Sunday, November 30, 2014

Muslim Society Watches As Motherhood Begs On The Street

I got a message this morning from a Flickr member ,,
He does not know me I do not know him...just the image stands between him and me .. this image I shot of a Muslim mother and her child getting used to the idea of learning to beg on the streets .nobody even among the Muslim brethren or women has time to go up to her why is she begging ? What happened to her life ? No our compassion is tight fisted and based on a few coins and move away , some in a hurry to catch up with God waiting at the Mosque.

The Flickr members message to me he could have sent to others too who shoot Muslims beggars but than I am really not sure if there are photographers who would dirty their vision shooting Muslim beggars .

The Message

Subject: Muslim Society Watches As Motherhood Begs On The Street
Date: November 29th, 2014


I am starting a baby swaddle blanket company and would potentially like to use your Muslim Society Watches As Motherhood Begs On The Street photo on my package and website. I am willing to pay or if you choose to donate this image as some other photographers have, I am going to donate a total of 1% of sales spread out among all photographers and subjects to charitable organizations of your choice, in your name, for as long as your images are used. Or some combination of payment, usage, and charitable donation that we can work out.

A commercial model release is not necessary because the subjects in your photo are not personally identifiable so their rights would not be infringed upon. I would also need this to be a one-time transaction, royalty-free, with unlimited use on my package and website. But I don’t need to own the image and you’re free to sell to others and would maintain all image rights.

You will be given credit on the package and a link from the website of course. I can send screenshots of how your image will be used on the package and website.

I think it can be a win-win for everybody involved. If you are a professional or novice photographer you get some publicity with your name attributed on the package and a link to your website/photo and we all (photo subjects included) get to do some good in the world. I want hand-up charity and environmental responsibility to be a pillar of my company and while I’m not perfect, this is a step in the right direction.

Just to protect myself, I will have final say over the charitable organizations.

I have with held his name lets call him John Dick or Harry does not matter he is a Westerner white man perhaps God alone knows.

My reply to him in good faith without malice or hate ..but perfectly the voice of my inner conscience .

Thank you John Dick or Harry

I dont sell my images , I am not interested in your offer ..

The reason for posting this image was to wake up Muslim society to the sufferings of their women as they turn their eyes away from reality fighting stupid battles, and to those who have usurped the message of peace and brotherhood , killing innocent people , in the name of Allah..

There is a deeper meaning in my images which I am sure shell shocked Muslims will read and awaken themselves one day .

I am a amateur photographer ,totally dumb assed I think with my heart .. and I guess more Human than a Muslim in more ways than one ..

Take care friend I am sure there are photographers who would kiss your hand that offers such generosity ..

As Ever
Beggar Poet

From Mumbai

Not Interested in you offer at all

Friday, November 28, 2014

Syed Masoomi Baba Madari Asqan .. Dam Madar Malang

This was shot many years back and I shot the Malangs from 2005 on wards both Masoomi Baba and Rafiq Baba .. And I found them hospitable caring and when I shot them I never once had the urge or desire of joining their order ,,

My joining their order was a a travesty of cosmic accident , my friend from Belgium wanted to become a Malang and I took him to Masooomi Baba in 2011 and became a Malang too.

And I documented them every year during the Urus of Khwajah Moinuddin Chishti and once went to the Makanpur Urus of Zinda Shah Madar .

I like shooting the Malangs they are a handsome very photogenic and proud of their order , and humble too.

And Dam Madar Malangs is a set At

Dam Madar Malangs 

The Madariyya Order Of The Dam Madar Malangs Of India

The Madariyya are members of a Sufi order (tariqa) popular in North India, especially in Uttar Pradesh, the Mewat region, Bihar and Bengal, as well as in Nepal and Bangladesh. Known for its syncretic aspects, lack of emphasis on external religious practice and focus on internal dhikr, it was initiated by the Sufi saint 'Sayed Badiuddin Zinda Shah Madar' (d. 1434 CE), called "Qutb-ul-Madar", and is centered on his shrine (dargah) at Makanpur, Kanpur district, Uttar Pradesh.

Originating from the Tayfuriya order, as his Pir, spiritual teacher was Bayazid Tayfur al-Bistami, Madariya reached its zenith in the late Mughal period between 15th to 17th century, and gave rise to new orders as Madar's disciples spread through the northern plains of India, into Bengal. As with most Sufi orders, its name Madariya has been created by adding a Nisba to the name of its founder Madar, leading to Madariya, sometimes spelled as Madariyya, though it is also referred as Tabaqatiya.[1][2][3][4][5]

The Dargah, or the tomb of Badiuddin Zinda Shah Madar, is located at Makanpur, near Kanpur city, in Uttar Pradesh state, India. It is visited by thousands of visitors every month and especially during the annual Urs celebrations.[6]

The Tariqah[edit]
Most of the biographic details regarding Baduddin Zinda Shah Madar are stories of his miracles. Much of such information has come from his hagiography, Mirat i-Madari, written in 1654 by Abd ur-Rahman Chisti. Since then a number of hagiographic texts have emerged.[7]

Thursday, November 27, 2014

I Would Never Use A Nikon Even If You Gave It To Me Free .. I Am A Canon User

And its a fact I have been taken for a big ride by Nikon during the formative years I used it , we were forced into Nikon because of its re sale value those days ,, and I sold my Nikon F 100 with 1.4 lens for a mere Rs 4500.

I have forgotten Nikon forever ,, I d rather use my mobile phone than a Nikon grandchildren are Canon Users too.

I Shoot Time And Space ..I Am Not Part Of This Rat Race

I Thought It Was A Flickr Photo Walk

she looked at me
our eyes locked
she was supposed
to be taking our
picture this was
a great cultural
shock seeing me
shooting her
her eyes stony
rock i also
wondered if they
were on Flickr
photo walk
i desperately
searched for
the leader of
the pack
the prolific
mr thomas hawk
whose pictures
with my poetic
comment i stalk
i also searched
for the impressive
prima donna mrs th
among his flock
i wanted to invite
both to my humble
house the same
evening at 5 oclock
my grandkids would
shoot them chips
of this old blog
who learnt photography
taught them too shooting
garbage shitting dogs
cleaning mumbai
a humongous task
a man spat out at
my feet my soul
he mocked ..
while juggling
with words my
poem through
a picture talked

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Ha Ha Street Photographer Of Mumbai..Our World You Mystify ,,

your vision
your camera eye
you spotted us
from your moving
cab they looked
at me stupefied
happy fully
satisfied they
knew i was an
actor too ..
they smiled
wished me

yes street photography
as the mother of street art
i shoot i glorify ,,my only high

to my friend mindmeld ,, a moment i shot she held her appreciation this old oak felled ,,,

I Have Taken An Appointment With The Ear Cleaner For My American Friend

this is now being made into
 a poem for my friend alex
wasserman when he comes
 to mumbai he will have his ears
 cleaned this kindly american gentleman
after this he has a dental appointment
with a Chinese doctor Dr Hu Win Chen
alex will have his wisdom tooth removed
at the doctors incense lade den .at ten
another appointment outside the rani bagh
byculla zoo to remove his corns by the local
chiropodist Mr Surywanshi Sen..he will
cut out the corns while Alex cleans his
camera lens . makes sense ,,he wants to
visit all the places Boaz visited in Mumbai
Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat  the open air laundry
filled with Bhaiyya men ..sweating perspiring
mustard oil adding to their zen..these uber
famous iconic most photographed working
men ..Alex has promised to give me a memory
his most cherished Parker pen i refused to take
the gift of his Nikon lens I use Canon a camera
that shoots eternity impressively 100 percent

i told him nothing in our friendship should cause a dent
he knew what i meant . forget forgive never ever repent

money earned is money spent greeting to him i send ..
his room booked at lucky hotel bandra ,,homely better
than an Arabs tent  now i await his comment ...

today 26/11  november is my wedding anniversary
an arranged marriagewhere i took her parents
consent 3 kids the only memory of this marital event

My Muse Has A Stalker ..Says The Sad Look In Her Eyes

the stalker defiantly looked my way a look
that was deviously evil not nice  he warned
me to find another muse his face i despised
i wanted to lash out at him for troubling my
muse for my long absence she was paying
a price ,,love stony my cosmic fate pulverized
i was a victim of my lost illusions fathomless
foolish pretentiously wise ..i was grieving seeing
her helplessness the fear of god in her eyes ..

we would meet again on some other planet
some other time she replied.. i lived i died

My Muse At Mahim Told Me It Was Time To Move On

let bygones be bygone
held captive against her
will on a wall she wondered
where i had gone she was
saddened by the absence
of this beggar poet who
was busy shooting garbage
porn leaving his muse lonely
forlorn her dreams gave birth
to hope a new moment born
she was stalked by another man
who wanted her or he would
throw acid on her face he
warned .. so she was now
at the cross roads of love
double crossed by her fate
her soul tattered and torn.

the next image shows the stalker
bare chested horny brains
just brawn she looked
at me shy silent withdrawn ..

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

"We are all just prisoners here, of our own device"

“This place is a dream. Only a sleeper considers it real. Then death comes like dawn, and you wake up laughing at what you thought was your grief.”

― Rumi

The Malang From Mumbai,,

devoid of
pomp or
on the
wings of
hope astride
from the circle
of confusion
into the circle
of chaos he
slides cosmic
vision of shiva
the third eye
his guide
the day he
was born
his soul

Saturday, November 22, 2014

I Have Been Documenting Ajmer Sharif Since 2005

This was shot at Hujra No 6 with my Mentor Peersab Fakhru Miya , he gave me an insight into the Chishtiya Order and I have documented the annual celebrations known as Urus  since 2005 .

Fakru Miya is dressed in white the person in brown is a devotee of Saint Moinuddin Chishti also known as Garib Nawaz..this person sells gemstones with his wife and I have shot him at Hussain Tekri Jaorah too.

Peersab Fakhru Miya has two sons Farid Miya and Qambar Miya .

I stay at Peersabs house and he is hospitable an excellent host , It was Ajmer that in 2011 I became a Malang of the Order of Madariya also known as Dam Madar Malangs .

Here at Ajmer initially I documented the Dargah till they banned  photography so I only shoot Chatti at Hujra no 6 ,.

I shot the Sufi rifais Malangs and the Hijra shamans at Jalali Chowk 16 Khamba.

I shot the beggars of Ajmer extensively and I shot Taragadh and Pushkar .. I have a deep connection with the Brahma Mandir the daggers I use to cut my head every Moharam are from Pushkar .

I used to shoot document the Hijras or transgender that came to Ajmer ,, great devotees of the Holy Saint , and they serve him his followers offering free food and donations to the poor.

And I shot the rare hijra beauties shot them dancing on the streets of Ajmer at the sandal and even shot their day to day daily chores at Ajmer .

I have the largest collection of Hijra images shot in Ajmer ..Taragadh and Pushkar too.

Sadly I have removed this rare collection from public view because the large number of Hijra picture stealers are at Flickr ,,,they robbed my Hijra pictures and robbed their identities using their pictures in prostitution rings online ,,

This was the last straw I decided to disable this documentary from public ,, completely .

I Am The Hunter And The Hunted ..An Instrument of Peace Badly Blunted

God You Created Me As A Girl I Kept Quiet

now i am a mother begging
in the jungle of life it does
not seem right ,,you created
humanity you created chaos
you created them black and
white ,, you blessed some
with your divine light god
i give up i have already lost
the fight my husband his family
will beat me up if i dont bring
in alms my wounds hidden
from humanly sight within
the hijab i carry the pain
of soon giving birth to
another child ,, yes god
hear me out ,,dont ignore
me ..i am really uptight

Why Do You Shoot Pictures Of Us Beggars ,,

I told her I was a beggar too
I beg with my camera giving
beggars their respect and due
I told her I dont sell beggar pictures
I dont wear shoes ..I dont booze
I am a free man I have nothing to
lose .I wont shoot to please others
I refuse ,my pictures are blogs they
wont be seen on rags or make news
my pictures are storyboards of my
spiritual quest poeticizing my views
why i shoot what i shoot whether you
like it or dont like it matters not plaster
your adverse comments somewhere else
please excuse ..yes i can sometimes be
painfully obtuse shoot what my soul
desired I shoot its my choice not yours
i am sure you have deduced ,..Islam for me
is Peace And Brotherhood but those who
cut innocent peoples heads rape shoot
I am not part of that Islam a volley of abuse
on those motherfuckers I let loose ,,

you add me at your risk,,, your religion is not my problem whether you are agnostic atheist hindu muslim or jew
i am a shia born . call me a heretic rafidi. you choose

Friday, November 21, 2014

In 2009 I Was This Close To The Elephant That Carries The Bibi Ka Alam

This time in 2014 I found the Hyderabadi top cops with the cortege of the Bibi Ka Alam highly offensive  rude curt and I was shocked as I have the highest respect for them , I found earlier the Hyderabadi cops were polite and respectful and I was wearing my Press Card with a wound on my head so this attitude was uncalled for I did complain about this to their senior ,, we come from Mumbai not just to shoot Moharam but your adab tehzeeb culture and because we have shot it others like my American and French friend had come to Hyderabad to shoot the same .

We through our camera capture Hindu Muslim amity in Hyderabad during the journey of the Bibi Ka Alam and we dont do it for money ,, certainly not ,,

And strangely I was with Sajjad Bhai a Hyderabadi cop dressed in black clothes  , and because of him I have been able to capture the Bibi Ka Alam upclose since 2003 .

This time I could not get close to the elephant though  Abid Paiinter sitting on the elephant , he does know of  my presence is my oldest dearest friend in Hyderabad and a caretaker of Azakhane Zehra.

So these are some old memories I think I will now move out of my Moharam in Hyderabad ambit ,,,time to move on to other cities , new places new faces .

I am still undecided about Chehlum..

But Id rather stay at home than shoot Chehlum in Mumbai..

I did that last year ..

Behind The Soul Of Simplicity Lies A Smiling Face Of A Model

stop tickling my ear he said
she went on grinning instead
her smile selling a toothpaste
she was robust well fed ,,
a pretty face  lovely skin
through modelling she
earned her bread ..she
used her body she used
her head ..a radiance
redefining her beauty
she looked ahead ..

i whispered in her ears
my twitter friend sriram was
looking for a bride he could
wed she jumped with joy
her face turned red ..
she asked me whether
he was good in bed ..
i told her before he finishes
she would be dead
he does not trust Indian
condoms they easily shred
if only the manufacturers
could use a screw thread
those who screw wont
be mislead friend
srirram potent erudite
well read ..a well settled
job of a department head
single loves to mingle
eats bananas and garlic bread
but was cynical about the
marriage bed cylindrical thrust
of a poetic thread ..after hearing
my eulogy stealthily she fled

Thursday, November 20, 2014

I Shoot Dreams Etched In Reality And Blood

droplets that kiss the mud
on the soul of humanity
causing a flood undying
protest rising from the dust
bleed we must in god we
trust ..he quenches our
thirst..we wont corrode
we wont rust ..lanats
on the followers of
yazid accursed ..

Monday, November 17, 2014

Please Support Art Of My Friend ..With A Big Heart

link to his site 

Yes Its True I Am Wizened Old

seeking an elusive god through
his godliness a path unfolds
once i was a dreamer adventurer
brave and bold i never did what
i was told rebelling against time
society hypocritical norms that
the overzealous religious bigots
sold to the poor the homeless
the hopeless that god had left
out in the cold ..but now as i
have aged weathered no more
the dreamer my dreams on hold

a new day dawns the old day folds
go out and beg my old lady scolds

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Brooms Are In Great Demand

Dirt Muck
off the feet
of our
Swach Bharat
The Magic
Used By
All as a Poetic
Gesture the
Broom That
Was Once
Mr Arvind
Magic Wand
Now it is also
in the hands
of Goras
The Broom
With Its
Boom now
with the nations
most corrupt party
creating a brotherly
bond says paid media
throwing coins in a
wishing pond

The Street Lovers Of Hyderabad

beneath the blanket
they found solace a pair
 of slippers a used condom
a memory of hurried love-
making, dreamers by gods
grace unison of a sexual
tryst do lovers need to show
their face .. dreams that they
chase . hope cavorting with
lady luck seeking timeless
space . tragic love holding
on to dear life like always

lovers in deathly embrace
sleepless solitude catch phrase

Saturday, November 15, 2014

I Am A Muslim Beggar She Said

the hijab elegantly
covered her inner
angst from toe to
head sartorial serenity
tailor made through
the glint in her eyes
on my poetry spread
the god who created
her considered her
to be dead .. as living
dead she begged on
the streets earning her
daily bread ..was she
being forced to beg
by the man she had
wed..a thought hastily
hit my mind and suddenly
stealthily fled ..leaving me
for a moment silent frozen
half dead .. this poem in
memoriam to my best friend
from texas the one and only
fred ..mike rudy an indian
born american from pune
highly academic well read

Can God Save The Indian Woman

failed sterilization
the government
finds it sensationalism
another womans children
die in a kolkatta hospital
all this happens only in
India ..bigotry racism
fanaticism .. women
treated like piece of shit
acid thrown on her face
brutally raped murdered
hung from trees barbarism
but god is entangled in more
serious problems man friendly
god fighting non believers
children of atheism.. the world
he created now a barbed wire
fence creativity gives birth to
plagiarism...woman is a product
to sell what does not sell her body
her Jism.. ..metaphoric mysticism

Whatever poet, orator or sage may say of it, old age is still old age. Sinclair Lewis

Muslim Society Encourages Begging ..

And than perhaps I can also add Indian society and its attitude towards appeasement of God through charity also gives a greater boost for begging.

At every mosque , Sufi Shrine , Hindu Temples outside the Church you will find beggars  but hardly any beggars outside the Synagogue or the Parsi Fire Temple.

Muslim beggars are commonly found at Ajmer , and beggars are means to pleasing God ..

This lady intrigued me with her well fashioned eyebrows and her surprise when I daringly took this shot outside Naizamuddin Aulia.

And there is a well organized beggar mafia that has the beggars of all size shape deformities in their fold , and children are kidnapped forced into beggary , and in most cases forced into prostitution too.. and there is nothing that can be done to prevent it as the system is corrupt and the cops other top level people it is alleged form the matrix of evil,.

I am a street photographer and not an activist I have shot a lot of beggars , they stalk me perpetually , beggars in hijab are not always Muslim but the skull cap, the headscarf the hijab touch the Muslim donor and he opens up his purse for them specially Muslim kids in head scarves .

And I know  beggars through their body language .. at Linking road Bandra young beggar girls with garish lipsticks , heavily made up faces become hijras clapping their hands and make good money from college students and other simple folks.

Beggars are also part of their surroundings , at Ajmer Sharif Taragadh there are the usual beggars ,, faces that are there every year and they come here as there is Hope and good money in begging.

And there are those who seeing the beggars making money , able bodied folks who husband wife child beg at street corners for a train ticket saying their baggage and wallets were stolen and the next day you will find them at another street corner .. its a game they play successfully on the naive and the gullible ,

There is another motherfucker who burns his child at the Pali Turner Road Signal and with a prescription in hand begs money for treating the child , I chased him once and shot his picture too .. but he is there .

So begging is lucrative and once a person becomes a beggar , than a beggar he remains .. drugaddicts  become beggars and at Taragadh the beggars inflict wounds pour hot oil let it fester till maggots appear and they beg in the hot blazing sun..

The worst is little kids drugged forced to beg on the waist of another minor kid and the parents keep a watch from the other end of the traffic signal.

I have lived with the beggar commune at Ajmer and seen the deathly despair ,, and one beggar that haunts me even today is the lady with two faces ..

Deformity brings in more alms , cruel parents will gouge a childs eyes if it is to make money , I mean it is a petty crime to other heinous ones , parents force their children into prostitution in places like Goa Manali Pushkar .. but it is ll done discreetly I am told ,, hand in gloves with those  who are supposed to be godfathers of law and order .

You have money sky is the limit a photographer nothing escapes the camera eye and that is one reason security people hate photographers for they too are guilty of malpractice , that is why photographers are bullied , tortured and framed in false cases implicated .. so I wear a Press Card round my neck like a Dog License ..but some times the Press Card does not Help ,,

Cops hate photographers  and rogue cops certainly do hate photographers and now with the mobile phone ,, you dont need to be a photographer to shoot the evil on the streets .

I shoot stories through pictures and back to this lady with her well made up eyebrows .. why is she begging .. simply because there are so many assholes who love giving money ,,to beggars such as these than those wizened old hags groveling at your feet ..

And my tryst with beggars began as a child when my dad took me to Haji Ali , and I saw a beggar who would shout out   5 Paise Lunga 5 Gali Doonga .I will take 5 coins and give you 5 abuses .

The beggars of Haji Ali God has stopped making them completely .

Friday, November 14, 2014

Once Upon A Time At Mehboob Studios With Mr MF Hussain

He was surprised to see me barefeet.. and than the sartorial brightness of my persona I was working those days with Mr Nitin Manmohan as a fashion consultant ,, and his film was on the floors that time.

Today while going over my old pictures I came across this memory and thought of sharing it with you all.

MF Hussain the greatest Indian painter ..

Thursday, November 13, 2014

She Left Him For A Better House ,,That Was Her Only Grouse

she hated the computer
she hated the  mouse
flickr twitter ello sites
that he browsed ..
never once did he feel
the bomb ticking
within her blouse
she is now his best
friends spouse ,,

she  lives in a
richmans house
fire of her soul he
cannot arouse ,,
dying flames her
curiosity doused
she is neither in
he is neither out

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Bibi Ka Alam At Charminar Hyderabad 2014

I needed to shoot Bibi Ka Alam at Charminar , but could not find a place to shoot it , and I am a short guy, there was no place I could climb, and I had left my friend Boaz with Sajjad Bhais relative , our priorities of  shooting Ashura were different , and I had to move on as I knew what I wanted , after standing on the road shooting this I rushed like a madman with Sajjad Bhai and his son to shoot Ashu Bhais hardcore kama matam and the sword matam, that is cutting the head with the Punjabi swords , I gave my camera bag to Sajjad bhai with my lenses memory cards and my dagger and I lost him in the crowds .

After I shot Ashu bhai in his narrow lane I moved ahead again but this time I was caught in a frenzy I requested a guy to give me his dagger and leaping in the air I cut my raw head again I fell down I was too weak, could not see straight with blood in my eyes they carried me on their shoulders took me to an ambulance to dress my wound ,, with water .

I was Ok now searching for Sajjad bhai my mobile phone was in my bag and I found Sajjad bhai after almost half hour , his relative was calling me as Boaz wanted to speak to me , but I could not go back I requested Boaz to let me move on I was here to shoot Ashura and so I walked barefeet , shooting Bibi Ka Alam wherever I found a strategic top location I found 3 or 4 and finally I shot Bibi Ka Alam at Azakhane Zehra and I decided not to go to Chaddar Ghat . the final destination of The Alam.

I shot the blade matam at Daru Shifa  had some light meal at Choti Bargah and crashed ..

I got up the next morning and went back to Irani Gully to meet Ashu Bhai but I met his son , I took a lot of street shots and than Naqi and Akthar dropped in a rick I was on my way to catch the Mumbai train.

I dont know if I will go back to Hyderabad , I have to hit new cities during Moharam.. I would like to shoot Ashura in Bangla Desh if I ca find someone who will sponsor part of my trip.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Day of Ashura Bargah Hyderabad 2014

The Day of Ashura (Arabic: عاشوراء‎ ʻĀshūrā’ , colloquially: /ʕa(ː)ˈʃuːra/; Urdu: عاشورا‎; Persian: عاشورا‎; Turkish: Aşure Günü) is on the tenth day of Muharram in the Islamic calendar and marks the climax of the Remembrance of Muharram. This day is commemorated by Sunni Muslims (who refer to it as The Day of Atonement) as the day on which the Israelites were freed from the Pharaoh (called 'Firaun' in Arabic) of Egypt. According to Sunni Muslim tradition, Ibn Abbas narrates that Muhammad came to Madina and saw the Jews fasting on the tenth day of Muharram. He asked, “What is this?” They said, “This is a good day, this is the day when Allah saved the Children of Israel from their enemy and Musa (Moses) fasted on this day.” He said, “We are closer to Musa than you.” So he fasted on the day and told the people to fast.[1][2][3][4]

However, Shi'a Muslims refute these stories and maintain that Ashura is a day of great sorrow due to the tragic events of Karbala. In support of this claim, they cite many stories and ahadith of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) which mention that he wept profusely upon being informed of this day, as well as occasions when he talked about how Muslims would kill his beloved grandson Hussein along with his family, relatives, friends, and supporters.

It is commemorated by Shi'a Muslims as a day of mourning for the martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of Muhammad at the Battle of Karbala on 10 Muharram in the year 61 AH ( in AHt: October 10, 680 CE). The massacre of Husayn with small group of his companions and family members had great impact on the religious conscience of Muslims. Especially Shia Muslims have ever remembered it with sorrow and passion.[5] Mourning for Husayn and his companions began almost immediately after the Battle of Karbala, by his survivor relatives and supporters. Popular elegies were made by poets to commemorate Battle of Karbala during Umayyads and Abbasids era. The earliest public mourning rituals happened in 963 CE during Buyid dynasty.[6] Nowadays, in some countries such as Afghanistan,[7] Iran,[8] Iraq,[9] Lebanon,[10] Bahrain,[11] Turkey[12] and Pakistan,[13] the Commemoration of Husayn ibn Ali has become a national holiday and most ethnic and religious communities participate in it.[14][15] Even in a predominantly Hindu majority but secular country like India, Ashura (10th day in the month of Muharram) is a public holiday due to the presence of a significant Indian Shia Muslim population (2-3% of total population, 20-25% of Indian Muslim population).

The root for the word Ashura has the meaning of tenth in Semitic languages; hence the name of the remembrance, literally translated, means "the tenth day". According to the orientalist A.J. Wensinck, the name is derived from the Hebrew ʿāsōr, with the Aramaic determinative ending.[16] The day is indeed the tenth day of the month, although some Islamic scholars offer up different etymologies.

In his book Ghuniyatut Talibin, Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani writes that the Islamic scholars have a difference of opinion as to why this day is known as Ashura, with some scholars suggesting that this day is the tenth most important day that God has blessed Muslims with.[citation needed]

Historical background[edit]
Main article: Battle of Karbala
In April 680, Yazid I succeeded his father Muawiyah as the new caliph. Yazid immediately instructed the governor of Medina to compel Hussayn and few other prominent figures to pledge their allegiance(Bay'ah).[5] Husayn, however, refrained from it believing that Yazid was openly going against the teachings of Islam in public and changing the sunnah of Muhammad.[17][18] He, therefore, accompanied by his household, his sons, brothers, and the sons of Hasan left Medina to seek asylum in Mecca.[5]

On the other hand, the people in Kufa who were informed about Muawiyah 's death, sent letters urging Husayn to join them and pledge to support him against Umayyads. Husayn wrote back to them saying that he would send his cousin Muslim ibn Aqeel to report to him on the situation. If he found them united as their letters indicated he would speedily join them, because Imam should act in accordance with the Qoran, uphold justice, proclaim the truth, and dedicate himself to the cause of God. The mission of Moslem was initially successful and according to reports 18,000 men pledged their allegiance. But situation changed radically when Yazid appointed Ubayd Allah ibn Ziyad as the new governor of Kufah, ordering him to deal severely with Ibn Aqeel. Before news of the adverse turn of events arrived in Mecca, Husayn set out for Kufa.[5]

On the way, Husayn found that his messenger, Muslim ibn Aqeel, was killed in Kufa. He broke the news to his supporters and informed them that people had deserted him. Then, he encouraged anyone who so wished, to leave freely without guilt. Most of those who had joined him at various stages on the way from Mecca now left him. Later, Husayn encountered with the army of Ubaydullah ibn Ziyad in his path towards Kufa. Husayn addressed the Kufans army, reminding them that they had invited him to come because they were without an Imam. He told them that he intended to proceed to Kufa with their support, but if they were now opposed to his coming, he would return to where he had come from. However, the army urged him to choose another way. Thus, he turned to left and reached Karbala, where the army forced him not to go further and stop at a location that was without water.[5]

Umar ibn Sa'ad, the head of Kufan army, sent a messenger to Husayn to inquire about the purpose of his coming to Iraq. Husayn answered again that he had responded to the invitation of the people of Kufa but was ready to leave if they now disliked his presence. When Umar ibn Sa'ad, the head of Kufan army, reported it back to Ubaydullah ibn Ziyad, the governor instructed him to offer Ḥusayn and his supporters the opportunity to swear allegiance to Yazid. He also ordered Umar ibn Sa'ad to cut off HUsayn and his followers from access to the water of the Euphrates.[5]

On the Day of Ashura[edit]
On the next morning, as ʿOmar b. Saʿd arranged the Kufan army in battle order, Al-Hurr ibn Yazid al Tamimi challenged him and went over to Ḥusayn. He vainly addressed the Kufans, rebuking them for their treachery to the grandson of the Prophet, and was killed in the battle.[5]

The Battle of Karbala lasted from morning till sunset of October 10, 680 (Muharram 10, 61 AH) all Husayn's small group of companions and family members (in total who were around 72 men and few ladies and children)[a][20][21] fought with a large army under the command of Umar ibn Sa'ad. and were killed near the river (Euphrates) where they were not allowed to get any water from. The renowned historian Abū Rayḥān al-Bīrūnī states; "… then fire was set to their camp and the bodies were trampled by the hoofs of the horses; nobody in the history of the human kind has seen such atrocities."[22] Before being killed, Husayn said "If the religion of Muhammad was not going to live on except with me dead, let the swords tear me to pieces."[23][unreliable source?] Once the Umayyad troops had mass murdered Husayn and his male followers, they looted the tents, stripped the women of their jewelry, and took the skin upon which Zain al-Abidin was prostrate. It is said that Shemr was about to kill him but Husayn’s sister Zaynab was able to make Umar ibn Sa'ad, the Umayyad commander to let him alive. He was taken along with the enslaved women to the caliph in Damascus, and eventually he was allowed to return to Medina.[24][25]

History of the commemoration by Shi'a[edit]
According to Ignác Goldziher ever since the black day of Karbala, the history of this family … has been a continuous series of sufferings and persecutions. These are narrated in poetry and prose, in a richly cultivated literature of martyrologies …'More touching than the tears of the Shi'is' has even become an Arabic proverb.[30] The first assembly (majlis) of Commemoration of Husayn ibn Ali, it is said to have been held by Zaynab in prison. In Damascus, too, she is reported to have delivered a poignant oration. The prison sentence ended when Husayn's 3 year old daughter, Sukayna, died in captivity. She would often cry in prison to be allowed to see her father. She is believed to have died when she saw her father's mutilated head. Her death caused an uproar in the city, and Yazid, fearful of a potential resulting revolution, freed the captives.[31]

In terms of Imam Zayn AL Abidin(A.S.)The following is said about the Holy Imam.It is said that for twenty years whenever food was placed before him, he would weep. One day a servant said to him, ‘O son of Allah’s Messenger! Is it not time for your sorrow to come to an end?’ He replied, ‘Woe upon you! Jacob the prophet had twelve sons, and Allah made one of them disappear. His eyes turned white from constant weeping, his head turned grey out of sorrow, and his back became bent in gloom,[c] though his son was alive in this world. But I watched while my father, my brother, my uncle, and seventeen members of my family were slaughtered all around me. How should my sorrow come to an end?’[d] [29][32]

Husayn's grave became a pilgrimage site among Shiite only a few years after his death. A tradition of pilgrimage to the Imam Husayn Shrine and the other Karbala martyrs quickly developed, which is known as Ziarat Ashura.[33] The Umayyad and Abbasid caliphs tried to prevent construction of the shrines and discouraged pilgrimage to the sites.[34] The tomb and its annexes were destroyed by the Abbasid caliph Al-Mutawakkil in 850–851 and Shi'a pilgrimage was prohibited, but shrines in Karbala and Najaf were built by the Buwayhid emir 'Adud al-Daula in 979-80.[35]

Public rites of remembrance for Husayn's martyrdom developed from the early pilgrimages[citation needed]. Under the Buyid dynasty, Mu'izz ad-Dawla officiated at public commemoration of Ashura in Baghdad[citation needed]. These commemorations were also encouraged in Egypt by the Fatimid caliph al-'Aziz[citation needed]. From Seljuq times[citation needed], Ashura rituals began to attract participants from a variety of backgrounds, including Sunnis[citation needed]. With the recognition of Twelvers as the official religion by the Safavids, Mourning of Muharram extended throughout the first ten days of Muharram.[33]

Significance of Ashura for Shi'as[edit]
Mourning of Muharram
Battle of Karbala
Imam Husayn
Ali Akbar ibn Husayn
Ali Asghar ibn Husayn
al-Abbas ibn Ali
Zaynab bint Ali
Sukayna bint Husayn
Muslim ibn Aqeel
Imam Husayn Shrine
Day of Ashura
Chup Tazia

10th of the month of Muharrem: The Ashure Day - Huseyn bin Ali was murdered at Kerbela [36] Remembrance by Jafaris, Qizilbash Alevi-Turks and Bektashis together in Ottoman Empire.
This day is of particular significance to Twelver Shi'a and Alawites, who consider Husayn (the grandson of Muhammad) Ahl al-Bayt the third Imam to be the rightful successor of Muhammad.

Muharram procession in Kashmir, India

Shi'a devotees congregate outside the Sydney Opera House, Australia to commemorate Husayn.
According to Kamran Scot Aghaie:"The symbols and rituals of Ashura have evolved over time and have meant different things to different people. However, at the core of the symbolism of Ashura is the moral dichotomy between worldly injustice and corruption on the one hand and God-centered justice, piety, sacrifice and perseverance on the other. Also, Shiite Muslims consider the remembrance of the tragic events of Ashura to be an importance way of worshiping God in a spiritual or mystical way."[37]

Shi'as make pilgrimages on Ashura, as they do forty days later on Arba'een, to the Mashhad al-Husayn, the shrine in Karbala, Iraq that is traditionally held to be Husayn's tomb. On this day Shi'a are in remembrance, and mourning attire is worn. They refrain from music, since Arabic culture generally considers music impolite during death rituals. It is a time for sorrow and respect of the person's passing, and it is also a time for self-reflection, when one commits oneself to the mourning of the Husayn completely. Weddings and parties are also not planned on this date by Shi'as. Shi'as also express mourning by crying and listening to recollections about the tragedy and sermons on how Husayn and his family were martyred. This is intended to connect them with Husayn's suffering and martyrdom, and the sacrifices he made to keep Islam alive. Husayn's martyrdom is widely interpreted by Shi'a as a symbol of the struggle against injustice, tyranny, and oppression.[38] Shi'as believe the Battle of Karbala was between the forces of good and evil with Husayn representing good while Yazid represented evil. Shi'as also believe the Battle of Karbala was fought to keep the Muslim religion untainted of any corruptions and they believed the path that Yazid was directing Islam was definitely for his own personal greed.[citation needed]

Shia Imams strongly insist that the day of Ashura should not be taken as a day of joy and festivity. According to a hadith which is reported from Ali claiming it was on that day the God forgave Adam, Noah's Ark rested on dry land, the Israelites were saved from Pharaoh's army, etc.[clarification needed] The day of Ashura, according to Eighth Shia Imam, Ali al-Rida, must be observed as a day of inactivity, sorrow and total disregard of worldly cares.[39]

Some of the events associated with Ashura are held in special congregation halls known as "Imambargah" and Hussainia.[citation needed]

Cutting with knives or chains[edit]
Suffering and cutting the body with knives or chains (matam) was banned by the Shi'a marja Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of Iran and by Hezbollah in Lebanon.[40] Other marjas like Mohammad al-Husayni al-Shirazi promote hemic flagellation rituals as a way of preserving the revolution of Imam al-Husayn.[40]

On Ashura, some Shi'a observe mourning with blood donation which is called "Qame Zani" and flailing.[41]

Certain traditional flagellation rituals such as Talwar zani (talwar ka matam or sometimes tatbir) use a sword. Other rituals such as zanjeer zani or zanjeer matam involve the use of a zanjeer (a chain with blades).[42]

These religious customs show solidarity with Husayn and his family. Through them, people mourn Husayn's death and regret the fact that they were not present at the battle to fight and save Husayn and his family.[43][44]

In some areas, such as in the Shi'a suburb of Beirut, Shi'a communities organize blood donation drives with organizations like the Red Cross or the Red Crescent on Ashura as a replacement for self-flagellation rituals like "tatbir" and "qame zani."[40]

Some Shi'a believe that taking part in Ashura washes away their sins.[45] A popular Shi'a saying has it that, "a single tear shed for Husayn washes away a hundred sins."[46]

Popular customs[edit]
For Shi'as, commemoration of Ashura is not a festival, but rather a sad event, while Sunni Muslims view it as a victory God has given to his prophet, Moses. This victory is the very reason, as Sunni Muslims believe, Muhammad mentioned when recommending fasting on this day. For Shi'as, it is a period of intense grief and mourning. Mourners congregate at a Mosque for sorrowful, poetic recitations such as marsiya, noha, latmiya and soaz performed in memory of the martyrdom of Husayn, lamenting and grieving to the tune of beating drums and chants of "Ya Hussain." Also Ulamas give sermons with themes of Husayn's personality and position in Islam, and the history of his uprising. The Sheikh of the mosque retells the Battle of Karbala to allow the listeners to relive the pain and sorrow endured by Husayn and his family. In Arab countries like Iraq and Lebanon they read Maqtal Al-Husayn. In some places, such as Iran, Iraq and the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, Ta'zieh, passion plays, are also performed reenacting the Battle of Karbala and the suffering and martyrdom of Husayn at the hands of Yazid.[20][21]

Indian Shia Muslims take out a Ta'ziya procession on day of Ashura in Barabanki, India, Jan, 2009.
For the duration of the remembrance, it is customary for mosques and some people to provide free meals (NAZRI) on certain nights of the month to all people[citation needed]. People donate food and Middle Eastern sweets to the mosque[citation needed]. These meals are viewed as being special and holy, as they have been consecrated in the name of Husayn, and thus partaking of them is considered an act of communion with God, Hussain, and humanity.[citation needed]

Participants congregate in public processions for ceremonial chest beating (matham/latmiya) as a display of their devotion to Husayn, in remembrance of his suffering and to preach that oppression will not last in the face of truth and justice.[47] Others pay tribute to the time period by holding a Majilis, Surahs from the Quran and Maqtal Al-Husayn are read.

Shia Muslims take out an Al'am procession on day of Ashura in Barabanki, India, Jan, 2009.
Today in Indonesia, the event is known as Tabuik (Minangkabau language) or Tabut (Indonesian). Tabuik is the local manifestation of the Shi'a Muslim Mourning of Muharram among the Minangkabau people in the coastal regions of West Sumatra, particularly in the city of Pariaman. The re-enactment includes the Battle of Karbala, and the playing of tassa and dhol drums.[citation needed]

In countries like Turkey, there is the custom of eating Noah's Pudding (Ashure) as this day in Turkish is known as Aşure.

I Cut My Head At Bargah Ashura Day.. On Noha Aye Shere Naystane Haidar Abbas

As the Anjumam Parwane  Shabeer began reciting my favorite Noha of Sacchey Bhai Aye Shere E Nayastane Haidar Abbas I pulled my dagger out and began cutting my head ..

Picture shot by my friend Boaz .

abbas ay shere nayastane hyder
deti thi sada zainab rokar
abbas ay shere....

kya isi din ke liye maangi thi baba ne dua
aake pardes may hojaoge tum humse juda
sotay ho chain se darya ke kanaare bhaiya
kya sunayi nahi deti tumhay halmin ki sada
abbas tanha hai khade ran may sarwar
abbas ay shere....

ay mere shere jawan ay mere bhai ho kahan
shaakh hai dil pe mere teri judaai ho kahan
dayr se deti hoo bhaiya mai duhaai ho kahan
lut-ti hai fatema zehra ki kamayi ho kahan
abbas khanajr hai halqe sarwar par
abbas ay shere....

kya isi din ke liye saath behan thi aayi
aagayi neend jo darya ki tarayi paayi
phir palat kar hame soorat bhi nahi dikhlayi
aagaya ran se alam tum nahi aayi bhai
abbas phat-ta hai mera sadme se jigar
abbas ay shere....

girke ghoray se sada baap ko akbar ne jo di
dibare fatema zehra ki ajab haalat thi
haath malte thay kabhi ghaat ko taktay thay kabhi
thaam kar tooti kamar kehti thay farzande nabi
abbas laaun kaise laashe akbar
abbas ay shere....

haal shabbir ka ab to nahi dekha jaata
hai kamar kham nahi aankhon se soojhayi deta
ye zeefi ye jawan laal ka sadma bhaiya
thaam lo badke zara haath tumhi bhai ka
abbas khaate hai thokar par thokar
abbas ay shere....

bhai ko bhool gaye dhyaan na behno ka raha
yaad aaya na koi paayi jo darya ki hawa
haye kis dil se kiya tum ne gawara bhaiya
har tamache pe sakina ne tumhay yaad kiya
abbas jab cheene gaye kano se gohar
abbas ay shere....

hai qayamat ka saman loot hai har simt machi
koi pursa nahi haalat ajab bachon ki
taaziyane koi khaata hai tamache koi
aag daaman may hai masoom sakina ke lagi
abbas bhaiya utho lo jald khabar
abbas ay shere....

chor kar dashte musibat may behan ko bhai
tumne acha hi kiya door basayi basti
dekh sakte thay kahan tum to haye halat meri
balwaye aam may bhaiya mai khule sar hoo khari
abbas aada le gaye chaadar
abbas ay shere....

azmato izzate saadat bhula di bhai
aag qaimo may layeeno ne lagadi bhai
masnade ahmade mursal bhi jaladi bhai
taaziyano se hai abid ko saza di bhai
abbas ghash may hai pada mera dilbar
abbas ay shere....

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Moharam in Hyderabad 2014 A Set At

All at Flickr

I Shot The Pain In His Eyes

do memories
live after one dies
are there really
vestal vigins
in a muslim
the flesh was
willing the spirit
cries to free
itself from the
shackles of
mortality it
tries .life
a fruitless
a fallacy
an idiocy
to be or
not to be

We Are Muslims

invoking his name
his munificence
his omnipresence
his benevolence
we trust him begging
on the streets dark
precariously grim
a few coins hurriedly
they thrown at our feet
a charitable whim.
will our lives change
chances are slim
endangered hopes
our wings trimmed
if only muslim men
could just be like him

Aging Gracefully

so many summers
so many winter chills
those rainy days when
i fell ill watching dark
clouds threatening me
as i stood against the
window sill a voice
called out from within
the heavy laden curtains
janoo did you take your
diabetic pill .. a voice
of love a voice that
guarded me through
her prayers from every ill
silence soared as time
stood still i was reaching
out to the other shore
against my will leaving
her behind as my eyes
with tears filled the shaking
saucer of my reverie as
the sweetness of her tea
on the poetry of my memories
spilled an urban landscape of
shared solitude no mountains
no lakes just silhouettes of
molehills savoring the aroma
of her culinary skills ,,,

Friday, November 7, 2014

Garbage Follows Me Faithfully Wherever I Go .. When I Die I Wont Be Buried In Garbage Is What I Know

i have pledged my body to science
into a grave it wont be thrown..
a tailor all my body parts for humanity
my body sewn ..actually my own body
is not my own..through his humility
god has shown ..i told my family
in a shia cemetery I dont wish to
have a cornerstone ,,not for me
but for Imam Hussain you must
mourn..a beggar poet a photographer
who energetically shot Swach Bharat
as Garbage Porn..and yes as a speck
of dust in the eye of a camel i wish
to be reborn.. paying tribute to early dawn
its not children but garbage for all coming
generations that we spawn an unending story
of life as poetry that goes on and on ..

My Best Friend Sajjad Bhai ,,

He is my first contact in Hyderabad Moharam 2003 .. he is a relative of my friend Halu Bhai of Bandra .. Halu bhai gave me his contact when I decided to shoot Moharam in Hyderabad Ashura 2003..and Sajjad Bhai and his brother Kazim helped me with the same .
Through them I met  Akthar bhai of Choti Bargah , Lutfi brothers , Abid Painter Naqi bhai and everyone else .

Those days I carried a heavy camera bag and to shoot the Bibi Ka  Alam, Sajjad bhai would carry me on hos shoulders to take the shots , he also carried my camera bag as I flagellated on the streets of Hyderabad on Ashura day.

He took me to Moulah Ali all the Ashukhanas , he bought me to shoot the 8 Moharam at Hussaini Koti , and 8 Moharam at Badi Bargah.. and he was humility , he spent his money on me not allowing me to spend my own as he said he was my host I was the guest of Imam Hussain.. honestly where do you find people like this .

This Ashura he bought me and my American friend at the last moment to Bibi Ka Alawa to shoot the beginning of the Alams procession , I was barefeet , my feet were burning , he got me a pair of slippers , his relative chaperoned Boaz as Sajjad Bhai and his young son took me to Charminar , to shoot the Bibi Ka Alam there , he carried my bag and than we rushed to Irani  Gully to shoot the most hardcore sword matam of Hyderabad , in the melee I lost both of them and my dagger was in my bag with Sajjad Bhai,, I was filled with junoon seeing Ashu Bhai cutting himself I requested a guy to give me his dagger and with two camera round my neck I leapt in the air cutting my head the second time on Ashura Day, I had cut it in the morning at Badi Bargah on the Noha Aye Shere Nayastane Hyder Abbas .. I cut myself deply I lost comnsciousness , I was told the guys carried me on their shoulders to an Ambulance to give me First Aid and Sajjad Bhai was searching for me as here the area is totally crowded.. I found him after half an hour I had lost my slippers that he had bought for me I got both my cameras intact..

He bought me and Boaz snacks as all hotels are closed on Ashura , yes this is the humility love of Hyderabadi Shia for another Shia ,,

And Sajjad Bhai and I meet only during Moharam in Hyderabad ,, we were meeting after two years , and all my Bibi Ka Alam pictures could not been possible without him and his little son..

And this entire Moharam in Hyderabad Shia documentary is my tribute to  people like him and others who helped me and both my friends Boaz and Francois.

The Nawabs of Hussaini Kothi , Akthar Bhai his sons relatives of Choti Bargah ,Hyder Bhai Imran  Bhai of Badi Bargah , Naqi Bhai and Akthar bhai for giving me a place to stay and  everyone I met on this trip.. Abid Painter Lutfi brothers I owe them all this big Thanks .. from the Beggar Poet Of Mumbai

Sabir Bhai of Masumeen and his boys of the Anjuman last but not the least and Parwane Shabeer for reciting Sachey BHais Aye Shere E Nayastane Haider on this Noha I have cut my head twice in Ashura at Hyderabad ,,

Yes Moharam Ashura in Hyderabad is a Lifetime Experience .

Thursday, November 6, 2014

I Reach Mumbai From Hyderabad This Morning

I arrived in Hyderabad on 31 October , and thanks to Naqi Bhai I stayed at Daru Shifa at Akthar BhaiKarbalies office , he had a spare room above Sajjad Sweets..

This is the first time I shot 7 Moharam at Choti Bargah , an event known as Hazrat Imam Hassans Mehndi , my friends Boaz and Francois shot it too and we shot 8 Moharam Choti Bargah and Badi Bargah at Diwan Deodi..

We also shot the Hussain Koti Juloos on 8 Moharam day time

We shot a lot of street and on 10 Moharam we shot Badi Bargah kama blade matam, I did my kama matam at Badi Bargah on Aye Sher E Nayastane Haidar my favorite noha of Sacchey Bhai.

From here Boaz we rushed out among flying blades and managed to shoot the Bibi Ka Alam coming out of the Alwa.. all this part of our documentation was thanks to my dear friend Sajjad Bhai without him it would have been just impossible  ..Boaz and I parted fro here as I wanted to catch the Bibi Ka Alam at Charminar and  with my bleeding head reached in time to real hardcore matam  at Irani Gulli by Ashu Bhai at his Ashurkhana .. I gave my bag to Sajjad Bjai and shot with 2 cameras , as i saw the kama matam I too requested a guy to give me his Kama dagger and cut my head again , I lost consciousness the guys carried me on their shoulders to the Ambulance where they cleaned my deep wounds and wobbly on my legs I continued shooting the Bibi ka Ala at various spots Kadme Rasool, Zehra Nagar and last I caught the Alam at Ashurkhana e Zehra , I did not go to Chaddar Ghat I was tired and in bad shape but I shot the street matams of the La Baik Anjuman.. and finally hopped on Sabir Bhai the Head of Masumeen Anjuman truck and shot from there too, I shot the Iranis of Darbare Hussaini doing blade matam..

I got up early morning on 5 November again shot the Charminar and the streets and my friends Naqi Bhai And Akhtar got me biryani for my train journey and the journey was good I met some Irani family in the train and they too shared their dinner with me ,,

At home one entire tank of large size Black ghost and huge upside down cat fishes   were all dead  so there was some sadness on my return the Flowerhorns were fine the Java birds were fine , and my wife too is away on a pilgrimage to the Holy City or things would have not turned worse ,,,

Finally I Am back in Mumbai..