Showing posts from January, 2016

Syed Masoom Ali Baba Asqan Of The Sufi Order of Madarriya,

I met Dam Madar order head Syed Masoom Ali Baba in 2005 ,, and got fascinated by their austerity , their dread heads and the simplicity of their spiritual life .
I began shooting them both Masoomi Baba and Syed Rafik Ali Baba at the Char Yar Mosque and cemetery ..Every year I attended the Urus of Khwajah Garib Nawaz Ajmer Sharif I stayed with my host mentor Peersab Fakhru Miya Hujra no 6 ,,
I would shoot the Rifais the quintessential hijras at Ajmer .. but I would find myself at the feet of Masoomi Baba ,,, I loved shooting them and the people malangs around them.
Their frugal lifestyle their abundant love for Imam Ali they talked about the sacrifice of Imam Hussain they talked about Karbala ,
They were spiritually connected to Khwajah Garib Nawaz he was the bond of a force ,,, through their own Holy Saint Zinda Shah Madar Makanpur .
Than in 2011 I took the Pyala with a Belgian friend we both became Murids and Malangs of Masoom Ali Baba,, we both visited Makanpur in 2013.
Syed Masoom…

The Dargah Of Aqsan Malangs Of Panihar

Panihar is on the Indore Gwalior to Indore Highway , the roads real bad inaccessible till the village , this village is a mix of Hindus and Muslims ,,from Gwalior station to reach Panihar I was to give the ricksha guy Rs250 and than he told me he would be returning back to Gwalior , empty I gave him another Rs 200 ,, because it was very late in the night ,, Panihar is the seat of the Asqan Malangs and here lie the ancestors of Syed Masoomi Ali Baba ,, now I will explain to you about the Malangs ,, Malangs are only among Syeds ,,ancestry of Janabe Fatima ,, there maybe other Malang orders but Hazrat Ali is the fountainhead of the Madarriya order affiliated to Hazrat Zinda Shah Madar ,,even the Qalandaris Rifais Chishtiyas etc are all interconnected to the Sufi order of Madariyya . Syed Masoomi Ali Baba is a celibate ,, Dam Madar Malangs malangs have to be celibate and must grow their hair..the next Malang peer will be the nephew of the reigning head of Malangan.. so Syed Masoom Ali Ba…

Documenting the Dam Madar Malangs of Panihar MP

Just come back from a Dam Madar Malang event at Panihar village 22 km away from Gwalior .
Panihar has Hindus Muslims living in peace . The simple rustic Hindus consider the Malangs to be avtars of Lord Shiva ..and I have never seen such amity anywhere else ..The Malangs had a langar for the villagers and fed over 50000 people at one time.
But all in all I missed Mumbai my heart soul was in Mumbai .

A Muslim boy related to the Malang head took me on a hillock he was about 11 year old holding my hands he bought me to the oldest Durga Mandir. The head priest other Hindus touched my feet they gave me money and were touched by my visit and my greetings Om Namo Narayan...

They told me incredible tales of my Malang Peer Syed Masoom Ali Bawa when he first came to the village there was a drought no rains he opened out his hair he has dreads about 18 feet long and invoked God standing for hours on one leg they said it rained and rained and the villagers thanked the Lord by having a langar and …

Syed Masoom Ali Baba Blesses Me At Panihar Gwalior

Panihar is 22 km away from Gwalior railway station ,,a rustic village hardly any good roads and is on the Gwalior Indore highway... This is the personal seat of the Aqsan Madirrya order and its head Syed Masoom Ali Baba  ,

I was invited to Panihar for the celebrations of his nephew Razzak Ali Baba whose mother had passed away 40 days this was an event to commemorate the memory of Razzak Bawas mother ,, Lots of scholars poets Maulanas Alims from the various Sufi and Sunni school of thoughts were here .

Malangs and Shaikhs Gadddi Nasheens from Makhanpur the fountainhead of the Madarriya order ,,

It was held on 28 January,... and this is one unique village that both Hindus Muslims live in eternal peace , this is my new set at Flickr documenting the lifestyle of the Malangs ,, I too belong to this Sufi order ,,
I shot stills videos and my Malang brother Syed Rafik Ali Baba was very helpful.. he is a Madarriya scholar and highly respected among  other orders too.

I had a lot of discourses…

The Malangs Call Me To Gwalior

I have been invited for an event by Syed Masoomi Baba head of the Asqan Malangs he asked Baba Wahid of Kolkatta to call and invite me and thus I tried to get ready for this trip... but I had a lot of work till last night that I was trying to complete .. I did .
Now I am waiting for my train ticket I am fascinated with the Malangs more deeply as a peoples photographer I can just go on shooting them non stop ,.. and as I was initiated into the fold by Masoomi Baba I am very close to his main Malang Syed Rafik Ali Baba ,, we both are Malang bhais ,,
I am perhaps nothing but a speck in the malang hierarchy ..I mean nothing most of them see me a a photographer but Rafik Ali Baba knows me very well he calls me Maulaiee follower of Imam Ali ..
He speaks highly of me to the other Malangs ,, as very few know my background ,,so thanks to him I made some good Malang friends Liaqat Baba ,Amin Baba Razzak Baba and others ..and though I try to make it to the Urus of Zinda Shah Madar ,, I somehow a…

Some Great People


I Try Not To Unnecessarily spam people with Republic Day messages .

Earlier I took both my granddaughter s Marziya Nerjis to shoot the flag sellers but this year I stayed at home nor did I go for my walk ..however I am posting this picture of a man who walks on crutches at Bandra Reclamation he walks a step at a time sometimes he gives me a smile and I encourage his spirit of fighting back with a smile too.
We have never talked but while I was coming back from the sea link end I saw him doing his exercises he was in dialogue with god as I shot this image and from my soul saluted the resilience of the Indian ..and God created the Indian in his own image ..and I like all of you am proud to be an Indian born in the womb of Mother India . This is a memory I metaphorically impose on you without spamming you harshly ..I use my own images to tell the story of life ... Jai Hind Jai Maharashtra.

Mathieu Boisvert From Montreal Visits My House

Shot by my wife

I got a message from Mathieu that he wanted to meet me and he was arriving from Montreal ..We met at Lucky Hotel over tea and he told me about himself ,, he is a professor in Montreal University and is writing a chronicle on the Hijras Of Mumbai.. he has had several long 6 hour interviews with the Hijra Nayaks and Hijra Gurus ,,he is writing a history more text few pictures ,, detailing their life struggle and their future ,.
As he was leaving the same night for Montreal I took him home from Lucky showed him my private documentation of the Hijras in India shot by me for last 20 years ... he was highly impressed .
He did not have lunch but is returning back from Montreal to shoot Haji Malang .. so I connected him to my dear friend who is one of the caretakers of the Holy Shrine .
And I told him those bigshots that have documented shot the Hijras have done nothing for the community ,, the poor in the hijra community are still waiting for God in Man to accept them as Wom…

Pablo Bartholomews Exhibition 60/60 at Sakshi Art Gallery

I consider Pablo the Cosmic God of the Camera ,, he is humble and highly gifted ,,This was his second exhibition in Mumbai I was attending ,,
A lot of celebrities photographers painters artists and Ad Gurus were there to felicitate Pablo who has a lot of nostalgic memories of Mumbai.
I shared some moments in the past with Pablo when I did a short stint at Mudra Communications doing Kabir Bedis Vimal campaign for Reliance ,,, as a fashion designer,,,and met Pablo who was closely associated with Mr AG Krishnamurthy .

This is my new set at Flickr of that special inaugural day of his exhibition on 22 Jan 2016 .

From Kashmir With Love Hope Humility

He hails from Baramulla Kashmir , and he was begging for food ration in the slums to feed his family ,, most of these Kashmiri migrants live at Bandra East end in makeshift tents ,, I have never been there but I have been shooting these families for over 20 years now ,, Kashmiri migrants turned beggars ..they beg outside mosques dargahs and mostly at Mahim Urus with their wives and beautiful cherubic kids ,,

It is sad but begging is the only alternative as they wont get jobs ..people are scared hiring these migrants ,, I dont need to elaborate ,, but you all know the reason.

Once They Had A Home ,,, Now They Live On The Roads

This scene is from my Demolition diaries ,,, these are the survivors of a demolition of their shanties off Rang Sharda Hotel Bandra Reclamation ,, When these illegal shanties were being built not a single person nor the police or Municipality took objection..and when it became populous noisy adding to the urban chaos the bulldozers rolled in.. and these few families are still living with a hope ,, their kids study in nearby Municipal schools ,, husbands work as daily wage earners ,, or the older kids do odd jobs rest move around as vagrants . And now a road is being built here I was told connecting to the sealink so work is going on.. there are lots of slums on either side of this road ..mostly migrants contract laborers ,, I really dont know much about them I see them as humanbeings ,,and feel sad for the kids .. who come hovering around me to take their pictures ,,, The women wash cook do their domestic chores on this road ..sadness written on their faces ,, somebody who set them u…

Woh Hote Hain Kismetwale Jinki Ma Hoti Hai

She is the leper mother who begs at Bandra Bazar Road there used to be a guy her brother also a leper who used to move them around a flat board like cart on wheels ...she told me he has gone to their hometown .
And I wondered where do they keep their savings because in Bandra the drug addicts local thieves rob from poor folks too ..
Bandra is a home for anti social elements most living in the Lal Mitti slums cops hardly catch them as they only go after big fish .
This leper family saddens me and besides giving them money there is nothing much I can do .
These are my quintessential street stories they bloom in my backyard .
Many years back there was a lady who lived near the garbage bin she had two beautiful kids but she turned alcoholic and drug addicts would force themselves on her ..she needed booze as fish needs water and the kids were taken care by a few good people .
Than she disappeared with the kids but sometimes I spot her I asked her about the kids a boy and a girl but she stares …

The Storyteller


I need pictures to tell my story of life .

I am just not capable of talking without visual s sometimes I let visuals talk but than as I have a lot of foreigner friends on Flickr I need to align them with my background .
My background sadly is my dire surrounding s garbage bins people shitting peeing and beggars of all kinds ..lepers deformed mentally physically challenged .
I shoot the real world I don't believe in shooting for shooting sake and I am an incorrigible street poet photographer ..poetry at times can hit you hard without the stumbling boulders of words . This morning I went to play tennis I always carry snacks for the tennis instructors of Coach Surendra Pawar these guys break their balls teaching us tennis and they start at 6 and end by 9 ..I feel for them and I love them like my own kids ..they take a lot of pains to make me young on the court I used to tire easily because of my dormant asthama and diabetes but I play for 35 minutes I played rigorously and vigorously encouraged by Fabian Namory and oth…

Water Of Life


King of Kerba ,, Amber Khalid Bhai Pydhonie ..

I have known Khalid bhai since a very long time as I wear Amber too known as kerba ,, the Parsis wore kerba and in the olden days kerbas were used as prayer beads ,,kerba some say adds to your personality but it can generate undue anger too.
I was first introduced to kerba by the gemstone dealers of Bhendi Bazar and I have a ring with a fossilized fly in kerba ,,
Original kerba costs Rs 5000 a gram.. but there are artificial kerbas known as jerba or rod ,,
Khalid bhai deals in kerba and Parsi borders called gara ,, and in antiques too..he buys sells old zari.
If I come to Pydhonie I make it a point to visit him,...he is an amazing guy...
and in his shop and office you will see some very rare kerbas and zari borders ,, he collects chunky prayer beads too.

The Hungry Madman of Bandra Reclamation..

Posted at facebook

I spotted him while taking my walk at the Bandra Reclamation Promenade .
He was walking on the side of a the road long strides without looking either way ..I shoot madmen so I called him out pointing to the Rs 20 in my hand ..he looked at me there was a huge barricade between us but I managed to climb up handed the money and he turned his face the moment I tried to capture his restless angst on my mobile phone and he disappeared.
I forgot about him and crossed the road at the end that connects the promenade to the flyover and walked towards the opening that leads to Nargis Dutt Nagar Slums Bandra reclamation and I saw him coming out with some food wrapped in a newspaper that he had bought from a foodstall and I wondered mystically that even hunger calls out to strangers when in need .
You don't need a DSLR just a mobile phone camera will capture fleeing moments as street stories provided you tell them simply truly and this was my cosmic encounter with the madma…

Haq Waris Ya Waris ,,, Waris Malangs of Dewa Sharif


A New Journey Into Myself,, Bandra Reclamation Promenade

This morning I left my house at 7.45 am and reached the Bandra Reclamation  Promenade ,..I have never walked here before ,,I switched on my  Running App and walked from one end of the Promenade to the other end ,, shooting pictures on my mobile phone ,, I completed 3.91 km in 1 hour 25 minutes on my return home via Nargis Dutt Nagar slums an insult to the noble memory of late Ms Nargis Dutt ,,15 years of Congress rule and her daughter Ms Priya Dutt at the helm they could not make it a decent slum , a role model slum.. this was a vote bank and it still is now being appeased by the BJP newbies ,

I shot a video and the saddest one was of a day old child born in a shanty ..and the prettiest girl child among 3 more sisters and a brother ,,they live on the pavement in a makeshift dwelling at Lal Mitti Bandra Reclamtion dreading the sounds of the bulldozer..

I have given up tennis and walking round and round and round at the MET Grounds Bandra Reclamation.

Happy Morning ,,,

ps there is no t…

The Ugliest Filthiest Bandra Bazar Fish Market


The Heritage of Bandra Bazar Market Gone To Seed


Bandra Bazar Road ,,, is not Modijis Swach Bharat


RIP Cat Lady Of Bandra Bazar Road

I was not interacting with her much.. and I was informed by the coconut seller that she died on 19 November ,,,

Bandra reclamation open air toilet


Happy Morning From Bandra bazaar road


Rifai Silsila Sandal Fakhruddin Shah Baba Mahim 2016


Rifai Silsila Sandal Fakhruddin Shah Baba Mahim 2016


Urus Fakhruddin Shah Baba 2016,,, Rifai Silsila


Urus Fakhruddin Shah Baba 2016,,, Rifai Silsila


The Ear Cleaners Of Bandra Talao 2016


The Ear Cleaners Of Bandra Talao 2016


Shooting the Ear Cleaners of Bandra Talao 2016


A Malang And A Rafaee ,..


Documenting the Rifai Silsila At The Urus of Fakhruddin Shah Baba Mahim 2016

A Holy Shrine on the main road of Mahim captures the hearts souls of the people of this area ..Baba Fakruddin Shah was the associate companion and much more of Holy Saint Makhdhoom Shah Mahimi .. his importance can be gauged by the fact that during the Urus of Makhdhoom Shah Baba the first salami before placing the chaddar floral tribute is to the Holy Shrine of Fakhruddin Shah Baba .

The Urus of Fakhruddin Shah Baba Mahim is a grand affair and no stone is left unturned by his hardcore followers devotees volunteers and is a great success attended by people from all over Mumbai.

His Dargah faces the main road of Mahim and you can see his Tomb decked with flowers and floral tributes called chaddar.

Outside his tomb on the pavement nearby are vendors selling herbal medicines , gemstones and other items ,,, most of these vendors are ascetics or Bawas .

Facing the Dargah in the lane end is the Dhuni of the Rifai Silsila ,, the Chancawalli Rafaees I have been documenting since last 20 yea…

Dam Madar Malang s Urus Fakhruddin Shah Baba


Dam Madar Malang s Urus Fakhruddin Shah Baba


Dam Madar Malang s Urus Fakhruddin Shah Baba


Once Upon A Time I Was A Beauty Queen Said The Hijra To Me

dancing swirling the hearts
doing mujra a diva i wanted
to be business men mafia don s
lavished their love and money
rich gifts that they gave me ,..
a hijra i was a hijra i always
wanted to be.. but happiness
did not last long time chiseled
by fate i have aged in captivity
i now beg at the bandra reclamation
signal living on charity ,,my hijra roots
my branches my family tree blessed
by the dada guru before he died
love he bestowed on me ,,i was
once married to a handsome guy
who loved me dearly..who died
in a road accident leaving me old
lonely ,,very thursday a visit to his
grave now an earthen memory
reciting the fatiah.. my beloved
has left me forever ..his grave
under a green mango tree

Happy New Year 2016 To Our MP MLA Corporators And Mr Ajoy Mehta From Municipal Conservancy Staff

And this is the filthiest ugliest badly managed part of Bandra Bazar Road ,, it was the same during the Congress regime it is now worst under the BJP regime ,,, and having shot over 110 videos nothing much has happened ,,simply because this is not Bandra banstand or Turner road Pali Hill or Carter Road .

And there is no safety gear or protective measure for these humble footsoldiers of Modijis Swach Bharat ,,

Fakhruddin Shah Baba Dargah Mahim


Hassan Ganda Rafaee .. Makdhoom Shah Baba Urus 2016

I went back to the Dhuni as today was the last day of the Urus of Makhdhoom Shah Baba ..and luckily I met my old friend Hassan Ganda an exponent of zarb... eye ball piercing with two swords ..he showed me his new sword concealed in his Sufi stick.
Hassan Ganda and I have been friends over 20 years or more ,, he has aged but once he was very handsome and goodlooking , he has two sons and a very pretty daughter ,, I meet them during the Ajmer Urs.. he brings them along , his youngest son does zarb..
Hassan Ganda offered me tea and we chatted about old times .
Now the Chancawalli Rifais will move to the Dargah of Fakhruddin Shah Baba,, for the Holy Saints Urus that is a grand affair .
Hassan Ganda is well known among the Madarriya Malangs and the Qalandari Malangs of Bu Shah Qalandar Panipat...
Today there was a massive crowd at the Urus at Mahim I did not hang out much and returned home a few minutes back ,