Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Hijras of Mumbai

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We share a common friend Heena hijra from Peela House Red Light area of Mumbai that I visited as a photographer documenting the pain , the struggle in coming to terms with the androgynous dichotomy of their gender..I spent many a hours talking to them understanding their angst their vulnerability their defiance against all norms of hijra hating male chauvinistic society that considers hijras as chakkas and untouchables.


The access to their soliciting dens was never easy be it here or Shuklaji Street Foras Road or the Hijda citadel of notorious fame called Kamatipura Gully No1.

I knew Zeenat hijra guru of Kamatipura Gully No1 so I even took my American friend Dr Glenn Losack MD there but the building was being refurbished and we missed the photo opportunities.

Most of the hijras thanks to a powerful mystical network know that I have a hijra guru Laxmi Narayan Tripathi..so I gain access and trust and besides I have the blessings of Ma Madhurima Hijra Guru No 1 of Park Site Vikhroli.

I was also close to late Nayak Raginiji May Her Soul Rest In Peace...guru of Ma Madhurima..

Of late I have not gone to these watering holes of hijra fame , I dont know why, I dont stalk hijras they meet me at crossroads of life a predestined calamity or my cosmic fate that I call Hijda Vardan.

I shoot hijras as human being integral part of society, and have always been against the draconian Indian law Section 377 an anti human law a racist biased law we inherited from repressed British Empire I call British Vampire...It sucked the human soul dry.

I dont sell my pictures my hijra stories I respect hijra society and their struggle to enter the mainstream and live the life they chose.

My Poem

the angst of the hijra
untouchable caught
through my camera lens
heaving tits immense
castrated catastrophe
born a male a biological
travesty of gender
in captivity in suspense
whoring begging dancing
to make ends meet
body and soul to cleanse
beaten raped battered
sodomized makes
no sense living
in inhuman ghettos
among mafia dons
local goons paying
hafta protection money
the story of neither
women nor men
leaving behind their past
their siblings sometimes
both their parents
to start a journey as a hijra
in a stinking pigpen

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