Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Third Sex of India -The Hijdas

The Third Sex of India -The Hijdas
Originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1

Hijda Bonding..

Hijdas move in pairs or maybe in a group, very rarely will you find them alone unless they are at the place where they stay.
At Hijda Gully No1 they move about without fear and its the people that fear them.
The Hijdas of Turner Road Traffic Signal stay at Sion Dharavi but come and work here begging for alms.
The Hijdas on this signal have a very tough competetion from the Turner Road beggar kids.. and the Bhaiyyas that sell exotic fruits to the people in their cars.. or passengers in cabs or rickshas..
Yesterday I think some big shot was coming to Bandra so the cops were here in a big way.. the beggars and the hijdas had disappeared.. I shot pictures from Leslies car.. the Korean photographer who was coming home for Muslim lunch..

The Third Sex of India -The Hijdas

The Third Sex of India -The Hijdas
Originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1

As you wonder why I shoot the same Hijdas over and over again..I wonder too.
What is this magnetic fascination for the third sex of India -the Hijdas Indian transgenders.
A community badly maligned, neglected., I talk of the poorer lot that I shoot and not the Metros sexual Hijdas or the jet setting Mujra Dancing Hijda Queens.
Recently there was an article in the Times of a young married guy eloping with the hIjda , he was with great difficullty united with his wife, as they feared he would be castrated eventually.
God save you from the Wrath of a Hijda spurned?
I met this Hijda in the picture at Ajmer during the Urus of Khwajah Garib Nawaz.,presently se heads the begging at the Turner Road Traffic junction.
She is a Guru, of the young Hijdas that you see in my Turner Road Hijda pictures.
Laxmi the beggar Hijda that earlier manned this signal had disappeared for two months to a holy pilgrimage of Balji and Tirupati..so now as I write this Laxmi has been completely sidelined.And Laxmi the beggar Hijda has shaved of her tresses given it Lord Ayappa...
The Hijda devotion for divinity is unmatched for, they give all of themselves whether to Lord Iravan, Goddess Bhauchara Mata or the Holy Saint of Ajmer.
The Hijdas at the Turner Road junction Bandra are a very polite disciplined lot , no strong arm tactics while begging as you see on the trains or at Band Stand Bandra as indulged by those Hijdas.
The Turner Road Hijdas want trinkets from me that I oblige , I pay them too, last I gave the Hijda in the picture Rs40..they take money kiss my hands and its a blessing that i desperately need as a boost in my business.
The job I like best Photo Blogging does not pay me, yesterday I was very upset when a Turnet Road beggar who was pursuing me for alms told me , almost humiliating me and he came upto my knees that i was taking pictures and selling them.This hit me hard I was mad but drank my anger so to speak.
So as I have to pass this signal once in the morning and again once in the evening to and fro from my work place I cannot resist taking pictures.
You would if you loved photography and was stuck to your work place without going on pictorial tours.Funny you might not believe it I do not have a passport as my old one expired a few years back.So it is Mumbai.. for me I make do with the street side opportunities I get,,,
I met a Korean photographer at the Durga Visarjan at Juhu -Leslie he works in Mumbai and visited me twice at my tailor shop, yesterday I took him home for Muslim lunch, chicken Korma, chappatis, and cauliflower peas dish..
Wife and Marziyas mom had gone for a Majlis.. so I served him myself..
Explaining to him about the Hijdas and why I love shooting Hijdas.
Yesterday I got a greeting from Marc De Clercq the Belgian photographer who shoots transgenders too, and had stayed at Thane with my Hijda Guru Laxmi Narayan Tripathi..
He had gone to the Ajmer Urus with the Hijdas..he shoots big format ..
I was too meet him at Koovagam for the last Eunuch Festival April 2007 but cancelled the trip due to a sword injury on my rigfht hand during Chehlum Moharam in Delhi.
Marc had a bad time his entire Hassleblad equipment was stolen from a bus depot at Pondicherry Tamil Nadu.
I feel the government of my country must give adequate protection to all tourists, specially photographers who come here to capture the unending magic of India..
I have always helped foreign photographers will continue doing so, as ours is a real Brotherhood of Peace and Harmony..

Death has finally come Home to Roost

Death has finally come Home to Roost
Originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1

photo courtesy

you were sent on the earth as a message of peace
but as a messenger you chose war devastation
while on the crease
you politicised gods creation
with your self aggrandization the lord god tease
now ends your life the final release
a settlement of your acconut..
as you cease
pronunced decease
you the greatest carrier
a carrion of all disease
the last picture
before the arch angel
says cheese
burnt to ashes
blown in the breeze

Back Home Finally

Back Home Finally
Originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1

photo courtesy

they came to see you off
some were sad , some were inwardly happy
some cried
it was a strange feeling you had died
vultures ready to grab your hard worked wealth
yes they are here at the banks to see you burn and fry
your time had come you broke each and every tie
only deathly pause silence as your reply
from ashes that will be thrown in the river
back home to the skies

Of Shia Mothers Shia Kids

Of Shia Mothers Shia Kids
Originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1


I keep telling you through my various posts on Moharam, the incomparable contribution of Shia motherhood to the life line of Shiasm.It is our Mothers who keep Hazrat Imam Hussains covenant of Hussainiyat alive, no Mullah can translate Shiasm the way the mother does , not by words by actions, of taking her brood from one Majlis to another, she is the fundament of our Faith, she is the unshakeable Fountainhead of our Faith.For me Shia Womenhood is collectively a Motherhood of Faith.
I was standing above Maulana Hassan Zaheers house watching the Juloos of the Fourth Imam and the 18 Taboots at Imambada Meeran Saab, the women were all ears to Maulana Kalbe Jawads Majlis, he recites to the galleries of Shia womenhood, he has in his discourse something to impart to our women..yes women need guidance to in a changing cybernetic world.The Mother has to carry the child her vision of Islam into the brave new world.
I was shooting the majlis , but my viewfinder , was pulling me towards the kids, static in one place for almost two to three hours, restless but disciplined, they did not know I was on the roof above but something attracted them to me..I give them another hope of being seen, in a world beyond their own.Yes this is dedicated to Shia Mothers and Shia kids.
Once the Juloos moves in the women will get up, move to one side doing Ziyarat with their kids.

shia mothers the pride and the strength of our race
our children because of them carry forward
the message of hussainiyat that
they will never ever misplace
their tears from the sorrow
of bibi fatima trace