Monday, February 21, 2011

Haji Malang Baba Khuda Hafiz

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The Haji Malang Dargah Trust is the managing body of the Holy Shrine and does an excellent job in keeping the public under control, the volunteers khadims all have one prime goal to see that the main event like the Palki procession goes without any accident or skirmishes and Malang Baba does the needful granting the blessings of peace hope and harmony.

Because of my personal humiliation at the hands of a member of the Haji Malang Dargah Trust I wont be shooting this Shrine at all, I have vowed never to return, he was rude and this documentary that I shoot year after year barefeet so that the world can share the message of this sage known as Malang Baba.

I climb the Malangad mountains without footwear year after year.. I climb down barefeet too.

I have friends in America UK, Europe who anxiously wait for my Haji Malang pictures and I shoot this for them , I have as yet never entered the inner sanctum of the Holy Saint.. I shoot all this from the courtyard or the Dargah Chowk.

I am not a Sufi adherent I promote peace and Haji Malang is the finest symbol of national integration a Sufi Saint , and Hindu Khadims the Ketkars and Muslim mujawirs take care of this Shrine that is touched by all caste color creed community.

I shoot this sangam of Hindu Muslim amity, whether you call him Malang Baba or Shree Malang he belongs to all..and here I must add the Hijra transgender community consider the Malang Baba their Holy Patron , their Protector and come here in hordes dance and place chaddars , and enhance the stature of worship , I come to shoot this too.

For those who dont know me I am a Shia Muslim from India a pucca Mumbaikar who is poetically called Hindu Shia , I shoot Hinduism that on my Flickr photostream is knbown as Hope and Hindutva a message of Peace and Humanity..I shoot Durga Kali Lal Bagh Cha Raja and does that make me a Hindu, yes it does as Hinduism is my proud cultural inheritance and I owe what I am too my Hindu friends brothers who have helped me to be a good human being...and above all a good Muslim too.

My faith is my personal prerogative and I carry the visiting card of Ghame Hussain all time..I dont sell my pictures I dont belong to any political party I leave my job , my family and come to shoot the Haji Malang the country needs to know about this Holy Saint and his message of Love For All.

So in a way this is the last documentary on Haji Malang.. nothing personal ..The Haji Malang Dargah Trust has never given me any special privileges as a photographer I never did need it that they allow me to be at Haji Malang is more than enough..

Without Kumar Abhijit Ketkar the Ketkars that I know who render hospitality to me I bow my head in thankfulness .

To Sakib Rahim Bhai Iqbal Bhai and last but never the least to Huzoor Abdul Bawa of Kalyan.. who have supported me always.

And all this would not have been possible without my Hijra Guru Laxmi Narayan Tripathi and Gopal Haji and his Najafgarh hjjra biradri, Madhurima Ma Baby Hijra Guru of Park Site Vikhroli.

Khuda Hafiz

The Palki of the Holy Saint of Haji Malang 2011

The Palki Procession Haji Malang 2011

Haji Malang Is For All

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his kingdom
belongs to all
rich poor
big and small
beggars hijras
the needy homeless
of posh towers
people living
in chawls
its your humility
makes you tall
you leave your
your ego
your car
your motorbike
at the foot
of his mountains
says it all
a divinity
on call
the ahle bayt
residing on
his dome
as ibadat
on his wall
hindu muslim amity
shia sunni amity
a mixed culture
peace hope
all in all
united we stand
as Indians
or divided
we fall
a malang baba
beyond caste
color or creed
saves us all
we are all one
under his
prayer shawl


Cross Dressers and Ladyboys at Haji Malang My New Set at

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Please bear in mind before you interpret the poetry of my pictures I shoot human life in all forms, these are devotees of Malang Baba, they are the guests of the Holy Saint of Haji Malang during his Urus , they dress up for the Urus to seek the Holy Saints blessings their main protector in a world that hates their kind of people.

You will note my pictures carry the dignity of this small community , they are not crude , not pathetically displaying their desire or urge that you find among pseudo cross dressers a dime a dozen on

I have shot their desires through my pictures respecting all norms of deceny, some of these ladyboys and cross dressers I have known since several years , many touch my feet ask me to pray for them, and many have wept and told me their pain and their stories ..I have kept their secrets in my head as a pledge and they are unlike the hijras , they dont have the hijra ancestry and do not wish to be hijras , they come from affluent homes and good parentage, some are poor but rich in culture.

This is my small tribute to them as a set on

I dont add cross dressers as my contacts at Flickr has nothing to do with what they are.. their choice is not mine.. I am not part of the imagery of their world.

My proximity as photographer lies with the hijra community and my hijra guru Laxmi Narayan Tripathi.

I am a hetero sexual male telling a tale of pain through pictures and some poetry.

Cross Dressers and Ladyboys Demystified

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Their struggle continues to
what they were not born to be
men in women clothing's from
here till eternity
fighting restlessly
as crossdressers
their dharma
karmic destiny
chained to
penile retribution
vagina monologue
that is not theirs to be
day after
will they
ever be free
unlike the hijras
under the same
banyan tree
a she
no not she
only a he
to be a woman
squat and pee
is not what
you actually see

Megha Bollywoods Hijra Film Star

Fuck I Am Not The Only One Who Shoots Hijras

Dil Ne Phir Yad Kiya

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phir koi chot muhabbat ki
ubhar aayi hai
dil ne phir yaad kiya

wo bhi kya din the hamein
dil mein bithaya tha kabhi
wo bhi kya din the hamein
dil mein bithaya tha kabhi

aur has has ke gale
tum ne lagaya tha kabhi
khel hi khel mein kyon
jaan pe ban aayi hai
phir koi chot muhabbat ki
ubhar aayi hai
dil ne phir yaad kiya

kya bataayein tumhe hum
shamma ki kismat kya hai
kya bataayein tumhe hum
shamma ki kismat kya hai

ghum mein jalne ke siwa
aur muhabbat kya hai
ye wo gulshan hai ki jis mein
na bahaar aayi hai
phir koi chot muhabbat ki
ubhar aayi hai
dil ne phir yaad kiyaa

hum wo parwaane hain jo
shamma ka dam bharte hain
hum wo parwaane hain jo
shamma ka dam bharte hain

husn ki aag mein khaamosh
jala karte hain
aah bhi nikle to
pyar ki ruswaayi hai
phir koi chot muhabbat ki
ubhar aayi hai
dil ne phir yaad kiya
bark is leharaayi hai
dil ne phir yaad kiya

This is a title number from the film Dil Ne Phir Yaad Kiya. The film was released in the year 1966 and its direction is done by C L Rawal. The song is picturised on Dharmendra and Nutan on a boat.

Parde Main Rehne Do Parda Na Uthao Parda Jo Uth Gaya Toh Bhes Khul Jayega

Children Love Hijras Too

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Hijras are the closest to kids as they bless them during their birth in a ritual called Bhadai and strangely the hijra is cursed by society for having transgressed the human laws of nature by becoming a woman though biologically born as a male.

The hijra is known as Chakkas a derogatory term insulting the soul of the hijra..

And this child reads the hijra ethos and angst better than me or society.

Hijras at Haji Malang 2011 Thank You Eric Saab

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From my dear friend Eric Parker of Toronto Canada a new comment

Hijra set

as always a fabulous series of shots
some of these "ladies" are just stunning and very thoughtfully, gently shot - well done.

Nisha From Delhi Calls Me Firoze Bhai

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I know her since many years , the most human kind courteous hijra in the world, she mantains her dignity and stays at a house of a family at Haji Malang..

Nisha is the HIjra mother I shot breast feeding a child the only daring picture at my photo stream, and it was to show you the pangs of misplaced motherhood, the cravings to produce a child.

Hijras still make good mothers I know hijras who have adopted eunuch or normal children given them a god decent life and changed the destiny that the biological parent could never have done.

Nisha is the first hijra I spoke to she has been a hijra since 20 years , what drove her to become a hijra .. it was pain her feminine nature and domestic problems.

She ran away joined the hijras but lives on her own terms.
And she calls me her brother dotes on me and rebukes me for walking barefeet , as she is aware of my diabetes.

Nisha wont eat till she has fed me with her own hands now I am crying as I write this I have 4 sisters but we moved away .. to far to ever come to terms with our lives.

So I tell Nisha to stop calling me Firoze Bhai I hate sisaters and that is it.

But Nisha being Nisha wont give up, if given the chance she would clean my dirty feet too and this is a sincere relationship based on human faith.

So now you know why I shoot Hijras I am as human human or more human than they are.

Even the children of the house where she stays call her Mummy.. and it is a small tiny dark cottage on the main road close to Sultan Shah Babas dargah.

I dont have Nishas mobile number, she has my business card but never calls me but if she sees me either heree or at Ajmer Sharif than she drags me to see that I eat.

My eating during such trek is miserable I survive on tea and batawada nothing else.

So when I shot Nisha I shot her world her hopes all easily visible in her eyes.. though my own eyes are completely moist writing all this.

Preeti Hijra From Najafgarh

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Preeti originally hails from Kolkatta and belongs to the hijra gharana of Gopa Haji Najafgarh Delhi.

We first met at Ajmer last year and Preeti has done her Masters in Sociology.. and is in the forefront of Hijra welfare and Hijra human rights.

She loves to dress well, grooms herself and can talk her way through your heart.

Their sandal touted as the best was last night paying tribute to the Holy Saint Sultan Shah Baba close associate and earliest companion of Haji Malang Baba.

I skipped this memorable event due to personal reasons and as a photographer I was happy with all that I had shot, I am not at all greedy for pictures they come my way anyway, without effort or struggle.

I was destined to shoot hijras so I shoot hijras and show you their humanity through my images.

I dont sell distribute my pictures ..though from Flickr I cross blog these pictures only a few of them to my other sites Twitter and my Hijda Eunuch Blogs at Wordpress.

I wont ever shame the hijra ethos trying to publish a Coffee Table book, the hijra humanity I shoot would hardly fit in it.. the hijras is a passion only as a subject I shoot as a photographer, nothing more nothing less.

My hijra travelogue is for a better future , more human future for the Hijra community.

I shoot pretty hijras including the ugly ones too, but beneath the flesh of the hijra lies the hope and an unfulfilled desire of Man..

Man who created the hijra from his feminine side and his androgynous angst.

I have the Hijda Vardan.. in a bloggers beggar bowl God above gives me opportunities of showcasing the positivity of hijras.

If you read me wrong it is your fault and the narrow mindedness of your back ground.I piity you nevertheless.

My hijra pictures are not to titillate but to enlighten the dark corners of your mind..

That I am a Shia and a Muslim has nothing to do with my passion for shooting the hijras, my religiosity is my personal prerogative no one can dictate to me what to shoot what not to shoot.. you dont like hijras Fuck You.. Dont see my pictures.

I shoot Hinduism , Sufism Christianity, Exorcism Possession and these are my chioce and subjects.. none of you pay me for what I shoot so shut the Fuck Up..

My camera badly over used I am too broke to buy a new one still shoots the soul of Humanity it belongs to me and will never be enslaved to bigotry or racism or narrow mindedness.

And my three year old grand daughter the youngest street photographer in the world shoots hijras too on my own camera.. so its all in the blood.

My stories will end the day I shut my eyes and take a short cut to be part of a nether world they call Paradise Hell or Purgatory.

Mona and Nandini Eunuch Children of India

Mona The Child Eunuch is a Hijra Guru Too

Rashid Bawa Hijra Holy Man and Gemstone Seller

Rashid Bawa Hijra Holy Man and Gemstone Seller

He has taught dance to the earlier top heroines of yester years in Bollywood..


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that i am human
its true
why do you categorize me
as a dalit christian muslim
or hindu
i am a accident of birth
born in my mothers womb
now in public view
my pictures are poem
you read them 'i humbly
thank you
my camera shoots
gives mankind its due
man a morsel of despair
in humanity's stew
the rabid racists
will eat swallow or chew
on his soul hate
they will spew
a blogger shooting
men of all caste color and hue
showing you a canvas
of moving talking images
sometimes old sometimes new

The Proud Arrogant Raveena Hijra of Najafgarh

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She is impetuous , moody kind and nice but at times she gets carried away by her beauty and she changes into human envy pride and arrogance.. she forgets the gift that God has given will not last for too long..

I shot her grooming , changing from a hijra to a woman and that part of pictures I shot for myself as a poet and I will not display to public.. sometimes a poet shoots not to share.

My hijra pictures of Haji Malang will remain at Flickr only a few I shall cross blog at my Hijda Eunuch blogs or my other sites on the internet.

Seeing them at my new Hijra set at Flickr is a better option..

Kumar and Abhijit Ketkar Hindu Khadims of Haji Malang Dargah

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Haji Malang is a symbol of hope and humanity, and a point where Hindu Muslim amity is at its zenith..Haji Malang is lesson for disgruntled Hindu Muslims who are at war with each other most of the time.. Haji Malang is a place not just of spirituality but national integration , that I walk barefeet to shoot this unique sangam of humanity.

I do this on my own as a blogger and without any agenda, I have no sponsor, I come on my own, but yes these two khadims and my friend Sakib help me and take care of me as extended member of their family..

I am as much an Hindu as as much as I am Muslim.. I am an Indian first and last, if you think I am a heretic I am that too, anything to appease your body mind and the vision of your narrow mindedness..

And it is 4.30in the morning and I am uploading the secular spirit of my beloved nation you see them as pictures I shot them as memories with your eyes and God transformed them as blogs of poetry ...

Aum Saha Naavavatu

AUM saha naavavatu . saha naubhunaktu .
saha viirya.n karavaavahai .
tejasvi naavadhiitamastu . maa vidvishhaavahai .

Om, May Lord protect us, May He cause us to enjoy,
May we exert together,
May our studies be thorough and faithful,
May we never quarrel with each other.
Om Peace Peace Peace!

Police Men Are Human Too

The Barefeet Blogger of Mumbai And The Silence of His Soul

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There are guys that from the foothills reach the top of Haji Malang Shrine in one hour, but for me 58 years old, diabetic asthmatic , it was pretty tough it took me close to three hours to reach the top and I trekked the mountain barefeet.

I dont take my diabetic medicines at all when I undertake such a photographic pilgrimage. I had bare minimum clothes a single camera body two lenses and my SB 800 flash.

At the mountain top the first day I bathed in chilly waters the next day I paid Rs 15 for a small pail of hot water in a community public washroom..cum bath called Hamam.

Haji Malang is a life time experience and Indian Sufism and Sunnism is a very thin demarcation line..I have no issue with any stream of thought I shoot humanity, and the spirit of my nation and Haji Malang is shore of a bank that touches everyone beyond caste color or creed..

Most of all I shoot Hindu Muslim amity..I see ugliness of thought I dont shoot job is to shoot positivity of my cultural identity ..and its secular spirit on the soul of Humanity.

I did a lot of kaif,, both at Haji Malang Shrine and at my favorite hot spot the Holy Shrine of Sultan Shah Baba where the Khadims are Hindus too.

Rohan Patil the Khadim of Sultan Shah Baba was always taking care of my needs and at Haji Malang close to the Dargah where I stayed in Kumart and Abhijits lodge I did not have to pay a single cent , such is the hospitality and love all because I shoot Babas Darbar and his loved ones.

And the Haji Malang Trust instead of appreciating my documentary on the Urus of Baba or simply being grateful , was trying to knock me down with a biased bent of mind of one of their narrow minded trust member.

I come here on my own , I shoot reality the hardships the poor sleeping on the roads just to be showered by Malang Babas bounty, I met people that had walked barefeet from Ulhasnagar , I met so many people , I met people who bought their children and offered their humility to Malang Baba.

I owe nothing to anybody my camera my vision belongs to me it depends how you interpret what I shot..because i shoot Haji Malang Dargh not with my eyes but yours too..

The beggars the malishwalas, the roadside gemstone sellers all wanting boons from Malang Baba.. I asked for nothing, ..I am going through the worst period of my life I was mostly crying when I did the Kaif but I am sure the Lord will provide.

I have till date never entered the sanctum of any Holy Saint here or even Ajmer Sharif as I am a sinner in all respects and am scared to let my shadow fall at the Holy Saints tomb.. so I shoot from the courtyard and outer surroundings,..

My rafaees friends from Chancawalli have splintered and moved away.. the rafaee Chowk of Haji Malang missed Handi and Sikandar Wali Baba.both dead and gone.

There is a Siddi Chowk too but I did not shoot the Dhamal..

I shot the area in and around Sultan Shah Bab this morning..where I do not encounter narrow mindedness and bigotry.. for the hijras Sultan Shah Baba is also a great provider.

Many of my hijra friends like Heena Kamini were not there for this Urus.

And I shot Raveena , Laxmi Narayan Tripathi my hijra guru an actress hijra called Megha my friend Nisha , Naina and Mona the Child eunuch and Nandini the child eunuch.
I shot Babita and an old Hijra Fakir Naik from Amritsar called Madhu..

I shot the enigmatic cross dressers of Mumbai, known as CD's I shot a member sect of Ardh Nari Nareshwars ..called Sada Suhagin , they wear ladys clothes but are Muslims in identity they are married to God they say, and are also known as Musa Suhagins.

The person I met is a Suhagin has 9 children.

Naga Sadhu Baba and The Hindu Shia of Mumbai

Naga Sadhu Baba and The Hindu Shia of Mumbai

Gopal Hajis Hijras and Me

Naga Sadhus at Malangad Mountain Foothills

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This Naga Baba is from Juna Akhada and close associate of my Naga Guru Shri Vijay Giri Maharaj Shanti Ashram Film City,