegesis on the Qur'an, which gained critical acclimation from numerous Islamic scholars including Shah Waliullah. Authoring a total of nineteen books, he was given the moniker Qutb-e -Kokan (Kokan's Pole Star). Mahimi is revered by both the Muslims and Hindus, all Muslim sects hold him in high esteem. After his death in 1431, he was buried in Mahim. The site later became a dargah (shrine) for devotees.
[edit] Urs festival

During the annual ten day Urs festival celebrated on the 13th day of Shawwal as per the Muslim calendar, millions of devotees visit his dargah.

The highlight of this is a procession of around eight thousand begins at the Mahim Police Station, believed to be the site of his residence. Two police officers from each of the eighty four city police stations represent the police whose association with the saint dates back to the saint's era. A representative of the Mumbai police who is the first to offer the "chaddar" (shawl) at the tomb on the first day of the festival. Legend has it that it was a police constable who gave water to the dying saint from his cap. Another story points to some miraculous assistance police officers once received from an old man, whom they believed was the saint, in fighting smugglers.

A room adjacent to the office of the senior inspector of police station contains a steel cupboard that houses the saint's preserved belongings such as his chair, a pair of sandals and his hand-written Qur'an which is considered to be a calligraphic work of art. The room is opened once every year to the public. In 1920 the cupboard was purchased by a senior British police inspector, Raymond Esquire as a tribute to the saint he revered.

On 2005-05-21, the government of Maharashtra named the JJ Flyover after the saint as a tribute to the saint. The 2.1 kilometre flyover is the longest viaduct in the country

Shooting Pain on the Streets of Mahim

Photographers in the media need short cuts to tug the newspapers readers fucked mind so you have the usual shit like the Idd hugging pictures dumped on our comatose Rs 2 worth newspaper like consciousness.

Manipulating pictures is the easiest short cut..I saw this from far I shoot on single frame, cant go Khat a Khat like my cousin the news photographer I shoot silence that demands complete pin drop silence..

And please this has nothing to do with conceit ,this is a path towards pictorial humility as taught by my Gurus.. KG Maheshwari, Jatkar Malushte and Girish Mystery..though I did not have to learn about F Stops the hard way from Mr Phanibanda the way Girish did.. Girish was literally mind fucked by Mr Phanibanda ..imagine shooting a brick till you got it right..and Girish would rush to Mitter Bedi Saab to help him out of this Bawa driven torture and chaos..

I made Girishs wedding wardrobe ,he gave me half a day, he called me in the afternoon told me he was getting married and to send the clothes to his residence..he told me the Pandit would not wait for very long..so now you know why I consider Girish my guru too,,, I attended a workshop on Light by Girish ten years back at PSI Mumbai , just one lecture and my life was made..he had baptized me without using a brick..

Girish has been a great friend , a great supporter and perhaps added to my shelf life as a street photographer ..I can recognize a Girish student even with my eyes closed call it sense of smell..

Girishs students pay me respect when I encounter them at Lal Bagh or Govinda or Ganpati or Moharam..

And mind you shooting Moharam is a tough one..need I say more..cutting your head and blood flowing all over your picture frame is a tough one too..

And I am waiting to introduce Dr Glenn Losack to Girish Mistry and I know both will get on like a house on fire..

Glenn should be in Mumbai for Chehlum in Feb..

Shooting Pain on the Streets of Mahim

Photographers in the media need short cuts to tug the newspapers readers fucked mind so you have the usual shit like the Idd hugging pictures dumped on our comatose Rs 2 worth newspaper like consciousness.

Manipulating pictures is the easiest short cut..I saw this from far I shoot on single frame, cant go Khat a Khat like my cousin the news photographer I shoot silence that demands complete pin drop silence..

And please this has nothing to do with conceit ,this is a path towards pictorial humility as taught by my Gurus.. KG Maheshwari, Jatkar Malushte and Girish Mystery..though I did not have to learn about F Stops the hard way from Mr Phanibanda the way Girish did.. Girish was literally mind fucked by Mr Phanibanda ..imagine shooting a brick till you got it right..and Girish would rush to Mitter Bedi Saab to help him out of this Bawa driven torture and chaos..

I made Girishs wedding wardrobe ,he gave me half a day, he called me in the afternoon told me he was getting married and to send the clothes to his residence..he told me the Pandit would not wait for very long..so now you know why I consider Girish my guru too,,, I attended a workshop on Light by Girish ten years back at PSI Mumbai , just one lecture and my life was made..he had baptized me without using a brick..

Girish has been a great friend , a great supporter and perhaps added to my shelf life as a street photographer ..I can recognize a Girish student even with my eyes closed call it sense of smell..

Girishs students pay me respect when I encounter them at Lal Bagh or Govinda or Ganpati or Moharam..

And mind you shooting Moharam is a tough one..need I say more..cutting your head and blood flowing all over your picture frame is a tough one too..

And I am waiting to introduce Dr Glenn Losack to Girish Mistry and I know both will get on like a house on fire..

Glenn should be in Mumbai for Chehlum in Feb..

The Dargah Lane of Commerce Pain and Peace

Good Morning Mumbai

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Welcome to the World of Sufism Spirituality and Peace , this is a world of the common Indian Muslim, now believe me the Indian Muslim is a very simple peace loving man living happily, I was asked why he lives in Ghettos..well it is a government problem if you see it now, earlier it was protection cohesiveness of common ideology and life style, , and living amongst his own..

Though I walked out of situation by telling my friend Vinod Mirani I could not answer for the rest of the community, my parents began their journey at the Kurla Bakhar early 50s in the slums, till my dad bought us eventually to Wodehouse Road Colaba, and we stayed there for many years, sometimes I do wonder why my dad did not take a house at Bhendi Bazar, but than his work place was N Swamy Rao Tailors near Hampton Court..Colaba.

Perhaps it was my father late Mohomed Shakir Lakhnavis luck at play, his adventurous and defiant nature, his choice of a world he liked, my dad opted out of the ghetto circuit..my dad had lived far too long with the English man, his earlier bosses were European outfitters and tailors.

He saw his ups and his downs , we stayed at Breach Candy Neelam building for a short while , but than again it was Colaba that my dad preferred , and luckily thanks to him and my mother Shamim Shakir we still have our so called ancestral house at Strand Cinema..

Now back to the Indian Muslim , the Indian Muslim does not believe in diatribe, or path of destruction as we see across the border, killing people who are connected to God in a Mosque.. this is a Islam that never existed in my fathers time, sorry this is not Islam, I call it a False Jehad of Doom that leads nowhere and the ensuing eunuch silence that wakes up like Rip Van Winkle to sonorously cry out ...Anti Islam..

Anti Islam is not a new thing at all it has existed, and has been collectively tolerated and promoted by vested interests, whether it was the murder of Hazrat Ali in a mosque or the killings and genocide of Imam Hussain at Karbala l.. and this has nothing to be with my being a Shia.

I am called a Hindu too and I am proud of my cultural inheritance..so if you now walk with me through this smoke filled Dargah lane bustling with hope you will know what the Indian Muslim signifies, come see him blind silently begging for your miserly pockets attention, a little ahead his counterpart from Kashmir begging with his grown up daughter and innumerable kids, squatted on the floor the Albino mother breast feeding her albino kid.. her Albino husband avoids my flash but happily takes the 20 bucks I give him..

Than there are the food stalls, khichda , biryani seekh kabab , halwa puri and the Indian Muslim flesh and bones is taken care of..

The cut out studio has vanished .. no more standing next to the Tees Mar Khan ..our own in Bandra Sallu Bhai..he was the most famous cut out.. and he is not just an Indian Muslim but a Hindu Muslim too..

This is the Dickensian lane that leads you across the road to Makhdoom Shah Babas Holy Shrine..I am writing all this as a blogger , the flower shops , the quintessential hotels where you pay the owners to feed the same poor over and over again..and you enter the doors of Peace , offer flowers beg for salvation from sins..

Being a sinner I have never been inside any Holy Shrine sanctum sanctorum save Nizamuddin Aulia..

Outside the doors of the Mahim Shrine in the main courtyard on the side are women shaking their head grunting growling these are the possessed and sharing their fate their family and kids..

Your journey with me ends here I take your leave and move beyond through a narrow gate manned by cops and commandos, yes I am at the Dhuni..a strange hashish smoke world, the rafaees of Chancawalli are the custodians of this Dhuni..

I come here almost every night ..I shoot , I dance I eat with them , people who dont know me spiritual tourists kiss my hands , ask me to pray for them ,and soon I will start carrying a beggars bowl .. a step towards the final humility of a mans soul..

Yes the beggars bowl all have it hidden among their lust and secret desires..

The Rafaees at Mahim last night knew nothing about Idd e Ghadeer ..Ghadeer is celebrated joyously in Ajmer Sharif among the Sufis..too..not just the Shias.

Drinking tea here brewed on the dhuni is a heady one, even the food is simple exquisite..the Rafaee hospitality does not come easily it took me over 7 years or more..

I dont see much Hijras here but I did spot a hijra with a new born child but could not shot her she had entered the Inner sanctum..some pictures you shoot on a blank memory card of your mind ..

I am shooting all this on a 16 GB card..barefeet every night I add a new band aid to my feet.. I am quite depressed at the Dhuni as the Bawas who I shot have all vanished, and as there is another Urus called Ali Maulah Shrine at Dharavi.. most of the Rafaees are there.

I see strange people, strange things and lock them up my camera body..I am now uploading the second day of the Urus at Flickr..and it has taken a very long time..

Possession at Dargahs

This is a picture I shot fast and was reprimanded by the possessed lady's ward,and such sights are very common at most dargahs..I have shot such pictures at Haji Malang at Ajmer Sharif and at Hussain Tekri Jarah..

The possessed person , does not register too sharply on camera as there body is a cauldron of diverse conflicting energies , you can feel the tension and the spiritually emotional chaos.

The people that carry the Sandal go through the same motions and possession takes place ..I shot this last year extensively at Shakil Bawa of Mahims sandal.

But one place you get to see this and much more is at the Urus of Meena Datar near Unjha Gujarat.

I will visit this place one day...

I met a lot of exorcists at Hussain Tekri..however much of this mood is bought under control after loban time...

I shot a lady today totally possessed and strangely I dont see any of my pictures till I post them..

Possession at Dargahs

This is a picture I shot fast and was reprimanded by the possessed lady's ward,and such sights are very common at most dargahs..I have shot such pictures at Haji Malang at Ajmer Sharif and at Hussain Tekri Jarah..

The possessed person , does not register too sharply on camera as there body is a cauldron of diverse conflicting energies , you can feel the tension and the spiritually emotional chaos.

The people that carry the Sandal go through the same motions and possession takes place ..I shot this last year extensively at Shakil Bawa of Mahims sandal.

But one place you get to see this and much more is at the Urus of Meena Datar near Unjha Gujarat.

I will visit this place one day...

I met a lot of exorcists at Hussain Tekri..however much of this mood is bought under control after loban time...

I shot a lady today totally possessed and strangely I dont see any of my pictures till I post them..

Aye Malik Tere Bandhe Hum

102,897 items / 670,562 views


aye maalik tere bande hum ayese ho humaare karam
nekee par chale, aaur badee se tale, taankee hasate huye nikale dam

ye andheraa ghanaa chhaa rahaa, teraa insaan ghabaraa rahaa
ho rahaa bekhabar, kuchh naa aataa najar, sukh kaa sooraj chhoopaa jaa rahaa
hai teree roshanee mein jo dam to amaawas ko kar de poonam

badaa kamajor hain aadamee, abhee laakhon hain is mein kamee
par too jo khadaa, hain dayaaloo badaa, teree kirapaa se dharatee thamee
diyaa toone humei jab janam too hee zelegaa hum sab ke gam

jab julmon kaa ho saamanaa, tab too hee humei thaamanaa
wo buraee kare, hum bhalaaee bhare, naheen badale kee ho kaamanaa
badh uthhe pyaar kaa har kadam aaur mite bair kaa ye bharam

http://www.geetmanjusha.com/hindi/lyrics/english/884.html"

Sharukh Rafaee

102,897 items / 670,562 views

Sharukh Rafaee is the young son of Chalak Ali , both father and son are exponents of the Sufi art of body piercing , body infliction..My relationship with Sharukh goes a long way back when he was perhaps only a few years old, I have been shooting him, but he is not very happy kid, his parents are both cause of his misery, as iit is a personal matter I shall not delve on it, however every time I see Sharukh Rafaee I give him money , and he searches me out somehow or the other.

I met his father too, I am still uploading pictures I shot on the first day of the Urus , and I have visited the dhuni again today...I shot some crazy possession pictures, I shot a woman bawa eating coal from the loban container, and I shot some more woman bawas who have renounced domestic life completely.

I also shot some frames of the Mahim Police Station Qawwali programme , I did not meet the Siddhis today.

After all this I went back to the street close to Fakhruddin Shah Baba and shot some stalls and bawas..

Today at the Dhuni I presented Barsati Baba the new Murshad with a shawl and a long green gown, and some stones for his favorite bawas.

I had meals with them.

I love shooting the young masseur boys who come every Urus from Bareilly , a sitting foldable stand and oils..hunting for clients..I have written a lot about them on my earlier posts at Flickr.

Eid Ul Fitr Namaz Bandra Station 2018

Flickr