Thursday, May 27, 2010

Attaching Needles on the Back

This was the first part of the piercings as the possession began, so I was shooting this and the possession together , both were important but the needle p[piercing I was not that pictorially curious to shoot .

And I had to be fast on my toes something or the other keeps happening to my luck only Raja was attending to the piercings , if there are two piercers one has to make a choice .. my other friend Davender a piercer too who assists here every year was not around.

Shooting a Possessed Person

This is the other aspect of my photography, and I can go on shooting this without fear though the person possessed can damage your camera or harm you unintentionally.

This is known as devi entering the body during arti or the beating of the drums.

The person is subdued by holy ash or lime cut and placed under her feet or cut and the juice sprinkled on her.

This lady took on the avatar of the goddess and moved in the circle of the puja area.

Hardcore Cheek Piercing

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All my pictures are like a continuous story board, I always shoot with a single camera , here at the Maryamma Macchimar Feast 2010 I used two cameras shooting wide and telly.

I shot a 6 GB Card ..

This lady is a laborer , she works in a gutter outside my building at Bandra , she is a Tamil and all her colleagues including her contractor are devotees of Maryamma.

She is tall poor but stately lady, she bore her pain when the rod entered her mouth , I dont miss a single frame if I am shooting the rod piercing of children or women I shoot single frame but fast.

Because I have been shooting this event for last three years ,I know every nuance and response both of the pierced person and the piercer..

The most intriguing moment is the spitting of the milk from the piercers mouth into the mouth of the pierced person , this acts as lubricant.

Even the rod point is dipped in butter to make it enter the mouth without resistance .

The inserting of the hooks is very painful , first the back is hit with the hand to losen it than the point inserted with both hands sometimes the assistant to pushes the hook and this has to be perfect as the person with the hooks on the back will pull a car or a tempo.

This was all shot late evening at Mahim beach but I think my Sion Koliwada pictures shot last night are quite scary, and I shot it in ample light .

I met this lady yesterday her wound has healed she is a good lady and most of the people working on the giuuters of Bandra are predominantly Tamils and devotees of Goddess Maryamma..

This segment will come once I finish the puja and the possession on the beach, the possession was delirious and scary too.

But I left the possession the moment Raja piercer told me he was going to begin the piercing.

Raja was assisted by his brother , I could not resist posting this picture out of turn...and I might call this lady and her contractor to come and see the pictures on my comp.

Pain is what I shoot as street photography, and incidentally these are workers of the streets..their life spent in gutters the women remove the silt and mud

Dying Heritage Mahim Fort of Mumbai

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The ugliest filthiest badly managed an eye sore a piece of history down in the dumps the Mahim Fort..


The Mahim Fort (Marathi: माहीम किल्ला) is a fort in Mahim in Mumbai, Maharashtra state, India.[2] Strategically located in the Mahim Bay, the fort overlooks Worli to the south, Bandra to the north, and Mahim to the east. The origins of the fort are unclear, but it occupies a strategic location that has been frequently contested. The fort is currently in disrepair, suffering from administrative neglect, encroachment of slums, and exposure to tidal erosion.

In 1516, Portuguese commander Dom Joao de Monoy entered the Mahim Creek and defeated the commander of Mahim fort.[3] The fort was the site of frequent skirmishes between the Portuguese and the Ali Shah, a Gujarati ruler, before the island of Mahim was appropriated from Bahadur Shah of Gujarat by the Portuguese in 1534. In 1661, the Portuguese ceded the island of Mahim as dowry to Charles II of England. After the English gained control of the fort, it was strengthened by Sir Thomas Grantham in 1884,[2] and became a strategic watchtower against possible Portuguese attacks, and later from the Marathas.[2]

In 1772, the Portuguese attempted to attack this fort, but they were repelled by the British with cannonballs.[2] The Mount Mary's Basilica was damaged during this encounter. According to historical accounts, the fort had 100 soldiers and 30 cannons at that time.[2]
[edit] Encroachments

The fort lies off the Mahim Causeway which links the suburbs to the city. The fort is heavily encroached by slums, and parts of the fort have caved in due to tidal erosion and neglect. Though the site is classified as a Grade I heritage structure, nothing much has been done to maintain it.[1] Large boulders are strewn on the sand and crevices as high as three metres (fifteen feet) are visible. Responsibility of the fort is shuffled between the state government and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, although the fort lies of state government land.[1] In 2004, rupees five lakhs had to be returned as the encroachments were not removed by local authorities.[4] Later, in 2008, Jairaj Phatak, the Municipal Commissioner had proposed a makeover to the fort.[5]
[edit] See also

About the Maryamma Cheek Piercing Ritual

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I am holding the piercing rod over 18 feet long that the devotees will pierce their cheeks with,,the piercing act is know as tochan..

Before you undertake the piercing ritual you have to tie a yellow wrist band and undertake a fast of 5 or three days , no non veg food, no sex, no bad thoughts , you can only have liquid or fruits in the daytime and one meal after sunset..

I met a Punjabi guy at Sion Koliwada Soma or Som Bhatia he has been doing the Juggernaut and the cheek piercing since 12 years.

He is a hardcore devotee too and one has to be barefeet before one performs the piercing ritual.