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Showing posts from May, 2010

Man Shitting on a Mound of Despair

Man Shitting on a Mound of Despair, originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1. 127,725 items / 931,956 views

Shitting on a mound of despair or cursed by fate sitting on a mound of despair would mean the same thing to this man who saw me in the cab returning home after shooting the Matryamma Feast Macchimar Colony 2010..

I was in the cab without my Tshirt and we connected for a singular karmic moment he read my thought I read his..


And this is the stretch that leads you out from Dharavi towards Bandra East connecting me to Bandra West through the flyover.

All men born rich or poor are equal when they shit, be it on a mound or a gilded toilet seat, the wise man the fool the beautiful the ugly are all one bound to what goes in must come out..

So shitting on a mound of despair is a spiritual exercise too..

on a mound of despair
he shits moistened memories
hardened by hard times in bits
he sees cars passing by to wit
darkness all around unlit
a little water to wash his ass
on a shitti…

Muslim Beggars That God Forgot

Muslim Beggars That God Forgot, originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1. 127,767 items / 932,194 views

perhaps they are no more
part of his cosmic plot
god now has a home
with the rich men
the poor man rots
denied of hope
he sits and squats
from birth to death
coins of pain
is all he got
in his hovel
of his net
his wife
his children
caught
begging
from one
closed door
to another
closed door
his wretched soul
you will spot
he surrenders
to his fate
his doomed lot
says the rich man
he was born to beg
no big deal
so what
while he
counts
the goodies
in his golden pot


as a photographer it was not the beggar
but domesticated badly bruised
pain i shot my bare feet
my sweltering soul burning hot

to marcel duvoix in gratitude for the poems he has written on me and my grand daughter marziya ..in his yet to be published anthology..

What hurts I Dont Know Being A Muslim or Being a Beggar

What hurts I Dont Know Being A Muslim or Being a Beggar, originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1. You have got to read this titillating title in the right context or you will get it wrong completely

Sometimes being a Muslim hurts others more than the person who is actually a Muslim and forced to beg on the streets.

If this lady was wearing a hijab and begging it would stand out like a sore thumb..and give definition of mystical nature to my photograph too.

She is a Muslim beggar from Murshidabad , normally they wear white or black.

Why she is a beggar how she became a beggar I dont know I am not social anthropologist or a social activit.

Because I shoot pain and she is Mannequin dressed in pain on a street shopping window I shot her ..I have a set of over 500 pictures at Flickr titled Muslim Beggars that we choose to forget..

I could have written Muslim Beggars that the mullah and God forgot too.

Their life is governed by the few coins you give them, their main begging day is Thu…

Danger Man Holed Ahead

Danger Man Holed Ahead, originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1. 127,767 items / 932,194 views

I have been shooting sleep without sleep knowing that I have shot it in serene slumber in its human soul.

And in Mumbai everywhere you go you will find man deep in sleep even when he is awake and walking on two legs too.

Without being funny sleep is one of my subjects and I dont let sleeping dogs lie in peace either.

Near my work place is a booze joint , and denizens such as this find themselves on the wrong side of the gutter..

I guess I shoot them because I was an alcoholic too for a very long time, I drank but people did not know I was an alcoholic only my family knew it and a vile thinking part of me..And too deny this thought of not being an alcoholic I drank my way through life.

I dont think I fell in the gutter but the moment was not too far away, I got saved by my family just in time and photography and blogging became my alcoholic addiction as default.

The places I drank are …

Do People Really Have Time For The Shoe Shine Boy?

Do People Really Have Time For The Shoe Shine Boy?, originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1. 127,767 items / 932,194 views

He does not beg he told me, but business is really bad on a prime piece of land called Bandra Hiill Road.

Next month will be worse when the rains set in.

So he begged me to give him some money he had not eaten since morning.

And he is stylish too in his beggarly way of making money through shining shoes.

And this is life on a slow track, normally he has a few shoe shine boys with him , but I had not seen them since the time I shot them a few months back.

Ironically this is street photography, I shoot life on the street and as I saw it, others see him too with or without a camera , does not really matter.

I shoot what touches me and what touches me may not touch you with the same fervor or intensity.

I see pictures all the time and all the time I have my camera on me but I dont shoot all the pictures I see , I shoot impulsively I shoot randomly.

I see things dif…

Maryamma's Chosen Street Photographer of Mumbai

Maryamma's Chosen Street Photographer of Mumbai, originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1. My lens had milk stains and my focusing was affected , as I shot very close to Raja who would take milk in his mouth and splurt it into the devotees mouth to lubicte the inserted 18 feet rod in the cheek,, and with this lot I end the series of Maryamma Macchimar Colony I shot it on 23 May and the uploading got over today.

I shot 1619 photos in a few hours barefeet and later I removed my tshirt too.

This was the first time I shot with two camera bodies and a wide and a telly.

I have after this shot the Sion Koliwada Maryamma Feast on 25 May 2010.

There was an invitation for one by a Punjabi guy Soma Bhatia but due to work commitments I did not go.

I have enough footage of this feat for this year.

My chances for going to Ajmer Sharif Urus are very bleak only a miracle by the Khwajah Gharib Nawaz can see me there , as things stand now I think my going to this spiritual pilgrimage is next…

Only Faith Can Move Mountains

Only Faith Can Move Mountains

The Barefeet Blogger of Mumbai

Pulling a Tempo With Hooks on the Back

Pulling a Car With Hooks on the Back

The Barefeet Blogger of Mumbai

The Barefeet Blogger of Mumbai, originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1. I could not bear the heat , I was on a empty stomach, shooting barefeet without food or drink.
The humidity continued punishing me I was totally drenched I removed my t shirt and shot the last part of the Maryamma procession going towards the Mandir at Macchimar Colny Mahim...

I did not complete the stint , an important one of removing the rods and the hooks almost the same way they were inserted.

And I was lucky that Ganesh the guy who shoots this event shot me too, Ganesh shoots for people who want these important pictures of the piercing and the long trek back to the temple from Beach tpo be taken at a nominal rate per copy.

He has his studio in Dharavi..He is a Tamil photographer .

Hooked to Faith

Pulling a Tempo With Hooks on the Back

Pulling a Tempo With Hooks on the Back

Pulling a Tempo With Hooks on the Back

Hardcore Street Photography of Pain

The Ultimate Art of Cheek Piercing With a 18 Feet Rod

The Blank Slate Of The Mind

The Blank Slate Of The Mind, originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1. That gives birth
to my poetry
combustible chaotic
setting words free
blackness beyond
only a few minds
can see some
locks open
without
a key

Piercing Hooks on the Back

Piercing Hooks on the Back

The Color That Identifies My Pain

The Color That Identifies My Pain, originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1. 127,161 items / 929,026 views

whether
i say it silently
or softly
it reverberates
on my spiritual
consciousness
as hussain
cascading
on my soul
my heart
my brain

the color that identifies my pain

The Hooks of Faith

The Hooks of Faith, originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1. With the hooks pierced in his back this devotee will pull a tempo, he also has 18 feet rod in his cheeks pieced from one cheek to the other.

Shooting the Darkness of the Human Soul

Shooting the Darkness of the Human Soul, originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1. searching for a diamond
hidden in coal
photography
for photography's sake
is not my goal i shoot a part
you see it whole i shoot
the streets of pain
populated by
convicted souls
two parallel lines
two different poles
a thirst seeking
a watering hole
each one playing
another mans role

The Hook Is Attached To The Back

Piercing Hooks on the Back

The Rod Goes Through Both The Cheeks

A Child Pierces His Cheeks

A Child Pierces His Cheeks, originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1. 127,102 items / 928,743 views

Before the rod enters the cheek it is very important the head be held firmly by another person one wrong move the entire jaw will be torn apart.

For his part the child holds the guy who is holding his head .


First the ah marks are put on both cheeks by Raja the piercer , I have seen kids faint , but they come around and carry the rod in the mouth till the final destination of the Maryamma temple.

A kid that I liked and shot for two years Sairam had not come for this event and he is one person who wont miss this event for his life.

And most of the guys who pierce their cheeks are not Tamils but Maharashtrian lads from Macchimar Colony Mahim.


Raj piercer charges for inserting the rod and for removing it too also there is a rental charge for the rod.

A Child Pierces His Cheeks

A Child Pierces His Cheeks, originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1. 127,102 items / 928,743 views

This guy was very chirpy in the morning but as the time draws near for having the rod entering his cheek, his face his body language becomes totally serious a bit afraid too.

He is watching Raja piercer mark his cheeks , as the rod has to align well or it will be lopsided and the child will lose his balance , the child carries the inserted rod for several hours , at about midnight the rods are removed from the mouth at the Mahim Maryamma Temple Macchimar colony.


I have never waited that long as I am a diabetic and I dont eat anything while shooting this event , I am on my feet I removed my top as the Mumbai heat is blistering and scorches the soul and the body.


This is one ritual I cant give up shooting , and as pain is the core of my study through photography .

Pain and overcoming pain.

Cheek Piercing With a Rod

Using Milk as a Lubricant

Using Milk as a Lubricant, originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1. Raja the piercer will take the milk from the plastic sachet into his mouth and than splurt the contents in the child's mouth to lubricate the rod and to ease the pain also..this is the part I thoroughly enjoying shooting my lens and clothes are drenched with the milk too.

The Rod Goes Through Both The Cheeks

Cheek Piercing With a Rod

Attaching Needles on the Back

Attaching Needles on the Back, originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1. This was the first part of the piercings as the possession began, so I was shooting this and the possession together , both were important but the needle p[piercing I was not that pictorially curious to shoot .

And I had to be fast on my toes something or the other keeps happening to my luck only Raja was attending to the piercings , if there are two piercers one has to make a choice .. my other friend Davender a piercer too who assists here every year was not around.

Shooting a Possessed Person

Shooting a Possessed Person, originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1. This is the other aspect of my photography, and I can go on shooting this without fear though the person possessed can damage your camera or harm you unintentionally.

This is known as devi entering the body during arti or the beating of the drums.

The person is subdued by holy ash or lime cut and placed under her feet or cut and the juice sprinkled on her.


This lady took on the avatar of the goddess and moved in the circle of the puja area.

Hardcore Cheek Piercing

Hardcore Cheek Piercing, originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1. 126,745 items / 925,082 views

All my pictures are like a continuous story board, I always shoot with a single camera , here at the Maryamma Macchimar Feast 2010 I used two cameras shooting wide and telly.

I shot a 6 GB Card ..

This lady is a laborer , she works in a gutter outside my building at Bandra , she is a Tamil and all her colleagues including her contractor are devotees of Maryamma.

She is tall poor but stately lady, she bore her pain when the rod entered her mouth , I dont miss a single frame if I am shooting the rod piercing of children or women I shoot single frame but fast.

Because I have been shooting this event for last three years ,I know every nuance and response both of the pierced person and the piercer..

The most intriguing moment is the spitting of the milk from the piercers mouth into the mouth of the pierced person , this acts as lubricant.

Even the rod point is dipped in butter to make it…

Dying Heritage Mahim Fort of Mumbai

Dying Heritage Mahim Fort of Mumbai, originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1. 126,730 items / 924,991 views

The ugliest filthiest badly managed an eye sore a piece of history down in the dumps the Mahim Fort..

wikipedia


The Mahim Fort (Marathi: माहीम किल्ला) is a fort in Mahim in Mumbai, Maharashtra state, India.[2] Strategically located in the Mahim Bay, the fort overlooks Worli to the south, Bandra to the north, and Mahim to the east. The origins of the fort are unclear, but it occupies a strategic location that has been frequently contested. The fort is currently in disrepair, suffering from administrative neglect, encroachment of slums, and exposure to tidal erosion.

In 1516, Portuguese commander Dom Joao de Monoy entered the Mahim Creek and defeated the commander of Mahim fort.[3] The fort was the site of frequent skirmishes between the Portuguese and the Ali Shah, a Gujarati ruler, before the island of Mahim was appropriated from Bahadur Shah of Gujarat by the Portu…

About the Maryamma Cheek Piercing Ritual

About the Maryamma Cheek Piercing Ritual, originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1. 126,689 items / 924,640 views

I am holding the piercing rod over 18 feet long that the devotees will pierce their cheeks with,,the piercing act is know as tochan..

Before you undertake the piercing ritual you have to tie a yellow wrist band and undertake a fast of 5 or three days , no non veg food, no sex, no bad thoughts , you can only have liquid or fruits in the daytime and one meal after sunset..

I met a Punjabi guy at Sion Koliwada Soma or Som Bhatia he has been doing the Juggernaut and the cheek piercing since 12 years.

He is a hardcore devotee too and one has to be barefeet before one performs the piercing ritual.

The Cheek Piercers of Goddess Maryamma

The Cheek Piercers of Goddess Maryamma, originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1. The rituals had been delayed and when the piercings began it was quite dark.

Raja the piercer was grumbling as he was finding it hard to put the hooks on the backs of the devotees.

Because Raja and I are good friends I got the best viewpoint in shooting the pictures , literally pushing my lens in the mouth of the person whose cheek was being pierced by a 18 feet iron rod..

What really gets me is not the piercing but the splashing of milk from the piercers mouth into the mouth of the pierced person .

Milk is used as a lubricant to move the rod in the mouth

Two Different Sides of a Coin

Two Different Sides of a Coin, originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1. We are two
photographers
black and white
we both paint
with spectral light
we both are different
in our outlooks
if i am wrong
he cant be right
we are friends
but we do fight
we disagree
but we are polite
i post my stuff
on the internet
my inherited
cybernetic right
flickr is my
launching site
i shoot the jaws
of despair
pushing my lens
into the other side
of midnight
shooting culture
religious rites
without humility
photography
is just an
aborted flight

if you Google search
for marc de clercq
bandra rocks
you will find him
a hero
on my website

Two Different Sides of a Coin

Two Different Sides of a Coin, originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1. We are two
photographers
black and white
we both paint
with spectral light
we both are different
in our outlooks
if i am wrong
he cant be right
we are friends
but we do fight
we disagree
but we are polite
i post my stuff
on the internet
my inherited
cybernetic right
flickr is my
launching site
i shoot the jaws
of despair
pushing my lens
into the other side
of midnight
shooting culture
religious rites
without humility
photography
is just an
aborted flight

if you Google search
for marc de clercq
bandra rocks
you will find him
a hero
on my website

The Cock That Wont Crow Anymore

The Cock That Wont Crow Anymore, originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1. as his head will be chopped
fall on the floor life will come to an end
as his blood out pours
flapping its wings this headless bird
the cock that wont crow anymore
seeking entry into heaven
through the backdoor
for saving the soul of humanity
his being into an angel
god will restore

The Cock That Wont Crow Anymore

The Cock That Wont Crow Anymore, originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1. as his head will be chopped
fall on the floor life will come to an end
as his blood out pours
flapping its wings this headless bird
the cock that wont crow anymore
seeking entry into heaven
through the backdoor
for saving the soul of humanity
his being into an angel
god will restore

Thank You Dr Robi Ludwig

Thank You Dr Robi Ludwig, originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1. You're an amazing man, Firoze.
I feel the same way about you and your gorgeous family!
Wishing you health, happiness and lots of love!
RL

Sent from Verizon Wireless BlackBerry


sometimes
life
lives in
humility
a speck
not very big
the world is
a stage
we do our jig
our life a branch
a tiny twig
a cosmic reality
dear dr robi ludwig

Thank You Dr Robi Ludwig

Thank You Dr Robi Ludwig, originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1. You're an amazing man, Firoze.
I feel the same way about you and your gorgeous family!
Wishing you health, happiness and lots of love!
RL

Sent from Verizon Wireless BlackBerry


sometimes
life
lives in
humility
a speck
not very big
the world is
a stage
we do our jig
our life a branch
a tiny twig
a cosmic reality
dear dr robi ludwig

Thank You Dr Robi Ludwig

Thank You Dr Robi Ludwig, originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1. You're an amazing man, Firoze.
I feel the same way about you and your gorgeous family!
Wishing you health, happiness and lots of love!
RL

Sent from Verizon Wireless BlackBerry


sometimes
life
lives in
humility
a speck
not very big
the world is
a stage
we do our jig
our life a branch
a tiny twig
a cosmic reality
dear dr robi ludwig

The Sacrificial Goat For Maryamma

The Sacrificial Goat For Maryamma, originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1. 126,484 items / 923,499 views

Death
where is thy sting
said the sacrificial goat
the sacrificial bird
flapping its wings
through our blood
to the human race
happiness we bring
above all things
as the drummer beats
his drums
as the crowds sings
a single stroke
of the butchers knife
ends all things
our heads at the
feet of the deity
he flings
ends our
innings

Shooting The Maryamma Feast in Mumbai

Shooting The Maryamma Feast in Mumbai, originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1. Shooting The Maryamma Feast in Mumbai

I have been passionately shooting this event for almost three years now, and it was last year I met Anmamika hijra from Mulund at the Maryamma Feast Macchimar colony.

Than this year I met Krishna hijra , who is a devotee of Goddess Maryamma.

At the beach I met Muskan and Sarita from Dharavi both hijras.

However last evening I was invited to Sion Koliwada by Raja the percer and realized the intensity of the Goddess in a predominantly Punjabi locality, I shot the Maryamma Temple known as Chellam but the piercings start from the Saibaba Temple close by.

Here I saw a Hijra from Nasik dressed in yellow participate in the rod piercing, a lot more hijras joined in , I was barefeet and shot this procession for several hours , there was a German lady shooting this event too, I did not ask her name but she was overtly fascinated capturing all this.I told her to be caref…

Bleeding Feat of a Shia Blogger

The Barefeet Blogger of Mumbai

The Barefeet Blogger of Mumbai, originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1. shooting the soul
of humanity
barefeet in blood
photographing
lost moments
poetizing as words
a goddess
appeased
with goats and birds