Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Last Journey And Last Rites of Shree Balasaheb Thackeray

252,075 items / 2,071,142 views

At first I did not want to go and shoot this as a nail had gone into my feet and it was healing slowly so I was not sure I could make this journey , but than seeing the images on TV and a call from my Guru Shreekant Malushte changed my mind I wore simple clothes a white linen shirt and black linen trousers and walked till Mahim where I caught the cortege of Shee Balasaheb Thackeray before the Mahim fishing village , and I climbed up trucks , and walls to shoot these pictures.

Than a friend Sunil Parab spotted me from the Press Bus and I shot the procession till Sena Bhavan

From Sena Bhavan I walked to Shivaji Park got into the Press Enclosure but it was just impossible to shoot the Press Guys are not the friendliest species on earth in Mumbai , they stood on chairs making it impossible to shoot any frames my friend Nitin Pawar of PSI Mumbai standing on a platform next to the LCD screen shot some pictures for me and the last rite pictures were shot by a Marathi lad called Prakash Maurya ..and this is my humble tribute to a great iconic leader and I dont think there will ever be leader as large as Shree Balasaheb Thackeray and there wont ever be such a large crowd of any Indian leader on his passing away existence or yet to be born.

I walked back till Mahim my legs in bad shape and my friend Sakib who stays at Dargah Gully Mahim dropped me home.

This is my new set at a very long series.


Karbala by firoze shakir photographerno1
Karbala, a photo by firoze shakir photographerno1 on Flickr.

Karbala (Arabic: كربلاء‎; BGN: Al-Karbalā’; also referred to as Karbalā' al-Muqaddasah) is a city in Iraq, located about 100 km (62 mi) southwest of Baghdad. Karbala is the capital of Karbala Governorate, and has an estimated population of 572,300 people (2003).
The city, best known as the location of the Battle of Karbala (680), is amongst the holiest cities for Shia Muslims after Mecca and Medina. It is home to the Imam Hussein Shrine. Karbala is famous as the site of the martyrdom of Hussein ibn Ali (Imam Hussein), and commemorations are held by millions of Shias annually to remember it. Karbala is considered sacred by all Shias.[1]
Several theories address the origin of the name Karbala. The Turkish geographer Yaqut al-Hamawi expressed the traditional hypothesis: that the name is an alternate Arabic feminine version of karbalah "soft earth".[2] Another theory suggests that the name came from the Aramaic root Karb or Qarb; meaning "Near", and Alah; meaning God. Hence, the word 'Karbala' signifies 'Near God'.[3] Alternatively, it has been said to be derived from the Aramaic word Kora, meaning place for making bricks, for the nearby ancient city of Babil, hence Karbabil, which became Karbala by contraction.
According to Shī‘ah belief, the archangel Gabriel narrated the true meaning of the name Karbalā to Muhammad: the land which will cause many agonies (karb) and afflictions (balā)."[4]
[edit]About the city

The city is one of Iraq's wealthiest, profiting both from religious visitors and agricultural produce, especially dates. It is made up of two districts, "Old Karbala," the religious centre, and "New Karbala," the residential district containing Islamic schools and government buildings.
At the centre of the old city is the Masjid al-Hussein, the tomb of Hussein ibn Ali, grandson of Muhammad by his daughter Fatima tuz-Zahra and ‘Alī ibn Abu Tālib. Hussein's tomb is a place of pilgrimage for many Shī‘ī Muslims, especially on the anniversary of the battle, the Day of ‘Āshūrā. Many elderly pilgrims travel there to await death, as they believe the tomb to be one of the gates to paradise. Another focal point of the Shī‘ī pilgrimage to Karbala is al-Makhayam, traditionally believed to be the location of Hussein's camp, where the death of Hussein and his followers is publicly commemorated. Many pious Shi'a ask to be buried in and around Karbala and a good portion of Karbala's economy is wrapped up in the corpse and funeral business.
The city's association with Shī‘a Islām have made it a centre of religious place as well as worship; it has more than 100 mosques and 23 religious schools, of which possibly the most famous is that of Ibn Fahid, constructed some 440 years ago.
The city sprang up around the two shrines of Hussein ibn Ali and his brother al-Abbas, and as such the layout of the city is centered around the shrines. In 1994, Saddam Hussein destroyed the houses between the shrines in order to created a huge concrete highway between the two.
Karbala experiences a hot desert climate (Köppen climate classification BWh) with extremely hot, dry summers and cool winters. Almost all of the yearly precipitation is received between November and April, though no month is truly wet.
[hide]Climate data for Karbala
Average high °C (°F)15.7
Average low °C (°F)5.4
Precipitation mm (inches)17.6
Avg. precipitation days75653000045742
Source: World Meteorological Organisation (UN) [5]
To the west of Karbala is the Lake Milh (lake of salt), also known as Lake Razazah. A one hour car drive south takes you to Najaf. An hour car drive to the north-east takes you to Baghdad.

[edit]Battle of Karbala
Main article: Battle of Karbala
Karbala's prominence in Shīa traditions is the result of the Battle of Karbala, fought on the site of the modern city on October 10, 680 AD (10 Muharram 61 AH). Both Imam Hussain ibn Ali and his brother ʻAbbās ibn ʻAlī were buried by the local Banī Asad tribe at what later became known as the Mashhad Al-Hussein. The battle itself occurred as a result of Hussain's refusal to accept the Umayyad Yazid ibn Mu'awiya as chalipha. The Kufan governor, Ubaydallah ibn Ziyad, sent thousands of horsemen against Imam Hussain as he traveled to Kufa. The horsemen, under 'Umar ibn Sa'd, were ordered to deny Imam Hussain and his followers water until Imam Hussain agreed to give an oath of allegiance. On 9 Muharram, Imam Hussain refused and asked to be given the night to pray. On 10 Muharram, Imam Hussain ibn Ali prayed the morning prayer and led his troops into battle along with his brother al-Abbas. All of Hussein's followers, including all of his present sons(Ali Akbar,Ali Asgar,Qasim,Onno Mohd) were slaughtered.[6]
In 63 AH (682 AD), Yazid ibn Mu'awiya released the surviving members of Imam Hussein's family from prison. On their way to the Hijaz, they stopped at the site of the battle. There is record of Sulayman ibn Surad going on pilgrimage to the site as early as 65 AH (685 AD). The city began as a tomb and shrine to Hussein and grew as a city in order to meet the needs of pilgrims.
The city and tombs were greatly expanded by successive Muslim rulers, but suffered repeated destruction from attacking armies. The original shrine was destroyed by the Abbasid Caliph al-Mutawakkil in 850 but was rebuilt in its present form around 979, only to be partly destroyed by fire in 1086 and rebuilt yet again.
[edit]Early modern
Like Najaf, the city suffered from severe water shortages that were only resolved in the early 18th century by building a dam at the head of the Husseiniyya Canal. In 1737, the city replaced Isfahan in Iran as the main centre of Shī'a scholarship. In the mid-eighteenth century it was dominated by the dean of scholarship, Yusuf Al Bahrani, a key proponent of the Akhbari tradition of Shī'a thought, until his death in 1772,[7] after which the more state-centric Usuli school became more influential. It suffered severe damage in 1802 when an invading Wahhabi army sacked the city.
After the Wahhabi invasion, the city enjoyed semi-autonomy during Ottoman rule, governed by a group of gangs and mafia variously allied with members of the 'ulama. In order to reassert their authority, the Ottoman army laid siege to the city. On January 13, 1843 Ottoman troops entered the city. Many of the city leaders fled leaving defense of the city largely to tradespeople. About 3,000 Arabs were killed in the city, and another 2,000 outside the walls (this represented about 15% of the city's normal population). The Turks lost 400 men. [8] This prompted many students and scholars to move to Najaf, which became the main Shī'a religious centre.[9] Between 1850 and 1903, Karbala enjoyed a generous influx of money through the Oudh Bequest. The Shi'a ruled Indian Province of Awadh, known by the British as Oudh, had always sent money and pilgrims to the holy city. The Oudh money, 10 million rupees, originated in 1825 from the Awadh king Ghazi al-Din Haydar. One third was to go to his wives, and the other two thirds went to holy cities of Karbala and Najaf. When his wives died in 1850, the money piled up with interest in the hands of the British East India Company. The EIC sent the money to Karbala and Najaf per the wives' wishes, in the hopes of influencing the 'ulama in Britain's favor. This effort to curry favor is generally considered to have been a failure.[10]

Mosque in Karbala (1932)
Karbala's development was strongly influenced by the Persians, who were the dominant community for many years (making up 75%[citation needed]of the city's population by the early 20th century). The Kammouna family were custodians of the shrines for many years and effectively ran the city until it fell under the control of the British Empire in 1915.
The association of the city with Shīʻa religious traditions led to it being treated with suspicion by Iraq's Sunni rulers. Under Saddam Hussein's rule, Shīʻa religious observances in the city were greatly restricted and many non-Iraqi Shīʻa were not permitted to travel there at all.
In March 1991, the city was badly damaged and many killed when a rebellion by local Shīʻa was put down with great brutality by Saddam's regime. The shrines and surrounding Shi'a houses, cemeteries, and hospitals became riddled with machine gun fire and military shelling. By April 1991, Saddam Hussein began an intense demolition project around the shrines in order to create a concrete perimeter. This "sanitary zone" created a wide open space in between and around the shrines. The shrines were rebuilt by 1994.[11] The 2004 pilgrimage was the largest for decades, with over a million people attending. It was marred by bomb attacks on March 2, 2004, now known as the Ashoura massacre, which killed and wounded hundreds despite tight security in the city.
A big Shia festival passed off peacefully amid fears of possible violence that brought thousands of troops and police into the city. Hundreds of thousands of Shia pilgrims who had come together to celebrate the Shaabaniya ritual began leaving the southern city after September 9, 2006 climax ended days of chanting, praying and feasting. Heavy presence by police and Iraqi troops seemed to have kept out Wahhabi/Takfiri Al-Qaeda suicide bombers who have disrupted previous rituals.
On April 14, 2007, a car bomb exploded about 600 ft (180 m) from the shrine, killing 47[12] and wounding over 150.
On January 19, 2008, 2 million Iraqi Shia pilgrims marched through Karbala city, Iraq to commemorate Ashura. 20,000 Iraqi troops and police guarded the event amid tensions due to clashes between Iraqi troops and Shia Muslims which left 263 people dead (in Basra and Nasiriya).[13]
[edit]Main sights

Imam Hussein Camp
Al Abbas Mosque
Hadrat Abbas Shrine
Imam Husayn Shrine
[edit]Shia beliefs

Shias believe that Karbalā is one of the holiest places on Earth according to the following traditions (among others):
The angel Gabriel narrated to Muhammad that:[4]
Karbalā, where your grandson and his family will be martyred, is one of the most blessed and the most sacred lands on Earth and it is one of the valleys of Paradise.
The fourth Shī‘ah Imām, ‘Alī Zaynul ‘Ābidīn narrated:[14]
God chose the land of Karbalā as a safe and blessed sanctuary twenty-four thousand years before He created the land of the Ka‘bah and chose it as a sanctuary. Verily it (Karbalā) will shine among the gardens of Paradise like a shining star shines among the stars for the people of Earth.
In this regard, Imam Jafar Sadiq narrates, 'Allah, the Almighty, has made the dust of my ancestor's grave - Imam Husain (a.s.) as a cure for every sickness and safety from every fear.' [15]
It is narrated from Imam Jafar Sadiq that: "The earth of the pure and holy grave of Hussein ibn Ali is a pure and blessed musk. For those who consume it from among our Shias, it is a cure for every ailment, and if our enemy uses it then he will melt the way fat melts, when you intend to consume that pure earth recite the following supplication" [16]

Karbalaa FC is a football club based in Karbala.
There are many references in books in films to "Karbala", generally referring to Hussein ibn Ali's death at the Battle of Karbala. Hussein is often depicted on a white horse impaled by arrows. Films about the events of Karbala exist in both animated and realistic form (see external links "Karbala: When the Skies Wept Blood"; "Safar-e-Karbala").
Video footage of the actual city exists in a British documentary entitled "Saddam's Killing Fields."[17] The documentary shows the March 1991 destruction of the city by Saddam's army through the video camera of two brothers who lived in the city.
Main article: Ahlulbait University College
There is a university called Ahlulbait University College in the city, teaching a variety of subjects.

A Glorious Death is Better than a Shameless Life ..

Shias Of India Dont Much Care For Photographers ..

252,074 items / 2,070,942 views

I go out of my way , to be hospitable to photographer friends who come to Mumbai to shoot Moharam, I change my plans to suit their convenience , I dont do this for money or perks ..or to visit their cities one day and expect the same hospitality .. no way.
I love India I live in India ..I dont like foreign travel even if it came free.

Similarly I have decided the day I have money and a ticket for Karbala I will give it to a poor person let him go fulfill his spiritual thirst I seek my Karbala in India.

And maybe for the Shias of India some of them I am not even a 100% pucca Shia I am a Malang , I am everything I shoot .. I become one with their religiosity behind the camera ..

I shoot everything that touches my city .. but I wont shoot somethings ..following funeral cortege , or disasters .. I shoot disasters after they have happened I shoot the rebuilding of the human soul and his surroundings.

All the places I have shot Moharam has been with my funds my money my time no sponsors but once I reached a city people were kind to me in Chennai I stayed in a hotel but Dr Abbas orator well known personality let me stay with him for 3 days which meant a lot to me.

I shot Hyderabad I stayed in a hotel but Naqi Bhai from Choti Bargh allowed me to stay with him , so my camera etc was safe and I was among my own.

I stayed in a hotel at Kolkatta.

In Lucknow I stayed with my wifes family at Nakhas but I have self exiled myself from the city of my birth forever.

In Delhi I stayed with my cousin Huzoor Miya and shot the Chehlum procession.

I travel by train mostly chalu dabba as my plans are made last this time I placed a Facebook update and got no response for shooting Moharam either in Srinagar or Hyderabad .. I got a message from a young person ..a very sweet message I share for others who want to travel and shoot .. her message

Hi Uncle,
Join Couch surfing site. In which you can ask people round the globe to host you free of cost, so your cost of staying will be reduced rest traveling will be on your own basis. I frequently use this site and its really good. Rest you can host various couch surfers at your place too.

I cant host couch surfers I have Ladies in my house .. so I did not take up her offer.

Than this morning I got a message from a Miami Shia she gave me a contact for her her relative married to a Kashmiri.

But I have decided to wait for my nephew he arrives in Delhi an eminent photographer he will give me some tips he wants me to come and shoot Delhi..

Now I need to shoot Moharam where there is a lot of blood gore because I will cut my head too tatbeer ..I cannot shoot tame Moharam... of majlis and simple matam.

So this is my dilemma ..I am letting it off on a old post that was blank.

I maybe wrong .. God forgive me.

Habib Nasser my friend was kind he said he would get me some contacts but he is totally busy during Moharam .. he shoots Shiasm and Wild Life unlike me I shoot garbage , dogs beggars and all the filth of Humanity.. created by none but Humanity.

They Came Into My Life And Than Just Disappeared

Dr Glenn Losack My Dear Friend And Brother ..