Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Eid-e-Shuja', also known as Eid-e-Zahra, is the day of Eid for most Twelver Shī‘a and marks the end of the mourning period after the events of the Battle of Karbala. It is celebrated on the 9th of Rabi' al-Awwal of the Hijri calendar. Eid is an Arabic word meaning "festivity", and Shuja' means "brave" or "courageous". It stands for "Eid of the brave and courageous companions of Hussein ibn Ali" who fought in the battle of Karbala. Eid-e-Zahra stands for "Eid of the family of Fatimah". According to some Shi'a traditions, this is the day when the heads of the key murderers in the battle of Karbala, Umar ibn Sa'ad and Ubayd-Allah ibn Ziyad, who were killed by Mukhtar, reached Imam Zainul Abedeen and brought a smile on his face[citation needed]. Many Shi'a prepare for Eid by applying intricate designs called mehndi to hands and wear bangles, usually each meaning different things. This event doesn't fall on a specific date of the gregorian calendar since the holiday is based on the lunar calendar.

The two-month period of Azadari (mourning) reaches its conclusion with the death of the 11th Twelver Shī‘a Imām, Imam Hassan Askari on the 8th of Rabi al-Awwal. The day that follows, according to some Shi'ite tradition, is considered the greatest Eid (celebration) for some followers of the Twelver Shī‘a sect. Also known as Eid-e-Zahra, this day honours the daughter of Muhammad as a day of great joy and happiness[citation needed].

One of the events which is marked on this day is the believed beginning of the Imamate of the 12th Twelver Shī‘a Imām, al-Hujjah ibn al-Hasan, though highly disputed among several Twelver Shī‘a sects, such as the Ismā'īlī and Zaydī Shī'ī sects, who each believe in a different number of Imāms and, for the most part, a different path of succession regarding the Imāmate.

This is also believed by some Twelver Shī‘a traditions to be the first time that the 4th Imām smiled and rejoiced[citation needed] after the events of Karbala in which he saw his entire family and friends killed by Ibne Ziyaad, Umar ibne Sa’d, Yazid ibne Mu’awiyah and others. It is believed that on the 9th of Rabi’ul Awwal of the year 67 A.H., Mukhtar sent the head of Ubaydallah Ziyad to Imam Zainul Abedeen who was in Makkah at the time[citation needed].

The Muslim Mother Begs On The Streets

as the year ends
a new year will
dawn merriment
for the rich the
poor have nothing
to eat hears
the sounds of
dancing feet
crackers are
bursting all
around on
the death of
an old year
a new year
to enter
in blazing glory
at sharp 12
lights go off
happy new year
they greet
lingering kisses
winter warmth
so sweet

for the poor
there is no new
year .. just pain
a cosmic circle
of eternal misery
complete ..

the rich with a click
of a button all problems
delete .. pretty neat

while rich fat laid back muslim society
builds mosques madrsas the poor
muslim watch their wretched fate in defeat

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Bleeding Rain - Ya Hussain Moharam Ends With Athvi

On 31 December Shias will take part in the Athvi or 8 Rabilwal mourning when Mohram officially ends after 2 month 8 days .

In Mumbai there are Athvi processions at Govandi  and at Malad where scourging and kama matam is performed one last time in memory of the Martyrdom of Imam Hussain.

At Mehmoodabad Sitapur District it is led by the Raja of Mehmoodabad and his family , traditional tazias Amary and scourging on the way ,, but the most important aspect of Mehmoodabad Athvi is Zuljana the stallion representing the steed of Imam Hussain is released and he rushes into the crowds reaches the Roza of Imam Hussain.. and places his head on the shrine.

The most iconic is Lucknow Athvi .. that starts with the Chup Tazia procession from Nakhas , a silent mournful dirge of Ghabrayegi Zainab and past memories of its founder late Bakar Sab a very humble man, who wept , covering his face with a hanky.. stand out .

The Chup tazia with fortified security passes through the streets of Lucknow and is buried at Kazmain with a lot of matam.

While on the way to Kazamain Shrine Shia anjumans come to pay their last respects to Imam Hussain , and here among all the melee you will find Baney Bhai with a huge bag of swords daggers on his humble back urging and reaching out with his soz as the Kama Matam begins , with frenzy never seen before .

I had called Baney Bhai to my in laws house before leaving for Lucknow and handed him my this man does everything on his own..and it was with Baney Bhais Anjuman that I had first cut my head during Athhvi..and I am unwell since last 15 days in bed with a serious viral infection but yes I will certainly miss Lucknow Athvi..

The following day after Athvi .. the Shia dress up colorfully mostly red and the day starts with cheers and curses on the killers of Imam Hussain and doubly on the enemies of Ahle Bayt ,

Effigies are burn at Kazmain and every Shia house , there is song dance among the kids , and Shia distribute Gul Gule sweet pancakes ..This day 9 Rabilwal is know by the Shias as Navi or Eid e Zehra.

Mushairas are held people chew pan with red lips and the happiness is in the air in Old Lucknow and at Makbara Gola Ganj.

And I am left with stray memories ,,,

Monday, December 29, 2014

The New Year Resolution That Got Fucked Anew

i wont drink
i wont drink
i wont ever drink
he firmly said
but the pangs
of alcohol
clobbered his
head so he
began drinking
like a fish out of
water half alive
half dead
new year
are to be broken
a needle in a storm
seeking the thread
being sober all year
is not his cup of tea
happy new year
he hi cupped
cursing his fate
the astrologers
parrot had misread
his eyes bloodshot
his face blood red
new year chi aiiechi
gho as the old year
drunkenly fled ,,,

About Kumbh Mela

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kumbh Mela (/ˌkʊm ˈmeɪlə/ or /ˌkʊm məˈlɑː/) is a mass Hindu pilgrimage of faith in which Hindus gather to bathe in a sacred river. It is considered to be the largest peaceful gathering in the world where around 100 million people were expected to visit during the Maha Kumbh Mela in 2013 in Allahabad.[5][6] It is held every third year at one of the four places by rotation: Haridwar, Allahabad (Prayaga), Nashik and Ujjain. Thus the Kumbh Mela is held at each of these four places every twelfth year. Ardha ("Half") Kumbh Mela is held at only two places, Haridwar and Allahabad, every sixth year. The rivers at these four places are: the Ganges (Ganga) at Haridwar, the confluence (Sangam) of the Ganges and the Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati at Allahabad, the Godawari at Nashik, and the Shipra at Ujjain. The name Kumbh Mela comes from Hindi, and in the original Sanskrit and other Indian languages it is more often known as Kumbha Mela. Kumbha means a pitcher and Mela means fair in Sanskrit. The pilgrimage is held for about one and a half months at each of these four places where it is believed in Hinduism that drops of nectar fell from the kumbha carried by gods after the sea was churned. Bathing in these rivers is thought to cleanse one of all sins.[7]The festival is billed as the "world’s largest congregation of religious pilgrims".[8] There is no precise method of ascertaining the number of pilgrims, and the estimates of the number of pilgrims bathing on the most auspicious day may vary; approximately 80 million people attended on 14 February 2013.

Mauni Amavasya traditionally attracted the largest crowds at the mela, held here every 12 years. The current Kumbh Mela was held on 14 January 2013 at Allahabad. The day marked the second and the biggest Shahi Snanam (royal bath) of this event, with 13 akharas taking to the Sangam. 10 Feb 2013 was the biggest bathing day at the Maha Kumbh Mela and probably the largest human gathering on a single day. Over 30 million devotees and ascetics took holy dip on the occasion of Mauni Amavasya.[9]

The first written evidence of the Kumbh Mela can be found in the accounts of Chinese monk Xuanzang (玄奘, alternately Hsuan Tsang) who visited India in 629–645 CE, during the reign of King Harshavardhana.[10][11] However, similar observances date back many centuries, where the river festivals first started getting organised. According to medieval Hindu theology, its origin is found in one of the most popular medieval puranas, the Bhagavata Purana. The Samudra manthan episode (Churning of the ocean of milk), is mentioned in the Bhagavata Purana, Vishnu Purana, the Mahabharata, and the Ramayana.[12]

The account goes that the Devas had lost their strength by the curse of Durväsä Muni, and to regain it, they approached Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva. They directed all the demigods to Lord Vishnu[13] (full story on kumbh mela) and after praying to Lord Vishnu, he instructed them to churn the ocean of milk Ksheera Sagara (primordial ocean of milk) to receive amrita (the nectar of immortality). This required them to make a temporary agreement with their arch enemies, the Asuras, to work together with a promise of sharing the wealth equally thereafter.[14] However, when the Kumbha (urn) containing the amrita appeared, a fight ensued. For twelve days and twelve nights (equivalent to twelve human years) the Devas and Asuras fought in the sky for the pot of amrita. It is believed that during the battle, Lord Vishnu (incarnated as Mohini-Mürti) flew away with the Kumbha of elixir spilling drops of amrita at four places: Allahabad (Prayag), Haridwar, Ujjain and Nashik.[15]

Kumbh Mela takes place every twelve years at one of four places: Allahabad, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nashik. The Mela in its different forms alternates between Prayag, Nashik, Ujjain and Haridwar every third year.[16][17][18]

Kumbh Mela: Held at all four places every three years.[19]
Ardha Kumbh Mela: Held at Haridwar and Prayag every 6 years.
Purna Kumbh Mela: Held only at Prayag every 12 years.[20]
Maha Kumbh Mela: Held only at Prayag every 144 years.[21][22]

There are 14 Akhadas, of which 11 belong to the Shaiva sect (of the 11 Shaiva Akhadasa, one—Bhudada Akhada—is defunct, while 10 are active) and 3 to the Vaishnava sect. The Shaiva Akhadas take a holy dip at Kushavart in Trimbakeshwar, about 30 km from Nashik.[24] The Vaishnav Akhadas perform rituals at Ramkund in Godavari and stay at Tapovan.[25] The Vaishnava Akhadas have Khalsas (religious groups headed by Mahantas attached with Akhadas) attached with them. Both Shaiva and Vaishnava Sadhus used to take the holy dip in Trimbakeshwar, until 1838, when a clash between them led to bloodshed and the Peshwa ruler requested Shaiva sadhus to perform rituals at Trimbakeshwar and Vaishnavs to move downstream to Ramakunda in Nasik.

Upcoming Kumbh Mela festivals:

The next Kumbh Mela will be held at Nashik on the bank of river Godavari in 2015 (15 August to 13 September). The Kumbh at Ujjain is also called "Simhastha" (as Guru will be in Singh Rashi).[27]
Ujjain Purna Kumbh Mela 2016

Kumbh Mela is celebrated at different locations depending on the position of the planet of Bṛhaspati (Jupiter) and the sun. When Jupiter and the sun are in the zodiac sign Leo (Simha Rashi) it is held in Trimbakeshwar, Nashik; when the sun is in Aquarius (Kumbh Rashi) it is celebrated at Haridwar; when Jupiter is in Taurus (Vrishabha Rashi ) and the sun is in Capricorn (Makar Rashi) Kumbh Mela is celebrated at Prayag; and Jupiter and the sun are in Scorpio (Vrishchik Rashi) the Mela is celebrated at Ujjain.[28][29] Each site's celebration dates are calculated in advance according to a special combination of zodiacal positions of Sun, Moon, and Jupiter.[30]

According to The Imperial Gazetteer of India, an outbreak of cholera occurred at the 1892 Mela at Haridwar leading to the rapid improvement of arrangements by the authorities and to the formation of Haridwar Improvement Society. In 1903 about 400,000 people are recorded as attending the fair.[29] During the 1954 Kumbh Mela stampede at Prayag, around 500 people were killed, and scores were injured. Ten million people gathered at Haridwar for the Kumbh on 14 April 1998.[10]

In 2001, more than 40 million gathered on the busiest of its 55 days.[31]

According to the Mela Administration's estimates, around 70 million people participated in the 45-day Ardha Kumbh Mela at Prayag in 2007.[32]

The last "Kumbh Mela" held in 2001 in Prayag was estimated by the authorities to have attracted between 30 and 70 million people.[33][34][35]

The current Maha Kumbh Mela began on 14 January 2013 at Prayag.[36] According to expectations more than 100 million people attended the 2013 Kumbh mela.[37][38]

The ritual[edit]

Naga sadhu procession 1998 Kumbh Mela
The major event of the festival is ritual bathing at the banks of the river in whichever town Kumbh Mela being held:Ganga in Haridwar, Godavari in Nasik, Kshipra in Ujjain and Sangam (confluence of Ganga, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati) in Allahabad (Prayag). Nasik has registered maximum visitors to 75 million. Other activities include religious discussions, devotional singing, mass feeding of holy men and women and the poor, and religious assemblies where doctrines are debated and standardised. Kumbh Mela is the most sacred of all the pilgrimages.[citation needed] Thousands of holy men and women attend, and the auspiciousness of the festival is in part attributable to this. The sadhus are seen clad in saffron sheets with Vibhuti ashes dabbed on their skin as per the requirements of ancient traditions. Some, called naga sanyasis, may not wear any clothes even in severe winter.[citation needed] The right to be naga, or naked, is considered a sign of separation from the material world.[7]

After visiting the Kumbh Mela of 1895, Mark Twain wrote:

“It is wonderful, the power of a faith like that, that can make multitudes upon multitudes of the old and weak and the young and frail enter without hesitation or complaint upon such incredible journeys and endure the resultant miseries without repining. It is done in love, or it is done in fear; I do not know which it is. No matter what the impulse is, the act born of it is beyond imagination, marvelous to our kind of people, the cold whites.[39]”
The order of entering the water is fixed, with the Juna, the Niranjani and Mahanirvani akharas preceding.[40]

Darshan, or respectful visual exchange, is an important part of the Kumbh Mela. People make the pilgrimage to the Kumbh Mela specifically to see and experience both the religious and secular aspects of the event. Two major groups that participate in the Kumbh Mela include the Sadhus (Hindu holy men) and pilgrims. Through their continual yogic practices the Sadhus articulate the transitory aspect of life. Sadhus travel to the Kumbh Mela to make themselves available to much of the Hindu public. This allows members of the Hindu public to interact with the Sadhus and to take "darshan." They are able to "seek instruction or advice in their spiritual lives." Darshan focuses on the visual exchange, where there is interaction with a religious deity and the worshiper is able to visually "'drink' divine power." The Kumbh Mela is arranged in camps that give Hindu worshipers access to the Sadhus. The darshan is important to the experience of the Kumbh Mela and because of this worshipers must be careful so as to not displease religious deities. Seeing of the Sandus is carefully managed and worshipers often leave tokens at their feet.[7]

Most significant days during the Kumbh Mela[edit]
Bhishma Ekadasi Snan

On this day, Bhishma Pithamaha, the oldest, wisest, most powerful and most righteous person belonging to the Kuru dynasty (approx. over 5000 years ago), narrated the greatness of Lord Krishna through Sri Vishnu Sahasranama to Yudhishtira, the oldest brother of Pandavas.[41]

Recent Kumbh Melas[edit]
According to Paramahansa Yogananda in his work the Autobiography of a Yogi, it was during the Kumbh Mela in January 1894 at Prayag that his Guru Sri Yukteswar met Mahavatar Babaji for the first time.[42]

When the Kumbh Mela was held in Nashik, India, from 27 July to 7 September 2003, 39 pilgrims (28 women and 11 men) were trampled to death and 57 were injured. Devotees had gathered on the banks of the Godavari river for the maha snaanam or holy bath. Over 30,000 pilgrims were being held back by barricades in a narrow street leading to the Ramkund, a holy spot, so the sadhus could take the first ceremonial bath. Reportedly, a sadhu threw some silver coins into the crowd and the subsequent scramble led to the stampede.[43][44]

Sinhastha Mela help in Ujjain, India in the year of 2004 on the banks of River Kshipra where pilgrims took numerous religious baths.

More than 70 million people visited Ardh Kumbh Mela at Prayag.[45]

Haridwar hosted the Purna Kumbh mela from Makar Sankranti (14 January 2010) to Shakh Purnima Snan (28 April 2010). Millions of Hindu pilgrims attended the mela. On 14 April 2010, alone approximately 10 million people bathed in the Ganges river.[46] According to officials by mid April about 40 million people had bathed since 14 January 2010.[47] Hundreds of foreigners joined Indian pilgrims in the festival which is thought to be the largest religious gathering in the world.[47][48] To accommodate the large number of pilgrims Indian Railways ran special trains.[49] At least 5 people died in a stampede after clashes between holy men and devotees.[50]

Indian Space Research Organisation took satellite pictures of the crowds with the hope of improving the conduct of the festival in the future.[51]

The Maha Kumbh Mela was held at Allahabad (Prayag) (14 January to 10 March 2013). An estimated 30 million people visited the Maha Kumbh Mela on 10 February 2013 and an estimated 100 million were expected to visit the place during the festival spread over 55 days.[5] On 10 February 2013, a stampede at the railway station killed 36 and injured at least 39.[52]

Here are the details of most auspicious days (bathing dates) in year 2013 during Maha Kumbh Festival (mela).[53]

14 January 2013 (Monday) - Makar Sankranti
27 January 2013 (Sunday) - Paush Purnima
6 February 2013 (Wednesday) - Ekadashi Snan
10 February 2013 (Sunday) - Mauni Amavasya Snan (Main Bathing Day)
15 February 2013 (Friday) - Vasant Panchami Snan
17 February 2013 (Sunday) - Rath Saptami Snan
21 February 2013 (Thursday) - Bhisma Ekadashi Snan
25 February 2013 (Monday) - Maghi Purnima Snan
10 March 2013 (Sunday) - Mahashivratri
The next Kumbha Mela will be held at Nashik (Maharashtra) from 14 July to 25 September.[54] The details of most auspicious days (bathing dates) in year 2015 during Nashik Kumbh Mela are[55]

26 August 2015 (Wednesday): Shravan Shudha- First Snan
29 August 2015 (Saturday): Shravan Purnima - First Shahi Snan at Ram Kunda
13 September 2015 (Sunday): Bhadrapad Amavasya - Second Shahi Snan/ Main bathing day
18 September 2015 (Friday): Bhadrapad Shukla Panchmi (Rushipanchami) - Third Shahi Snan
25 September 2015 (Friday): Bhadrapad Shukla Dwadashi - Vaman Dwadashi Snan

The Spirit Of India Its Rich Culture Is Showcased At The Kumbh Mela

For the rich the celebrity the upper Brahminical classes the Kumbh Mela is only a flight away, a VVIP pass the ablutions and back homeby the net flight .

But for the poorest of poor living in the clutches of misery despair , leaving their jobs they come here for salvation , Mauni Amasvya  the largest gathering of the poor a moment to wash away their sins .

With no money they sleep on the roads , in cold winter chill , some sadly start begging , food is a plenty at the Kumbh and nobody starves , every Akhara feeds the poor , even some rich people offer money blankets food grains to them.

And this touches the core a lot of tribals sell beads , fake rudraksh and earn money, and of course you pay protection money for the stalls on the roads .. that goes without saying.

The travelling scenario is worst , the Indian Railways is the worst , total chaos at the stations , and the stations are totally disater prone , the few corrupt TCs fleecing the poor it is sad to see all this but than for the pilgrim reaching the Kmbh or even dying at the Kumbh is sweet Salvation.

At he Maha Kumbh everything was fine for the rich classes , for the poor it was being treated as vermin and honestly he success of he Kumbh has nothing to do with the Government but the strong selfless helping supportive Sadhu Samaj.. this is my personal estimation.

The Akhars keep Hope alive , the Akharas are the main force and indisputable supreme authority .

And I feel all Indians despite their individual religiosity should visit the Kumbh once in their Lifetime to understand something that is truly Make In India .

I had a great Maha Kumbh ..and I met some great Tantriks , Maha Mandleshwars thanks to my Naga Guru , who was proud that I was documenting all this without bias without reservations for posterity.

One Of The Reasons I Am Posting These Pictures Is That You Too Will Shoot The Nasik Kumbh 2015

Photographers are adventurers leading the way , recording documenting a Moment of Truth .

Believe me I went through hell to shoot the Nasik Kumbh..  did not know procedure nor did I know anyone , I went to the office of the Ministry of Information and the guys there totally insensitive , dumb would make me wait for hours , and all I saw it was the foreigners that were treated hospitably  we Indian amateur photographers were nothing but a piece of shit .

And all this before I came on the Internet perhaps it was my Muslim name my overdone colorful Sufi persona that added to my woes ...but I did shoot the Nasik Kumbh and mind you I was new to photography , with no friends no contacts .

However I created a rapport with the Naga Sadhus of Juna Akhara and this helped immensely  though I met them at the lag  end of my TRimbakeshwar trip and thanks to Shri Vijay Giri Maharaj who later became my Naga Guru I shot the Maha Kumbh too..and believe me I have not met him since a very long time ,and unable to contact him on phone,

I shall go and meet him as I have been down with severe viral infection from the time I came down from Lucknow.. and I think it was walking barefeet in winter during Chehlum that pushed me to the brink of my illness ..but if I had money and  time and if I was not unwell I would go back to Lucknow to shoot the last segment of our mourning called Athvi..

Well I am a dreamer and dreams are a vital part of being a beggar poet , the grandkids are in Lucknow and both my camera lying .. in wait for them,

So back to the Kumbh if you do get the opportunity do go and shoot it keeping in mind the important dates of Shahi Snan.. both at Ramkuundh and Trimbakeshwar.. The Naga Sadhus  can be found at Trimbakeshwar at Sadhugran where they stay in the innumerable tents .

Mind you be at Trimbakeshwar a day before the Shhi Snan as all roads are blocked and entry to the tank is closed only those with the Nagas are allowed in.

The Press Stand is simply pathetic..monopolized by the electronic media and the celebrity journos .

If you have any query there is the Information center at the office of the Ministry of Information.

Take care of your cameras belongings as there are a lot of crooks dressed at Sadhus ,,pickpocketeers , conmen.

So see you at Nasik Kumbh 2015 .

Saturday, December 27, 2014

At The Kumbh The Godmen Have Better Facilities Than These Poor Sadhu Samaj

And if you are Swami Nityanandji, Chandrasawmi ji  or even Pilot Baba or the Hare Rama Hare Krishna , the opulence hits you in the face and the Kumbh is about the rich poor divide .

I documented the Maha Kumbh and I saw the hardships of the poor groups of Naga Sadhus fleeced by the contractors , no transparency , and sheer demand of money ..

But I found solace in these small tents of Naga Sadhus The Avhani and the Agni Akhara ..they were hospitable offered you meals and if the meals were over they would cook fresh.

They never asked for money donation but if you gave it to them they accepted it willingly , the Naga Babas with foreign disciples mostly photographers paid lavishly they had to get pictures and joining the Naga Baba was access to the Shahi Snan too,

The facilities at the Maha Kumbh were bad the rickshawallahs charged a bomb no fare regulation and the cops did not care a damn..

The poor who slept on the banks roads faced the fury of the rains and ran helter skelter , I distributed blankets  to the poor  and I did it in the night when they were asleep and just covered them and moved away this was my bit ,, a very small bit .

And shooting the Kumbh if you are a people photographer is  a memorable experience ,,,I met Tantriks I met aghoris I met all kinds of Sadhus ,,

It was a pity because of my work I could only shoot Basant Panchami and had to return back,,

At the Nasik Kumbh Ramkundh I was clueless because of my attire the  heartless blokes were no willing to give  me a Kumbh Press Card ,, and it was the foreign photographers that were given precedence and it is sad that being an Indian they treat you like a piece of shit ,,

And that is the level of Indian bureaucracy that judges a book by its cover .

Now I live with the  Nagas and dont have to suffer fools ,,

I Was A Muslim Photographer Shooting My First Kumbh So I Was A Bit Scared Too

I did not have any contacts , no person who could vouch for me in case of any security problems  and there was apprehension too .I did not stay in a hotel as I could not afford it , and I kept awake on the banks of the Godavri clinging to my  cameras and camera bag.

If i used a public toilet I took my bag  cameras along with me but later one night I met a local journalist from Aurangabad Neeraj Bhanje and he would take care of my stuff while I did my 40 winks ,

And strangely though I never met Neeraj Bhanje again , we are connected on the phone through SMS .

It was later when I went to shoot Trimbakeshwar and had made arrangements with late Mr KG Maheshwaris family to stay at Trimbak Road at their Money Museum..that I was ready to shoot without hassles ,.

I slept one night at the Money Museum but than at Sadhugram I met my future Naga Guru from Santosh Nagar Dindoshi he had seen me many a times at Film City ,,so Shri Vijay Giri Maharaj told me to stay with his group of Nagas till the next Shahi Snan at Trimbakeshwar.

So I stayed with the Nagas shot them , begged with them from  shop to shop, and became one of them.. we were just two Muslims in the group the driver and me.

For safety sake from other volatile Naga groups my Naga Guru began calling me Ashok Bharti as we visited various Shankaracharyas and Maha guru was a known figure among the Junagadh Akhara.

And later after the Kumbh I kept in touch with him , every visit to Film City was incomplete without visiting him at Dindoshi Santosh Nagar .. than once he came home and thus a bond was created .

And because of Shri Vijay Giri Majharaj I shot the Maha Kumbh 3500 images with Naga rituals and daily life at  Sector 4 Allahabad ,, close to the Sangam,

And I hope to shoot the Nasik Kumbh in July 2015 too,,

Thursday, December 25, 2014

With The Power Vested In The Camera We Make Things Visible

shooting the soul of
humanity never a
moment dull you
could count the
feathers of a seagull
invoking the inner angst
anger pain despair locked
in the cavernous human skull
silhouette of silence and lull

Its Only When You Shoot Pictures They Become Memories

This was shot at Mr KG Maheshwarijis house on his birthday , many years back..

I did speak to the Sikh photographer once but we lost contact.

Both Mr KG Maheshwari and Mr Anil Bhartiya left for their heavenly abode.

I am in bed since a few days with a serious viral infection and being treated by Dr  RD Parmar or perhaps I would have gone out and shot the Chritmas Eve Mass at St Peter Church Bandra .

Mr Maheshwariji before passing away was very keen to meet both my photo shooting grand daughters Marziya Shakir and Nerjis Asif Shakir ,,,

I dont know if I will ever visit his house again.. a chapter ended for me forever.

Leaving behind these memories that I was lucky to have shot ,, I was not invited to his prayer meeting by his family nor at my camera club PSI Mumbai  is the sad  story of a beggar poets life.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Prima Donna 2

This was shot in 2004 at Mr KG Maheshwaris Nasik property that houses his son Mr Kamal Maheshwaris Money Museum,

This was my earliest tryst with studio light photography outdoors , the lighting was set by late Mr KG Maheshwari..and assisted by late Prof BW Jatkar .

The model was from Mumbai and it seems very strange I never talked to her , nor did she interact with anyone ,,I dont even know her name..perhaps because it was during Ramzan and I was fasting.. I broke my fast with a Muslim family at the Money Museum..

There were some veterans stalwarts of photography at this shoot and some novice too , and this was love of photography and to learn the basics of studio lighting under Mr KG Maheshwari.

This was my most memorable lesson in photography and I did visit this place when I halted for a night on my way to Nasik Kumbh.

Both Mr KG Maheshwari and Prof BW Jatkar were my Gurus ..and this was organized by my camera club PSI Of Mumbai.

And all these are TIFF files on CD that I am reblogging here at Flickr.

And I have a lot of stuff I shot prolifically  .. that I am ulnocking sharing with all of you .

World of Mr KG Maheshwari Sweet Memories

Advocate Adhik Shirodkar And Me

World Of Late Mr KG Maheshwariji - Sweet Memories

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Unfortunate Beggars Of Hazratganj

Why is he begging.. this stalwart of ageless time
will his life change once his wrinkled hands take
your dime being born poor in india is the biggest
crime he wont be invited to Saifai a thought sublime
does he have dreams ? yes of dying soon no more
living begging pleading crawling in dirt and grime

My Flickr Archives 2014

January (471)
February (574)
March (424)
April (293)
May (3893)
June (2335)
July (2097)
August (2292)
September (3846)
October (3956)
November (6868)
December (4258)

Monday, December 22, 2014

The Muslim Man

why dont
they start
instead of
up issues
of hindus
control motor
mouths instead
of ghar wapasi
ghar ghar islam
talk of building
the nation food
for all work for
all education for
all,,breaking down
sectarian walls
but do all this
you dont need
mouths you need
balls ..united we
stand divided we
fall..clarion call

British Residency Revisited 2014

Most of my trips to Lucknow I shot the British Residency  after shooting Bada Imambada .

However due to the serious injury on my leg I did not shoot the Bada Imambada or the Bauli ..the way I normally shot it..

This time I wanted to shoot the British Residency without going wide , just portions on my 55 - 250 lens .

I shoot alone , and left to my thoughts and my running nose there was nothing between me and my inner self.

The British Residency is depresses me , it has lost its heritage value and nothing but a natural sleazy open air hotel for lovers and you could go a step and further and call it a brothel too..

I dont know if the Yadavs in power will ever understand the meaning of history , or the sacrifice of the loyal Indian sepoys who gave their life for the British Empire fighting their own rebel brothers ..on the other side of the fence.

I am not into history but I shoot British our cultural inheritance despite the seminal stains on many a British graves that serve as beds for humping  couples,.

The graves are in a sorry state , some work of restoration is going on.. but I saw no scientific expertise around.

The British Residency opens its gates in the mornings and young lovers , burkha clad ladies with hunks walk in to get their libido restarted .

And I think more Foreigners visit Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghats in Mumbai than the forgettable British Residency in Lucknow , it has not been packaged rigorously as a tourist stop,

I am assuming after all..and one person who had thorough knowledge love for the British Residency was  late Mr PC Little poet photographer restorer of cameras and historian,

Sunday, December 21, 2014

A House Made On A Bed

perhaps physically challenged
frail old shivering holy scriptures
he read his frugal breakfast water
bread a woolen cap protected
his head on the side of a road
in lucknow warming himself
under a quilted  bed spread
he told me in a soft voice his
time was drawing near soon
he would be dead he feared
the rains as there was no
plastic covering overhead
i quietly placed a hundred
rupees note in his wrinkled
hand and politely fled

God You Robbed Me Of My Mind I Kept Quiet

you robbed me of my thinking process
within the soul of my humanity you put
chaos mental mess living in tatters of
borrowed dress i am living on the streets
my only address they offer me tea left
over food human kindness simply feeling
sorry for my divine madness what is my
future no inkling of my past my bank of
memories vacuous no emotions no stress
but i remember her the woman i loved
who ran away with my best friend taking
away the last vestige of my hope my
interest pawned promises emptiness

The Poor Muslim Caught Between Ghar Wapsi And Ghar Ghar Islam

his once peaceful world
has lost its charm forced
conversions bodily harm
within the soul of silence
sectarian storm he seeks
hope humanity peace
brotherly bliss calm
he holds on to allah
they want him to reach
out to ram. am ke am
gutli ke dam..winter
chill he seeks warmth

Kehke Ghar Ghar Islam Karte Hain Musalmano Ka Badnam

gar yeh garib musalmanon  ka karte kam
paise ki lalach main akar musalman nahi
chodta islam..gar usko milti rozi aur kuch
kam bagal main allah muh pe ram...

Bhar Do Jholi Meri Ya Muhammad

Tumhaare aastaane se zamaana kya nahin paata
Koi bhi dar se khaali maangne waala nahin jaata

Bhar do jholi meri Sarkaar-e-Madeena
Bhar do jholi meri Taajdaar-e-Madeena

Tum zamaane ke mukhtaar ho ya nabi
Bekason ke madadgaar ho ya nabi

Sab ki sunte ho apne ho ya ghair ho
Tum ghareebon ke gham-khwaar ho nabi

Bhar do jholi meri Sarkaar-e-Madeena
Bhar do jholi meri Taajdaar-e-Madeena

Hum hain ranj-o-museebat ke maare hue
Saqt mushkil mein hain gham se haare hue

Ya nabi kuchh Khudaara humein bheek do
Dar pe aaye hain jholi pasaare hue

Bhar do jholi meri Sarkaar-e-Madeena
Bhar do jholi meri Taajdaar-e-Madeena

Hai mukhaalif zamaana kidhar jaaein hum
Haalat-e-bekasi kisko dikhlaaye hum

Hum tumhaare bhikaari hain ya Mustafa
Kiske aage bhalaa haath phailaayein hum

Bhar do jholi meri Sarkaar-e-Madeena
Bhar do jholi meri Taajdaar-e-Madeena

Bhar do jholi meri ya Muhammad
Lautkar main na jaaunga khaali

Kuchh nawaason ka sadqa ataa ho
Dar pe aaya hoon bankar sawaali

Haq se paayi wo shaan-e-kareemi
Marhaba dono aalam ke waali

Uski qismat ka chamka sitaara
Jis pe nazr-e-karam tum ne daali

Zindagi bakhsh ki bandagi ko
Aabroo deen-e-haq ki bachaali

Wo Muhammad ka pyara nawaasa
Jisne sajde mein gardan kataali

Jo ibn-e-murtaza ne kiya kaam khoob hai
Qurbaani-e-Hussain ka anjaam khoob hai

Khurbaan ho ke Fatema Zehra ke chain ne
Deen-e-Khuda ki shaan badhaayi Hussain ne

Bakhshi hai jisne mazhab-e-Islam ko hayaat
Jitni azeem hazrat-e-Shabbir ki hai zaat

Maidaan-e-Karbala mein shah-e-khush khisaal ne
Sajde mein sar kataa ke Mohammad ke laal ne

Zindagi bakhsh di bandagi ko
Aabroo deen-e-haq ki bachaali

Wo Muhammad ka pyara nawaasa
Jisne sajde mein gardan kataali

Hashr mein unko dekhenge jis dam
Ummati ye kahengey khushi se

Aa rahey hain wo dekho Mohammad
Jinke kaandhe pe kambli hai kaali

Mehshar ke roz pesh-e-Khuda hongey jis ghadi
Hogi gunahgaaron mein kis darjaa bekali

Aate hue nabi ko jo dekhenge ummati
Ek doosre se sab ye kahengey khushi khushi

Aa rahey hain wo dekho Mohammad
Jinke kaandhe pe kambli hai kaali

Sar-e-mehshar gunahgaaron se purzish jis ghadi hogi
Yaqeenan har bashar ko apni bakhshish ki parhi hogi

Sabhi ko aas us din kambli waale se lagi hogi
Ke aise mein Mohammad ki sawaari aa rahi hogi

Pukaarega zamaana us ghadi dukh dard ke maaron
Na ghabraao gunahgaaron na ghabraao gunahgaaron

Aa rahey hain wo dekho Mohammad
Jinke kaandhe pe kambli hai kaali

Aashiq-e-mustafa ki azaan mein Allah Allah kitna asar thha
Sachaa ye waaqiya hai azaan-e-Bilaal ka

Ek din rasool-e-paak se logon ne yun kahaa
Ya Mustafa azaan ghalat dete hain Bilaal

Kahiye huzoor aapka is mein hai kya khayaal
Farmaaya Mustafa ne ye sach hai to dekhiye

Waqt-e-sahar ki aaj azaan aur koi de
Hazrat Bilaal ne jo azaan-e-sahar na di

Khudrat Khuda ki dekho na mutlaq sahar hui
Aaye Nabi ke paas kuchh as’haab-e-baasabaa

Ki arz mustafa se ay Shah-e-ambiya
Hai kya sabab sahar na hui aaj Mustafa

Jibreel laaye aise mein payghaam-e-Kibriya
Pehle to Mustafa ko adab se kiya salaam

Baad as salaam unko Khuda ka diya payaam
Yun Jibraeel ne kahaa khair ul anaam se

Allah ko hai pyar tumhaare ghulaam se
Farmaa raha hai aap se ye Rabb-e-Zuljalaal

Hogi na subha dengey na jab tak azaan Bilaal
Aashiq-e-mustafa ki azaan mein Allah Allah kitna asar thha

Arsh waale bhi sunte thhey jisko
Kya azaan thi azaan-e-bilaali

Kaash purnam se aaye nabi mein
Jeete ji ho bulaawa kisi din

Haal-e-gham Mustafa ko sunaaoon
Thhaam kar unke rauze ki jaali

Bhar do jholi meri ya Muhammad
Lautkar main na jaaunga khaali

The Broom

as my humble lens zooms
captures the restless angst
of the broom once adopted
by the defunct aam admi
party it vociferously began
cleaning corruption cheered
wildly by the mediocre press room
after 49 days it was buried placed
in a tomb .. than rediscovered by
the lotus in bloom hurriedly exhumed
in the hands of  brand new netajis
celebrities mass and volume
the broom snatched away from
the sweepers a symbol of
swatch bharat i assume
will be passed on from netaji
to his dynastic son as family's
heirloom..the last temptation
passion of the broom.. bhai
jhoom barabar jhoom..only
at the home of our netaji they
use all american hoover vacuum

Saturday, December 20, 2014

To My Good Friend Serene

thanks to alex tender
i met her gushingly
unblushingly like
a pubescent teen
awed of her personality
her robust mind her
clarity of thought
a woman like her i
had never seen who
tells her mind her
thoughts pristine
living with fish fauna
crocodiles her
unlike this indian
shooting beggars
to mind meld
this poetic paean
a broken lamp
fulfilling wishes
this mystic Aladdin
disembodied unseen

Wassim Qazilbash Bravest Shia Lady In Lucknow ,, My Mother In Law

She is the most sprightly lady , does all the domestic chores , loves her husband dearly , she has a son three daughters , she has seen a lot of pain lived all her life in a tenanted house , sharing a common toilet ,,but she had faith and after almost 37 years she got her own place close to the place she stayed .and in the area she loves defends Nakhas Bajaza.

She came to fetch me at CharBagh station ,made great dishes for me , and I bought her oil for her bad legs ,,

She is a Tabaraie ,, defender of the Shia faith to the core , if you dare say something bad about Imam Hussain or The Ahle Bayt she will simply give you a tight dont mess with this diminutive lady ,
Once during the unfortunate Shia Sunni riots she stood out on the streets with a rolling pin.. she is a pucca Maulaiee ,, this lady s father was the most respected revered Shia from Kashmiri Mohalla Zakir Hussain BUL BUL SALWATI .

Her father in law Dr Matin Qazilbash married second time and her husband gave a way all his property to his step siblings and lived as a tenant at Hashim Building .

Earning from Diamond Cassettes promoting the Majlis of Maulanas big and small but than when bad times came no Maulana was there to help them out , my father in law Abbas Qasim being proud never licked their spiritual ass ..

And here I must reiterate Maulanas mostly help those who bow to them kowtow to them this is sheer hypocrisy among Shias too , the rich wont ever help  the poor ..and it is tragic to say the least I am a Lucknow born but Mumbai gave me love shelter and this well being in return I buried both my mom dad in Marathi soil ,,,Yes Mumbai is my Dharam bhumi not just my karambhumi .

My wife has lived in Mumbai for 38 years but loves Lucknow , and comes here by train to attend her mothers majlis and leaves back the following day ,, so this time I followed her to shoot Chehlum second time in the city of my birth.

Perhaps it is the blessings Janab Kalbe Abid Sab gave us in 1977  26 November when he solemnized my marriage that though there were bad thunderous marital clouds of discord our marriage has survived the test of time.

And when we were leaving for the station to return to Mumbai Wassim Baji as I call my mother in law began to cry like a little child she insisted on dropping us  at the station.9 pm in the night our train the Lokmanya Tilak was to leave at 10.45 pm

This is love you seldom see sadly I have no parents so she touches me at the very soft spot of my scarred soul.
I wanted to leave this space blank but I finally spilled the beans .. trying to give you a character sketch of the bravest lady in Lucknow hardcore Modiji fan..yes she says very proudly Ab Ki Bar Modi Sarkar ,,

Most of the Shias are Modiji supporters .,,,the poor and the poorest of the poor I mean.

And this is my humble tribute to my Mother In law I deliberately shot her blurry but she is a very beautiful lady in her heydays she was called the Saira Bano of Lucknow .

Her family hails from Siwan Bihar .

Why You Find Shia Kids Intense About Moharam

Simply because the Shia mother the beacon of Spirituality keeps the flame of Hussainiyat alive , taking her kids of every age to religious discourse called majlis , matams , and from a very early age this is absorbed by the child.

Majlis is the staple of Shia spirituality remembering the Battle of Karbala , really a battle between Good and Evil..

Sadly having shot Moharam all over the major cities of India the organizers build Sabils distribute Niyaz during the procession but you will hardly find mobile toilets for the women folk.. but despite all this the Shia mother the Shia ladies overcome these hurdles shortcomings only for the love of Imam Hussain.

This is my last Moharam segment of 292 pictures , shot in poor light conditions , shivering hands barefeet and my diabetic condition keeps the blood trickling from my head wounds .. but I documented what I saw the spirit of Shiasm.
And this is my tribute to the Shia mother ,,,my mother my childrens mother , and grandchildrens mother .

And our spirituality finally pays the ultimate tribute to Imam Hussains mother Princess Fatima who lost both her beloved children tragically Hassan and Hussain.

I dont glorify blood , but our history is written in our blood we Shias have been persecuted for 1400 years for simply stating tha yes here is Terrorism in Islam.. Muslims first love killing Muslims and than hen they have destroyed the Shias the Hazaras than they shoot murder rape other ethnicity .

The Talibans The ISIS the radicals all children of Yazid wont rest till they have destroyed the very core message of Islam Peace and Brotherhood .
I am an educated Muslim that is perhaps what saved me from the fires of this worldly Hell and come from good parentage .

And mind you we Shias are products of our surroundings our upbringings I refuse to be a narrow minded bigot Shia , my parents instilled humanity in me much before they consummated to create my human form.

I have been schooled by Christians , but never once did they ever encroach the parameters of my Soul.. I studied Catechism in my early years and my belief in my heritage my ancestry has remained intact.

Maybe my forefathers may have been Hindus , but I am happy being a Shia I d rather be a Shia than  just a Muslim and not the Muslim of contemporary Wahabbi or Salafi mindset ,, and I would rather be a Hindu than a Wahabbi or a Salafi venom pouring Islamist .
These are my personal views , and I shoot Shiasm as Humanity as a vital part of Indias diverse religiosity .

I shoot with my time my camera , I dont do photography for money , photography merely is my poetry of Life.

I show you my backyard and if it is graphic bloody you dont need to see it at ll.

I dont need your criticism you have issues with Shiasm I am not a Mullah or a scholar , go discuss with them .. I shoot all religion I am a citizen of the world but yes Indian first .

I have shot over 60000 Hindu blogs , over 58000 Shia blogs and Sufi blogs .including Christian ethos .

I am a photoblogger my grammar being bad unstructured I use pictures as my storyboard.

I have Shiasm for those who are not Shias .. my foreigner friends , who might never ever venture into my world ,,my world is simplistic devoid of semantics polemics or other high powered philosophy ,, dont please judge me by what I shoot I definitely dont shoot porn..

I shoot reality as real as crystal as the tears in my eyes .. yes we Shias cry we mourn we bleed but we want to live in Peace ..Let Us Live ..

Run Mein Hai Nala Kuna Zainab-e-Dilgeer Hussain,

Run Mein Hai Nala Kuna Zainab-e-Dilgeer Hussain,
Hussain, Hussain, Haye Hussain

Lo Khabar Jald Kay Beparda Hay Hamsheer, Hussain
Hussain, Hussain, Haye Hussain

Haath Malti Thi Behan Bhai Ka Kattha Tha Gala (x2)
Kuch Na Bas Chal Saka Majboor Thi Hamsheer, Hussain
Hussain, Hussain, Haye Hussain

Haye Abbas Aur Akbar Hain Kahan Dekhain Tho (x2)
Sar Khuley Jaati Hai Darbaar Main Hamsheer, Hussain
Hussain, Hussain, Haye Hussain

Hotay Abbas Jo Zinda Thi Bhala Kiski Majaal (x2)
Kartay Yun Aal-e-Nabi Ki Koi Tashheer, Hussain
Hussain, Hussain, Haye Hussain

Lab Pay Us Waqt Bhi Tha Shukr-e-Khuda Wand-e-Jali (x2)
Jab Kay Haton Pay Tarapda Raha Baysheer, Hussain
Hussain, Hussain, Haye Hussain

Bekhata Sibt-e-Payambar Ka Gala Kaata Hai (x2)
Shaam-o-Kufa Main Thi Zainab Ki Yeh Taqreer, Hussain

Saath So Kursinashinon Ka Jahan Ho Majma (x2)
Hai Rasan Basta Wahin Waris-e-Tatheer, Hussain

Friday, December 19, 2014

Mama The Man With The Camera Is He A Beggar Like Us

limping barefeet
wound on his head
mama i am sure he
is a beggar like us
one of the living dead
pain in his eyes i read
perhaps using the camera
as a beggars bowl our
pain he spreads ..
mortally wounded by
the original sin of being
beggars ..we are the left
overs of gods bounty
through tears he bred
to always beg be at
the mercy of the well fed

no i dont want to return home
no ghar wapsi to become
a hindu i d rather be dead
the religion of my mother
is the essence of my humanity
he looked into my eyes silently
moved ahead ..a beggar poet
a hindu shia i am what i am
when my body was being born
my mortal soul had fled
religion destroyed humanity
killed god  the poison spread

killing innocent children
an eye for an eye the Taliban
code of honor build on fear dread
if he is a shia hindu or jew
the commander said off with hs head

Mama Why Are They Not Begging Like Us ,,,Are We Different

hands in their pockets
stony eyed they stare
but alms they wont give
for beggars they have
nothing to spare
mother child
conjoined pair ,,
the other side of
the royal minaret
the limping lion roars
ghar ghar islam
but for the poor
fuck they care
the untouchables
of Islamic Indian society
held captive in a lair
will they even give a
dime from their royal
share ..a falling house
of doomed humanity
they wont repair ..
allah ho akbar as
the royal minaret
blares ,, wear and tear
i d rather be an indian
than only a hindu or a
muslim the patriot swears
politicians want sectarian strife
to build their dynasties for
wealthy comfort for their heir

Sadal Vida Hussaina Wa Hasrata Hussaina Hakim Shame Laeen Ast

The Mark Of Hussain..Kama Matam And Kids

All over the cities I have shot documented Moharam..I have seen little kids getting their heads marked with the blade of a dagger .
Little kids who perhaps hardly know what is happening but are aware of the grimness of the moment.

In Hyderabad almost every child , including little girls get the head cut by the dagger known as the kama, it is a symbolic cut unlike the swift rapid strokes by Shia adults while hey do their kamazani.. or kama matam.

Almost every Shia child has a bandage on his head in Hyderabad on Ashura day .. and Chehlum.

In Chennai the child has his head cut on Ashura day and here strangely even Hindu mothers with new born boys have the childs head cut for holistic healing purpose ,, I asked one Tamil Hindu mother waiting for her childs head to be cut, why she was doing it , she replied to keep the child healthy and prevent evil eye ,, I had no words to respond .

In Mumbai the head cutting starts at Kaiser Bagh from eve of 8 Moharam and the kids get initiated thanks to Munna Bhai who helps them get over the fear of the blade.

Than the kama matam continues on 9 Moharam juloos that begins at Honda junction .. and ends a Amin Imambada .

More kama maam on Ashura Day morning a Amin Imambada , and later at the Ashura juloos on the streets of JJ till Mazgaon .
Within the Shia cemetery the kama matam is of sheer frenzy, and mostly teenagers take part.

Lucknow kama matam  takes place on Ashura day juloos and Chehlum juloos .. but than comes Athvi the last day of Shia mourning and kids participate in large numbers at Kazmain..led by Baney Bhais Anjuman,

In Hyderabad even girls women do kama matam..

In Delhi Ashura day kama matam takes place at Kashmiri gate , and Chehlum near Jama Masjid and Sher E Marda cemetery.

In Kolkatta it is basically hand held razor matam.. and some kama mata,

At Hussain tekri Chehlum the Kashmiri Shia kids do inense kama maam most of the Kashmiri adults puncture their scalps with surgical needles .

As a people photographer as a documentarist I shoot , I dont hold opinion , I dont proselytize nor do I glorify bloodletting ,, but yes I shoot it prolifically .

My grandkids all girls are not scared of the kama ..

And this post is to give you the meaning of kama, this child was watchin me with two daggers , and than he walked upto Baney Bhai asking him to cut his head , and there is absolutely no force , child abuse ,,and this kid had no fear no apprehension ..
And for the record I hardly shoot kids doing kama matam, these are just a few I took ,, kids in Lucknow have requested me to bring them kama when I next come to shoot Moharam.