Monday, March 1, 2010

The Holi Series Worli Koliwada Comes To An End

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Pandurang Kalikhan dropped us at the taxi stand , Jean Marc left for his hotel I returned home at midnight I posted pictures till 3 am , hit the sack woke up at 6 am again began uploading the pictures at my Flickr photostream, all part of my Hope and Hindutva Collection.

And Jesus and Mother Mary always keeps an eye on me wherever I go as you can see by the backdrop of this picture.

This series of 476 pictures was the most beautiful memories I captured of a peaceful community , this is my humble tribute to the Koli community of Mumbai.

And I am grateful that I shot this along with the worlds most artistic prolific photographer mater at creativity Monsieur Jean Paul Gargantiel of Reunion and France.

That he visits my city for the first time is an honor and a sense of joy and happiness too.

I met Jean Paul on Buzznet and we have been friends on the internet for last 6 years , he taught me much , without his comments his guidance his encouragement both at Buzznet and at Flickr I would have been incomplete as a photo blogger

It ws an experience watching him shoot low profile polite and becoming a part of the surroundings he shot the hallmark of a great photographer..

I was a Xmas tree on a Holi Day...my clothes saffron are part of my spiritual quest and ethos after Moharam .. when I wore black for 3 months.

Me Dancing With The Kolis

It was an honor to shake my legs and my barefeet , pictures of this dance were shot by my French friend Jean Marc Gargantiel at Worli Koliwada where we celebrated Holi with Manjula and Pandurang Kalikhan , and their large family and relatives and savored Koli hospitality love and parampara.

I shot 476 pictures in this series as my tribute to the Koli ethos of Mumbai.

And this is the first time in several years I did not celebrate Holi and the bullock cart race at Alibagh with Jayant Dhulap and his family.

Me Dancing With The Kolis

It was an honor to shake my legs and my barefeet , pictures of this dance were shot by my French friend Jean Marc Gargantiel at Worli Koliwada where we celebrated Holi with Manjula and Pandurang Kalikhan , and their large family and relatives and savored Koli hospitality love and parampara.

I shot 476 pictures in this series as my tribute to the Koli ethos of Mumbai.

And this is the first time in several years I did not celebrate Holi and the bullock cart race at Alibagh with Jayant Dhulap and his family.

Me Dancing With The Kolis

I could not hold myself back, the Kolis are born dancers nobody can dance like them , and dance and connects them to time and eternity..

It was an honor to shake my legs and my barefeet , pictures of this dance were shot by my French friend Jean Marc Gargantiel at Worli Koliwada where we celebrated Holi with Manjula and Pandurang Kalikhan , and their large family and relatives and savored Koli hospitality love and parampara.

I shot 46 pictures in this series as my tribute to the Koli ethos of Mumbai.

And this is the first time in several years I did not celebrate Holi and the bullock cart race at Alibagh with Jayant Dhulap and his family.

The Barefeet Blogger of Mumbai

Apne Ap Ko Ag Main Jalata Hoon

120,966 items / 790,740 views

tumhari yad main
apne ap ko ag
main jalata hoon
though I have deleted you
from my consciousness
tumhe bhula nahi
pata hoon
lab pe athi ek bat
kehte hue ghabrata hoon
tum kisi aur ko chahti ho
main tumhe chahta hoon
tumhare darr se door
raheguzar main reh jata hoon
jalta hoon aur buj
nahi pata hoon

Aiee Wadilacha Ashirwad

The Koli Parampara and Pride

the waters
of the oceans
in their souls
they wont hide
koli hospitality tradition
koli parampara and pride
their husbands
their fathers
brothers uncles
netting fishing
time and tide
facing natures fury
storm tsunami
cloud burst
from inside and outside
but lord ganesha
the remover of obstacles
by their side
on the crest of
a wave of peace
they ride
their mothers
guarding the
bombils bangdas
they have put
to dry
giving shradanjali
to their ancestors
who lived honestly
honestly died
their children
with the same
love affection
wisdom guide
the worli nakwa
searching for
a chimbai bride
the kolis of mumbai
the pride of our seaside
their boats of freedom
at our dockside
the kolis of mumbai
famous worldwide
from the depth
of my humble soul
I have through
a picture
poetically
described
I have written
this with tears
in my eyes

dedicated to the Kolis of Worli Koliwada for their love affection shown to me and my French photographer friend Jean Marc Grargantiel..

Cheers Jai Maharashtra Jai Koli Samaj

Both Jean Marc and I dont drink so we had Pepsi toasting the spirit of Mumbai ..Jai Maharashtra at Worli Koliwada on Holi Day and the lady in blue is Manjula Koli my adopted sister who had invited us here to share in their joy and happiness.

Manjula stays at Worli Koliwada but sells fish at Bandra Bazar Fish Market., Manjula is very close to my 2 year old grand daughter Marziya Shakir.

The Barefeet Blogger of Mumbai

The Barefeet Blogger of Mumbai

The Birth of a Koli Marziya Shakir

A child is a product of his or her surroundings , Marziya Shakir has grown with the Kolis of Bandra Bazar Road in the laps of her favorite koli Aunty Manjula , who lives at Worli Koliwada but sells fish at Bandra Bazar Fish market.


Now 2 years old Marziya leads by my finger to the fish market we beat our stress here , yes we both love fish to eat and fish smell soothes our hearts and souls.

Marziya does not get scared of fish, she has touched most of them , and because I grew up among the fisher folks and Tandels of Sassoon Docks at Colaba , my grand daughter takes after me.

Bandra Bazar Fishmarket is the filthiest and ugliest most neglected fish market of Mumbai and I hope when I am dead and gone and Marziya comes here with her children to refresh memories of her dead grand father the condition of the market and the Kolis of this Bazar would have improved hopefully.

I am crying as I write this sometimes when my family was undergoing hard times at Wodehouse Road where we lived as children, our Koli bai would bring in fish and give it to my mother and not take any money from her , I never forgot those days and because this one Koli woman changed my life and the way I see and shoot Life today.
I now am happy that Marziya too feels love for them.

But does it matter whether I am a Muslim or Manjula my adopted sister is Koli.. we are Mumbaikars.. and that joins us to our cosmic Karma and Dharma too.

The Kolis of Mumbai


The Koli community is an ethnic group found throughout India. Kolis are found in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and rest of India. In Maharashtra they are found in the coastal regions of Maharashtra. They are also one of the original inhabitants of Greater Mumbai, which comprises the seven islands of Bombay [1]. In Gujarat, the Koli community is mainly located in the southern portion of the state, particularly around the cities of Surat, Navsari and Valsad. Most are farmers or fishers, as in Mumbai and Maharashtra.

In Maharashtra the Kolis almost exclusively speak Marathi language, though some Koli communities speak a variant dialect of Marathi. The Kolis of Mumbai are dispersed all over the city, especially along the western coast of the city. The Kolis of Vasai are Hindu and Christian, though both belong to the Marathi ethnic group. The community has several subcastes , the prominent ones are Koli kolis, Mangela Kolis, Vaity kolis,Christian Kolis, Mahadeo kolis, Suryawanshi kolis.

In 1901 the number of Kolis in all India was returned as nearly 3.75 million, but this total includes a distinct weaving caste of Kolis or Kori in northern India.

Weaving caste of Kolis or Koris in Northern India located in Rajasthan ( Mahawar koli ) ,UP , MP.Now few of them has kept Verma or Gupta as their surname.

The estimate of Koli population in Gujarat is based on 1931 enumeration which is the last time caste based enumeration was taken in India.


When Bombay was a dumbbell-shaped combination of 7 islands tapering, at the centre, to a narrow shining strand beyond which could be seen the finest and largest natural harbour in Asia. Kolbhat, Palva Bunder, Dongri, Mazagaon, Naigaum and Worli were among the islands the Kolis gave their names to. Kolbhat was distorted to Colaba; Palva Bunder became Apollo Bunder. The temple to Mumbadevi in Dongri gave rise to the name of the city. One of the smaller islands near Colaba, variously called Old Man's Island and Old Woman's Island, was a distortion of the Arab name Al-Omani, given for the same fishers who ranged as far away as the Gulf of Oman.

The development of the modern city slowly marginalised these people of the sea. They were removed from Dongri already in 1770 by the East India Company. This historical process of elimination eventually pushed them to the strand near Cuffe Parade, from where they plied their ancient trade of deep water fishing. The Backbay reclamation of the 60's would have further marginalised them had they not approached the courts to stay the reclamation. Now their settlements are protected by law. The places where the koli communities places called Koliwada. You will find these koliwadas from mumbai city to its suburbs. There is also a railway station called Koliwada on the central railway horbour line route whose name was replaced with Guru Tegh Bahadur Nagar .

In Marathi, Koli means the originally heterogeneous marginal tribe-castes that took late in history to agriculture and were often press-ganged for porterage in army service. The same word also means spider and fisher, presumably because both make and use a net to catch prey.

The koli community has its own distinct identity and lively dances. The dance incorporates elements that this community is most familiar with - sea and fishing. The dance is performed by both men and women divided into two groups, where fishers stand in two rows holding oars in their hands. The dancers move in unison, portraying the movement of the rowing of a boat. Fisherwomen are in the opposite rows with their arms linked and advancing towards men folk. The separate formation then break up and they dance together with movements symbolizing the waves, the breakers and rowing from cliff to cliff and casting of nets to catch the fish.

There are many koli songs which are famous all over India. Some known once are as follows. Aga Pori Sambhaal Dariyala Tufaan Ayalay Bhari; Gorya wer Basali ; Me Hai Koli ; Chikna Chikna ; Dang Ding ; Lal lal pagote ; Chandnan Chandnya ; Dirki la bombil; Maza Kombra ; Me Dolker ; Haldin Bharlay ; Dol Doltai ; Nach go Nach ; Galyat Sakali ; Paru go Paru ; Lai Lai Liakarni ; Gomu Tuze Dadan Go; Vadal Wara ; Valav re Nakva ;

Narali punaw: This is “The day” for kolis. As per traditions kolis know that after this day the wind strength and direction changes in favor of fishing. This is the day when kolis celebrate the kick off of new business season. This is the day when they pray to god sea and make puja of their boats and begins their fishing season. There are songs for this occassion as..san aaila go narali punvecha...

Shimga - Shimaga means holi in koli accent haa-wa-li. Holi and Koli goes long way. It is one of the most important Festival for Kolis. There are many koli songs for this occassion.

sourced from wikipedia

Happy Holi From the Kolis of Worli Koliwada

Jean Marc With Love From France To Worli Koliwada

East and West Do Meet in Photography

Jean Marc Gargantiel aka Dtunken Gekko or El Gekko and me at Worli Koliwada shooting the burning of the Holi feast celebrated by the Koli samaj or Mumbais fishing community in spiritual gusto and camaraderie.

Lots of dance good time fun and frolic.

A white man and a light dark man happy shooting it, yes east and west do meet on the heart and soul of photography.

According to me photographers are the Apostles of God his chosen children, God has created a world we recreate it and make it visible we show you what existed but you never saw, we play with light and shade, we paint Gods world , we present it to you on the parched humility of your restless soul.

Yes photography is not just a fine art science or technique photography is the ultimate tribute to God by man his finest creation.

And it is 6.30 am Mumbai time I have barely slept three hours to share all this with you, I blog I dont keep anything back, and blogging heals my soul the soul of the barefeet blogger of Mumbai an incorrigible romantic at heart.

And all this is part of my Hope and Hindutva series , this is pure pucca street photography, streets that underline Hope and Harmony too.

This is not a single flower churned out by Media , this is a bouquet fresh dripping with morning dew from the backyard of a photo blogger , and here I must remind those who dont know me I am a Muslim but does it really matter ..I shoot Hinduism as my cultural heritage the Inheritance of God to man.

If peace saffronizes and synchronizes my Soul than yes I am proud to be called the Shia Pandit of Mumbai.

Thank you Jean Marc for visiting my lovely city and shooting its rebirth on Holi Day.

Ap Sab Ko Holi Mubarak Kehte Hain

ap sab ko holi mubarak kehte hain
han yeh bat sach hai hum raste pe
rehte hain hamare rang hamare sang
nali main behte hain jo bhagwan deta
hai 'hum hathon ki thali par lete hain
jalte hain aur zindagi ke naye rang
ubharte hain mamta ki ad
main sada mar mit te hain
waqt ki lathi se pit te hain


dedicated to Nabila Khanam who posted a gem of a comment on this picture at Flickr


nabila4art Pro User says:

Striking green color on bleak street. you are enviable for your street shots, Firoz

The Kolis and the Barefeet Blogger of Mumbai

Holi At Worli Koliwada 2010

120,591 items / 790,084 views


I was invited to celebrate the burning of Holika at Worli Koliwada by Manjula Koli who sells fish at Bandra Bazar Fish market and is my adopted Koli sister very close to my 2 year grand daughter Marziya Shakir whom she dotes on.

I had met Manjula this morning at the Bandra Bazar Market and had told her that I would bring my photographer friend Jean Marc or Drunken Gekko or El Gekko along with me , that pleased her very much, Koli hospitality is part of the Koli tradition of Love Peace Hope Harmony.

So I took a train reached Churchgate picked up Monsieur Jean Marc and headed to Worli Koliwada by cab , I had never shot this event at Worli, though I had shot it a few years back at Mahim and Versova fishing village.

We had a glorious time the Kolis of Worli Koliwada loved Jean Marc and each one kept inquiring if he wanted anything to eat or drink..Manjula her husaband Pandurang are well known in the area and this do was at Pandurangs dads house, his kids their friends and relatives treated us like family..and I have shot a 1.89 GB card..that I shall upload and post at Flickr.

In fact this is an Introduction to my new set at Flickr Holi at Worli Koliwada 2010.

The Worli kolis dropped us at the taxu stand I left for Bandra and Jean Marc took his cab to his hotel.

Jean Marc loved the Palan Poli and the boiled channa prasad.

Manjula wants him to attend her daughters wedding too..this is Koli love for a guest of our beautiful city and Jean Marcs first trip to Mumbai.

On The Wings Of Angels

120,589 items / 790,062 views

on the wings of angels
my message of peace
embedded as hope
in a picture flies
touching her soul
dropping dead
before it dies
in the wretchedness
of her heart
carbonized steel
it pays a price
at her feet
another man lies
grovels begs and cries
love a lonely hunter
preys in disguise
although
i have deleted her
from my consciousness
she holds
my deathly soul
in a deadly vice
i beseech
her with truth
she lives on lies
hand maiden
of the lord of flies
her silence
on my soul
of misfortune
another day buys
every day a new
surprise

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