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Showing posts from January 11, 2010

The Shias of Bandra West

The Shias of Bandra West, originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1. in the heart
in the soul
of hussain
they nest
the shias
of bandra
west

shiasm
a bond
in which
we invest
1400
year old
community
that stands
head high
unsuppressed
by yazid after yazid
whom we curse
as we beat our chest
with wave after wave
of ya hussain ya hussain
a crescendo in our breast
tears on the soul of humanity
that we have addressed
he gave his head
but not his hand
hands down
he won the contest
a thought a deed
through blood sweat tears
we have expressed
an army of peace
nation loving
human loving
brave defiant
black dressed
the shias of
bandra west

Marziya Goes to Her First Juloos at Bandra Mehfil 2009

Marziya Goes to Her First Juloos at Bandra Mehfil 2009, originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1. Bandra Mehfil is a heartland of Shia women and Moharam Azadari at Bandra West Mumbai..The Mehfil belongs to Iqbal bhai and his close family , and the are in the forefront for daily womens majlis..during Moharam.

The Bandra Mehfil Juloos that begins with a majlis at the Mehfil sumptuous Niyaz , than culminate s from the gates with various Anjumans from town , Zuljana beautifully decorated , the Taboot of Imam Hussain was not in the procession this time..

The children did the zanjir matam, and Marziya watched all this for the first time , Marziya has never been to a Juloos in her life and she is two years old and well known among the Bandra Shia folks .

So this was an important chapter of Marziyas life and her path ahead, I was going to skip this juloos because of my aggravated foot injury but went there nonetheless ..and I missed Shakir bhai of the mehfil he was on urgent duty..

I d…

Facing Death in the Eye .

Facing Death in the Eye ., originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1. whether
the butchers
knife
or a speeding
train comes by
death where is thy sting
she let out a mournful cry
born to live and live to die
living on earth searching for
virgins in a heaven
in the sky
is he a shop keeper
that you kill innocent people
maiden to you as reward
he must supply
here the unborn child
buried under
the debris of hate
let out a sigh
we create children
access to better living
we deny
destroying the peace
on earth by hook and lie
misplaced martyrdom
suicide bombers
that rogue preachers
sell and buy
scriptures tainted in blood
when bombed mosques
keep asking why?
bleeding skull caps
muslims love killing muslims
to get a high

dedicated to mr ram jethmalani

Zindagi Ek Safar Hai Suhana

Zindagi Ek Safar Hai Suhana, originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1. This is the quintessential peace quotient of Hyderabad , the lady in the ricksha is going to a Majlis, and majlis matam are two driving force for the Shia Hyderabadi Muslim that keeps her occupied..
Children are never questioned during Moharam even if they dont come as Shabbedari continues all night..And here I can imagine every Hyderabadi settled away from Hyderabad , thinking of his home city his Hussain with tears in his eyes.. yes even a Mumbaikar knows this yearning as a street poet who writes poems through the wordlessness of his camera lens.

And perhaps it was this quest born as a germ of my minds spiritual nativity that bought me to Hyderabad to shoot over 3000 pictures and tell you the life of a Hyderabadi Shia in the throes of Ghame Hussain...and its effect on his surroundings his neighbors too.

And Ghame Hussain is felt by a dead body buried six feet under the ground , and that is why the dead Sh…

Hyderabadi Food

Hyderabadi Food, originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1. Whether you eat in a street side hotel like this or at somebody's house in Hyderabad , the food is exquisite , stomach filling and soul satisfying too, during Moharam , the people at Choti Bargah dont cook, its only the Niyaz that sustains your stomach and soul.

The Hazri on 8 Moharam at Sharyar Palace was something I had never tasted in Mumbai..
Lucknow and Hyderabad are both citadels of Nawabi influenced cuisine..I also noticed the simpler the food the more delicious it tastes.
And Khichda and dal and rice made on Ashura day have unique taste that you wont find at any other time..

My non Muslim friend humbly believes that Niyaz e Hussain is something he looks forward too , as it has holistic healing powers and properties..

And than I felt it is this pain that keeps us Shias alive , a pain we revisit year after year yes our New Year culminates in pain , and keeps us rooted to the reality of oppression and terrorism …

My Favorite Home Away from Home

My Favorite Home Away from Home, originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1. The Choti Bargah of Hyderabad a Holy shrine visited by the Hyderabadi locals of the area before going to work , and it is totally packed on Thursdays and during Moharam.

The people here are hospitable caring and love those who come to the Bargah from far places like me.

I had a room in a hotel and Naqi Bhai , had me leave it immediately and move into his house speaks volumes of their sincere and genuine caring nature..

Moharam binds us all and Hussain is the key that opens all doors of Life.

Here Qayam on my right offered me slippers seeing the injuries on my feet actually iit was Qayam who would apply the ointment that healed my feet fast , as a diabetic the process of healing on the feet is very very slow.

The only place in Hyderabad I found myself at Peace was the Choti Bargah and too some extent Hussaini Koti , but unfortunately I had no time on hand to thank them or visit them.

I did not even have tim…

Mumbai Beckons

Mumbai Beckons, originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1. This finally ends the memories of my Hyderabad trip, having a camera I shot impulsively, street life or street scenes as I read and interpreted my way as a pedestrian poet of pain.

The only time I wore slippers was once I entered the train compartment , I had to as my feet was badly bruised , injured, my feet , my camera my will had never rested.. and I found sleep only welcomes you in her arms only in your own home..

In Hyderabad I hardly slept, things happened too fast, and thanks to my Choti Bargah friends I was always comfortable and taken good care of..

At my house this morning everybody is in deep slumber , the house majlis has taken its toll,the ladies of my house were all involved in the hospitality of the guests who had come for the majlis , packing extra food for close friends family and relatives.

The food was liked by everybody, kheema , chicken korma, rice chappati and sweet dish made of bread called Shahi T…

A Shia Bloggers Head

A Shia Bloggers Head

The Furrows of Faith

The Furrows of Faith, originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1. I am used to cuttng my head with the carbonized steel daggers of my dear friend Habib Nassers collection , that are used by his Anjuman on the streets of Mumbai both in Ashura and in Chehlum..

His Anjuman guys continuously keep cutting their heads non stop, from JJ Hospital gate till Noor Baugh ..I named this the Iraqi Kama Matam of Mumbai..

Habib was to come to my house majlis to give me his Ashura Kama matam CD but he did not turn up, instead Munna Kama gave me pictures on a pen drive of the Kaisar Bagh events in Mumbai..I will upload it once I finish all my other stuff..

My Kama Matam Hyderabad

My Kama Matam Hyderabad, originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1. 111,519 items / 718,930 views

I had cut my head on Ashura day at Bargah in the morning , but after I tried to push it in deep , they pulled away the dagger from my hand had me bandaged up immediately.


Later in the evening I pulled away the bandage and cut my head leaping with the dagger in the air,a metaphoric moment that I call Tandav on the Soul of Shimr..and my camera hung around my neck...there was no one to shoot the choreography of my inner angst, my camera was a mute witness of my emotional journey as it flew winglessly with me in the air...

I was again bandaged up, as the bleeding would not stop due to my diabetic state, and I dont take my medicine or insulin at all when I am on spiritual trip like this..

I resumed my insulin and my medicinal dosage once I returned to Mumbai..

This picture was taken the day after Ashura , the day I was to leave for Mumbai I had got rid of the blood stained bandage , I h…

Locked Doors of Fate

Locked Doors of Fate, originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1. 111,507 items / 718,766 views

There was not much time , I was in Hyderabad for three days all totally packed , shooting Moharam 8, 9, and Ashura 2009 back to back, without rest , one event got over another began in the evening and than another in the night till the wee hours of the following morning.

I left the next day after Ashura for Mumbai and I had hurt my feet too, so I was less adventurous than I normally am, one of the reasons why my daughter Sam was upset, was my mowing the streets with my barefeet..

I had pictures in my camera but I was not willing to break the thread of my Hyderabadi Moharam blogs..

From the day I left Hyderabad till I reached Mumbai on 30 Dec, I shot pictures, of my grand daughters return from Lucknow , than the return of my son Asif from Karbala Iraq and other miscellaneous stuff,..

I shot a pack of hijras , who normally visited my old shop, I used to call them hijra impostors , but the…