Saturday, January 2, 2010

Cutting the Head With Swords

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This is hardcore Kamazani on the streets of Hyderabad on Ashura day behind the Bibi Ka Alam..

Bibi Ka Alam Procession Hyderabad 2009

Bibi Ka Alam Procession Hyderabad 2009

Yes I Know You Are The Barefeet Blogger From Mumbai

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I get along pretty well with elephants , and elephants too remember me, there was this elephant at my old shop near Waterfield Road Bandra that while moving towards Hill Road would nudge the Mahout towards the lane that led to my shop, and I would offer him bananas and some money to the Mahout.

And my grand daughter Marziya Shakir is like me as crazy about elephants..

The Bibi Ka Alam elephant was unique in its serenity disposition and calm , I took several close up of his eyes..I mean it is an honor and quite a responsibility carrying the Standard of Princess Fatima daughter of the Messenger of Allah.

Mohraram Ek Aisa Jazba Hai

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moharam ek aisa jazba hai
jo hamesha sath rehta hai
ya hussain ya hussain
bar bar kehta hai
mazloomiyat ka khoon
gavai dete hue
yeh bat kehta hai
karbala ki khak
par phir se behta hai

Bibi Ka Alam Procession Hyderabad 2009

Bibi Ka Alam Hyderabad 2009

This is my third new set on Moharam in 2009 Hyderabad at my Flickr photo stream.
After I had shot the Ashura proceedings from 8 am to 3.30 pm at the Bargah of Hazarat Abbas Diwan Deodi..a series of 675 blogs, and captured the angst of the Hyderabadi Shia, which included my own kamazani or head cutting too...

I came to Choti Bargah Chatta Bazar Civil Court area which was my base as I began my quest of Ghame Hussain from this low profile shrine of Hazrat Abbas in 2003 this was my second trip to Hyderabad a city of peace , love brotherhood and hospitality..especially during the mourning month of Moharam.

For the Shias , Moharam the Muslim new year is a moment of introspection, a moment of historical importance for the sacrifice of Imam Hussain the beloved grand son of the Holy Prophet who gave his life to save Islam from the clutches of Yazidiyat..

Katle Hussain asal mein marge Yazeed hai
Islam zinda hota hai har karbala ke baad

As this is a photo blog shot through the eyes of a Shia Blogger who shoots pain , and other religiosity too, without bias or bigotry..truth as captured on the viewfinder of the camera of his soul is of prime importance..

Apni Taqdeer Jagate hain Tere Matam se
Khoon ki Rah Bichate hain Tere Matam se
Apne Izhare Aqidat ka Salika yeh hai
Hum Naya Sal Manate hain Tere Matam se

Bibi Ka Alam procession is the biggest Shia event that captures the soul of Hyderabad , without reservations , beyond caste color or creed, Hindu Muslim all communities pay tribute to the Mother of Imam Hassan and Imam Hussain , beloved daughter of the Holy Prophet Princess Fatima wife of Hazrat Ali Ibn Abu Talib the first Shia Imam and the Fourth Caliph .

The Bibi ka Alam according to the Hindu newspapers , starts on Ashura Day, Yom E Ashoora day from the Bibi ka Alawa in Dabeerpura.Everbody the rich the poor offer Dhatti..Behind the Alam are the mourners who cut their heads with curved swords daggers do zanjeer and blade matam, seated on the Alam are the Mutawalli of Bibi Ka Alam Arif Saab , Abid Bhai of Bright Ads my very dear family stayed at his house when we were here for the Chehlum 2003.
The mahout is Khwajah Saab, the Alam has pouches of rare gemstones and is heavily guarded , you cant breach the security ring, and here I must pay tribute to the Andhra security forces who do a fabulously commendable job..

I knew the Senior Inspector of Mangalpura who seeing me at Hussaini Koti allowed me a better position to shoot this , I carry a Press Card too of the Bandra Samachar.

The procession traverses Yakoutpura Darwaza, Etebar Chowk,Alijah Kotla, Charminar,GulzarHouz,Panjeshah,Darul Shifa and Chaerghat...

I did the kmazani here leaping in the air with a dagger and slashing my head 4 times , there was no one to shoot me , later bleeding profusely I did Tandav on the soul of Shimr on the streets of Hyderabad with the Sunni blade cutters of Rae Bareilly.

I shot a lot of pictures but some totally smudged because of the blood that had seeped into my camera lens..I was not aware of it.. so this is my journey into the winding path of my Shia faith..

And do see the Moharam of Hyderabad once in your life time..its a moment that will live with you forever..and this as I say as a Mumbaikar with his his birth roots in the city of Lucknow..

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

Loosely translated

Ruler is Hussain, Emperor is Hussain,
Faith is Hussain , guardian of faith is Hussain .
Offered his head and not the hand to Yazid.
Truly, the mirror of faith is Hussain

Raza Rumi..

Hyderabadi Kids and Kamazani

Shia Girl Does Kamazani

The Hyderabadi Lethal Blade

My Bare Feet

I am a diabetic , and I arrived in Hyderabad barefeet , I shot here for three days , most of the time I was on my feet for long hours , I slept only in the night for two hours and I shot over 3500 pictures.

My legs were cut bruised and the only remedy was a band aid and some ointment that Qayam gave me to apply.. and it was in this condition I shot the bloody gruesome scenes of Bargah and Bibi Ka Alam..

There were times I could not move , and I kept pushing myself..the other aspect of my shoot is that I did not cary my insulin or my medication at all ... my medication was Ghame Hussain and nothing else.

I collapsed at Iqbals house while shooting the Alams being put to rest and soon after this I shot the events at Mir Mousavi cemetery Deira..

The Shias of Hyderabad

Rajesh Maharashtrian Devotee of Hazrat Abbas Alambardar

Rajesh Maharashtrian Devotee of Hazrat Abbas Alambardar

The Shias at Choti Bargah

Shia Mother and Child

The Shias

The Shias, originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1.

The Hindu Tribals Who Converted To Shiasm

These are people of a community that were into thievery and sorcery , but converted with others to Shiasm.

Their majlis on 5 Rabilwal is huge one..both father and son have cut their heads .

Hyderabadi Kids and Kamazani

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This ends my Ashura Bargah series at Flickr..I moved to the Choti Bargah and Sajjad Bhai dropped me in a very congested land from where I shot the Bibi Ka Alam..

Every kid in Hyderabad has a bandage on his head , as most of them take part in the kamazani ritual of head cutting..

No Escape ...

108,627 items / 706,416 views

muslim beggar woman
the usual land scape
be it lucknow mumbai
from her impoverished
destiny - no escape
standing begging for alms
in a funereal drape
hidden beneath her hijab
her pain her sorrow
her life in bad shape
from the cauldron of
her karmic calamity
a few crumbs scrape
her dreams
like a bunch
of sour grapes
slits for eyes
at a stony wall
of silence

Ya Hussain Ya Hussain

108,627 items / 706,416 views

I shoot Muslim kids but before I can shoot them they shoot me too..they dont need glitzy cameras their eyes do the job more cleanly and meticulously than me..

On his head is a band that reads like a not to be missed neon sign of Faith- Ya Hussain.

And as I write this I await the return of my grand daughter Marziya Shakir from her mothers home town Lucknow..

I went and bought her a doll, a Monginis cake just to capture the smile of her innocence.. and I am eagerly awaiting to see her beat her chest at the house Imambada while the woman of the house do Matam..

Shia kids are tutored in their mothers womb the tough journey ahead safe guarding the legacy of Ghame Hussain....
And overnight with the slash of a knife or a blade a Shia child inherits his kingdom of pain..

First Time in 13 Year I Miss the Urus at Ajmer Sharif

I first visited Ajmer Urus in 2005 along with Ajmer Urus I shot Taragadh and Pushkar ... This year I could not make it for Chadiya...