Tuesday, April 13, 2010
has the time
to to read
on the wall
on the road
all for one
one for all
this is mumbai
dont be shocked
us to this day
that dont easily
for us each day
our hearts stay
the staple diet
of our lifes play
a little boy
how he would pay
on his clothes
at home hell
now well settled
in friendswood texas
old school days
memories never die
they live always
Fred Miller - Yessir.......many times it was this kind of thing in my pockets that made my days more enjoyable, except for the stains which I had to hide from my family, not only because of the mess but also because I had to eplain where I got the money to buy this..........beautiful memories nevertheless. Thanks Firoze for that
They beg on the streets off Bandra Hill Road , and normally come here to have hot piping tea from a famous tea stall.
Of course somebody or the other buys them a cutting.
When I started of as a photographer I really was never sure what I wanted to shoot , this is about 12 years back, I shot what touched me, and sometimes what touches me might just about touch you too.
Being a salon photographer I was brain washed into shooting the lovely things of life, but I shot photo journalism,I did not shoot beggars , after I gave up salon and club culture both decadent beyond redemption , I became a blogger ,., got exposed to a new medium.
I wrote letters , a lot of letters to friends but no poems or poetry before I became addicted to the Internet.
I became a poet of sorts , a journaler after I joined Buzznet.. Buzznet made me what I am today, my friends on Buzznet polished me, shaped me and re presented me in a new avatar.
Than came Dr Glenn Losack MD he added the the poetic nature of pain , I began shooting beggars , not to mock my country , but to mock humanity, to show you undiluted pain of karma , fate or whatever name you wish to call it .
I lived with beggars understood their wild dreams , their angst, but beggars are like the weather cock on a church's steeple they go north west east south but in reality they are stuck in one place of doom forever.
I cannot shoot the beggars of Haji Ali, I dont know why, I found them to be over hyped run by the beggar mafia.
I dont run after beggars but they do come after me...and I carry them as hope on the wings of a poetry blog.
I document pain as poetry , and luckily you will see this mostly in a photo blog, in a newspaper you will see pictures of Shoaib and Sanias wedding..but without disrespecting love nothing in the world , not even millions of dollars would ever make m distance myself from my country..and maybe this might hurt a few Pakistani friends but I would rather marry a dog than marry a scoundrel from the other side of the border..this is nothing but a marriage of convenience , this is trampling of a woman's life to marry a celebrity and a cult ..this is a dangerous precedent ..and Mr Malik has broken an Indian woman's heart..being fat , not pretty is not a criteria for dissolving a marriage.
Anyway I digress , what I want to say this world is full of beggars, the people who solemnize such weddings are beggars too,all begging for a few seconds of fame..
Who really cares a fuck.,. what the bride wore..well newspaper shelf life and a marriages shelf life can be a matter of dispute..
I am a fucked blogger street photographer I am happy with shooting what I shoot , yes I shoot with my mouth too sometimes .
I have shot this church with almost all types of cameras , I have shot it with Yashica, Rolleflex, Rolleicord Mamiya 330 and Nikon analogue cameras , now of course the digital.
When I bought a new lens or filter those days I would test it on Jesus or the Holy Spirit.
Even now when a photographer visits me from abroad I bring them here to show them the beauty and grandeur of this church.. that is my second home during mental stress or distress.. St Peters Church Bandra Hill Road.
When I say second home I am not ingratiating to a religiosity I dont belong to, I am happy with my own, I come here for peace and calm of the mind..I dont get this feeling in the neighboring mosque.. I have no explanations for this..I speak of Bandra .
In town the only place that instills the same feelings of peace is the Moghul Masjid.. where God lives .. as he lives in other places too.
I am literally dragged by a force to the Church, and the only way I can pay back this gesture in kind is with the pictures I have taken of this church, I may be having close to 15000 images unscanned of this particular church , in all its glory.
Whatever the function ,Xmas, New Year Easter , Adoration , Holy Communion , death birth baptism, marriage I documented it all..shared it on cyberspace.
Perhaps because of the access I have from the Holy Trinity and Fr Juan and Fr Gerard or this could not have been possible in any other church , dressed in Saffron shooting the soul of Christianity is a tough task anyway.
“Church isn’t where you meet. Church isn’t a building. Church is what you do. Church is who you are. Church is the human outworking of the person of Jesus Christ. Let’s not go to Church, let’s be the Church.”
“Some go to church to see and be seen, Some go there to say they have been, Some go there to sleep and nod, But few go there to worship God”
This was taken in low light as I wanted a fuzzy feeling of seeing the surroundings from a roller coaster ride, as you were just touching ground..from the skies to an heaven on earth - St Peters Church Bandra Hill Road
St Peters Church Bandra is my favorite haunt , its my alternative spiritual abode, and in all humility I must be the only Muslim photographer that has shot this church in all its colors and hues.
I must be having the largest collection of pictures of this church I shot for over 12 years on color slide black and white and now digital, many of my stuff I have not yet scanned or posted..
This is the only church I equate with , it is peaceful, harmonious, and the people that bring it alive the clergy parishioners know me , and are aware of my love for this church.
Two people who have been my pillars of support are Fr Juan and Fr Gerard..Darryl my friend Clyde Curry and others too like Anil and Kate.
It was Clarence Gomes of NAB who bought me close to this church.
For more on this church connect with their website
He is a very tired man , his business selling vegetables is in the slumps , so he sleeps all day long, he may not live too long they say..he is suffering from various bodily ailments but its the ailment of the soul that has hit him hard..
Being a poetry spammer , positive too I could pen a few words here , but it would of be no help, his pain would still be the same , I walk through this slum twice a day, morning and again at 4 pm..so I feel I too belong to this slum , my soul lives here among the denizens , among the kids who accost me for pictures , this is a very small slum as compared to Behrampada at Bandra East.
I am not a big fan of the Dharavi slums completely over hyped by the tourist mafia, I have shot it during a Urus here , but I prefer Bandra , nothing personal...
Dharavi is not for me at all.
I can spend hours among the people rebuilding their lives after the fire at the Behrampada slums , slums are nurtured by politicians of all hue simply as a vote bank nothing else,it is also told in whispers much of the fire in the slums is started by vested interests hand in glove with the builder mafia, I am also told that many a politician has a big stake and quite a few benami houses in this scheme.. I dont know for sure its not my take..
I only shoot pain and the drama of life as poetry.
You will be surprised there is another huge sprawling slums across the bridge close to my house but I have not gone there , I had taken Glenn Losack who shot a few pictures.
So even after being manacled to Mumbai there is no dearth of picture taking.. I may not be shooting landscapes mountains waterfalls or jungle reserve but I shoot raw naked drama of mans fight to survival .. in the battlefield called the slums.
sun and heat
bandra hill road
a few coins
their fucked fate
they cant cheat
a new misfortune
on their soul excretes
is light at the end
of the tunnel
with all my depressing
i could not blot
in a net my foot
a better future
to their cursed lot
a picture with
love with kindness
i lovingly shot
as a gift
in the slums
pay the mafia
for the slum dog
no one knows
on the heap
of a garbage
rationed water flows
the slums a gold mine
for the builder mafia
scheme on a
what you get
is what you vote
roti kapda makan
on an empty note
the rich man wrote
the slum dweller
of his shanty
in the slums
a gutter like
it rains heavily
the city of woes
once he becomes
back to his
he never goes
it was mumbai
him from his
he would love
to put his teeth
into it all
but he knows
so he patiently
waits for the
that will fall
teeth and jowl
than a growl
lets out a howl
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photo courtesy razi rizvi mumbai azadari
This picture was taken during a safar juloos near Zainabia by Razi Rizvi a Shia blogger Moharam 2008, and this evening I was informed by my wife that Salman Rizvi Saab had passed away., he was suffering from an ailment and as I am not close to his family or his friend circle I dont have any exact details...
I spoke to Razi Bhai and he confirmed his death..
Salman Rizvi bhai and I became friendly after this juloos and we met off and on , the last I met him was last year when he was buying iftari for his office folks during Ramzan.
We chatted for sometime and we never met again at all, when he was seriously ill I did blog about him..
So I offer my condolences to his family, I hope God gives them the strength to bear this irreparable untimely loss.
May his Soul Rest In Peace ..
Farewell we will certainly miss your presence at Juloos time..
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