Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Hardcore Kama Matam of Mumbai

The Kama Matam of Mumbai Chehlum 2010

The Spastic Head Cutter

He is spastic , his hands shake, his body trembles , in short he can barely stand but he was cutting his head and going about it without any care for his disability ..

This was a sad picture I took and I believe Faith does move mountains..

The Kama Matam of Mumbai Chehlum 2010

Hardcore Kama Matam Chehlum Mumbai 2010

Hardcore Kama Matam Chehlum Mumbai 2010

To Dr Glenn Losack MD - Who Could Not Make It

My friend , my family Dr Glenn Losack MD was expected in Mumbai to shoot the Moharam concluding segment of Chehlum , but due to unavoidable reasons he had to abort this trip after making all arrangements tickets hotel stay etc.

Dr Glenn Losack is an American born Jew from Brooklyn now lives in Manhattan New York.


Had he come as per schedule than he would have shot my kama matam and all this that you see through my lens.


Cutting your head and shooting pictures is a tough one as a photographer specially if you are a diabetic like me , the bleeding takes a very long time to stop and in my case the blood seeped into the view finder , I was totally wet , drenched with blood and water they threw on me to revive me after I had fainted..

My vision was blurred , and I moved around shooting pictures , I had no dry cloth to wipe the blood of my camera or my flash or my lens, my white winding sheet my dhoti my t shirt all wet..

And I was in a hurry to reach the cemetery , as itis a very tiny one close to the defunct Jewish cemetery and gets jam packed ...

I shot a few pictures of the Jewish cemetery the indignity of Death of a human being whatever his caste color or creed.. garbage on the graves of the Sophers Reubens Meyers Baghdadi Jews who were perhaps relatives of my friends when we stayed at Khatau Bhuvan Wodehouse Road now Jony Castle.

David Sasoons family mansion was two lanes away from the house where I lived , my family were tenants of late Nawab Kashmiri.

I had Jewish friends when I studied at Private European school opposite Usha Sadan in 1955 ..and remember them fondly.

When I reached the Shia cemetery it shares a single wall with the defunct Jewish cemetery, there was absolutely no place I squatted on the floor and once the bloodletting began , it was really tough, I made things worse by cutting my head all over again..

The bleeding continued , my friend Danny from Piru lane tied a hanky but it was no help..and mind you if you can shoot Rehmatabad in Chehlum there is no place in the world you cant shoot..and this is a fact only Habib and I shoot in this war zone atmosphere from ground level..

I of course sleep on my back and crawling reach the legs of the guy who does sword matam and shoot from this dangerous position.


You can get cut anytime whatever safety measures you take , a guy standing close to me cut his hand when a sword fell from the matamdars hand , he was rushed to the hospital. Sameer and Dannnys kids kama matam like adults..


I am now using the external Fickr uploader via Microsoft Explorer so I am not facing hurdles like I faced earlier but I can only upload a few files of 35 each in a batch and this is a 7 GB card..

But I am also using the Mozilla Firefox browser for my texting etc..



And I dedicate this picture to Dragon Fly Riri Theresa an awesome Flickr photographer,who is my friend and a friend of Dr Glenn Losack MD too.

To Dr Glenn Losack MD - Who Could Not Make It

My friend , my family Dr Glenn Losack MD was expected in Mumbai to shoot the Moharam concluding segment of Chehlum , but due to unavoidable reasons he had to abort this trip after making all arrangements tickets hotel stay etc.

Dr Glenn Losack is an American born Jew from Brooklyn now lives in Manhattan New York.


Had he come as per schedule than he would have shot my kama matam and all this that you see through my lens.


Cutting your head and shooting pictures is a tough one as a photographer specially if you are a diabetic like me , the bleeding takes a very long time to stop and in my case the blood seeped into the view finder , I was totally wet , drenched with blood and water they threw on me to revive me after I had fainted..

My vision was blurred , and I moved around shooting pictures , I had no dry cloth to wipe the blood of my camera or my flash or my lens, my white winding sheet my dhoti my t shirt all wet..

And I was in a hurry to reach the cemetery , as itis a very tiny one close to the defunct Jewish cemetery and gets jam packed ...

I shot a few pictures of the Jewish cemetery the indignity of Death of a human being whatever his caste color or creed.. garbage on the graves of the Sophers Reubens Meyers Baghdadi Jews who were perhaps relatives of my friends when we stayed at Khatau Bhuvan Wodehouse Road now Jony Castle.

David Sasoons family mansion was two lanes away from the house where I lived , my family were tenants of late Nawab Kashmiri.

I had Jewish friends when I studied at Private European school opposite Usha Sadan in 1955 ..and remember them fondly.

When I reached the Shia cemetery it shares a single wall with the defunct Jewish cemetery, there was absolutely no place I squatted on the floor and once the bloodletting began , it was really tough, I made things worse by cutting my head all over again..

The bleeding continued , my friend Danny from Piru lane tied a hanky but it was no help..and mind you if you can shoot Rehmatabad in Chehlum there is no place in the world you cant shoot..and this is a fact only Habib and I shoot in this war zone atmosphere from ground level..

I of course sleep on my back and crawling reach the legs of the guy who does sword matam and shoot from this dangerous position.


You can get cut anytime whatever safety measures you take , a guy standing close to me cut his hand when a sword fell from the matamdars hand , he was rushed to the hospital. Sameer and Dannnys kids kama matam like adults..


I am now using the external Fickr uploader via Microsoft Explorer so I am not facing hurdles like I faced earlier but I can only upload a few files of 35 each in a batch and this is a 7 GB card..

But I am also using the Mozilla Firefox browser for my texting etc..



And I dedicate this picture to Dragon Fly Riri Theresa an awesome Flickr photographer,who is my friend and a friend of Dr Glenn Losack MD too.

Hardcore Kama Matam Chehlum Mumbai 2010

Hardcore Kama Matam Chehlum Mumbai 2010

Yes We Bleed

115,647 items / 754,045 views

with every drop
we curse yazid
butcher of karbala
the haunting seed

Oops Fuck Tabarrah

115,636 items / 754,045 views

oops fuck tabbarah
nothing much to hide
our heritage of pain
a protest
on the roadside
humility
overriding pride
tears
that have not
yet dried
karbala ashura
two pillars
our guide

Hardcore Kama Matam Chehlum Mumbai 2010

I have shot this ritual from its inception on the streets of Mumbai I called it the Iraqi Kama Matam of Mumbai, but now after 3 years I think the Kama matam introduced by Habib Nasser and his Anjuman has come of age , has its own identifying significance..

It starts from a lane off Imamwada and ends a little before the Shia cemetery..at Mazagaon, and the men and the kids dont stop cutting their head .

The rituals of sword matam , kama matam and zanjir matam continue within the cemetery after a shot majlis by the Maulana.


I normally try not to participate in the rituals within the cemetery as the bleeding prevents my shooting with the blood not stopping, I am a diabetic.

However I had a tiff with a young uncouth Shia lad , who objected to my photography, I had cut my head on the streets , and here in anger I removed my bandage snatching the dagger from another guys hand leaping into the air I cut my head all over again..

It was my misdoing as all my pictures of this series have gone haywire, with the blood seeping into my lends and camera.

However the guy apologized to me later.

I shot Habibs sword matam and a Bandra boy Riyaz cut himself badly with the sword and was rushed to the hospital for stitches , I thought I would go with him to shoot the stitching of the wounds, but the ambulance had moved away, I had no strength, I too got my wound bandaged by docs of Prince Ali Khan Hospital who had a first aid center on the road.

I threw away the blood soaked winding sheet I was wearing and came home presentable in the presence of my grand daughter Marziya.

If My Mind Could Read Her Eyes

115,578 items / 753,958 views

If my mind could read her eyes
a moment captured in entirety
a file I did not re size
faith does move mountains
as time hovers and flies
a heritage of pain
for which he paid a price
he gave his head
but did not bow
evil he did despise
72 brave men
against a yazidi lashkar
to be precise
burning tents the aftermath
the snatching of the ridas
the shame a black page
of Islam
sham sham sham
he called out thrice

Phir Nasl Pe Yazid Ki Lanat Kare Ga Kaun

Sent to me by my friend Furkan Ghazi..

Misle Hussain Din ki Hifazat Kare ga Kaun
Teeron ki chhaon mein Ibadat Kare ga Kaun
Hum bhi agar Chirage Tabbara ko chorr de
fir nasl pe Yazid ki lanat karega kaun

Happy World Photography Day 2019

To all my photographer friends Happy World Photography day Humble Tribute to my Gurus Mr KG Maheshwari ji Prof BW Jatkar Ever...