a dubious dichotomy
a female angel
broken wings of fancy
locked in a boys body
thorough his eyes
her pains you see
a lady boy
to be or not to be
feminine and sissy
waling on embers of fire
Sunday, July 19, 2009
The ladyboys of Mumbai are a nocturnal race , they are birds of the night..they are a rare exotic breed of young teenagers , who have come to terms with their sexuality, an effeminate one which their parents may not be aware of..they dont have the freedom and acceptance as the kathoeys of Thailand.
Most of the ones I met are in fashion, cosmetics, and hairstyling and make up..
Because of the draconian law Article 377 and a police and society influenced homophobic hate most of these denizens have sad and bitter stories to tell of their gay survival..
The ladyboys of Mumbai , some whom I know are not willing to become Hijras , they dont have the mental infrastructure or the hardiness of the hijra , above all the stigma of becoming a hijra.
I am writing this without any aid or prompting , I am writing this as a photographer who captured them on the soul of a digital memory card .
I have a very close friend a Muslim ladyboy, , he was raped by his uncle when very young, later his sufferings continued , he was not spared at school too.. only because he was fair, cute and looked walked talked like a girl.
Today he is an established name as a dancer , does private shows , has several boy friends , his family is conservative and have finally realized he has given them the comforts of a much better life, the new flat in up market Lokhandwalla was bought by him,he had his brothers married, he has another flat given on rent in the distant suburbs and a shop too.
His uncle lives in penury..and what happened does not matter does it?
We keep in touch, I always inquire about him, he is a devotee of Khwajah Gharib Nawaz the Holy Saint of Ajmer ..now if you call his malady a disease than the first person to infect him with the poison was his uncle who gagged him and sodomized him when his family was away..he has not forgotten that and weeps each time he talks of this persecution ..this assault on his body and soul.
But all this has made him far too bitter , he betrays his lovers, he cheats on them, he mocks them, and is playing a vicious game that will hurt him one day..but he will not desist he wants to get even with his guilt and his nightmare of a past.
So this one of a case, the ladyboys have their own network, their own slang, their own code of silence, their own patrons and clientele.
There are touts, pimps who get them business ..and these same tours also snare young kids to keep up the supply for a demand that is skyrocketing I am told.
I have met ladyboys from affluent homes in the lobby of 5 star hotels , who have pleaded with me not to take pictures and I have respected their privacy..
I am not invited to their parties simply because I am a photographer , and they know I post my pictures on the internet..my best friend who invited such a coterie on his birthday has stopped inviting me too.. there is too much at stake and the shock of being publicly known as a gay person.
Most of the guys who attribute to the taste in ladyboys are very happily married men with children and nobody knows it, money pays for silence.
A lot of the ladyboys have been blackmailed by rogue cops, by gigolos , by toy boys..and are very wary and scared of encounters with strangers , but than a fling with a stranger adds to the variety where all this is illegal in the eyes of the law.
Most of the ladyboys held trance parties at private cottages in Madh Island , invitation by request.at a hefty price.
The ladyboys are well groomed , they have gone for cosmetic surgery , to enhance their beauty..the sex change requires loads of money , hence the ladyboys save up..most of the rich ones go abroad .
The ladyboys prefer Haji Malang Dargah as it is close to Mumbai..here they walk the streets without fear or shame.
What hit the ladyboys great dancers was the blanket ban on Ladies Bar in Maharashtra.. the ladies bar put them in the limelight and bought in rich patronage.
Some ladyboys are professional masseurs connected to the best of hotels and clubs..
I met a few of them in Bangalore too..but they too were not willing to talk or be photographed.
More than the ladyboys it is the young studs who hound them , guys absolute hulks , who stalk them , pursue them as the ladyboy is more tame than the hijra, the hijra is over possessive dangerous about whom she loves ..Hell hath no fury than a spurned Hijra..?
And the guy who was begging on the street with acid thrown on his face would not tell me more about his disastrous love affair?
So this is a bit about the ladyboy..of Mumbai...
The Veiled Hijra of Mumbai/ Some Stray Thoughts, originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1.
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I wanted to write on this post, but my thoughts were not in their place, I have been dead beat, on the request of Teresa Burke , Roland Luthi I opened my comment box , for a few people only, on a trial basis.
I have nothing against comments, comments nurture a mans ego, his self worth, and his achievement of the moment.
I may not comment does not mean I dont like your stuff, I see it in silence , absorb it completely, yes Linda, Jeff , SJ and so many others..great photographers thinkers on Flickr.
I type with a single finger of a severely damaged right hand , a sword wound that made my hand into a hood of a cobra..irony of my karma ..my culture inheritance.
There are times I got fed up thanking people for comments, comments they posted in abundance , the same gist, the same thought, Glenn will agree with me..it made me go bonkers..a single comment is more than enough..
There is something that is called etiquette and behavior on the internet, you have every right to disagree with me, but that does not change my faith or the people whom I shoot, or my cultures as an Indian, I hate to say it before you comment on my post..try to be as intelligent as me or more intelligent than me dont make me suffer fools..
Dont go on asking me for the fuck time why I cut my head, why I scourge my back or why I walk on fire, why I cry, before you taste my pictures do read my profile once it says it all..yes I am a heretic and heresy is humanity too..
Dont badger me, dont twist my thoughts by seeing a singe picture see the series or the set ..now even the dumbest of gods creature will understand that the hijra has veiled her face with the end of her saree , to hide her identity as a person from my camera..she is not asking me to sleep with her , she is not soliciting , she is asking for help , she is asking for money to feed her stomach..
Who bought her on the street? Heartless society that sees hijras in bad light, mind you there are bad people in all communities even Roman Catholic priest love sodomizing vulnerable Irish kids , dont blame the Hijras only..Evil exists in the soul of man and the soul of society.
I am a photographer a blogger a poet I share it with you, stuff media wont shoot , so stop going after my ass , this hijra is not a veiled threat to society like the radical Muslims that wear burkas to place bombs and terrorize humanity..which is completely UnIslamic //
All religious leaders have been talking of homosexuality as a disease , but nobody talks about the cancer of terrorism that they have created by their bigotry and narrow mindedness..the taliban, the fedayeen is a greater disease that kills without remorse and we spend a fortune to show that Justice prevails carrying bugger all for those that were gunned down by Kasab and his friends.. this is the travesty of justice , a system that is a terror in itself sending the wrong message home..
Kasab should not be shown mercy , he never showed it to those whom he killed and slaughtered..I am not promoting homosexuality I condemn article 377 that needs to be re written by Indians and not the way it was dumped on us by the British Vampire..
I think prostitution should be made legal too, and we have to move ahead fighting pedophiles and child prostitution with the strictest laws.
I am not an activist just a part time blogger ..
And the kid who twisted the meaning of my veil on the hijra needs to read this even if he has half a brain.
The hijras in their customs are not allowed to veil themselves , and the greatest insult to the hijab is when police make criminals wear it, including the checkered scarf..
Well convenience is the mother of invention, become a Muslim just to keep two wives ..yes Muslims are hated , but its in their customs man takes refuge too ..makes me throw up..
Anyway the hijra has hidden her face , and the only crime that is being committed here , is she is begging at a traffic signal and if caught she will have to pay a stiff fine of Rs 1200 or go to jail, and if you murder have a good celebrity defense lawyer you can coolly walk out on bail too..the system sucks it was made to keep the rich man happy in India ..for all times.
So much has to change..like the greatest insult to the poor man is the Bandra Sea Link , it was made for the rich man of Mumbai period, for the politicians who got caught in traffic snarls at Prabhadevi.. the government by the people should not take all of us for fools..the poor man has to take cab to see the bridge as BEST buses cannot ply on it..
And it took the erstwhile Shiv Sena party of the poor man, to wake the conscience of a blood sucking energy supplying powerhouse..my house electric bill that for years was Rs 2000 per month came as a shocker Rs 12000..and we had to pay it ..the following bill to came for the same amount..we had the meter checked , they said it is fine , just pay ..
In democracy it is the common mans vote that brings the government to power and it is the common man who suffers in silence..in Hindi they call him AM ADMI ..AM KE AM GUTLI KE DAM.
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I am perhaps the only Muslim shooting Lalbaugh Chya Raja for over 20 years or more ,,thanks to Mr Sudhir Salvi head honcho of the Mandal.....
Shah-e-Mardan Sher-e-Yazdan Quwat-e-Parwardigar Lafata Ila Ali La Saif Ila Zulfiqar , originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1 ....
Ek Shahenshah Ne Banake Yeh Haseen Tajmahal Ham Gareebon Ki Mohabbat Ka Udaya Hai Mazak.. , a photo by firoze shakir photographerno1 on Fli...