Friday, January 1, 2010

Ghame Hussain

I had cut my head first at the Bargah in the afternoon, but there was no one to shoot me, and besides I was bleeding heavily I was rushed immediately for clean up and bandaging..

This was shot by Ejaz photographer when sadness prevailed , all the mourners had left , we were in the privacy of Baqar Saabs room at the Bargah..

The end of Ashura proceedings leaves a vacuum , an emptiness and a pain, I was on my legs since morning , no water no victuals, and I would have left much earlier to shoot the Bibi Ka Alam, but there was a problem, in the morning I had given my Nikon battery charger with a battery for charging to a guy ,I knew by face but had forgotten to ask his name , and neither could I find him nor my charger , so I waited till the end when the Alamdars came back, I found the charger it was with a person I did not know nor did he know me..such was my luck..thanks to Imran I got it back safely from the person concerned.

Later I cut my head again more severely in the evening behind the Bibi Ka Alam procession on the streets of Hyderabad..

Lying on the Floor For the Alambardar to Step on Them

Hyderabadi Zanjir Matam

Alam Ke Saye Main..

Walking Over the Sleepers of Faith

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This is a Hyderabadi thing , the mourners lie in the path of the Alam and of course the Alambardar wont step on them but they sleep as a ritual to be under the protection of Alam Abbas .. this I was told keeps them free from evil, bad health..its signifies holistic healing..but they would prefer the Almbadar to walk over them for 100 %cure..

The Hyderabadi Shia Kid

Walking the Steps of Man

I hate posting pictures at Facebook as the Facebook dudes ae million light years from a good uploading tool ,imagine 3.7 billion members and they dont have a copy and paste picture option.. and you cant even edit your feed..

Happy New Year Mr Mark Zuckerburg..

Welcome 2010..

The barefeet Blogger of Mumbai..

Blood Oath of Faith

Remembering His Childhood at Bargah Hazarat Abbas

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He was taken by surprise when I walked towards him to shoot this picture..and into his eyes I traveled , his youth , his childhood, his head cut the first time as a toddler in his fathers hand..yes he is heritage of the ancestry of our pain and I salute him..

Most of the people come to this century old Shia spiritual space that has nurtured them ,they would not miss Ashura here come what may..Ashura in Hyderabad is a an awesome moment of nostalgic pain.

Yesterday I spoke to Nawab Ghazanfer Ali Khan of Hussaini Kothi as I had left Hyderabad without meeting him, he was saddened as I had to abort my 8 Moharam shoot at his kothi, my camera battery and charger both had konked off..

I told him I would try to come to Hyderabad to shoot Chehlum and he requested me the hospitality of his kothi.. this is Hyderabadi love and hospitality for a lover of Imam Hussain.

The blue blooded Nawabs of Hussaini Kothi are the finest human beings seeped in Adab and Tehzeeb ..I thank each and everyone of them for their love of humanity.

Neighbors Envy Fathers Pride

Ya Hussain Ya Hussain

My Tribute to the Soul of the Hyderabadi Shia

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To those of you who have read my blogs here at Flickr Facebook , Twitter , Word Press Blogspot I hope this new year brings peace and solace in all your lives.

This is my first post of 2010 and I dedicate it to the soul of the Hyderabadi Shia.. a very rare exotic spiritual entity..Here at Bargah Hazrat Abul Fazlil Abbas I shot this young father with his kids ..I did not speak to him,but in the language of silence my camera is a better conversationalist than me..

He has done kamazani cutting of his head a ritual of pain along with his kids ..I just ask you does any one of them show you any disturbing signs , or forced fear I am not too good with words..but yes just take the little one see the power of his glance , now I was not there when he went through this , it could be a picture or perhaps four pictures ..I would have to be real fast ...

This is the magic mantra of a single name Ya Hussain.. I am not a religious scholar, I am not a congregational Muslim , I am a loner and I shoot pain as I see it with my eyes closed on the viewfinder of my restless soul.

I will now reiterate what I shoot is not for getting cookie points , I do not shoot Shiasm so that Shias can sit back and see it, not at all, I shoot Shiasm as a human being so every human being can see our side of a story through my eyes..I shoot all religions I shoot the transgender , the streets of commercial pain, the Naga Sadhus the Sufis ,disfranchised , the deprived and I shoot the Shias .

I shoot the Shias so you can see it, and mind you most of the Shia religious places are out of bounds for the Non Muslim..I shoot Shias so you see them not just as Shias but a community with an ancestry a 1400 year pain...Moharam is a banner of revolt against Terrorism.. and nothing else .

I shoot Shias so you can read my pictures as a poetry of pain.

My Shia site Shah Ast Hussain has been shut off for reasons unknown to me and I will only know when my son Asif Shakir returns from Karbala..He is my lifeline as a son and as a administrator of my Word Press sites..Marziya Shakir is his daughter..

Flickr is the archive of all my Shia blogs provided you seek what is relevant to the choice of your mind, I have placed my pictures at Fickr in various sets and collections..

I dont sell pictures , I dont sell my words, they are a gift that I over expose on cyberspace , yes I am opinionated , who is int?

A picture speaks louder than words and this father in all his spiritual eloquence speaks silently to all of you , his faith , his culture and his country..

This is the Hyderabadi Shia Muslim at grass root level..on Ashura day.

My Flickr uploader is working over time I have over 3000 pictures to upload at Flickr..a few of which I cross blog via Twitter and Facebook,,

The Unique Shia Child

108,309 items / 705,125 views

spiritually profiled
cutting his chest
with a blade
self styled
a rite of passage
looking at him
the god above
blood sweat and tears
stock piled

Hardcore Blade Matam at Bargah

Hardcore Blade Matam at Bargah

The Shia Ethos of Pain - Ghame Hussain

108,251 items / 704,952 views

a path
of blood
sweat and tears
we choose
they call it heresy
they call it abuse
we are fodder
for a suicide
bombers fuse
eunuch silence
as excuse
on the lose
hate only
a bombed
shia mosque
an ambushed
shia procession
in the news
muslims love
killing muslims
as refuse
Allah ho Akbar
the skies shed tears
sectarian violence
needs no truce
misplaced martyrdom
wrongly misused

Ghame Hussain in Hyderabad

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Hyderabadi Shias look down upon flagellating blades ,and I saw this at the Shia cemetery Mir Mousavi Deira on 9 Moharam, I was seeing a man tie razor blades with a wire and later when the Alam came and the matam began he was drenched in blood .

I shot over 3500 pictures or more , first I thought I will post them from the time I reached Hyderabad 8 Moharam , but changed my mind , I will post them as sets , 8 Moharam Bargah, 8 Moharam Hussaini Kothi , 8 Moharam Choti Bargah.

9 Moharam a majlis at Iqbal Bhais house and the Shia cemetery.

10 Moharam Ashura at Bargah which I am currently posting at Flickr and the next lot Bibi Ka Alam procession.. on the streets of Old Hyderabad.

A lot of street shots I will add them in a relevant set..

Moharam in Hyderabad , my second attempt was an experience of a life time made possible by good friends contacts and well wishers.

Baqar Saab of Bargah , his family his kids Hyder Raza Imran and cousin Zamin. their uncles and cousins..

Akthar Bhai of Choti Bargah , his family his children nephews etc.
Naqi Bhai who allowed me to stay at his house for the remaining two days..
Sajjad Bhai the cop, Kazim , Abid Bhai painter of Bright Digitals who sat on the elephant this year accompanying the Bii Ka Alam..
Lutfi brothers Abid Bhi and Alamdar Bhai..
Sadik of Darbare Hussaini.

To name just a few including Ali from the Interbest Cybercafe.

Ghazanfer Bhai and his family at Hussaini Kothi and Sharyar Saab of Sharyar palace and many others ..Ejaz and Raza photographers.

Last but not the least Raza Bhai Gen secretary of Congress Party in Hyderabad.

Koie Sagar Gham Ko Behlata Nahin..

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He surprised me with the humility of his love for Imam Hussain , I had my camera eye trained on him, and mind you its not easy shooting the blade matam at Bargah Hyderabad , in the quadrangle below the matam goes on , till the virgin floor is covered with blood ..I moved from one end to another end , this is a war zone but not as terrifying as Rehmatabad Mumbai during Chehlum.. so shooting Moharam in Mumbai honed my technique of survival without any mishap..

I shoot with a 18-70 lens digital on a badly bruised Nikon D 80..if you were to break open this camera you could read the history of my shots , gushing out with blood of Moharam, gulal of Lal Bagh Cha Raja - Lord Ganesha , the sands of Juhu beach while shooting Chhat Puja, the sands of Mahim beach while shooting the piercing of 18 feet rods in the cheek for the Tamil feast of Goddess Maryamma ,I will also pierce my cheeks next year to show my solidarity as a Mumbaikar piercing will be my tribute to Ghame Hussain..

My camera has missed nothing , not even the sands of Dadar beach while shooting the Durga Immersion..

Yes the camera is the greatest instrument of peace it shoots so memories live forever.

My camera has touched the soul of Ajmer Sharif..when I bowed my head to words written on every Moulaiees heart..

Shah ast Hussain, Badshah ast Hussain
Deen ast Hussain, Deen Panah ast Hussain
Sardad na dad dast, dar dast-e-yazeed,
Haqaa key binaey La ila ast Hussain

And my appeal to all once in your life time see the Moharam Ashura or Chehlum in Hyderabad it is a experience you will not find anywhere else in India.

And also see Athvi in Lucknow and dont be surprised among the silence of the Chup Tazia and the funereal notes of Ghabrayegi might see a lady covered weeping as her family leaves India for good , back to Karbala and a little girl turning her back trying to call her Uncle Abbas who sleeps at the Dargah in Lucknow holistically heal those deprived of hope by time and fate..

Yes I shoot all religion as a photographer but I confess I shoot Shiasm as a is my birthright that extends its poetic vision into the viewfinder of my camera.