Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Keith Kanga My Childhood Friend - Memories Revisited

178,482 items / 1,397,644 views

Many a great dreams great personalities dark thoughts despair morbidity inhabited this house Jony Castle Wodehouse Road Colaba , it touched even those who passed this way.

Keith Kanga was a Indian Rock icon founder of Atomic Forest , his parents had died when he was a little child , he was bought up by his maternal grand mother Granna as we called her she a fierce Jeovahs Witness , she was fine as a human being but a bigot all the way if you belonged to any other religion , her religion was the only Salvation , Watchtower and Paradise .

She hated the Roman Catholics as a Cobra hates a Mongoose, it was in the nature of her religion , it had more hate for others than mere love for Jesus Christ.Her faith finally destroyed her and her grandson too, and though Keith was bought up by her he did not inherit her hate , he was the richest kid the only Richie Rich of Wodehouse Road Colaba.

If Keith's custody for which there was a bitter court battle a lot of wealth at stake had gone to his Parsi relatives the story of his life might have been different and Keith was not a Bawa per se only 50%from his father Dossabhai Kanga a dapper industrialist's side ..owner of race horses and owner of New Era Printing Press Worli .

Keith Kanga was his mother Gwendolyn or Gwyn , his mother was a beauty of her time , she smoked she drank she was a foreigner from Sri Lanka of Dutch origins I think..In my entire life in retrospection I have till date never seen a more beautiful woman than her, that in spite of her beauty her wealth her antecedents she allowed Kieth to play with a Muslim tailors son , living in a servants quarters next to her house but on the other wing of Khatau Bhuvan now Jony Castle speaks volumes of her humility and her love of humanity.

Granny called my dad Darzi , I was the Darzis boy, but Granny liked me simply because I never refuted her bigotry or religious views, she gave me food to eat and Keiths old clothes were always new when I wore them generously presented by her.

I dont know but it is strange she went after the Catholics and the Parsis but was mild on Hindus and Muslims..

And without Granny I would have been on the streets literally , when we moved out of Khatau Bhuvan the servants quarter we lived in belonged to late actor Nawab Kashmiris family the new owner Mr Matthews bought our house 3 room on Wodehouse Road for a princely sum of Rs 19000 .

He allowed us to stay at his Breach Candy apartment at Neelam for a few months than we came to 3 Mohini Mansions Strand Cinema Colaba.

I kept in touch with Keith , than at our new house tragedy struck when I was to give my board exams , my dad lost heavily in his business I was studying at Holy Name High School , my dad rented out our house and packed of the entire family my mom sisters to Lucknow, I spoke to Granny and she told me to stay with Keith till my exams , and this one kind act changed my life , I studied at Keith's house , I was cleaning the house ...swapping the floors taking the horny bitch Fu Fu who was always on heat .. for walks late in the night..

Morning was Bible study for two hours and I never cribbed I thought it was part of life's punishment my dad and I and a younger brother Shakil who was with him , never met, my younger brother sacrificed a lot gave up his school and took up tailoring our family business.

My mother carried her cross in Lucknow very hard times making envelops and taking care of her brood.. it was the darkest days of our lives , I try not to ever think about it.. Granny had decided I had to convert to Jeovahs Witness and this is truth without malice I was not so religious either , so one morning I was taken to the sea side close to Badhwar Park , for my baptism to my good luck it rained Granny bundled us back home keeping my tryst with Christianity for another day.

In the mean time my Dad got his bearings back, he came one day to Jony Castle to take me back, he had changed he had got back the house 3 Mohini Mansions from the people he had rented it out returning was not taken lightly by Granny and this was a moment from a Dickensian novel.. she took me aside blessed me .and was very sad at my going later I was replaced by the kid of a Madrasi family Joboy.

She had come to love me , I used to press her varicose feet all night as she read out the Bible to me , I slept on the floor beneath the bed with horny always on heat Fu Fu as my companion.. bleeding the bedsheets and my soul.

So these are memories that stirred my soul on this once text less post..

Keith was my childhood friend the best friend I ever had he treated me fairly I ate his left overs but they were the best food I ever had those days of penury and hard times.

I came to know of Keith's passing away from a evening newspaper I read his obituary I was stunned , he had sold out his palatial home to Mr Matthews Jony Castle , and had moved away to Delhi..

I had his childhood pictures I still have them I saved them since 50 years ...and than I posted them on the Internet.. 6 years from now.

Keith would meet me once in a while at Slip Disc where they played I would pass him by smoking a joint I used to work late at Burlingtons Taj Mahal my shift ended at midnight , we would talk of old times and Keith loved my mother.

He never came to my house at 3 Mohini Mansion Strand , but memories kept this relationship alive..he studied at a boarding in Darjeeling and later came back to Mumbai and studied at Cathedral John Canon under Mr Gunnery.

The other fiend from thse times was Vimal Patacharige a Sri Lankan his father worked as a goldsmith for Gazdar Taj..most of the goldsmith of Gazdar Taj were workers from Sri Lanka.than known as Ceylon.I dont know what happened to Vimal I tred a lot to find out about him his sisters Sunetra and Ratika.
Dr Pavris daughters his neighbors might know but I never knew them too well to inquire about my lost childhood friend.

The other surviving friend from that era is Rayomand Framroze Ray Framroze of Framroze Court .. Marine Drive we keep in touch through Facebook.

I think this is the most lucid account of my relationship with Keith Kanga , I was not into Music I visited Keith at 3 Coins when they played at Pune as 100 Ton Chicken..the drummer was Sanjay Dutts cousin from Chateau Marine Marine Drive relative of Nargis Duttji..

Than I remember Neil Chattophadaya , Eric and Phillip Vaz kids of Chic Choclit Post Office Colaba.

The only words of Keiths Memories were words of an Album, Blind Faith by Eric Clapton

Following the shadows of the skies waiting for the ships to sail or are they figments of my mind waiting for the ships to sail ...

Who Will Win The Match ? India Or Pak

178,482 items / 1,397,379 views

these are
loads and loads
of messages
i received
at facebook
in a gunny bag
chain messages
i was duly tagged
wherever i went
its an india win
they unanimously
even my panwala
caught me on the street
raucously asked me
who will win the match
india or pak ?
at goodluck
irani hotel
near mehboob
they offered
me black tea
keema brun
free snacks
elco pani
gave me
dahi badas
my money back
i got free
Indian flags
at cheap jack
though at mohali
a ticket costs a lac
punters bookies
make hordes
of money
with great
both sides praying
the great dream
does not crack
do or die
or get media flak
tryst with destiny
at wankhede stadium
crowds jam packed
a poet searching
for a needle
in a haystack
if wishes were horses
than beggars would be
on horseback

jeetega bhai jeetega hindustan jeetega at mohali only sound track

india won by 29 runs matter of fact skill and tact
paisa usul dhin chak din chak

Poets Are Born In Captivity

178,482 items / 1,397,206 views

hard labor
life imprisonment
churn out words
living in the shadow
of darkness
with slur words
like herds
words that flap
their wings
like birds
escaping from
the poets cell
into cyberspace
no need of
good words
bad words
no father
no mother
form the poets
a poet
who was
a fucked
to eternity
a jailbird
from the closet
back into
the cupboard
now heading

Marziya Congratulates Uncle Shewag..

178,482 items / 1,397,171 views

waiting with
bated breath
eyes glued
to the TV sets
on bean bags
single double
couple and the stag
item girl and the hag
hero in the drag
painted lips
florescent bag
the macho and the fag
the politician windbag
the nubile editor from the mag
the big fat lady who loves to nag
postmen with their mailbag
even the pesswallahs with a gag

shakes hands
with uncle shewag
wishing sachin uncle
his 100 century
she gives them
both chocolates
from her school bag
India will win the match
she raises the Indian flag
with a camera round her neck
she is the worlds youngest
street photographer
she loves to brag
a retired grand father
behind her shadow tags
looking at this duo
jealous tongues
begin to wag
on the soul of
restless humanity
cricket can be
such a drag

A Message That Shows The Humanity of the Bohra Spirit of Peace

178,482 items / 1,397,191 views

I got a friend request and a message on Facebook from a person , his words touched me immensely and I am as human as he is I am a poet too.. I have made this message public to show you how as humans a picture touches the soul of us as human as Indians in a given situation of pain.

Huzefa Shabbir March 29 at 10:39pm Report
Dear Mr Shakir

I live in the building where the fire took place on 25th March 2011, it was very sad that few kids from our community attacked you and injured you on that very unfortunate night, they did not know that you were trying to help us in your own way. I hope you will not keep anything in your heart of what happen on that very day.

You are an amazing photographer i have gone through all your pictures, i myself love taking pictures if you can see my profile but i am not professional as you are.

Hope to hear from you.

Huzefa Shabbir

Firoze Shakir March 29 at 11:09pm

Thanks Huzefa

I am touched by your words the first one from your community , I normally dont shoot pictures of disasters at all as a rule but this happened in my neighborhood and it was my duty as a blogger and as a Press person I shoot for Bandra Times to document it , there was no ulterior motive , no hidden agenda.

I am a Shia and very close to Akbar Bhai, Cheap Jack Something Special family Nur Nulwala and many other Bohra personalities , as a matter of fact I have always been inspired by the Bohra ethos of peace and living in mutual harmony.

Every Year I pen a poem on His Holiness Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin Saabs birthday..

I shall blog this dialogue..

Thank you

Take Care

Firoze Shakir '


Madness Is What Brings Us Together

178,482 items / 1,397,034 views

we both
are crazy
so to speak
we shoot beggars
we shoot freaks
through the soul of
images we communicate
through pictures we speak
he is a master of his art
light shadow
sound technique
holding eternity
in a vultures beak
an American by birth
he is a hardcore
Indian mild and meek
he loves my country
a love unique
as he freezes
a wet tear on
a beggar
child's cheek
my mentor
healing streak
we are both
slaves of
a 3 year old child
a street photographer
photo chic
a nikon d300
snazzy and sleek
round her neck
truth she seeks

The Magic of Bollywood Lives From One Generation to The Next

178,482 items / 1,396,985 views

a magical script
needs no words
or text
moving pictures
prose poetry
pain passion pathos
in the right context
sensuality oomph
for the over sexed
reality drama
from one scene
to the next
item girls
on the soul
of humanity
golden moments
glory dance music
in a cinema hall
horror fear and dread
silky moments
sucking her toes
on a silken
flowery bed
eyes closed
wings spread

to aaditya raj kapoor

You Can Create Actors You Cant Make Another Jackie Shroff

178,482 items / 1,396,981 views

the soul
of man
you can
the soul
of an artist
you can reform
jacke shroff
the silence
in a tea cup
of a creative
on a celluloid
you are what you are
is how a scene you
perform brainy
jackie dada
an exclamation
but no not a full stop
a re surging force
time and tide
he transforms
a poet a philosopher
kind congenial warm

Jackie Shroff Rekindling The Soul of Cinema

178,482 items / 1,396,967 views

From Wikipedia

Jackie Shroff (born 1 February 1960)[1] is an Indian actor. He has been in the industry for more than 28 years and has appeared in over 150 films.

Jaikishen was born in the Gujarati-speaking Shroff family on February 1, 1960.[1] His dad's name is Arvind Chandrababu, his brother's is Hemant, and they live in Bandra, Mumbai in a bungalow named 'Babu Pad".

A vegetarian, Jaikishen made his acting debut in a bit-role as a villain in the 1973 hit 'Heera Panna' which starred Dev Anand. He then went on to act in another Dev Anand starer, 'Swami Dada".

It was Subhash Ghai, who signed him up for the 1983 hit 'Hero' that catapulted this handsome young man to stardom, followed by yet another hit 'Andar Bahar' with Anil Kapoor as his co-star. Thus Jaikishen became the new Indian legend: Jackie Shroff.

Since then there has been no looking back, as he went on to star in close to 150 movies with a career that spanned from 1973 onwards. Since 2000 or thereabouts he has appeared in a variety of character-roles, villain, comedian, and even as a ghost in 'Bhoot Unkle'.

He married his longtime girlfriend, Ayesha Dutt, who is also a producer and both husband and wife run Jackie Shroff Entertainment Limited. They have two children, a son, Jai (nickname Tiger Baby Babu), and a daughter, Krishna.
[edit] Awards

* 1990: won:Filmfare Best Actor Award, Parinda
* 1994:Nominated:Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award-Khalnayak
* 1995: won:Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award, 1942: A Love Story
* 1996: won:Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award, Rangeela
* 1997:Nominated:Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award-Agni Sakshi
* 2002:Nominated:Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award-Yaadein
* 2001:Nominated:Filmfare Best Villain Award forMission Kashmir
* 2003:Nominated:Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award-Devdas

* 2007 - Special Honour Jury Award for Outstanding Contribution to Indian cinema

Jackie Shroff The Man Of All Times

We met recently at Pablo Bartholomews photo exhibition , and Jackie Dad was reading Pablos pictures like poetry , he studied each picture silently imbibing moments i his soul.

By Jackie Shroff the other name is humility that has endeared him with everybody , he came over to me inquired about me my family.. this is Dada as a man and as a friend.

Jackie has never changed his friends have changed his surroundings may have changed but time or fate could never touch the poetry of life in the soul of Jackie Shroff.

Jackie is a poet a philosopher and a photographer too he shoots all with the Leica of his minds eye and never forgets us at all.

Jackie Dada My Hero

Jackie Shroffs look in Hero was put together by me and this is a fact that Dada knows and I know many many years back and my relationship with Dada happened in the early 70s at the Oberois when I worked at Sheraton Treasures a shop that belonged to the Burlington group and Mr Shashi Kapoor was one of the partners I was told though it was late Mrs Jenifer Kapoor that instilled the love of fashion in my soul and helped make me what I am today my journey as sartorial magician would have been incomplete without her generous contribution...

You Can Create Actors You Cant Make Another Jackie Shroff

178,482 items / 1,396,981 views

the soul
of man
you can
the soul
of an artist
you can reform
jacke shroff
the silence
in a tea cup
of a creative
on a celluloid
you are what you are
is how a scene you
perform brainy
jackie dada
an exclamation
but no not a full stop
a re surging force
time and tide
he transforms
a poet a philosopher
kind congenial warm

Anil Bhartiya Saab The Guru of All Good Things

178,482 items / 1,396,962 views

“Let no man in the world live in delusion. Without a Guru none can cross over to the other shore.”
Guru Nanak Saab

Anil Bhartiya is a very low profile person, quiet, reticent and minds his own business , he has seen life lived life , he has seen good times bad time hard times , but never complained, he has never been proud arrogant , he is the most talented brilliant fine art as well as a creative photographer.

He is one of the finest photo journalists but humble to the core..I owe much to him , and others like me he has taught at the various outdoor shoots Malsheh Ghat Alibagh Murud Janjira.

Anil Bhartiya is a one man army God has stopped making Anil Bhatiyas completely parts are not easily available..and this is a fact he has at home with every genre of photography, he has contributed a lot to photographers in Mumbai and all over India.

He has a great fan following from Kanyakumari to Kashmir , he has been my earliest support base and even at the few recent photo shoots I inquired about him from fellow photo journalists.

A good teacher is like a candle - it consumes itself to light the way for others.

This quote symbolizes Anil Bhartiya in a few words ..

This is my humble tribute to a great master.. may he live long peace and spiritual success be with him always.

The Muslim Beggar From Agra

178,482 items / 1,396,469 views

Sometimes I wonder what pulls beggars to me , why are they dawn to the karmic consciousness of my camera lens..he came to my workplace I gave him something he asked for some more , I told him to go to the mosque for more substantial or adequate help.. he gave me mocking smile and simply because though Allah is benevolent kind merciful his custodians most of them are worse than this beggar..they are beggars a notch higher than him , beneath the mosque beggars are the madrsa beggars who come with mini trucks and blaring loudspeakers wake the entire locality with their sales spiel.

And begging is an integral part of Moslem society embedded in the soul of its religiosity ...I cannot escape beggars as much as some who cant escape me and I remember when I first joined Flickr and posted Muslim beggar all Mosems from the Far East were gunning for my poetic pedantic pedestrian ass.

The Arabs of the Middle East have no issue with beggars they always thought the rest of the Asian Moslem world is where the beggars the Arab world is changing evolving trying to come out free from shackles of hate and slavery.

I think in India the Moslem is much happier and much closer to the reality of peace hope and humanity than anywhere else.. because culturally the Moslem in India is more Indian bound to humility and hospitality and the brotherhood of Man.

I find and this is my personal view arrogance in the Moslem enters the soul through Tablik where he thinks only he is Gods chosen one and the rest are second class citizens ..

Being good or bad as a Moslem is more to do with your parentage and your surroundings my parents made me cosmopolitan, I became a better Moslem simply because I was made to respect all religiosity by my parents , we were Maharashtrians our caretaker as kids was a Marathi lady we called Aiee .or Mother.And she was like our mother keeping us alive with stories of Shivaji Maharaj and Marathi Asmita.

So my thoughts now at the age of 58 reflect her teachings her upbringing , and that is visible in the pictures I shoot of all faith including the Hijras.

And I don't blame Facebook friends even Shias from my community who knock me of from their Friends list the day I post too many hijra links as my wall posts..

And I have a Naga Sadu Guru , I have a Hijra Guru I have a Sufi Guru I have a Christian Guru..and I never needed a Shia Guru because I follow Imam Ali from the time I entered my mothers womb.

And so back to beggars and this bearded Moslem beggar in particular he told me his son was a beggar too.. in bad shape and God save them both.

Beggary in mot cases is a profitable option of survival, I once politely told a Moslem beggar lady why she did not do domestic chores she looked at me as though I was insane and told me she made more money as a beggar and was happy in more ways than one.

And than this morning I shot the creative works of children bought up in a AIDS environment , some of them are HIV positive , some are here where I shot their work because their parents are HIV positive and I would have never shot them anyway , as the stigma attached to AIDS ..they were so excited seeing me in my fancy dress rings etc, they kept touching me as though I was some apparition or ghost, and they saw me shooting their works on the wall, not one of them said Uncle take my picture..a foreboding thought even as a poet.

They were Moslems Hindus Christians among these kids but they were human , they seemed happy because they were flocked with their own.. this is one photo shoot I will never forget in my life..and when actors get their pictures taken with the cancer kids I think it is the greatest insult to Humanity ...

So as a blogger a mere picture of a Moslem beggar can take you from one layer to the next , from one thread of thought to another...yes I shoot beggars because as poet I am a beggar too their karmic existence connecting with my own..

And I dont sell my pictures forget hijra pictures or beggar pictures.