Saturday, May 1, 2010

I Complete 125000 Photo Blogs at Flickr

125,009 items / 880,833 views

I don't think I could have ever reached this far without my friends both at Flickr Twitter and Facebook..and Google Image search , Yahoo image search, and honestly most of my readers and viewers according to my Flickr blog stats come to see the Hijras their pictures that I have collected over the years , and let me confess they were not easy to come by , I faced opposition I faced hardships but I continued shooting them .

I wrote hijra poems and bought home the hijra as a human being.

And because of financial constrains I could not go to shoot the Koovagam Eunuch festival, this broke my heart but I took it in my stride.. each year I say next time and next time has never come..even Ajmer becomes difficult but Gharib Nawaz calls me even if it is for 3 days.

So this is a big thanks to all of you out there , yes I am a street photographer and a photo blogger pedestrian poet of sorts ..

And the picture is of a slum child , who show me their world living on the edge but with confidence and hope twinkling in their eyes ..

They all have dreams to rise fly and these are the versatile future of my country..and yes they count..and I show you their zeal their passion and joy through my pictures .

The Marathi Manoos On Maharashtra Day

I was on my way to work with my wife when I spotted him from the ricksha , I told my wife to proced and I jumped out of the ricksha , this was a sad moment , he is the original inhabitant of the state I live in Maharashtra and today we cerebrate Maharashtra day, there is nothing unusual about penury bad times and begging..but seeing him helpless made me cringe as a street photographer and a street poet..

Mills have become malls for the rich man they say
Mumbai the rich mans paradise in every way
the marathi manoos the muslim beggar begs
a pain that wont go away both in mutual
coexistence they stay for better times to
their gods they respectively pray
happiness dignity peace of mind respect
is more important than calling
the city mumbai or bombay
political convenience political apathy
has killed the spirit of the common man
what more can he say
May 1 remembered as
Maharashtra Day
a tribute to the Martyrs
who fought and passed away
a tribute to their memory we pay

Happy Maharashtra Day

he came here
to make his living
now he has
gone away
thrown out
by parochialism
some say
he was a
north indian
for the sins
of leaving
his family
morning to night
he had to pay
he was not a thief
he was not a terrorist
he was not a criminal
in any way
in one stroke
his dreams all
washed away
the bhelpuriwala
on maharashtra day
satamave jayate

satyameva jayate nānṛtaṁ
satyena panthā vitato devayānaḥ |
yenā kramantyṛṣayo hyāptakāmā
yatra tat satyasya paramaṁ nidhānam

In devanāgarī :

सत्यमेव जयते नानृतम् सत्येन पन्था विततो देवयानः । येनाऽऽक्रमन्त्यृषयो ह्याप्तकामा यत्र तत् सत्यस्य परं निधानं ॥


Truth alone triumphs; not falsehood.
Through truth the divine path is spread out by which
the sages whose desires have been completely fulfilled,
reach where that supreme treasure of Truth resides.[3]

The Jain Sadhvi -Jain Monks and Nuns

124,866 items / 879,884 views

Article courtesy


When a person renounces the worldly life and all the attachments, and is initiated into monkshood or nunhood, the man is called Sadhu, Shraman or Muni and the woman is called Sadhvi, Shramani, or Ary�. Their renunciation is total which means they are completely detached from the social and worldly activities and they do not take any part in those activities anymore. Instead, they spend their time spiritual uplifting their souls and guiding householders such as ourselves how to uplift our souls.

When they get initiated into the life of Sadhus and Sadhvis, they take five major vows and act strictly in accordance with those vows. The five great vows are:

1) Pranatip�taviraman Mahavrat - Vow of absolute Non-violence.

First vow of Pranatip�taviraman Mahavrat means sadhu and sadhvis will never cause harm or violence to any living being including even the tiniest creatures.

2) Mrishavadaviraman Mah�vrat - Vow of absolute Truthfulness

Second vow of Mrishavadaviraman Mah�vrat means they will not lie.

3) Adattad�naviraman Mahavrat - Vow of absolute Non-stealing

Third vow of Adattad�naviraman Mahavrat means without the permission of the owner they will not take anything from anywhere.

4) Maithunaviraman Mahavrat - Vow of absolute Celibacy

Fourth vow of Maithunaviraman Mahavrat means they have to observe the celibacy with an absolute adherence to it. The sadhu or sadhvis should not even touch a member of the opposite sex regardless of their age.

5) Parigrahaviraman Mahavrat - Vow of absolute Non-attachment.

Fifth vow of Parigrahaviraman Mahavrat means they do not possess anything and do not have any attachment for things they keep for their daily needs.

In summary, while taking these vows, they say, "O Lord Arihant! I will not commit the sins of violence, express falsehood, steal and enjoy sensual pleasures, or be possessive, by speech, thought or deed; nor will I assist or order anyone to commit these sins. I will not approve or endorse anyone committing such sins. Oh Lord! I hereby take a sacred and solemn vow that throughout my life, I will follow these five major vows and strictly follow the code of conduct laid out for a sadhu and a sadhvi."

Therefore, Jain Sadhus and Sadhvis never cause harm or violence to any living being. They live according to the pledge that they do not harm even the tiniest creatures. They always speak the absolute truth. They do not lie on account of fear, desire, anger or deceptive intentions. Without the permission of the owner, they do not take even the smallest thing such as a straw. They observe the vow of celibacy with an absolute adherence to it. They will not touch the members of the opposite sex, even a child. In case the members of the opposite sex either touch them by mistake or in ignorance, they have to undergo the ritual of repentance (Prayashchitta) for self-purification. Jain Sadhus should not keep money with them. They will not own or have any control on any wealth, houses, any such movable or immovable property or organization. They will limit their necessities to the lowest limit and apart from these limits they should not have any attachments.

Some special rules of conduct for sadhus and sadhvis:

The Jain sadhus or sadhvis do not take food or water after the sunset or before sunrise. They wait 48 minutes after the sun-rise before even drinking boiled water. Under any circumstance, they do not eat or drink anything between the hours of sunset and sunrise.

Gochari (Alm): Jain sadhus/sadhvis do not cook their food, do not get it prepared for them, or do not accept any food which was prepared for them. They go to different householders that are Jains or vegetarians and receive a little food from each house. This practice is called Gochari. Just as cows graze the top part of grass moving from place to place, taking a little at one place and a little at another, in the same way Jain Monks and Nuns do not take all the food from one house. They collect it from various houses. The reason Jain Sadhus/sadhvis accept a little food and not all the food from one house is because this way the householders do not have to cook again. The cooking process involves much violence in the form of fire, vegetable chopping, water consumption, etc., and sadhus or sadhvis do not want to be the part of any violence due to their needs. They do not receive food standing outside the house; but they go inside the house where food is cooked or kept. This way they can understand the situation that their accepting food would not make the householders to cook again. They accept food which is within the limit of their vows.

Vihar: They always walk with bare feet. When they travel from one place to another, whatever may be the distance they always go walking. They do not use any vehicle like bullock cart, car, boat, ship or plane for traveling. Whether it is cold weather or scorching sun; whether the road is stony or thorny; whether it is the burning sand of a desert or a burning road, they do not wear any foot-wear at any time. They move about on bare foot all their life. The reason for not wearing shoes is while walking, they can avoid crushing the bugs or insects on the ground. While going places, they preach the religion (Dharma), and provide proper spiritual guidance to people. They do not stay more than a few days in any one place except during the rainy season which is about four months in duration. The sadhus and sadhvis generally do not go out at night. The place where they stay is called Upashray or Paushadh Shala. They may stay in places other than the Upashrayas if those places are suitable to the practice of their disciplined life and if they do not disturb or impede the code of conduct. The reason they do not stay anywhere permanently or for a longer period in one place is to avoid developing attachment for material things and the people around them.

Loch: The Jain S�dhus and Sadhvis after receiving the Diksha (initiation) do not cut their hair or shave their heads; nor do they get these things done by a barber. But twice a year or at least once a year at the time of Paryushan, they pluck off their hairs or they get the hairs plucked by others. This is called Keshlochan or Loch. This way they are not dependent on others to carry out their needs. It is also considered as one kind of austerity where one bares the pain of plucking of the hairs calmly.

Clothing: They always wear un-stitched or minimally stitched white clothes. Some Jain sadhus do not wear the clothes. A loin cloth which reaches up to the shins is called a Cholapattak. Another cloth to cover the upper part of the body is called Pangarani (Uttariya Vastra). A cloth that passes over the left shoulder and covers the body up to a little above the ankle is called a K�mli. K�mli is a woolen shawl. They also carry a woolen bed sheet and a woolen mat to sit on. Those who wear clothes have a muhapati a square or rectangular piece of cloth of a prescribed measurement either in their hand or tied on their face covering the mouth. They also have Ogho or Rajoharan (a broom of woolen threads) to clean insects around their sitting place or while they are walking. Sadhus who do not wear any clothes have morpichhi and kamandal in their hands. These are the articles by which they can be distinguished. This practice may vary among different sects of Jains but essential principle remains the same to limit needs.

They bestow their blessings on all, uttering the words Dharm Labh (may you attain spiritual prosperity). They bless everyone alike irrespective of their caste, creed. sex, age, wealth, poverty, high, or low social status. Some put Vakshep (scented sandal dust) on the heads of people. Monks and nuns show the path of wholesome life and of a righteous and disciplined life to every one through the media of discussions, discourses, seminars and camps to attain spiritual prosperity.

The entire life of sadhus/sadhvis is directed towards the welfare of their souls. All the activities of their life have only one aim, namely, self-purification for self- realization. For the attainment of this objective, besides following laid down guidelines they perform the pratikraman daily, and perform other austerities.

Conferring a title:

The Jain sadhus, after being initiated that is, after receiving the diksha become immersed in such activities as meditation, seeking knowledge, acquiring self-discipline etc. Proceeding on the path of spiritual endeavor, when they reach a higher level of attainment, their spiritual elders, for the preservation of the four-fold Jain Sangh, confer upon them some special titles.

The Title of Acharya: This title is considered to be very high and involves a great responsibility. The entire responsibility of the Jain Sangh rests on the shoulders of the acharya. Before attaining this title, one has to make an in-depth study and a thorough exploration of the Jain Agams and attain mastery of them. One must also study the various languages of the surrounding territory and have acquired a through knowledge of all the philosophies of the world related to different ideologies and religions.

The Title of Upadhyay: This title is given to a sadhu who teaches all the sadhus and sadhvis, and has acquired a specialized knowledge of the Agams (Scriptures).

The Title of Panyas and Gani: To secure this title, one should have acquired an in-depth knowledge of all the Jain agams. To attain the status of Ganipad one should have a knowledge of the Bhagawati Sutra and to attain the Panyas-pad one should have attained a comprehensive knowledge of all the aspects of the agams.

The Jain sadhus, on account of the mode of their life, are unique among all the monks. The entire life of Sadhus and Sadhvis is dedicated to spiritual welfare of their souls; all their objectives, and all their activities are directed towards elevating their souls to the Paramatma-dasha, the state of the Supreme Soul.

Above discription is related to Svetambar Monks.

Main concept of renunciation is same in both Svetambar and Digambar sectss. But there are some differences in what they keep and how they take Gochari/Ahar. Digambar Monks do not wear any cloths. Elak waers one cloth. Khulak wears two clothes. Digambar Nuns wear white clothes. All of them keep keep Morpichhi and Kamandal. All of them eat once a day from "Choka". These chokas are arranged by Householders and they invite Monks and nuns to accept the food from there. Digambar monks and elaks eat standing up and in their hands. Khulaks eat in one utensil. Nuns eat in their hand or in utensil.

Belgium Bans the Burqa

124,866 items / 879,884 views

By ROBERT WIELAARD, Associated Press Writer Robert Wielaard, Associated Press Writer – Thu Apr 29, 6:01 pm ET

BRUSSELS – Belgium's lower house of parliament on Thursday banned burqa-type Islamic dress in public, but the measure faces a challenge in the Senate which will delay early enactment of the law.

Christian Democrats and Liberals in the Senate questioned the phrasing of the law, which holds no one can appear in public "with the face fully or partly covered so as to render them no longer recognizable."

Following the fall of Premier Yves Leterme's government April 22, Belgium faces early elections that may delay passage of the Belgian anti-burqa ban — Europe's first — by several months. Both houses of parliament must approve the bill.

Approval in the lower house was almost unanimous.

Like elsewhere in Europe, Belgium struggles with anxieties that visible signs of Islam erode national identity and that women in traditional conservative Islamic dress, such as the burqa, the chador and the niqab, signal a refusal to assimilate in western society.

The law's author, Daniel Bacquelaine, a Liberal, said a burqa is incompatible with basic security as everyone in public must be recognizable and clashes with the principles of an emancipated society that respects the rights of all.

Burqa-type Islamic dress that fully covers a woman and most or all of her face is not common in Europe.

Last year, the city of Brussels fined only 29 women — down from 33 in 2008 — for wearing a burqa-type dress. In Belgium, local rules ban the burqa, but enforcement is spotty and the new law would outlaw it on a national level.

In January, Denmark's center-right government called the burqa and the niqab out of step with Danish values. It held off on a ban after finding that only two or three women in Denmark, a nation of 5.5 million people, wear burqas and perhaps 200 wear niqabs.

In France, a nation of 65 million people, the government estimates 1,900 women cover their faces with niqabs, a scarf that exposes only the eyes, or sitars, a filmy veiled cloth thrown over the head to cover the entire face.

France banned Muslim head scarves as well as Jewish skullcaps and Christian crosses from schools in 2004.

President Nicolas Sarkozy says the burqa "is not welcome" in France, but questions have been raised about the constitutionality of a ban.

Although their ranks are growing, Muslims make up only small minorities in Western Europe.

France has the largest Muslim population, an estimated 5 million, or 7.5 percent of the population, followed by the Netherlands with 6 percent, Germany with 5 percent, Austria with 4.2 percent, Belgium with 3 percent and Britain with 2.7 percent, according to a 2009 study of the Pew Research Center in Washington.

My Poem

The mysterious
that mystifies
to keep it alive
since time
they pay a price
burqa fits all
just one size
adding beauty
to hidden eyes
a moment
a spiritually
the angel of
death wears it too
is just drawing
a pack of lies
is a Muslim
of modesty
the bewildered
Muslim woman
in Belgium cries
Ban the Burqa
the racist replies
the Arab world
kowtowing to the Goras
looks up at heaven
in the skies
in a cross fire
by surprise
the burqa
to a woman
a scriptural
no one buys
fleeting time
in Europe
shedding tears
for its demise
banning the burqa
a conspiracy
of a world order
to surmise
women in burqa
look more beautiful
more sartorially styled
sweet and nice
even the virgins
it is alleged
not known for a fact
wear burqas
in paradise
a thought
a poetic
brain supplied
a brain
that runs anti


Gandhigiri, originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1.

The Slum Kids of Bandra

Badlapur Jambul Rs 250 Per Kg

Jambul (Syzygium cumini) is an evergreen tropical tree in the flowering plant family Myrtaceae, native to Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Indonesia. It is also known as Jaam/Kalojaam, Jamun, Nerale Hannu, Njaval,Neredupandu, Jamblang, Jambolan, Jambula, Black Plum, Damson Plum, Duhat Plum, Jambolan Plum, Java Plum or Portuguese Plum. "Malabar plum" may also refer to other species of Syzygium.

It is also grown in other areas of southern and southeastern Asia including the Philippines, Myanmar, and Afghanistan. The tree was also introduced to Florida, USA in 1911 by the USDA, and is also now commonly grown in Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. In Brazil, where it was introduced from India during Portuguese colonization, it has dispersed spontaneously in the wild in some places, as its fruits are eagerly sought by various native birds such as thrushes, tanagers and the Great Kiskadee. Scientific synonyms include Syzygium jambolanum, Eugenia cumini and Eugenia jambolana.

A fairly fast growing species, it can reach heights of up to 30 m and can live more than 100 years. Its dense foliage provides shade and is grown just for its ornamental value. The wood is strong and is water resistant. Because of this it is used in railway sleepers and to install motors in wells. It is sometimes used to make cheap furniture and village dwellings though it is relatively hard to work on.

Jamun trees start flowering from March to April. The flowers of Jamun are fragrant and small, about 5 mm in diameter. The fruits develop by May or June and resemble large berries. The fruit is oblong, ovoid, starts green and turns pink to shining crimson black as it matures. A variant of the tree produces white coloured fruit. The fruit has a combination of sweet, mildly sour and astringent flavour and tends to colour the tongue purple. The seed is also used in various alternative healing systems like Ayurveda (to control diabetes, for example[1].), Unani and Chinese medicine for digestive ailments. The leaves and bark are used for controlling blood pressure and gingivitis. Wine and vinegar are also made from the fruit. It has a high source in vitamin A and vitamin C.

Jambul has been spread overseas from India by Indian emigrants and at present is common in former tropical British colonies.[2]

Religious Significance

According to Hindu tradition, Rama subsisted on the fruit in the forest for 14 years during his exile from Ayodhya[citation needed]. Because of this, many Hindus regard Jambul as a 'fruit of the gods,' especially in Gujarat, India, where it is known locally as jamboon.

Lord Krishna has been described as having skin the color of Jamun. In Hindu mythology several protagonists have been described as having the color of jamun[citation needed].
[edit] In Maharashtra Culture

In Maharashtra, jambhul [jamun known as jambhul in (marathi)Maharashtra]leaves is use as marriage pendals . There is a famous song in Marathi,'jambhul piklya zada khali dhol kunacha waji' which means "under the full fruity jamun tree dhol (drum) is beaten in joy". This song is pictured on the famous Indian star 'Smita Patil

Beware of the Dog The Bitch is On Maternity Leave

she got fucked
by the neighbors dog
she silently shits and grieves
pre marital sex
a step she could
not retrieve
now she is waiting
to conceive
at her mothers house
the bitch is
on maternity leave
with false promises
doggie loved and deceived
a horny pariah of a stray dog
she should have certainly
not believed

Walking The Ramp of Life

Sprout Love Without Hate

If I had
not added
her as
friend on
Phased Book
I would not be
her locked gate
my heart in my
mouth I wait
she used me as bait
my fucked fate
ignore is a more
wiser option
a thought
in my dumb head
came very late
sprout love
without hate
of my first
to penetrate
the mask
of her identity
finding a wrong
soul mate
discounted love
on 50%rebate
hitting the keys
the click of
a mouse
a fucked
mind state
poems of
surrendered love
with a fucked

i have deleted her from
my consciousness
on my flesh
'like goose bumps
she reverberates
her thumbnail
on the soul of
my misery
my love

Cricket and The Gandhian Thought

Dedicated To Lalit Modi Hit out or Get Out

Slum Photography

This is the dark narrow dingy path Marziya and I take , there is another path more congenial than this but this path is part of my slum photography..I capture raw human emotions and life lived on an edge ..

The little store is a home cum shop ..and the other one belongs to Surajs uncle , Suraj is a school kid who handles the store when his uncle takes much needed rest in the afternoon.

The Limbu Mirchi Sellers of Bandra Hill Road

124,866 items / 879,884 views

They work continuously making the limbu mirchi portent to ward off evil, mostly placed at shops and houses by Hindus ..

They use wire and coal too, besides this they make balloon items and other hand made toys ..which they sell at Band Stand or Carter Road.

And they get tired too, sleeping on the pavement which is their workplace and home too, they cook on the this path that I take to my shop..

And this is street life , a life of hardship and pain , and media has no time for such common scenes but for me as a photo blogger this is the drama and poetry of Life..

I shoot the left overs , Khurchan left in the utensil of Pain..

And Marziya nowadays wears the Hijab , made by her grand mother , she wont remove it even when it is time for bed , she wont leave her home without the hijab , so how could it be a garment of oppression , perhaps she wants to be an adult at 2 year old..

She wont allow me to shoot her pictures , when she wears the hijab , she complains to my wife and this is surprising but she has got tired of the camera already.

The Rafaee at Mahim Signal-A Blog Speaks Out

I met this Rafaee a body piercing mendicant at the Mahim signal he was going to Abdul Rehman Babas Urus at Dongri and wanted me to come there but I could not make it.

The little kid with him is a rafaee too, they are trained in this art since a very young age, and luckily I am well know in the Rafaee circuit , and here once again I must thank Fahad Pathan Sakib and Firoze Rafaee.., they got me hooked to this , and I have been documenting the Rafaees for several years now , I must be the only Shia adherent among the Chancawalli or Shancawalli Rafaees..

They use the swords but they dont bleed , oon my part I cut my head and bleed profusely , my bleeding takes a long time to stop as I am a severe insulin dependent diabetic too.

Handi Sai who was the head of the Chancawalli Rafaees , and who had visited my shop, was very fond of me he expired and is buried at Kota , he wanted me to learn the art of Rafaee but I had politely refused ..I did not have the temperament or the Rafaee mijaz..

I miss Handi sai a great exponent who would cut his tongue lengthwise into two halves and I think I must be the only photographer who has lived with them and shot their angst so closely .. they dont take kindly to photographers....

Recently a crazy Rafaee drugged slashed my stomach with the sword I was taken by surprise at the Sandal of Fakhruddin Shah Baba but nothing happened to me he just cut away a part of my clothing only..

And he later hit me on my back saying I was a Rafaee too..however I stay away from him whenever I see him around the Dhuni or the Holy Fire ..

Being a Rafaee requires tolerance and the power to overcome pain..

Being a Shia well in all humility we are born to pain , and pain overcomes us as much as it can..I am a mere beginner in comparison to Baqar Nasser of Habib Nasser who cut their backs with swords so ferociously that pieces of their flesh fly around..

The get their back stitched without anesthesia...I have stopped scourging my back as I have a permanently injured right hand , shaped like the hood of a cobra and so it is tough moving the blades across my back..

I prefer the dagger on my head while leaping into into the sky doing Tandav on the soul of Yazidiyat.

I intend to pierce my cheeks this year with a 18 feet rod with Hindu Tamil friends and show my solidarity with their ethos and their pain ..whether I live to tell the tale I dont know but I shall do it come what may..

Death is the only Reality of my Life on this planet and I shall poetize it without shooting a single frame rod piercing will be an extension of my angst and an essence called Ghame Hussain.,.

The Beggar Kids of Mahim Signal

I have been shooting this beggar girl for several years now at the Mahim Church signal , normally I shot them when I was coming back from town in a cab , this time I was walking from Mahim Dargah to Bandra so they were surprised to see , the girl with her has grown and was shy , so she turned her face away from my camera,,,

I have seen both of them when they were 7 or 8 years old and they have never forgotten me ..their parents are basket weavers and their home is on a footpath , they are children pushed into beggary, and begging on the traffic signal adds to the income..

I am always carrying my camera so nothing escapes my camera vision , I shoot what I have to shoot but sometimes I do come across a picture that I should shoot but dont , call it sheer laziness..

I saw a person carrying a burden on his head , the largest I have seen in my life there was an urge to run after him but I let him go..

But a bit a little earlier I saw a Jain Sadhvi passing my workspace and I ran to take her picture ,,I dont know why.The Jain Sadhvis and the Jain Munis fascinate me as photography subjects and I respect and pay tribute to their religiosity with my pictures.

I am an impulsive street photographer , and some pictures god places them on my path , only I will shoot them and these are not pictures but hastly moving raw human emotions.

My only regret is that I have not been able to shoot the Koovagam Eunuch festival and because I understand the Hijra angst I would add poetry to my pictures..but Lord Iravan is not ready for me and so I remain back in Mumbai while my friends are shooting it thanks to their good luck.