Sunday, January 3, 2010

Man Born in the Cradle of a Garbage

has not yet
come of age
a bibliography
a missing page
from the womb
of a garbage
by bad karma
at every stage
man his mind
locked in a cage
against his own
in the name
of god
a war
he will wage
man a timid giant
most of the time
in rage

Our Education Sucks

bent backs
the burden
of books
nothing works
our education
system sucks
our child's future
it completely drugs
slave driven
on his back
like a camels hump
he lugs

The IceGolawala

All our childhood days would be incomplete without the contribution of love of the ice golawala, I remeber my friend Merwyn of Holy Name High School, always taking udhar, promising to pay the next day but the next day never came but yet the Icegolwala did not hold this against him..I doubt if he ever had the childood we had, he was packed to the city Bombay as it was called than and made to eke a living..yes the Bhaiyya is a tale of struggle and hardship unknown to the neo Marathi Manoos.

The Buddhi Ka Balwala who sold am papad , jeera goli, and other khata meetha nick knacks..our school life would have been meaningless without Bhaiyyas.

I remember school picnics to Gorai , the crazy soda bottles , I also remember Merwyn and me removing the country liquor from the school padres bottle and adding water to make up up for the loss..

And the padre confused as to why he was not getting the kick.

School days and the Icegolawala man.. have finally bought us this far..thanks to Bhaiyyas of Bombay in those days..

Sunehre Khab Ki Talash Mein

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As I pass through a slum area , I meet kids with dreams in their eyes , with hopes and God alone knows what...their main meeting place is the quintessential Ice Gola Wala they watch the world go by with ice candy stick in their hands.

This is a functional lane for two wheelers one leads towards the Bandra Reclamation, and turning left takes you to Bandra Jain Mandir Road that connects to Bandra Hill Road. Strangely I meet Muslim beggar women on this road too, sitting outside the Jain Temple..

Photography heals the human soul, pictures capture the serene simplicity of life..I dont ask questions , I dont even know their names , I hate pens and never carry one..nor do I have a notebook,,but yes I read their minds their curiosity.

Recently an incident took place on this road that disturbed me quite a bit, and made me reluctantly intervene a Christian woman was beating a Muslim kid and shouting at him , holding him in a hard grip,. the kid was 7 years old, I asked her why she was beating the kid, first she said it is none of your business, I said it was my business , she than informed me that the kids had removed money from the kiosk of Christ..I told her to bring it to the notice of the childs parents or inform the cops.

But the little boy told me it was another boy and crying he was willing to take her to that boys house, but the lady had taken away all his money too..and the weals of her slaps had turned his face red..

Anyway I removed the kids hands from the ladys grip , the moment she said they had thrown mud on Jesus's statue..I know the little Muslim kids or the Hindu kids and no one would do such a thing..they do not have that venom as yet..

On seeing the crowd on my side she made a hasty retreat..she took the child's money away too..and I decided to move towards my work place.

The Only Place Where The King and the Beggar Meet

Ae Shiyon Jab Peena Pani Bhool Na Jana Mujhe

Sweeping the Streets With a Camera as a Broom

building their future
promises lost forever
that were made
in their mothers womb
survival or doom
after death
your memories
the will exhume

to dr robi ludwig a tear in the soul of a turquoise

Man Is a Slave of Circumstances

He did not want to be locked in the memory box of my camera ..he walked right into me and I got this ..the degradation of man for ever carrying another mans interpret it the way you want to..

I met my usual Kashmiri beggar and his daughter but I am far too depressed to shoot them anymore, he wants to go back to Srinagar and its his huge family I told him to appeal to the local Shia Or Sunni Mosque or the Agha Khani Jamatkhana , he said they had no time for people like him after all beggars are beggars and cant be choosers he replied in a mysterious language of pain that needs no words for interpretation.

I have shot perhaps another 2 GB card still in my camera I have yet to download it.. but first I will clear my back log and than back to Moharam Hyderabad pictures that I have kept on hold..

Man is the only two legged animal abused by his own , he is spirtually sodomized for following his free will, he is gang raped by diverse religiosity if he does not adhere to one of them..and than what is left is trampled upon by politics and law and order ..
And this is not about the million Ruchikas and their tormentors in high places our system is abut passing the buck and making more bucks..
And we are all zombies allowing ourselves to be fucked by a corrupt system , we will never change , we love to grovel lick ass thanks to the English man who has made us slaves for all time.

The Bandra Kid of Indraji Nagar

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I keep Hyderabad Moharam pictures on hold to post my back log of street pictures and some stuff I shot in Mumbai at Bhendi Bazar on 7 Moharam.

I take this slum tenement path as a short cut to reach my shop, and in the narrow winding lanes I shoot humanity..and I am stalked by the kids to take their pictures even when I dont carry my camera.

And I bring their world to you, a world without celebrity status or political chicanery, I show you the underbelly of human existence as a poetic thought.

I chronicle the angst of the Queen of the Suburbs Bandra gradually going to the dogs..

The filth the squalor municipal apathy , tell the story of a backward and neglected area an offshoot of Bandra Bazar Road.

Photo Bloggers Cut Their Heads Too

Cutting your head in no way proves your spiritual manliness ,you dont have to cut your head to prove your faith , but the blood letting is part of the Shia culture..

I normally kept my self away from all this,I shot others cutting themselves and it was in Hyderabad while shooting at Bargah someone offered me the dagger , in 2003 but I did not accept it.

Than I came back to shoot Chelum again in Hyderabad and slashed my head , after that at Athvi in Lucnow and Mumbai all these years.

I have the most dangerous set of flagellating blades but due to a frozen shoulder and a sword injury on the same hand I am unable to use the zanjir as it is called in our lingo.

Cold metal razor sharp blade on the scalp has its own metaphoric connotation..I feel no pain , and this time I took the dagger leaping into the air struck my head 4 times , there was no pain.

My head injuries heal the next ointment no septic shot a common unwashed dagger used by others too.

As a photographer I wanted to experience the overcoming of pain , I became the subject..and to understand this phenomenon I shall pierce my cheeks with a 18 feet steel rod on the Mahim beach, during the Tamil Hindu Maryamma Fest , I spoke to Lakshmi the sister of the head priest to make it feasible for me, will I be able to maneuver shoot pictures I dont know..I was going to do it this year but changed my mind at the last minute to shoot my favorite Tamil Hindu ritual.

The other problem is you dont pierce the rod and than remove it, you have to walk with it on the streets for almost 3 hours before they are collectively removed via a painful procedure.
I shall overcome...all for Ghame Hussain.

Sometimes There is No One To Shoot a Photographer

And I missed my Mumbai gang of Habib and Baqar , specially Baqar who would take my camera and shoot a 100 frames of my Tandav after cutting my head on the streets of Mumbai, and this is the first time I cut my head twice in a day, I had cut it in the morning at Bargah and next here at the Bibi Ka Alam procession..

Normally nobody leaves the home Ashura, so as a Mumbaikar I should have stayed behind but I was restless to shoot new faces , new surroundings this Moharam..luckily I have great friends at the Choti Bargah in Hyderabad so I was at home away from home..
I was away for 5 days and my son Saif was holding fort , so I was not worried so much about my shop.

Doing Tandav on the Soul of Shimr

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Banging both the hands on the wounds on the head , makes the bleeding start all over again, and I am a severe diabetic...and I had given my camera to a bystander to take these few frames of my memories of Hyderabad Bibi Ka Alam procession.

There were just video shooters on this stretch no still camera buff like me.

And frankly who has time to shoot all this up close Moharam is dangerous and messy too for the starched, shooting from the aisle media person.

I was totally drenched tired dehydrated , I had not eaten anything nor drunk any liquid and I was on my feet since 8 am.. barefeet..on Ashura everyone is bareheaded and barefeet .

There is another 1 GB card remaining in this series , after this procession I went to the Shame Ghariba at Ali Nagar , photography was not allowed..and left for Mumbai the following morning.

Doing Tandav on the Soul of Shimr

Doing Tandav on the Soul of Shimr in Hyderabad

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After I had cut my head I moved out and came towards this group of Sunnis from Rae Bareilly doing blade matam,I began doing the Tandav that I normally do on the streets of Mumbai, I have to restrain myself from going overboard in my head cutting for the simple reason I am here to shoot pictures , and the blood seeps into my camera and camera lens..I am also carrying the heavy Nikon 80/200 2.8 AF lens including a flash, I dont ever carry camera bags..the satchel does well for me.

I am hoping to finish this series give my computer the much needed rest.

I have pictures of 7 Moharam shot in Mumbai I have not posted , my grand daughter Marziya has returned from Lucknow, and yesterday for the first time in her two years I took her to a Moharam procession close to my house known as the Bandra Mehfil juloos ..this was the first time she saw alams , zuljana and little kids scourging their backs.

This was some experience for her and as my feet are badly cut from my Hyderabad street trek, I aborted this event before it reached the Bandra Khoja Shia Masjid.

At home Marziya began bending her back pretending she was doing the Zanjir matam too..and using her hands to slash her head though there was no kama matam at the juloos..

Sometimes somethings are embedded deep in the psyche of our souls..part of our ancestry of pain and culture.

Cutting the Head With Swords

Cutting the Head With Swords

The Holistic Power of Ghame Hussain

The Holistic Power of Ghame Hussain

Cutting the Head With Swords

Cutting the Head With Swords

These are the local lads of Hyderabad and this seems to be their area, so they cut themselves with swords to the hilt, there was no stopping them , and mind you the Bibi Ka Alam is a very long juloos , and it is tough breaking the cordon to shoot up close , but I was lucky, I was at the right place at the right time most of the time..

This cutting went on in every area the Bibi Ka Alam traversed , but this area it was awesome display of Shia faith and Shia guts of steel.

The only other place I have seen this is at Hazrat Abbas Dargah Lucknow on 11 Moharam when Guddu Bawarchi cuts his head with a curved scimitar and before anyone can come forward to stop him rushes at a speed into the crowds with his sword..

Shooting all this is dangerous , normally I sleep on the floor and slip in between ..the sword strikers reach..but here it was very tough the jostling , the camera shake , worst the camera lens bleeds as much as the wounds on the sword strikers head..the only other person who would brave all this and shoot in a more superior way is Dr Glenn Losack MD ..

And on second thoughts I might not come to Hyderabad for Chehlum with Dr Glenn Losack MD , simply because hardcore Kama Zani takes place in the night and the good doctor hates flash.

So as of now it might be Chehlum in Mumbai but one does not know..

Dr Glenn Losack MD is well known by the Shias in Mumbai having shot the Kurla juloos and Chehlum 2008 in Mumbai..

All in all Moharam in Hyderabad is an occasion not to be missed ,it shows the angst of the Hyderabadi Shia his raw fervor and unleashed emotions of pain.

I waited almost six years to shoot Hyderabad , I last shot this in 2003 and I was new this landscape of pain.

Hardcore Kamazani Bibi Ka Alam

The stick is to hit anyone who tries to stop him from cutting his head .

Hardcore Kamazani Bibi Ka Alam