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Before God made hijras from the scrotum of man , he gave them trinkets on their feet to make them dance their way through life with ease without discomfort.
And the seed in the scrotum of man when it became a full fledged hijda, the scrotum self destructed.. adding to the mystique of the Hijras androgynous myth of survival.
The hijra is a parallel line running between pain and remorse , he cannot be fully what he wants to be , he inherits feminine grace charm characteristics but he is haunted by the missing vagina and taunted by a missing womb.
Hijras have no reproductive female organs but yet they make excellent mothers to a child they adopt , they lavish love and everything they have.
Hijra are lonely creatures of the night , they sleep wingless through the day and when night comes they fly.. yes hijras are birds of beauty born in captivity.
Over the years I have been shooting the hijra I have watched and observed them not merely as a photographer but as a mystic street poet too.
The only two places where I spent a lot of time with the hijras was Haji Malang and Ajmer.
And I absorbed their spirit of survival and their pain concealed beneath a bright red bleeding lipstick.
But I must confess the angst of the hijra survival I felt at the red light area in Mumbai called the Cages of Peela House, the hijra prostitute and the woman prostitute bound together in Gordian knot first come first fucked.
Having Heena Hijra as my patron , the uncrowned queen of Peela House I saw some hijra cubicles where a customer is serviced , the creaky filthy cot , the dirty filthy starched seminal stains vying for attention ,
bed bugs moving around , the stench of urine the claustrophobic surroundings and I was politely told not to take pictures , the painted hijra whore waiting to beat the shit if I dared to remove my camera.
While I was leaving she looked at me lustfully hoping I would become human and add my stains on the bedsheet too..but she knew I was highly connected with her Guru and let me go out in the street where flesh is cheaply bought and cheaply sold.
Yes I prefer shooting this variety of hijras or the ones I see begging on the streets the grass root hijra condemned to hell everlasting.
Hijras on Peela house dont look like hijras , its only when they open their mouth or when they open their legs..both are for sexual gratification..
And it is surprising that young kids who come here fr the first time prefer to fuck the hijra than the woman prostitutes I was told ..
The other place a little distant from Peela House is the HJijda Gully No 1, this is the hijra citadel, and you find all kinds of hijras the rich the poor and the fucked very poor.
Most of the nubile young new hijras have their toy boys so you dont mess with them
I am close to Zeenath Guru here , I had bought my American friend Dr Glenn Losack here but the building which houses the hijra hell was being repaired.
I have not come here since a long time.
And why I shoot the hijras I dont know it just began , shooting the hijra whores at Matunga road clandestinely from the cab..now the place where I began my hijra tryst has been completely demolished .. nothing remains just 3 or 4 pictures I shot .
I was also very close to a Hijra Bawa once a queen of Mumbai now old she comes to visit her adopted daughter at Chor Bazar, she is one of the mujawirs of the Kuldabad Dargah.
We meet each year at Haji Malang and she dances beautifully in her old age too.
So this is the hijra poetry of pain as a blog.
Friday, June 4, 2010
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I met this hijra before she pierced her cheek, her family friend and a brother was with her , her hijra guru and some more relatives.
I never got much time to talk to her and once the rod entered the mouth through the cheek the hijra became silent mute and introspective.
I have met a lot of hijras in the few years I have photographing and documenting the hijra angst.but this hijra I wont forget .
Than there was a Muslim hijra I shot at Ajmer Sharif with a beard dressed in mens clothes dancing away at the doors of the Holy Shrine I went into a trance shooting him while I cried as though a part of me was dead.
Ritualism hits you I went into a trance at the Maryamma Temple at Mahim too..falling to the floor with my cameras.
Hijras are seeped in spirituality and are very devout..I have visited the Hijra cages at Peela House in the red light area and Laxmi Guru , whose disciple is Heena Hijra has a small temple away from the soliciting and sleeping area.
Hijras here have a great respect for each others faith , and Heena is a Muslim and her Guru a Hindu hardly matters and Sufism brings all faith together under one roof of Godliness.
You Can Only Shoot What You Are Destined To Shoot, originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1.
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Guess I am a fatalistic street photographer I believe pictures that I take are predestined .
I wont get picture by merely wishing for pictures.
When I was invited for this event by Raja the piercer I did not whether I would make it in the first place , I have been in a mental turmoil, and photography is not my main priority it is a passionate hobby within limits.
The other problem I have never been this place before so I waited for Raja to arrive but in the mean time I had made friends with the Tamil guys.
Than I spotted the hijras and that was enough to add impetus to the pictures I would shoot , shooting the Hijra from Nasik piercing his cheek with a 18 feet rod was my main intention now.
I did not miss a single frame of his piercing and I shoot close to Raja as he pierces the rod and he does the piercing smoothly sometimes the cheek muscle go stiff than force has to be applied to push the 18 feet rod.
Similarly with the hook piercing the back, the back is slapped several times to ease the muscles and the flesh and here three people are required to push the stubborn hook in , mostly the hook point is blunt and rusty too, that makes Raja go mad.
Butter is used on the points of the hooks and the rods.
Later a lot of hijras joined the procession that traverses from the Sai Baba temple where the piercing is down towards the main roads of Sion Koliwada and than comes back for the removal of the rods and hooks at the Maryamma temple known as Chellam.
This procession gets over pretty late so I aborted the shoot, I shoot all ritual stuff barefeet, and I moved away from here..
I was unfortunate being busy with the hijra piercing his cheek, I was unable to shoot the man who wears a contraption called Singapore Juggernaut , here thin rods enter his chest back and sides and he walks with this in the procession ./.
Also I shot a guy hung from his back on hooks on a pulley top of a industrial crane , from the sides this guy another guy hung with hooks too , both tied by ropes on the legs for safety.
And this is one memory card I have to upload another 400 pictures in this lot and another card about 2 GB .
This is one of my favorite rituals I shoot and there was an invitation for another one also at Sion Koliwada I skipped.
My net connection is slow and my uploading too.
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...
Insan Ko Bedar Ho Lene Do Har Qaum Pukaregi Hamare Hain Hussain , a photo by firoze shakir photographerno1 on Flickr.