Friday, January 15, 2010

The Shia Blogger and the Hijras

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The Hijras were reprimanding me for looking drab and were wanting to know what happened to my usually colorful avatar , and I was limping too because of my recent injury..I did not tell them at for Moharam , which ends after 2 month eight days I only wear black..minimal jewelry..and the real lady sitting and watching us is quite surprised ..this was picture was shot by a passing kid...

The Beggar Hijra of Bazar Road

I know her since a long time, and she is a simple soul , she begs at the Bandra Bazar Road , this is their only source of income , this is their karmic punishment for breaching the gender wall, they are biological male reliving the dream of a women in a woman's attire so to speak.

They are the lowest rung of the Hijra social order, the are also known as Mangtis.

They beg alms at street corners , traffic signals and at the markets.

The Hijras Are Back on My Flickr Photo Stream

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These are a group of Hijra beggars including Hijra impostors that would visit me at my old shop, they hound me for copies of their pictures ..and the one in the glares used to beg heavily drunk at Carter Road close to Nivedeya Abhiashs bunglow during their wedding.

They are nice people I gave him Rs 50 but told him to take a tenner as I had no change she dutifully returned the balance amount, I was broke or I would have given them the entire amount.

And their hunting ground is Bandra Bazar road and I shoot Hijras as someone has to shoot their pain , and I capture their angst , their struggle..their unending fight against system that treats them as criminal before they are proved innocent..

I shoot hijras with a passion , I dont know why, and my photography is not my source of income , I dont sell pictures or my recycled words of poetic pain.

And I think Hijras like me as I dont cheat on their trust , I write positively about them, and no these hijras wont be walking the ramps of a Beauty Contest for the Transgender , they walk the streets of remorse and despair...

A Grand Father Recognizes Another Grand Father

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Because you were busy struggling with life , or because perhaps you were an alcoholic like me when you had children , but the bottle took away most of your time away from your children your home and your wife..God seeing your repentance and the way you reformed your life like I have done gifted you another chance for making up , he gave your grown up kids children and enlightened your soul as a grand parent .. bought back the moments you had missed , the neglect of your doting daughter , the many Moharams , that you did not take your sons , all these and many moments that are completely sad and irretrievable .so a poets god who is not a god of fire and brimstone and a father of the Universe ..gave you new words for your poem ..for the birth of your grand child..

So perhaps now you know why I shoot Marziya so passionately and yes somewhere deep in her eyes her soul I see my beautiful daughter Samiya Shakir..Marziya is not a replacement of Samiya..but both are one blood of my blood and soul of my soul..

So sometimes a strangers picture shot at Bandra Bazar Road can trigger a tearful response to lifes innumerable mistakes ...and here a picture takes an about turn , it becomes a sculpted soul of a blog...hidden beneath a layer of street photography.

The Sun Never Sets On My Computer

Why Do You Want To Take My Picture?

Now all photographers dont shoot what I shoot, every new photographer born in his mothers womb wants to be born as Atul Kasbekar and Atul is my mentor too in more ways than one..every new born photographer is itching to shoot Celina Jaitley , now I have nothing against Celina she is heavenly beautiful in the flesh and her soul ticks for the gays the hijras and the under dog.

Very few want to be photo journalists in their mothers womb, and I dont blame them we are still searching for a photo journalist role model with his soul touching the tarmac of humility..big lenses borrowed company cameras dont make you an ace photographer humility and a sense of poetry does..sense of poetry is not what Keats , Wordsworth wrote , but what Dickens and Balzac and Dostovesky wrote and your minds camera read it as poetry..

Marziya just touched this ladys face on my computer screen , and she baffles me with her mind reading, she reads life not just Light and Shade composition F stops , all barbed wires of a circle of confusion..important as theory but not life saving..

When I stopped this lady she asked me before placing her hand on her face why I wanted to shoot an old hag, I had already hit the trigger , conversation kills photography, it was her wrinkles her aging gracefully that got me to her..

I dont shoot pictures I loot life , life that is a million years away cyberspace or from newspapers..I shoot impulsively am not sure which picture will become a part of my poetry of life.

Poems require words and words I have plenty in the aquarium of my head , words that like fishes swish lustfully from one blank page to another of my minds notebook.

Touching the Feet Of Humanity

he languishes on the cross
a rebel without a cause
mans greed mans hate for man
mans pride prejudice pathos
is what comes across
a message of peace
hope harmony gone for a toss
conversions by his foot soldiers
to buy a poor mans soul for candy floss
life in struggle the church in chaos
humility pawned for momentary gloss
a crown of thorns whiplashes crisscross
heavens gain earths lingering loss

dedicated to benn bell my oldest friend on cyberspace..

Kashmiri Beggars -Travesty of Fate

Beauty Never Dies - Kashmiri Beggars

This is the lot of the Kashmiri beggars , and here beauty signifies the inner strength that keeps their hopes alive begging for food and victuals at the Bandra Bazar market..I shot this a poet , this is a poem of misplaced life, as it affects not only them but me too, its like walking on the shore spotting a fish that accidentally jumped on land and cant get back to her home in the waters..I see this but a fence protects me from moving forward.. the fence is lack of political will, the politician more busy with his intrigues , saving his seat rather than saving misplaced lives..

And this is Kashmiryat as it burns like sandal wood on the pyre of humanity..

I am not a filmmaker , I am not an activist but yes I shoot pain as I see it on the viewfinder of my cameras soul...and my attire is strange, and their smirks their child like curiosity seeing me and their footsteps hitting the streets of adversity..

An I shall shoot Kashmiri beggars to awaken the comatose soul of society in deep slumber..every time I cross paths with them on the streets.

Bandra Bazar is Dying A Slow Death

I take a break from blood and gore

I have over 200 more pictures of hardcore blood letting at the Bandra East Juloos that I am posting at Flickr..I give myself a break to post some pictures of Marziya and the streets that I optically sweep with my camera.

But as my pictures are like a story board I try not to disturb the flow and uploading at Flickr is a very slow procedure for me maybe it is my net connection I dont know I dont want keep boxing shadows ..

And blades daggers swords too need rest plans have gone awry due to unavoidable reasons Dr Glenn Losack MD from Brooklyn New York, has decided not take the trip to India, he wanted to visit Bangladesh , but the new visa rules I am told will not allow him to visit India if he comes via Bangla Desh , he has to wait for a few months a quarantine period before he can come to India , so he has canceled the India trip..much as he calls my country his country and Mother India.

An American Jew who shoots Chehlum , beggars , mental hospitals hijras and more..he was keen on shooting the Ijtema at Bangla Flickr friends from Bangla Desh and my Facebook friend Zaved Akthar were going to help his there.
Too Bad.
I was going to stay back in Mumbai only because of him..shoot Chehlum in Pune and Mumbai..

Now I will leave it to Princess Fatima , wherever she leads me I shall go to shoot Chehlum or Arbayeen.

Marziya had begun saying Uncle Glenn each time I showed her his picture..

Shah Ast Hussain

Shah ast Hussain, Badshah ast Hussain,
Deen ast Hussain, Deen e Panah ast Hussain,
Sar dad, na dad dast, dar dast-e-yazeed,
Haqaa key binaey La ila ast Hussain"

Ruler is Hussain, Emperor is Hussain,
Religion is Hussain, Sheild of religion (Islam )
is Hussain, Gave his head but not his hand to Yazid,
Maintainer of the truth is no one but Hussain.