Monday, July 13, 2009

A World Without Hijras .....Would Suck

A world without hijras would suck, hijras add the quotient of mystery , add color to both the other sexes , born of one aping another ...the hijra is a quest of man for his mother..a strong quest that changes him internally and externally..the hijra is human ebullience , and much more.

I started shooting the hijras from Matunga slum chawls hidden in the safety of my cabs, the hijras had their shanties on the main road leading towards Dadar and to town.
Now totally demolished no shanties no hijras anymore..all moved to Mankhurd rehabilitated they say.

Hijras wont ever be rehabilitated , as homosexuality is the greatest curse in India among all the major religions and you can see the venom pouring forth from the spokesmen of most of these religions against the toning down of Article 377 the draconian law a heritage of the British Vampire..

Hijras and I talk not of the affluent ones or the very rich and powerful ones that inhabit my photostream on hijras , but the ones at grass root levels are a cursed lot,.they are threatened by the cops, their daily wages snatched by criminals and local goons..

I have met and spoken to a lot of these wretched creatures of the roads , who beg at traffic signals, and if they are caught they have to shell out fat big bucks Rs 1200 ..or go to jail.

They wear the same saree, the same stinking filthy blouse and the same plastic smile when they beg.

I would pick up sarees at Chor Bazar once upon a time in bulk and give it to them at the Turner Road Traffic signal near my shop..I gave them cheap necklaces pendants and earrings too..and it made them child like happy.

Now they have disappeared , these hijras in the picture hold fort at the Andheri Versova link road traffic signal, I was sure I would meet them , I had my camera on me and shot all this when the traffic came to a halt, you need to compose yourself when you shoot hijras , and not get taken in by their charm and overtness.

Now I must state , the signals where the hijras begged clapping their hands are still there but the hijras have moved on ..and hijras at this level have two alternatives beg or solicit..there is no other job option and Maharashtra with its hoopla of Bandra Sea Link will take another million years to do what Mr Karunanidhi's government has done for the Aravanis the transgender of Tamil Nadu.

Mumbai has no heart for the hijras period...Mumbai has corroded its heart towards humanity and I am a Mumbaikar and I write this with the perception of being living in Mumbai since I was a year old..

My daughter Samiya tells me that all my Facebook updates via my Tweets are about Hijras , and I have no answer..I have stopped accessing Facebook..

The Hijras are still wary of me, I still remember the day a few years back I had gone to shoot the All India Hijra Sammelan at Park Site Vikhroli, , the hijras had me bodily thrown out of the venue, till Mr Santosh Shetty the patron of the Mumbai Hijras and adopted son of Guru Madhurima Ma gave me permission to shoot the same ...thanks to him , I am now a known face at a few Hijra gatherings I have attended.

But I have a carte blanche to come and shoot the Delhi Hijra Sammelans by Gopal Nayak of Najafgarh, but I have been unable to go there each time it happened.

Heena Hijra of Mumbai Cages called me to Raipur for a Hijra Sammelan, she was paying all my travel and other expenditure but I politely refused.

I shot these pictures after I came back from Ajmer..

Though Laxmi Narayan Tripathi is my hijra Guru, I still shoot hijras without her help,a single call from her I could shoot any hijra in Mumbai, but I have never appeared to her for the same..

Marc de Clercq is lucky ..he has it made.

Hijras at Bandra Terminus- End of Journey

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She too had got of the Aravalli Express ,, so it was hardly a coincidence that I shot Hijras before boarding the train from here for Ajmer and while alighting from the return train to Mumbai.

I have a vardan, or a predestined blessings ,I cross their paths as they cross mine..

I had gone barefeet to Ajmer I returned barefeet..

I did not carry my Insulin or my diabetes medicine.. the Khwajah Gharib Nawaz protected me completely .

I had shot over 829 pictures of the Hijras at Ajmer Urus 2009.

I Reach Mumbai - End of Journey

I reached Mumbai on 1 July 2009 in time to catch up with some urgent work I had I reached Bandra Terminus I saw some Hijras getting off I shot their pictures.
I had gone barefeet to Ajmer I returned barefeet.

It has taken me about 13 days to completely upload the Ajmer pictures of the Urus 2009 , the Hijras and a few of Peersaab Fakhru Miya Hujra No6..

I shot all this in one and a half days.. 12 GB Card.

I could not shoot within the Ajmer Holy Shrine as permission was denied to me by the Dargah authorities, only foreigners with white skin are given preference or the electronic media..Indian photographers and Dogs are not allowed ...even after possessing a valid Press Card ...yes a photoblogger enters where angels fear to tread..