Sunday, May 18, 2014

If Wishes Were Horses Than Beggars Would Ride

if media photographers had vision
to see what we see than on the
soul of a newspaper it would
add some pride journalism
in india is on a downslide ..big shiny
lenses  crass attitude conceit arrogance
is what they possess ..humility untried
the god of photography because of
these braggarts committed suicide
today a two year old child shoots
the street a split open wide ..
on the soul of innocence god was
reborn no sooner had he died .
pity the photo editor mouth gagged
hands tied waiting to bring in something
new ..brain dead half fried..

dedicated to a blogger million light years
ahead with inborn creativity on his side
he shoots truth reality justice equality
in spectral light ..

The Dam Madar Malangs At Makanpur

If you are a people photographer , you like to shoot faces than shooting the Madarriya Malangs is spiritually satisfying ..

Being a Malang myself and a stranger to the other Malangs at Makanpur , I did meet resistance from one or two who consider photography heresy , but being a disciple of Masoomi Baba head of the Asan Malangs I endeared myself politely to others , always taking permission befor shooting them or I took wide angle candids.

If you live among the Malangs and once gain their trust they will go out of their way seeking your comfort .

Liaqat Baba Malang got a room for me and my friend Marc without charging a cent , to see that we had a nights sleep, though later the room became overcrowded ..there are no hostels or hotels at Makanpur .

People who visit the Holy Saints Shrine face a lot of hardships but are happy nonetheless .And in Uttar Pradesh Makanpur is close to Kannauj and Kanpur and is one of the most visited spiritual center of Madarriya Order of Sufism.

For me living in Mumbai , I travel by train it is an arduous trip,and this was my first trip inspired by my Belgian friend Marc De Clercq so I went and documented the Dam Madar Malang way of Life .

I met the Malangs specially my mentor Masoomi Baba this year at Ajmer Sharif Urus and Rafi Ali Baba too.

Because of my Shia ancestry  family tree and backgrounfd Rafiq Baba calls me Maulaiee follower of Imam Ali..

This year at Ajmer I did not see many Malangs mostly those from Aqsan Order and Murids of Masoomi Baba .

I am barefeet at Ajmer and this time because of my gall bladder stones I did not climb the mountains to visit the Malangs who live there with Baba Wahid and some foreign Malangs . This is the group that walks from Nizamuddin Aulia Delhi to Ajmer a day before the Urus starts .. iit is a very tough trek I have not done it as yet . Marc has done it several times .

Documenting the Malangs is my high I can go on shooting them , and the most interest time is during Dhamal when they display mind boggling feats , eye ball piercing etc known as Zarb..

Most of the Rafaees Qalandaris take part in the Dhamal at Makanpur headquartes of the Dam Madar Malangs .

After the Dhamal on the main day of the Urus before the Malangs go to pay their tribute to the Shrine of the Holy Saint Zinda Shah Madar , new Malangs are initiated in the order through a few rituals.

On the main day just outside the gates of the Holy Shrine to the beat of drums the Malangs  remove their huge turbans and open out their lon dreads over 15 to 25 feet and dance known as kaif.. to the chant of Dam Madar Beda Par.

I was told it is very difficult to shoot this ritual as the crowds are huge suffocating  surroundings but I managed to shoot it ..and it is terrifying people crushing you stamping your feet but it is worth it.

If as a people photographer I was given a priority I would shoot the Zinda Shah Madar Urus and the Kumbh Mela ..I shot the Maha Kumbh living with the Naga Sadhus ..and taking a dip with the Naga Sadhus in the Sangam on Basant Panchami.

I dont have the resources  nor a sponsor and at times it is very tough , financial constrains ,I dont sell my pictures so all this is documented for those who are ardent soul searching peace seeking photographers like me.

This is a territory you should know some people , or be a Malang like me.

This is my favorite set at Flickr over 2300 images ..and excitement and adventure.