Wednesday, September 9, 2015

He Was Searching For Hope In My Eyes ,, He Was A Mystic So Was I

You Only Need your Eyes to Shoot the Kumbh Mela

Shooting Hope And Hindutva At The Kumbh Mela As a Message Of Peace And Humanity

In The Laps of The Godavari - Godavari Ki Gode Main

The Godavari is the second longest river in India after the river Ganga. It starts in Maharashtra and flows for 1,465 kilometres (910 mi) into the Bay of Bengal via the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. It forms one of the largest river basins in India, only Ganges, Yamuna rivers have more catchment area than it, and its catchment area is largest of peninsular India.[4]

The Godavari originates 80 kilometres (50 mi) from the Arabian Sea in the Western Ghats of central India near Nasik in Maharashtra. It flows for 1,465 kilometres (910 mi), first eastwards across the Deccan Plateau then turns southeast, entering the West Godavari district and East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh, until it splits into two watercourses that widen into a large river delta and flow into the Bay of Bengal.[5] [6]

The Godavari River has a Coverage area of 312,812 km2 (120,777 sq mi), which is nearly one-tenth of the area of India and is greater than the areas of England and Ireland put together. Major tributaries of the river include the Purna (South), Pravara, Indravati, Manjira River, Bindusara River, Sabari River, Wainganga, and Wardha River.[7]

After crossing Rajahmundry, the Godavari splits into two distributary branches which are called Vriddha Gautami (Gautami Godavari) and Vasishta Godavari. Again the branch Gautami splits into two branches namely Gautami and Nilarevu. Similarly the Vasishta splits into two branches named Vasishta and Vainateya. These four distributary mouths which join the Bay of Bengal at different places form a delta of length 170 km along the coast of the Bay of Bengal. This delta along with the delta of the Krishna River is called the Rice Granary of South India. [8]

Religious significance[edit]
The River is sacred to Hindus and has several places on its banks that have been places of pilgrimage for thousands of years. Amongst the huge numbers of people who have bathed in her waters as a rite of cleansing are said to have been the deity Baladeva 5000 years ago and the saint Chaitanya Mahaprabhu 500 years ago. Every twelve years, Pushkaram fair is held on the banks of the river.

A legend has it that the Sage Gautama lived in the Brahmagiri Hills at Trayambakeshwar with his wife Ahalya. The couple lived the rest of their lives in the then village "Govuru" which is now called "Kovvur"[Cow = ఆవు/గోవు] after the British rule. Ahalya lived in a nearby place "Thagami" which in due course of time changed to the name "Thogummi" .The Rishi as a reason for Annadanam(The nature of giving away food), started cultivating rice crops and other crops. Once, a holy cow(maaya-dhenu) created by Lord Ganesh on the wish of munis, which resembled a normal cow entered his abode and started spoiling the rice while he was meditating. Knowing that a cow shall not be treated harshly, he put the dharbha grass on the cow and to his surprise it fell dead. The munis and muni-patnis said “we thought that Gautama maharshi is an Uttama, but he did Go-hatya!”. The Rishi wished to atone for the sin of ‘Gohathya’ - killing a sacred cow. He went to Nashik and did Tapas to Lord Tryambakeshwar(Lord Shiva) on the advice of the other rishis. The rishi requests the lord to release him from the sin by making the River Ganges flow over the cow. Lord Shiva was pleased with the Rishi and diverted the river Ganges to flow over the cow where it died which is in "Govuru". The River Godavari is thus born in Nashik and flowing past the village Kovvur and merge with the Bay of Bengal at last.

Ecological significance[edit]
The Coringa mangrove forests in the Godavari delta are the second largest mangrove formation in the country. Part of this has been declared as the Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary, renowned for reptiles. They also provide an important habitat to a wide variety of fish and crustaceans. These forests also act as barriers against cyclones, tropical storms and tidal waves thus protecting the nearby villages.

The Krishna Godavari Basin is one of the main nesting sites of the endangered Olive Ridley sea turtle.

Godavari is also a home to the endangered fringed-lipped carp (Labeo fimbriatus).[9]

Other significance[edit]

One of the ships of the Indian Navy has been named INS Godavari after the river.

Settlements along the Godavari[edit]

Statue of Mother Godavari at Rajahmundry Railway station
In Maharashtra:

Nashik (Holy city and site of kumbh mela bathing festivals)
Trimbakeshwar (shrine to the Jyotirlinga of the god Shiva)
Puntamba - A place of pilgrimage with a number of ancient temples including the last resting place (Samadhi) of Sant Changdev

Dried up Godavari as seen from the Changdeo temple
in Puntamba.
Paithan (Ancient capital of the Satavahana dynasty)
Nanded (Location of the Hazur Sahib Nanded Sikh gurdwara)
Sironcha (Town situated near the confluence of Godavari and Pranahita rivers)
In Telangana:

Basara, Adilabad (Gnana Saraswati Temple)
Goodem gutta, Adilabad (Temple)Luxettipet,Adilabad.
Mancherial, Adilabad
Nirmal, Adilabad (Nirmal Toys)
Chennur, Adilabad
Tadpakal, Nizamabad (Armoor Toys)
Battapur, Nizamabad (Armoor Toys)
Dharmapuri, Karimnagar (Narasimha Swamy Temple)
Godavarikhani, Karimnagar
Manthani, Karimnagar (Gautameshwara Swami(Siva) Temple, Sri Rama, Sarswathi Temples)
Kaleshwaram, Karimnagar (Kaleswara Mukhteswara swamy (Siva) Temple)
Eturunagaram, Warangal
Bhadrachalam, Khammam
In Andhra Pradesh:

Rajamundry, East Godavari (Sri Kotilingeswara Alayam)
Mukteswaram, East Godavari (Sri Kshana Muktheswaraswamivari Devalayam)
Ravulapalem, East Godavari
Dhavaleswaram, East Godavari (Where the Akhanda Godavari splits into two streams called "Vriddha Gautami" and "Vashista" before joining Bay of Bengal)
Kotipalli, East Godavari (Sri Someswaraswamivari Alayam)
Antarvedi, East Godavari(Antarvedi is famous for the Sri Laxmi Narasimhaswamivari Mandhiram constructed between the 15th and 16th centuries. There is also a temple of Lord Siva that is older than Narasimha Swamy temple. The temple's idol of Lord Siva was installed by Lord Srirama.
Yanam (Yanam is located in East Godavari District, where the Vriddha Gautami joins Bay of Bengal)
Polavaram, West Godavari (Sri Bhadrakalisametha Sri Veereswaraswamivari Mandhiram)
Pattiseema, West Godavari (Sri Veerabhadraswamivari Devalayam)
Kovvur, West Godavari (Sundareswaraswamivari Alayam)
Tallapudi, West Godavari
Narsapur, West Godavari

Sites of pligramage include:

Antarvedi, East Godavari(Antarvedi is famous for the Laxmi Narasimha Swamy temple constructed between the 15th and 16th centuries. There is also a temple of Lord Siva that is older than Narasimha Swamy temple. The temple's idol of Lord Siva was installed by Lord Srirama.
Basar (originally, Vyasara) - Sri Gyana Saraswati temple is situated on the banks of Godavari in Adilabad district, Telangana. It is 210 km from state capital Hyderabad and accessible by road and rail (nearest major station: Nizamabad, although Basar station also exists). It is considered that the sage Vyasa wrote the Mahabharata on the banks of Godavari at this location near Harsha house it is the beautiful scenario, and thus the place came to be known as Vyasara.
Bhadrachalam - Hindu Temple of Lord Rama.
Dharmapuri, Telangana - Hindu Temple of Lord Narasimha. Godavari flows from North to South in Dharmapuri, hence the river is localled called 'Dakshina Vahini' [South Flowing]
Kaleshwaram - Sri Kaleswara Mukhteswara swamy Temple is situated here on the banks of Triveni sangamam of rivers godavari and pranahita. It is 125 kilometers away from Karimnagar city, 115 km away from Warangal city.
Konaseema - Delta of Godavari.
Nanded - Takht Sri Hazur Sahib, One of the five most sacred places in Sikhism.
Nashik - One of the four Sinhastha Kumbh Mela, Hindu pilgrimage place.
Paithan - Saint Eknath's native place, famous Jayakwadi dam, and a beautiful garden named after Sant Dnyneshwar.
Pattiseema - A village where a Hindu temple is located on a small hill on an island in the river.
Kovvur - A village where cows resided and a place where the maaya-dhenu fell dead. Foot prints of the maaya-dhenu were seen even today in the famous place Kovvur called "Goshpadakshetram" also called "Gopadala Revu" where the foot prints of the holy cow are seen near the temple of Lord Shiva. Also a village which is the reason for the birth of river Godavari. Famous for a Sanskrit school which has been built 63 years back.
Rajahmundry - A town known for its role in Telugu culture and birthplace of writers such as Nannaya, one of the Kavitrayam trinity of poets who translated the Mahabharata into Telugu. The Godavari Pushkaralu is a major local festival that is staged every 12 years.
Trimbakeshwar - One of the twelve Jyotirlingas and ancient temple of Lord Shiva.

I Rediscovered India At The Kumbh Mela Nasikh

I Shoot The Myriad Faces of India

A Moment Called India

The Failed Gujrat Role Model

Oh Foreigner Welcome To India ,,The Land Of Mystical Salvation

The Muslims Voted For BJP For Progress And Development Not For Strictures On Their Eating Habits

The Irony Of The Unfortunate Indian Poor Woman Sweep The Streets Beg Or Sell Her Body

The Killer Trains Of Mumbai

crossing the tracks
god knows how many
have died ..slipped fallen
into the gap as they slide
a gap open wide ,, death
along with the passenger '
takes a free ride ,,wake
up erstwhile rail minister
mr suresh prabhu my
words are not a snide
statistics cannon lie ,,
giving a gory testimony '
those that have accidentally
died ..unknowingly paid the
price a misplaced sacrifice
death on wheels in disguise

The Blind Flute Beggar Begs To Keep The Music Of His Soul Alive

I had to shoot him , he would play a tune walk with the help of his stick and hope someone blessed him with alms , his world pitch black  his hopes dark his dreams might be light in the tunnel of grim and despondency ,, I again wanted to hold him back after giving him money make him sit with me talk to him video shoot him..I dont see films I shoot life as film.. first it was stills now moving pictures and pictures or stories are meaningless if they dont move you.. you need to be a poet from within to be a good photographer either you shoot pictures to massage your ego or your seek nirvana from the people you shoot ,,

I taught my grandchildren photography with a blindfold ,, made them shot darkness and they lit the darkness with color of their surroundings ,, the most important part of photography is how you hold your camera and I dont mean physically I mean how the camera holds you .. I sometimes gave my camera to a beggar and when he held my camera there was excitement on his face and I told him to press the trigger there by capturing eternity in a single frame ,..

I shot three frames of this blind beggar without being intimidated by the Miya public around me ,, most of the folks know me ,, thanks to the cameo I did in a film as a photographer ,, and now I carry the role more effectively in real life than I did in reel life ,,

This lot of pictures I had left in abeyance I shot them before I left for the Kumbh and uploaded them after I completed my Kumbh documentary at Flickr ,,,

The Only Thing We Make Effortlessly In India Are Our Indigenous Beggars

I shot her outside Kurla West station she was in a real bad state I gave her some money ,, but all the money she gets in coins or notes does not count for much..a part of me told me sit next to her video shoot her story ,, why was she begging this age what happened to force her to beg..but than I let it go.. I shot 2 or 3 frames ,,there are many like her on the streets of Mumbai thrown out by their own children.. Old lady go beg or dont come home ,, it is sad , and this picture or words is not forced melodrama but the poetry of street life that I prolifically shoot as Muslim Beggars of India .

Most beggars come to Mumbai the city of Hopeful dreams during Ramzan when the Lord too comes down on  earth in the guise of a beggar I doubt if God would ever come down in the guise of a Mullah..

I have shot far too many beggars but it is the Muslim beggar that I shoot and showcase to the big fat rich Muslim moneybags who turn the other way from beggars and now in a week or two when Bakra Eid or Eid Ul Adha begins the rich Muslims will be buying rich goats no bulls this time they will buy rich expensive Allah inscribed Dumbas ,, instead of a single goat some will buy a dozen goats .. will they send a couple of goats the childrens home or to the widows home ,, no ,, they will send the Skins ,, and this is the irony I shoot ,, I once used to go to shoot this spiritual Tamasha at Deonar but I stopped it completely ,, I have a lot of butcher friends and with due respect to their profession and their efforts Bakra Eid is nothing but an ostentatious show of money power among the rich Muslims ,,,

We used to slaughter the goat but last two years we give the money to a children s home and this is our personal act and has nothing to do with Qurbani..

And every year the Hijras come to our building for meat and one of them will call me aside ask for Marziya my  granddaughter who shot this hijra when she was 3 years old.

This is love in its noblest form.. did the hijra get blessed by the little child I know not ..but it is this ethereal power within the cosmic soul of the camera that holds my inner restless angst..

Yes I shoot beggars as a beggar myself my camera is the beggars bowl that begs for beggar pictures  and Fuck I dont sell my pictures beggars or otherwise ,

The Second Hand Shoe Shop Bandra Hill Road

Not just poor folks who want affordable shoes but even rich folks get off their cars to buy some rare antique shoes ,,army shoes , safety shoes dancing shoes , baroque's he has them all.. situated at a stall next to Tata Parsi Agiary..

He repairs expensive shoes and is helped by his wife and daughter .

Street Photography Barbers And Camera As A Holistic Healing Tool

These are three stories in one ,,as a camera club photographer I was repressively pushed back into a world of regressive stupid rules , and shoved fine art in my reluctant rectum.. There was hardly any mention of street photography ,, and once I took vanvas exile from camera club culture I discovered photography on the net ,, I began posting my pictures under the various heads of religion as that was my genre or people photography , I did not know the ways of the net in 2005 and it was only in 2007 when I reached the shores of Flickr as a Buzznet refugee it was late Fred Miller who told me to tag my pictures as street photography and so I became a street photographer by default ,, I began to stalk the streets of Chor Bazar and I have crossed over 65000 street blogs at Flickr .. even more if you take my religious pictures shot on the streets .
And I had great masters at that time Tom Andrews my first inspiration at Buzznet .. Eric Parker at Flickr Akbar Simonese the Master of Street Photography stark haunting pictures that left a mark on your psyche ,, he did not manipulate situations , simple pictures with masterly thoughts ,, there are many more but they are into composite photography and 8Hai his Chinese street images of tea drinkers .. these are out of the world so honestly Flickr began educating me inspiring me , without Flickr I would have been caught in a bottle of crab shooting the same shit that you see in Camera club Newsletters and their rip off salon brochures ,, I am lucky by throttling the soul of my analogue photography and rechristening myself as a Blogger I did reach personal milestones ,,I am still unlearning what ever shit I was forced at camera club level.. and mind you I am a product of the camera club I dont want to live in a prison of another dead masters mind .
My second thought street barbers I cannot stop myself from shooting them they contributed to my street photography I shot them prolifically , these migrants from Badayun , Meerut Bareilly and other Uttar Pradesh hick towns ,, they came to Mumbai with dreams in their eyes and scissor comb in their hands and I shot them as kids working on adults ,, Barberism Religious Tonsure Akika is what I shot and Mundan and this is my set on Flickr ,, I think I have an album of almost all the street barbers of Bandra ,,and I must confess I shoot street barbers like a madman I shoot them on Pitru Paksha at Banganga Walkeshwar.
The third thought pictures heal.. my kid sister used to tell me the day I shot Lalbagh Chya Raja to give a copy to her teacher who was invalid ,, this was her Darshan on my picture and I dont know if it really healed her as much as it healed me by giving it to her I hardly give pints ,, the only time I gave 100 prints was to Heena HIjra at Pila House my muse my model and an androgynous spirit ,, now all their pictures are locked up from public view , and I have a lot of Salon prints .. one lot was of my Gurus Ling Kriya pictures that I recently gave it to him..they were with me since 2003,.. yes pictures heal and they heal from within and without ,,having a camera to shoot pictures to calibrate your ego is not photography..
And photography healed me of my chronic alcohol dependence my hot temper ,, and sobered me sanely I think..
You see a picture but you read a blog. this is a photo blog million light years from a picture you shoot at Ladakh or Himachal..