Saturday, June 2, 2012
MotiKatla Vegetable Market Ajmer / The Hijras of India, a photo by firoze shakir photographerno1 on Flickr.
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Every year I come to Ajmer and get off here as the road leading to the Dargah or Holy Shrine is closed to vehicles.
And from here I climb a few steps and carry my suitcase to my host Peersaab Fakhru Miyas house he is a very important Sufi scholar and sits in the Dargah Hujra No6..he is very kind human being and most of his disciples are Hindus from all over India lovers of Khwajah Garib Nawaz.. Hazrat Moinuddin Chishty Al Sabri.
A little ahead of this market is the lodges where the most influential prettiest hijras from all over India come and stay during the Urus ..they spend lavishly feed the poor clothe the needy and all their wealth they place at the feet of the Khwajah who replenishes it multifold.
Here at the corner is the famous tea stall of Babar Bhai where the hijras local folks hijra stalkers hijra gazers come and have tea..it is from here the hijras dance towards the dargah on dainty feet to place their floral tribute to the Holy Saints to the beat of drums.
And you wont see all this the hijras , the eunuch children I shot intensively I have removed all my hijra pictures from public view only those I know trust can see them at Flickr.com.
I shot Raveena Naina Laxmi Narayan Tripathi Soma and a bevy of beautiful hijra women..I treat them like women so I have access I shoot them in their private quarters too.
Most of them change their clothes in front of me because they know I wont misuse their dignity their privacy.. and this trust has taken time .they have immense faith in me.
The Hijras of India is my personal private travelogue and because Flickr members stole my pictures , robbed the identity of the people I shoot to con gullible Flickr members enticing them with false invitations I decided to remove my hijra pictures from all of you out there.
And I dont wish to plead my case with insensitive Flickr Support or legalize confusing totally unfriendly Yahoo Copyright.
I rest my case .. in silence and pain.
I shoot pictures to educate , to showcase a world nobody shoots I dont make money through pictures so I wont have people robbing me or dictating their evil on me.
The Beggars of Ajmer ...Come Here Because The Khwajah Answers Their Prayers, a photo by firoze shakir photographerno1 on Flickr.
The Holy Saint of Ajmer Hazrat Moinuddin Chishty al Sabri is fondly endearingly universally known as Khwajah Garib Nawaz , the Messiah of the Poor.
The beggars the hijras the malangs the rafaees sadhus people from all walks of life beyond caste color creed come here to pay tribute at his Tomb..all year round.
But his 800 annual Urus or birthday celebrations the crowds were horrendous huge and every room lodge packed , people slep on the roads streets least bothered about their sufferings it was laying their head bowing genuflecting the Holy Tomb at the Dargah that was most important.
As I was not allowed with the camera within the Holy Shrine you can see my earlier pictures shot as visual poetry.
However with due respect to the Dargah Trustees and the Khadims I made up shooting the lovers of the Holy Saint his people and his chosen ones the poor needy homeless beggars of Ajmer .. this is my tribute to the resilience and arduous souls of the beggars blind limbless on crutches dead but sometimes alive.
And my genre is Muslim beggars that neither government Muslim society or the clerics who love raining fatwas will ever rehabilitate ..through my pictures i am sure one day not tomorrow perhaps in the distant future the beggars will get succor hope and be part of humanity.. now living on leftovers and at the brink.
God forgive me for shooting beggars of Ajmer your people too .. your celebrity iconic photographers were too busy shooting the IPL and the Bharat Bandh.. as a beggar poet I shot beggars .. to document their pain poetry and pathos.
May they get relief , get over their hardships and earthly body soul sufferings..
On my trips to Ajmer I dont carry my rare stuff I fear I might lose it all made in old silver and I doubt if you could get the same piece , and these rings are agate known as Shiivas eyes I have made another set for fingers of my crooked damaged right hand.
Most of my stuff I sold when my world crashed during the recession , but I still have one of the finest collection of stones ..
At my new job I cant wear all this so I wear it on Sundays or on my spiritual treks I have gifted a lot of good stuff to my Sufi heads Bawas ..
I would love to have toerings but they are painful in the hot sun and blazing tar roads as I walk barefeet.
Sartorial Sufi Spirituality of The Exotic Gemstone Dealer, a photo by firoze shakir photographerno1 on Flickr.
I have known him since many years he competes with me in collection of crazy chunky jewelry ,and he has one grouse why I dont buy his stuff ,,
I meet him at Hussain Tekri Jaorah and Ajmer never seen him in Mumbai Makhdhoom Shah Baba Dargah or Haji Malang dargah circuits.
He has a soft spoken sweet wife who follows him from a distance and he flamboyantly called Mastan.
He is a very mild , but hard pushing salesman of his goods he sells expensive stuff all on his person in his many pockets and cheap stuff on one hand.
And he is very happy that I meet him and shoot him too..
One of the largest selling item found around peoples neck and hands is the holy thread that the devotee will buy and take home for his friends family and relatives .. this thread is blessed at the Tomb of the Holy Saint and handed over to the devotees.
Next is the white sweet that along with dried petals that were placed on the Tomb gain spirtual significance , items he takes back home for good luck and to ward of evil..
Most of the shopkeepers near the Dargah know me very well I hae been shooting them showcasing one of the greatest holy sites of India during the Urus of Holy Saint Khwajah Garib Nawaz of Ajmer also known as Hazrat Moinuddin Chishty al Sabri.
This is my second card of 4 GB I shot at Ajmer all on 27 May 2012.
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