Sunday, July 18, 2010

Kashmiryat Has Lost Its Fragrance

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kashmiri beggars flight
from the valley of hope
to the burning cauldrons
of despair wont end
every lamaha
their lives
choked on
the river bend
a smile the
only reminder
of a homeland
burning chaos
as it blends
has lost
its fragrance
once it reaches
on the railway
back home
it sends
will a film
change the destiny
of their fate
a broken fence
politically motivated
no one wants to mend
azadi a misplaced cry
of the human soul
even your enemy
wants to be your
best friend
from across
the borders
to rob pillage
as he descends
with evil intend
searching for
the good shepherd
who will gather
the flocks to safety
heal and tend
such touch is missing
as the events portend

i read this poem
in the eyes of the beggar
kashmiri migrant

to rahul dholakia my facebook friend

Sounds Of Silence

135,282 items / 1,023,125 views

drums of delight
chaotic cacophony
on wings of angels
in flight
fasten your seat
belt hold on tight
mystical moments
fear of heights
a kaleidoscope
of imagery
poetic plight
swerve to the left
turn to the right
of human
it costs nothing
to be kind and polite
a single color
of humanity
black and white
poems shot
as pictures in
spectral light

Shot By My Guru Late Prof BW Jatkar

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Today I remember my Guru late Prof BW Jatkar a unique person a benchmark and a land mark in Indian Pictorial photography .

He was known as Black and White Jatkar.

A very close friend of my other Guru Dronacharya KG Maheshwari.

This was shot at the Epson workshop.

Prof Jatkar loved my family and visited us often whatever I am today is all due to the lessons of life I learnt from Jatkar Saab.

Whenever he was down or depressed we would go to Haji Ali and let our spirits soar ..

He was the one who introduced me to Salon Photography and I sent my pictures to the various salons along with him and Mr Maheshwari.

We shot the Dahi Handi together and the bullock cart races at Alibagh or Murud Janjira..

I still cant believe this doyen of photography is no more , he also introduced me to the various labs and our favorite was Swastik color Dadar lab that made our salon prints under the personal supervision of late Bhai Humne

Such was our adventurous spirit we got our prints done at Color Lab ,Mazda , Vishal Bhende , Fuji lab and the last place we visited was Foto Fast..below PSI Mumbai.

Prof BW Jatkar was a very outspoken man he called a spade a spade and had no patience to tolerate fools so he was not much liked by his detractors who till date are accumulating personal glory ..and doing zilch for photography even at club level.

Photography according to me is a Gospel of Peace and it is our duty to see that we bequeath it to our progeny , this is the ultimate aim , this is the greatest reward so as a pledge to my Gurus I became the Guru to a two year old child my grand daughter Marziya Shakir who may not know aperture or f stops but shoots comfortably with a Nikon D80 assisted by me.

Prof BW Jatkar was a teacher and under the branches of this banyan tree me and others like me learnt from this Marathi Manoos.

And whenever he called me on phone he began with saluting me with a Salamwalekum..
I would begin the same with Hari Om..

And mind you two places I saw the fabric of secularism in Mumbai was Bollywood and the world of Photography.

I was not a Muslim he was not a Hindu we were creative artists children of a God the greatest artistic creator of all.

Photography is a holistic science of healing , feeling paying its obeisance at the soul of Humanity.

Ever since he died I am ashamed to go and meet his wife but I pray for her his daughter is settled in America.

So today the breezy monsoonal winds kissing my face as I blog bought the message of love of this soul with whom I had a relationship akin to a father and son.

Every Photo Fair we would go together and all his students from JJ School of Arts would come touch his feat.

We are all human and we all have our quirks flaws , we may not be perfect but yet it is these teachers who were the light that showed us our path to perfection.

Honestly without a Guru a person is a rudderless ship he floats he does not sink but he never reaches the shores of his destiny.

My Guru made it possible he bought me to the shore and himself faded away into the twilight.

Time to time he remembers me so I end up remembering him too.

Black and White Jatkar
Hurry Home
Hari Om

Gurur Brahmaa Gurur Vishnu
Gurur Devo Maheshwarah
Guru Saakshaata Parabrahma
Tasmai Shri Guruve Namah

The Beauty of the Hijab

135,280 items / 1,022,404 views

que sera sera
whatever will be will be
beauty adorned in a hijab
the soul of her ancestry
a garment that adds hope
to her spirituality
only with your inner eyes
you will see her path
her tryst with destiny
tradition customized
enhancing modernity
muslim woman and the hijab
conjoined eternity

the silhouette of the hijab
the beauty of the hijab
the angst of my poetry

dedicated to laurent designldg
in gratitude and humility

The Silhouette of The Hijab

nspired by my dear friend laurent

Designldg Laurent
I want to write a few words along this amazing work of photojournalism done by my friend Firoze but I am confused.
I am confused because I am coming from a culture which doesn't understand women wearing a hijab, a few days ago it became officially forbidden to wear it in public in France.
However my adopted country is India where I spend most of my... See More time and there I have friends whom wives, mothers or sisters wear it.
When I talked to those ladies I realized that some of them decided to wear it and sometimes even against the will of their husbands.
As my dearest friend Aleem said if everyone was respecting each others there would be no need for it.
I also think that everyone should be free to do whatever she/he wants or feel.
Women are oppressed all over the world at different levels, it started in the Holy Scriptures with Eve (Hawwâ’- حواء) who succumbed to the serpent's temptation and has eaten the forbidden fruit.
Of course this is was a parable nevertheless today women still have to bear the consequences of this metaphor as if men were forgetting that their mothers are also women...
Education is the only way to emancipate women and to avoid oppression from men.
Sorry to take so much space here, I just felt writing my thoughts while watching those pictures...
Have a nice day everyone.

My reply in gratitude and humility

Thank you Laurent your words are your moments of experience as a person of French origin, but having watched Marziya take to the hijab, I feel differently I think a person has a right to wear the garment of her choice oppression can be inherent even when the person does not wear the hijab, wife beatings , women forced into slavery is an oppression and women s oppression begins the day she gives birth in a mans world where mostly she is treated as a commodity as a mere organ of productivity.

I cannot say much about Sarkozy and France , he has a agenda and France has not been France by only banning religious symbols or the Hijab.

France gave us Liberty Freedom Equality and definitely not racial profiling but than respect to your laws and regulations is part of the ethos of your country.

Public opinion good or bad will always raise its head we live in a free world - freedom of expression is the core of mans humanity and peace .

It also depends on individual Muslim backgrounds a Muslim comes from , luckily at our house the hijab was not an issue nor was it compulsory, my sisters never wore it dont wear it at all but my mother did.

My wife began wearing it as she suffers from an ultra violet ray condition initially than it became part of her traditional spirituality.

My daughter does not wear the hijab only the head scarf, my daughter in laws who are my daughters now wear the hijab as it was part of the heritage of their lives since young they brought it to our house..

So in a way the hijab here in India has a unique uniformity as a Muslim identifying sartorial garb , a garb of modesty.

The complete head to toe covering is the more conservative and is become the flavor of our times.

But for security purposes I think the Muslim woman should let it down willingly while entering a place of a high risk government building..

And I digress as much as the hijab is a garment of Peace it is worn by terrorists to show they are Muslims and as Muslims love to blow up Holy Shrines of Shias or other sect is part of the ideology of Misplaced Jehad and Martyrdom/

And I respect Aleems views , he is a wise person but his thoughts or mine are not part of a majority Muslim society , whose members might ogle at another woman lustfully but keep their own women covered from head to toe..cheek and jowl.

More important than just the Hijab and over blowing its faults and its virtues the fact remains Muslim womans emancipation , education self survival and her place in society with dignity is far more a burning issue I would not be shooting ladies begging on the streets , veiled or unveiled.

I dont sell my pictures nor do I need to gain cookie points.

Being a foreigner or a person who is not a Muslim whose wife or women relative dont wear the hijab it is not part of your tradition or culture and using cudgels of hate to ban or condemn the hijab is unnecessary hate and racial profiling.

These are my personal views and not part of my community or my religiosity.. I echo my pain my thoughts I am opinionated but so are all of you most of the time..

Good Morning from Mumbai.

where the hijab
is not part of
their custom
tradition those that
are not muslims
dont know what
the core essence
of the hijab is
they love to bash it
burn it condemn it
as is where is
a garment of modesty
not a garment of oppression
they deliberately confuse
ignorance is bliss
racial profiling
a thought amiss
respect better opportunities
is more important than all this
the woman within the hijab
has a right to wear what
she wants to wear
you simply
with words of hate
a freedom of expression
sartorial or spiritual
cannot dismiss
or place it on a black list
understand the reality
the ancestry of the hiab
before you say something
is my gist
dont wrongfully
give it an ugly twist
let the hijab
the muslim woman
who wears it
mutually co exist

your support
in this regard
we enlist
hope and humanity
live and let live

The Beauty of the Hijab