Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Top Shots Shia Cemetery Chehlum 2010

I have never shot from this house belonging to a Shia person , but he gave me permission to come up and shoot a few frames ..

And this is a ghastly sight , the entire floor is covered with blood , and in spite of the limitation of camera flash, the dark arena appears sinister.

Everywhere people are cutting themselves with ferocity , viciously , and it is after all this ends , crowds filter out that the hardcore sword matam begins .

Shooting Rehmatabad i Chehlum is a highly challenging effort, and you normally dont get what you shoot, as someone or the other blocks your frame, there is no time for politeness or good manners , language here is minimal, just strokes and blood hitting your face and person.

You have to push hard each time they pull you away from the arena, and re renter again , and you go on shooting, documenting a moment livid in pain that lives on much after the event is over.

My lens was covered in blood , my camera dripping blood , my head a streaming fountain that would not stop, my vision blurred but I went on shooting like a mad man adding to the madness of pain around me.

My barefeet were covered in blood , my feet were festered as a few days back I had climbed the Haji Malang mountains barefeet.. and had made the return journey from the mountains bare feet too.

And this is the next lot of pictures all on a 3.50 GB card , and I share it with you, even the pictures that got messed with blood on my lens have something to say about the spiritual zeal and the angst of the Shias of Mumbai.

Night of Chehlum Rehmatabad Shia Cemetery 2010

This entire series on my photo stream at Flickr.com

If You Can Shoot Here You Can Shoot Anywhere in the World

Chehlum Shia cemetery Rehmatabad 2010..

Chehlum Rehmatabad Shia Cemetery 2010

Now the procession reaches the gates of Rehmatabad Shia cemetery...Mazgaon..

The hard hitting hardcore matam takes place within , this is a not a very large cemetery and what happens here is sheer bloodletting, if you can shoot within this place you can shoot anywhere in the world..but first you should be able to enter this choc a bloc jam packed arena and the hardcore stuff happens in the narrow passage soon after the short majlis gets over..

I had done zanjir matam here once , and this time I cut my head again after having cut it outside on the streets..

This is a 3.75 GB Card and most of the pictures got ruined because of the non sttop flow of blood from my head , somebody tied a hanky in the crowds but the blood flowed once my forehead touched the viewfinder.. I was totally et with my blood and had nothing to dry my camera or lens.

The sword matam of Habib and Riyaz was electrifying..I moved away got my wound washed and cleaned by water by the doctors of Prince Ali Khan Hospital they had a first aid center for the self inflicted wounds.

I was totally tired zapped dehydrated , I had a wound on my barefeet that I had neglected and has festered..I am a diabetic too.

Portraiture of Pain