Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Barefeet Blogger at Bandra East Juloos

Shezar Photographer at Bandra East Juloos

Kyonki Mera Pas Camera Hai Main Haqeeqat Shoot Karta Hoon

sab mazhab shoot karta hoon...woh bat aur hai main ap ki tarah hussainyat main ubharta hoon

Sire-e-Hussain mila hai yazeed ko lekin

Gharoor toot gaya koi martaba na mila
Sitam ke baad bhi kuch hasil-jafa na mila
Sire-e-Hussain mila hai yazeed ko lekin
Shikast ye hai ke phir bhi jhuka hua na na mila…

Bloggers Beyond Borders of Caste Color or Creed

The Sai Baba Temple at Municipal Ground Bandra East

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On end of the Municipal grounds the Shias use for decorating the alams and the recital of a majlis and the corner part the temple people have their arti and prayers , both faiths in unique harmony and respect for each others religious views.

And every year I shoot the Bandra East juloos I shoot this temple too to, show you Muslim Hindu amity at its peak of eloquence..

AUM Sarveshaam Swastir Bhavatu
Sarveshaam Shantir Bhavatu;
Sarveshaam purnam Bhavatu;
Sarveshaam Mangalam Bhavatu.
AUM Shantih, Shantih, Shantih

May all be auspicious;
May all attain peace;
Let there be fullness and contentment all over;
May all be blessed.
AUM peace, peace, peace.

The Ruthless Mumbai Zanjeer

Ya Hussain Timeless Glory of Faith

The Barefeet Blogger From Mumbai

The sword matam and the zanjir matam was a moment in frenzy, and it was frenzy that made me cut my head at the Bandra East juloos thanks to Sameer and Danny from Piru lane , kama veterans of SOBO ..

I Inherited Faith from a little Shia Child

What the Mullah could not teach me the little child did more eloquently in the silence of her speech hussain is humanity she did preach.. hope within everyman s reach...

The Little Bibi Sakinas at Bandra East Juloos

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This is the creation of Munna from Imamwada , normally he dressed both his little daughters in green dress symbolizing the pain of Bibi Sakina the youngest daughter of Imam Hussain , he put chains on their hands and feet , as she was held captive by Yazid in his palace atDamascus.

But this year he made some more girls symbolize the pain of Bbi Sakina with candes in their hands , and it portrayed the sad moment under the tyrant Yazid may Allah curse him his followers and his progeny.
Bibi Sakina from the net

Name :

Sakina ( also known in Arab world as Rukkaya)
Father :
Imam Hussain (a.s.)
Mother :
Bibi Umm-e-Rubab (a.s.)
Birth :
20th of Rajab
Death :
5th Rabi-ul-Awwal, at Damascus, Syria

In the Arab world, the youngest daughter of Imam Hussain (a.s.) is know as Bibi Rukkaya (a.s.) whereas she is know as Bibi Sakina (a.s.) in rest of the Islamic World. We will refer to her as Bibi Sakina (a.s.).

Bibi Sakina (a.s.) was the youngest daughter of Imam Hussain (a.s.). She was a vivacious child, full of love and happiness. Everyone loved Bibi Sakina (a.s.). She was also a very religious girl. She enjoyed reading the Holy Quran and never missed her prayers. From the age of two she took great care to make sure that her head and face were properly covered when in public.

Bibi Sakina (a.s.) was Imam Hussain's (a.s.) most beloved child. Our Imam (a.s.) used to pray for a daughter in his night prayers and the birth of Bibi Sakina (a.s.) was a result of those prayers. Imam (a.s.) was often heard to say, "A house without Sakina (a.s.) would not be worth living in!" She always had a sweet and cheerful smile and a very friendly nature. Other children sought her company as much as the grown ups did. She was very generous and always shared whatever she had with others.

There was a special bond between Hazrat Abbas (a.s.) and Bibi Sakina (a.s.). He loved her more than he did his own children. If Bibi Sakina (a.s.) requested for anything, Abbas (a.s.) would not rest until he satisfied her request. There was nothing that Abbas (a.s.) would not do to make Bibi Sakina (a.s.) happy.

During the journey from Madina to Mecca and then Mecca to Kerbala, Hazrat Abbas (a.s.) was often seen riding up to the mehmil in which Bibi Sakina (a.s.) sat to make sure that she had everything she wanted. Bibi Sakina (a.s.) loved her uncle just as much. While in Madina she would, several times a day, visit the house in which Hazrat Abbas (a.s.) lived with his family and his mother, Bibi Ummul Baneen (a.s.).

Like any other four-five year old when Bibi Sakina (a.s.) went to bed at night she wanted to spend some time with her father. Imam Hussain (a.s.) would tell her stories of the Prophets (as) and of the battles fought by her grand-father Imam Ali (a.s.). She would rest her head on her father's chest and Imam Hussain (a.s.) would not move from her until she fell asleep. When from the second of Muharram the armies of Yazid began to gather at Kerbala, Imam Hussain (a.s.) said to his sister Bibi Zainab (s.a.), "The time has come for you to get Sakina (a.s.) used to going to sleep without my being there !". Bibi Sakina (a.s.) would follow her father at night and Imam Hussain (a.s.) had to gently take her to Bibi Zainab (s.a.) or Bibi Rubaab (a.s.) - her mother.

At Kerbala when from the seventh Muharram, access to water was blocked by the army of Yazid and water became scarce Bibi Sakina (a.s.) shared whatever little water she had with other children. When soon there was no water at all, the thirsty children would look at Bibi Sakina (a.s.) hopefully, and because she could not help them she would have tears in her eyes. Bibi Sakina (a.s.)'s lips were parched with thirst.

On the day of Ashura - the 10th of Muharram, she gave her mashk to Hazrat Abbas (a.s.) to get some water for her and the children. When Hazrat Abbas (a.s.) went to fetch water, the children gathered round Bibi Sakina (a.s.) with their little cups, knowing that as soon as Hazrat Abbas (a.s.) brought any water, Bibi Sakina (a.s.) would first make sure that they had some before taking any herself. When Bibi Sakina (a.s.) saw Imam Hussain (a.s.) bringing the blood drenched 'alam she knew that her uncle Abbas (a.s.) had been martyred. From that day on Bibi Sakina (a.s.) never complained of thirst. Bibi Sakina (a.s.) never again asked anyone for water. Bibi Zainab (s.a.) would persuade her to take a few sips, but she herself would never ask for water or complain of thirst.

Then came the time when the earth shook and Bibi Sakina (a.s.) became an orphan! But even then she always thought of the others first. She would console her mother on the death of Ali Asghar (a.s.) - her 6-month old brother - and when she saw any other lady or child weeping Bibi Sakina (a.s.) would put her little arms around her.

From the time when Imam Hussain (a.s.) was martyred in the battle field, Bibi Sakina (a.s.) forgot to smile! Kufa saw her as a little girl lost in thought. Quite often she would sit up at night. When asked if she wanted anything, she would say, "I just heard a baby cry? Is it Asghar? He must be calling out for me!"

Knowing that her weeping upset her mother, Bibi Sakina (a.s.) would cry silently and quickly wipe away her tears! In the prison in Damascus she would stare at the flock of birds flying to their nests at sunset and innocently ask Bibi Zainab (s.a.), "Will Sakina ever be going home like those birds flying to their homes?"

Then one dreadful night Bibi Sakina (a.s.) went to bed on the cold floor of the prison. For a long time she stared into the darkness! The time for the morning prayers came. Bibi Sakina (a.s.) was still lying with her eyes wide open. Her mother called out: "Wake up, Sakina! Wake up, it is time for prayers, my child!" There was only the painful silence! Our fourth Imam Zain-ul-Abideen (a.s.) walked up to where Bibi Sakina (a.s.) lay. He put his hand on her forehead. It was cold! He put his hand near the mouth and the nose. Bibi Sakina (a.s.) had stopped breathing. In between sobs Imam Zain-ul-Abideen (a.s.) said: "INNA LILLAHI WA INNA ILAYHI RAAJI'OON!"

How was Bibi Sakina (a.s.) buried ? Bibi Zainab (s.a.) held the still child as Imam Zain-ul-Abideen (a.s.) dug a grave in the cell. As the grave was being filled up after the burial the mother let out a scream! How could anyone console Bibi Rubaab (a.s.)? What could they say? They huddled around her, and the prison walls began to shake with the cry: "Ya Bibi Sakina (a.s.), YA MAZLOOMAH!!" Bibi Rubaab (a.s.) put her cheek on Bibi Sakina's (a.s.) grave and cried out: "Speak to me, Sakina! Only a word, my child! Speak to me!!"

Islam Zinda Hota Hai Har Karbala Ke Bad

Whatever the general Muslim thinks , or whatever the doctrine of his beliefs , one fact remains by standing up against Yazid , Hussain changed the course of Islamic history.

I am not am Islamic scholar or a historian, nor do I proselytize my faith as a Blogger, as a matter of fact the pictures and my documentary of Shiasm is purely a story board I began in 2005 at Buzznet for my foreigner friends , as they knew nothing about this integral and important sect.

My Buzznet site was hacked I went through great pain , and I came out, with a greater vigor and continue showcasing Shiasm as a message of Tolerance and Mutual co existence..
Many years back I was doing zanjir matam and a Hindu friend could not bear my pain , he removed his shirt grabbed my zanjir and without a single word began scourging his back, he is a follower of Lalbagh Chya Raja a devout Siddi Vinayak believer.

I was not shocked but I took a solemn pledge for that one act for my Imam I promised him I would shoot his Faith for his parents and the Hindu community as long as I lived call it Hope and Hindutva a Message of Universal Peace and Humanity , I am crying as I write this, this is Hope and this is Humanity , I could live without Hope but not without Humanity, every year I follow his deity barefeet from Lalbagh till the Visarjan, yes I am proud to be a Hindu Shia.. in the city of my Karma and my Dharma Mumbai.

I have no animosity with any person of any faith, and my best friend is an American Jew , Dr Glenn Losack MD from Manhattan New York, seeing my Moharam pictures on the net , he came down to Mumbai befriended me and shot the Kurla juloos of Papu Bhai , he shot the Mumbai Chehlum barefeet , dressed in black, clothes I made for hm , and I still remember the moment when he grabbed my dagger to cut his head , I told him his time had not come and we became family.

He is my grand daughter 3 year old Mariyas god father and Guru.

So what you are even as a Shia depends on your surroundings and your parentage too, I cant be like you and you cant be like me.. I cant lead your life or you lead mine but yes Hussain is Hope that binds us all fro one generation to the next.

Bakhuda Islam Zinda Hota hai Har Karbala Ke Bad.

Majlis and Arti at the Municipal Garden Bandra East

As soon as the majlis ends at one end of the garden , the arti of Shri Sai Baba takes place at the other end where the temple is located ,each one does his thing , without hindrance and here you see the cosmopolitan nature of our beloved city Mumbai , its unique tolerance level and seamless mutual co existence of two different faiths at one single venue.

As I was shooting the Shia ethos I shot the activities of the Temple to, and and the devotees of the temple who know me very well, came up to me and thanked me and wished me well.

Bigotry is the greatest curse of Humanity , and even in Chennai I saw the Hindu Tamils waiting with their newly born children to have the kama performed on them , or ladies waiting with floral tributes for Zuljana , and this is what endears me to my country as a Hindu Shia born in India of Shia parentage.

Hinduism is the culture that I was born into and as a blogger I have paid ample tribute , to its essence and its message of Hope and Humanity.How can I ever forget this land of the Ganges was the land Imam Hussain wanted to come , in order to avoid blood shed among the Muslims.

So come what may, I try to shoot this juloos the Bandra Juloos of Our Fourth Imam Zainul Abedin, not only as a Shia occurrence of our Faith but as our religions amazing nature of giving respect to all faiths yes very Hussain is Humanity , Hussain is Hope fr the down trodden , the hopeless and the oppressed..

Bakhuda Har Kaum Pukaregi Hamare Hain Hussain.

What Is Life Without Spice ...Think Twice

Lifetime Just Hussain

Gar Hind Main Ajate Hai.. Imam Hussain Loved Hindustan

Makdhoom Shah Baba Urus and The Chancawalli Rafaees

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After I complete my backlog of Moharam pictures this will be next set at

I have been shooting the Urus of Makdhoom Shah Baba Mahim for several years now my collection on Sufism at Flickr.

I do not adhere to Sufi beliefs but I do have a Sufiyana mijaz or temperament , my genre on Sufism is my documentary on the Rafaees body piercing mendicants followers of Imam Ali and Ghaus Pak, the Dhuni or the Holy Fire symbolizes Ahle Bayt and Imam Ali and the body piercings without bleeding are dedicated to the Mysticism of Ghaus Pak.

The other two subjects I shoot are Possession , or Hazri , exorcism and beggars in Sufiland.
Hijras of course are a subject in itself but connected to two dargahs Ajmer Sharif and Haji Malang.
I document the spiritual life of the Hijra bawas.

I also shoot the life of the Afro Indian tribe the Siddis who are performers of the Sufi circuit.

But at Mahim predominantly I shoot the Chancawalli Rafaees who are n charge of the Dhuni at the back of the Mahim dargah.

My good friend Pir Handi the Murshad died recently at Kota he was my patron, , his seat was taken over by Barsati Baba and Amanat Baba , for sometime , this year a new Murshad is in place , Sarkari Bawa from Hyderabad.

I met him for the first time when I visited the dargah with my friend Sakib the florist from Mahim. on 31 Dec 2010..

I missed Sakibs sandal and the Mahim Police sandal I shoot every year, things have changed drastically at the Dhuni and since it was the last day of the Mahim Urus I left Sakib and the rafaees shot the Kashmiri Muslim beggars , than I walked all the way to the Holy Shrine of Fakhruddin Shah Baba also known as Chote Sarkar, here I shot a few Sandals and some piercing stuff.

After the Urus of Makdhoom Shah Baba ends the Urus of Baba Fakhr begins it lasts for 3 days and the Chancawalli Rafaees move here at this Dhuni.

I have shot Baba Fakhrs Urus too for many years now.I dont know spiritually I feel more at home at this Dargah perhaps because it is not too crowded and I have some great experience here in the past.

Munna Bhai of Sangam Decorators is my very good friend so I am home at this Dargah during the Urus.

I shall post pictures in this set after I complete the Makdhoom Shah Baba set...

Bandra East Juloos Of Fourth Imam Zainul Abedin 2011

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This evening I went to Bandra East to shoot the Bandra East Juloos that I try not to miss , this year I was in time , last year I was called to Salman Khans house for some urgent work , so I missed the earlier events , my wife and Marziya had both gone to his house and than reached Bandra East .

It seems like yesterday.

My wife arrived from Iran last night she was in Karbala and Damascus for Moharam.

So she did not accompany me to Bandra East besides we have our house majlis tomorrow so she has a lot of unfinished work to cope up with.

I shot the events at the Municipal Garden Bandra East from where after a majlis the Juloos begins and next to where the juloos begins is the Sai Baba Temple I shot this too, to show you the mutual co existence in Mumbai..

The Hindus of Bandra East and the Shias are compatible to each others faith .. each one giving space to the other,at the other end is the dais for majlis by Maulana Hasnain Karari , it was jam packed , and after the majlis Zuljana and taboot of the Fourth Imam and than hardcore zanjir kama and sword matam.

I shot all this than taking a dagger I did the Tandav on the Soul of Shimr here , the dagger was quite blunt so I was not to happy , I collapsed twice and on after shooting the busheri matam returned , this picture was shot by Marziyas mom..for record .

Marziya cleaned my dirty bare feet and this will be my next set at

I shot the Urus of Makhdoom Shah Baba a day before which I keep on hold even the Chennai 7 Moharam juloos pictures I might keep on hold.