These are images of a Sufi body piercing order called Rifai Silsila, away from Rumi and great thoughts , these are very ordinary people who got tired of domesticity , perhaps married life got tired on crony commercialism , crappy consumerism.. and joined this group.
You did not need to be a scholar , and first the initiate became a Murid , and after working as a menial help moved up the ladder ..he could become Murshad too.
I began shooting the Rifais a long time back from Mahim Dhuni and was totally fascinated with their lifestyle ..they lived life on their own terms and were away from the humdrum of society.
My interest in them was photography, neither their beliefs no their mumbo jumbo .Their acts were a performance played out to the public and that got them money to run the order .. they had rich sponsors donors , and they got their hash from the rich peddlers who came and sat with them.
Though a CC Tv camera was placed at the Mahim dargah across where they sat it did not fright…