Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Hijab

The Hijab, originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1.

135,147 items / 1,010,493 views

the hijab
is a garment of
modesty they all know
but the west considers
it a garment of a woman's
oppression a womanly woe
though it is not part of
their religiosity their
ire on the hijab show
burn it ban it the hijab
they would
love to overthrow
it is sad
a peaceful
garment poetic
in nature its
imaginary faults
they over blow
a weapon
of mass destruction
they wont easily
let it go
so from this pain
my poem flows
my grand daughter
wears it on her
as innocence
as beauty as joy
it grows
her modesty
head to toe
from her heart
into our heart glows
its her choice
a woman's birthright
her body her soul
she wont expose

Marziya Shakir The Burqa Friendly Child

135,146 items / 1,010,458 views

she is in tune with
burqa a traditional
garb of her faith
a shia child
follower of ahle bayt
she is what she is
her destiny her fate
her innocence
her mental state
a hope called
marziya shakir
out of a tear
he did create
a gift of life
on a silver plate
a poem within
a picture
even without
words human
to translate
allah ho akbar
gods bounty
his generosity
a manifestation
his godly trait
god is indeed
bound to humility
love without hate

Whipper Boy

They start of very young watching their father brothers slashing their bare backs with the whips, their way of earning a living on the streets of Mumbai.

I have enjoyed shooting this tribal community and showcasing their lives as a set on my Flickr photo stream.

The Whipper Boys at Bandra Band Stand

This was the other kid and they both played their parts to the hilt.

And I dont think they were regular whippers and I was not very passionate as I had not yet come on the Internet.I was a photographer but not a blogger.

Being a blogger makes you enter the arena where angels fear to tread.

And I shot pictures impulsively even now it is my heart that rules the moment I press the decisive button on my camera.

And than it brings me to another topic , how to make the most of our social networking site, I use Facebook as a Blogger pictures are blogs , blogs that think talk and make you talk to as voraciously as me.

I hardly access Twitter but I tweet from Flickr at the click of a Mouse.

I have over 11000 Tweets till date

I pimp my blogs through Facebook and Twitter

The Golden Goddess and the Whipper Boy

Photography the kind I do sweeping the muck on the streets with my camera is about Luck by Chance.
I am lucky and a God assisted photographer and God is a miser in more ways than one he has a brand he desperately wants to sell , and at the same time he does not want to shell out money too, so in comes the street photographer who shoots Gods underbelly of pain for free.. and shares it with all of you on Flickr Facebook and Twitter .The Trinity Father Son and Unholy a micro blog.

So in short some pictures would have never happened here I dd not have a camera but Rs 50 got me the pictures plus the ricksha fare to bring the camera from home.. and I did not give te expense voucher to God in this case.

One thing I must assure you I dont go stalking for pictures they pass by my way in any case.

Good or bad in street photography does not exist you should have the magic in your capture to make the bad look as pretty as hell.. street photography is the ultimate tribute to Man his downfall his rise and his resilience to survive at all costs.

There is so much I see that I am unable to shoot a drunk lady in the night at the bazar legs spread wide open and a drug addict screwing her mechanically and a dog watching this shit with eyes half shut half open.. they did not bother when I passed by their way..

So shooting pictures without a camera is street photography too a theoretical lesson on a rainy day.

Street photography is the funereal dirge of the poetry of Mans life and times.

You can shoot it as prose but just make sure it is rhythmic so the viewer reads it as a poem too..

Facebook Never Sleeps

I must confess photography is a subject that faces me and the person I shoot in a great conundrum..they always tell me why I shoot them dont I get tired of shooting them, what do I get shooting them, they are aware that I have a shop and my profession is not photography, I am into tailoring clothes.

They also know those whom I shoot regularly I dont sell pictures nor will my pictures be published in Mumbais elite newspapers but it satisfies me being published as a memory on peoples heart and soul people I dont know from Adams.

And in all humility I shoot muck but not the kind of muck that a photo journalist shoots day in and day out without ever getting tired.

I see pictures before they become images and I dont see it with my camera but with my eyes...once you are a street photographer you stop being a visionary.. you see life you shoot life.

I dont think I have the patience nor the inclination to shoot a hodre of bees gang raping a helpless sunflower.

I might have shot the rough terrain of mountains like a street photographer the only mountain in Mumbai I saw was a hillocks growing with twin peaks on a hijras flat chest.

And I have no time to go and shoot Flamingos at Vashi though they are rmy favorite birds of flight in fancy.

I shoot alone as a public recluse or share my love of street photography with my grand daughter Marziya who watches and learns the art of Unlearning Photography.

Some times in very rare case I allow the beggar kids to shoot me with my Nikon D80 even if they accidentally chop off my head.
I enjoy the visits of my foreign photographer friends when they come to Mumbai and partake the hospitality of my wifes cooking.

Shooting them shooting life is what teaches me photography.

That is why I call Dr Glenn Losack MD my mentor.

Street photography is about individual style and form, passion and panache.

So now you know why I am seldom called to give a lecture on photo blogging or street photography.

The Indian mindset does not like to take up a hobby where there is no financial returns so God created Marwaristock agencies for them to sell their sunset slides and getting wet at Worli sea face pictures.and there are photographers though a minority like me who shoot for the heck of it..fuck who cares type off photographers.

And I am off Facebook chat , I feel like a a guy working at a nightly call center.. I am a source of hijra information and every chat conversation ends with one single note how to become a hijra , how to get rid of his penis and his testicles without castrating the soul of his humanity.

So on a Sunday I sit at my comp and now add text to old pictures call it a bloggers rant.

Everybody I encounter on Facebook chat invariably is doing a thesis or a documentary on the hijra..and I am the easiest bait for them hook line and sinker.

I chat with some good folks too but they call me on my mobile phone.

So some pictures need to age before you inundate them with textual tragedy ...

And there is a new breed of Facebook folks who deactivate their old account and than send me a message to add them in their new avatar.I dont know why.

And there are times I too would like to get the Fuck Off Facebook..but than I succumb as people on Facebook genuinely love me more than the people on Fickr or Twitter do.

Facebook is a club where the lights never go off.. even Marc Zuckerburg they say does not go to sleep on Facebook.

Biz Stone founder of Twitter micro blogs himself to Sleep we have known each other for a long time ..and the last message he sent me was -Firoze where the hell is Tharoor..

The Whipper Boy Band Stand Bandra

Since the time I began photography almost 10 years back I have been fascinated with a community that whips itself to eke a living, I call them whippers and some of them are followers of Goddess Ambe.

I shot them and this boy I shot at Band Stand , I shot him in color and slide.

Actually when I spotted them I did not have my camera I told them to wait and promised them Rs 50 .

I rushed home got my camera and shot an entire slide roll I gave them the amount I promised them and this is unique picture as the whippers normally dont pierce their cheeks.

Its another story I never ever saw them again, and these days you hardly see the whippers on the streets of Mumbai.

Some know me some make heavy demands so I stopped shooting them.

But all in all I have had a great rapport with them and a few years back I took the whip from a whipper who was a regular visitor at my old shop and in the middle of the road I whipped myself too.. my shop help shot the pictures..

I am not sure it hurt me as my back and my head are totally immune to pain of any kind due to the scourging and head cutting rituals I do during Moharam.

And this was a post untouched by text I am updating it with words 11 July 2010.

This is a set on Flickr one of my favorite and this is my genre my specialty shooting rituals customs that make up the colorful life of India.

I hardly am able to move out of Mumbai so I make do with whatever God offers me in my camera s beggar bowl.

Now that I hardly carry my camera I shoot street scenes with my eyes..I saw a young kid without a shirt enjoying the monsoonal masti, he was sitting outside a shop and a stream of water fell on his head .. he was enjoying it and s was I , this across my house I thought of rushing up and getting my camera to shoot it but I let it pass.

Similarly I saw a young strapping kid asleep near Globus and besides him lay two stray dogs, it was drizzling but it dd not matter they were happy to be wet and to be where they were..I wanted to shoot it but again I would have to go home to get my camera so I let it pass.

And at home there is Marziya but I dont shoot her , and she is totally busy drawing with her coloring book...

Shooting Life From a Cab

Updated 10 July 2010

Most of my street pictures are shot from moving cabs as my camera eye is alert to situations and life that unfolds itself in a fraction of a second and I shoot it in a fraction of a second too.

This was shot a few years back and these kids are bathing on the side of a road in Parel Mumbai.. and unaware of prying eyes .

Water is at a premium for people who live on the streets a leaking Municipal water tap is a blessing in disguise.

And mind you they survive wild orchids have no fear of untimely death on the streets one die another few more will be born.

These are common scenes so nobody really bothers about them, cars pass by most of them dont see all this with the tinted glasses on their souls.

Photography is a medium of my street poetry.. I poetize images with words or sometimes wordlessly, like this post that was devoid of text when I posted it.

Sometimes you can keep a post blank and the viewer will read it as poetry .

I think we are all poets with the sensitivity inherent in all of us might vary from person to person.

I could write a poem without an image but it would no be me.. I need a visual for my virtual poetry of the streets.

And mind you if you shoot pictures as a poet , you add a dimension that never existed before you shot your virgin picture of human life.

Human life is what I shoot and human life is what I showcase as a Blog.

As a picture you would merely see it ,as a blog you inhale it as the freshness of life.

This is shooting life from a cab
silence that needs no gift of the gab
skins and bones of humanity
no need of flab beauty dull and drab
what i shot as a memory
with your inner sensor you grab
streets with human guinea pigs
in a lab living dead living above the slab

to bernie
shadow boxer
in gratitude and humility

Appu My Best Friend

Updated 10 July 2010

These are my oldest images when I visited Chor Bazar on Fridays to scrounge for old stuff old cameras I had over 300 of them and I gave them away a few years back for peanuts, and I shot this limbless phenomenon Appu My Best Friend.

And he always had a smile on his face and mind you as a street poet it was not his bodys deformity I showed you , but his resilience of human spirit , though battered bruised he was happy uncomplaining.

This was a blank post here at Flickr I am adding text for those who dont know Appu..

Appu stopped sitting at Chor Bazar , I dont know the reason why , than he would disappear for months and resurface at Mahim church.

It was here in 2008 I introduced him to my mentor Dr Glenn Losack.

Last I shot Appu was when I took my grand daughter Marziya Shakir without informing anyone at home.

I gave Marziya Rs 20 and without showing her Appu who was not visible let her walk in the crowd till she herself spotted Appu and handed over the money to him.

This was her street lesson in Charity..and I will take Marziya there once again this to shoot Appu with my Nikon D 80 .

Marziya has been trained as a street photographer and crowds dont intimidate her at all.

And this street photography set on Flickr has 10599 pictures but if I were to include all that I shot on the streets the rituals processions it would reach the 80000 I have not included all my Moharam pictures and other street pictures in this set.

Street photography is poetizing street pain..documenting the soul of humanity living on the roads of despair and remorse.

Due to various confusing emotions I have stopped carrying my camera to work, just dont feel like shooting , and it is the first time my Flickr overflowing photo stream is at a complete stand still.

I have no dearth of situations to shoot pictures...but I think after coming back from Ajmer I am saturated of all feelings , I am nothing but a Void..