Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Jalali Chowk Ajmer Sharif

As you enter the Jalali Chowk you first see the Dhuni and the head of the Jalali Rifais Nobat Ali Baba .
Beyond his fiefdom extends groups of Rifaislike the Chancawalli Rifais from Mumbai, Hijra Bawas and many other rifai orders .

Shooting the Rifai was not as easy as it seems luckily for me I was introduced to them by late Peshimam of Makhdhoom Shah Baba Dargah Mahim  my good friend Fahad Pathan.

I shot the Chancawalli Rafaees or Rifais at both the Mahim Dargahs ,, the second one on the main Mahim Road of Hazrat Fakruddin Shah Baba .

I shot the Chancawalli Rifais at Ismail Shah Babas Dargah at Parel, Ali Maulah Dargah Dharavi and climbed the Malangad mountains barefeet to shot the Haji Malang Urus for many years .

So I am known among the Rifais , than I began documenting the Madarriya Order of Dam Madar Malangs , the Sada Suhagins who are monks in ladies dresses but not eunuchs ,, and the Siddis Indo African followers of Baba Gor from the Gir Forests of Junagadh,

So it has been a very long journey ,and sadly our government does not sponsor bloggers , its all been done with my own money selling of my personal goods to make a few trip to document a world away from glossy travel brochures .

The Hijra documentary is not for public view that includes hijra healers , tantrics , shamans and hijra bawas.

Hassan Ganda and his cousin Farookh are the greatest exponents of body piercings rituals known as Zarb.. they were both related to late Handi Sai Khalifa Baba who died at Kota of overdose .. he could not do without the chillum and opium.

I have met strange Rifais there was one highly drugged Baba who in his frenzy of Kaif slashed my stomach with a sword cutting up my tshirt but not harming my body later he hugged me and cried ...

I use the sword and dagger too but I use it for real during Ashura and Chehlum to cut my head I bleed .. I hurt .

While the rifais consider bleeding a failed part of their rituals and cut themselves without bleeding this power comes from Ghaus Pak the Saint of the Rifai Order also known as Hazrat Abdul Qadir Gilani.

Late Handi Sai was keen on my becoming a Rifai but I was not spiritually inclined and after his death , I joined the Madarriya order of Dam Madar Malangs in 2011 .. with my Belgian friend Marc.

Lalbaugh Chya Raja Mukut Darshan 2019

I am perhaps the only Muslim shooting Lalbaugh Chya Raja for over 20 years or more ,,thanks to Mr Sudhir Salvi head honcho of the Mandal.....