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Showing posts from May 23, 2014

Muslim Beggars from Murshidabad

These are beggars hailing from Mushidabad West Bengal they live in the distant suburbs but come to beg in the slums of Bandra West .

Those living in the slums here are better off and have better living conditions , they have in their hard times seen bad days , so they are generous to these migrant beggars of Bengal .They give them money old clothes and left over food.


Most of these beggars come to Mumbai during the holy month of Ramzan.. make sufficient money and head back to their hometowns .

Most of the migrant beggars pay protection money to the local hoodlum it is alleged , and theirs is a tough life and honestly who really cares about beggars .

Photography made me see the other side of the spectrum of pain , photography made me a writer and a word juggler of sorts , humbly making me a beggar poet..

And do these beggars know why I am shooting them, earlier when I shot beggars my detractors thought I make money selling their pictures this was the general opinion otherwise why woul…

I Shot Death Before He Revisited The Same Place

This was shot when he was painfully alive , his lifeline was the hooch shop near my house that I told you about , he begged to drink and drink he did , you can see his silent unspeakable artificial leg .

I once had a fight with him , he was creating nuisance I went to hit him but than cooled down , later I tried to beg forgiveness from myself .

We never talked he would see me mutter inanities sitting on the garbage mound ,I dont know his name , but he was an iconic beggar cum drunkard of Bandra Bazar Road .. and I archived his existence and his death .. he just died into oblivion never to be seen or heard again.

His last days were very bad and it was about three years back when my friend Glenn shot him too I felt guilty giving him money but I did ,,I did not want Glenn to oblige him..

Having been an alcoholic myself I understood his urge , his withdrawl and the after effects of his surging dependence on hooch..he never bathed
at all, he was ugly as hell he came to my area imprinted h…

Was It Fear In His Eyes ..

what was it i stood mesmerized
what had i captured a moment
on the shores of time capsized
now trying to introspect i realize
i shot his past present future
hidden behind veiled eyes
his mothers agony his mothers
angst her sufferings her sacrifice
her faceless sorrow tears dried
her humility her religiosity
her humanity ..to suffice
pictures return as stories
though elusive hope flies

a reworked art of living
giving from my archives

the flesh was unwilling the spirit strives

Yes I Am A Beggar Born

“The garden of the world has no limits, except in your mind.”
― Rumi


from a mothers defeated womb
into a defeated world i was born
when i opened my eyes the nectar
of mothers womb was gone
a darkness enveloped hope
as my mother helplessly
clutched the dying dawn
begging hands she had
unintentionally spawned
battered beaten scorned
hiding her inherent shame
in veiled captivity ..a breathing
rose clinging to a thorn ..
as she moves on and on
from one door to another door
on my cheated fate she mourns

Misplaced Motherhood On The Block

“Whoever finds love
beneath hurt and grief
disappears into emptiness
with a thousand new disguises”
― Rumi

standing at the market place
like a wave kissing the rock
she wonders about her life
she takes stock....she falters
in silence her pain she hawks
she has not eaten her child
is hungry pleadingly knocks
on the shut doors of humanity
that you have suddenly locked
in the name of Allah the Great
his mercy she seeks she talks

One among many of his lost flock

Beggars Are Born Dreamers

When a man cannot put up a fight , when his world crashes , when he loses it all , the earth beneath his feet slides away than comes the pain of unliving ..

Begging is not easy as one thinks it when the soul of self respect is usurped snatched away leaving behind the fleshy husk at the mercy of nature and its surroundings.

A lot of beggars I shot have disappeared into oblivion , most of them afraid of the last breath of life take to drinking and a hooch joint close to my house and the garbage dump and this wall is soul searching ones dreams.

This guy had artificial legs drank hollered but was once said to be from an affluent family ..he begged at the bazar and  the drug addicts robbed his artificial leg , he was left on a mound with stumps..

I shot him a lot , as this was in front of my old workplaces .. here too I was visited by hijra impostors beggars  dressed as women with one eunuch in their group to add to their impersonation..

And Bandra Bazar road the market area is the uglies…

Ramzan Mubarak Aya Ramzan Mubarak Aya

This was shot many years back during the holy month of Ramadhan and the title says , the Holy Month of Ramadhan Has Arrived

And for the beggars it is the advent of spring soaked in the seasonal spirituality of faith and hope.

It is this month that charity reigns supreme , only this month sadly , the most significant month of introspection piety and all good things on earth.

Beggars look forward to this holy month and the offerings are good , people give , and they give generously.such is the nature of mans spirituality..

Early morning the roza or fast begins and this is known as sairi  late in the evening the roza or fast comes to n end known as the iftar..

And it is this iftar time the local mosues the markets bazars see a horde of beggars
waiting for charity , people buy the iftar fruits dates etc , ,,and some handover a bit to them.money or in kind.

The rich take care of the poor the poor take care of the very very poor..

The air during Ramadhan is fragrant laden with overwhelming…

The Haunting Face Of Misery

born a girl child
a beggar she was
destined to be
robbed of her
right to education
her fundamental
right to smile
to play enslaved
held in captivity

will she ever be free
no -early matrimony
to an old man or
 a drunkard
a few kids divorced
on the road she will be
like her mother
her cosmic pain
her ancestry

a few coins
they call it charity

being a poor
deprived muslim
is carrying the
crucifix from
birth to eternity

her haunting image
as words to my poetry
her silence the soul
of my street photography

Ma Acche Din Kab Ayenge

kya yeh hame kuch batlayenge
ke yeh bhi auron ki trah hame
bhul jayenge . ma kab tak yeh
hath ham phelayenge ..
kab tak ham bhikari kehlayenge

ma bolona acche din kab ayenge

Muslim Beggar Woman

Knock, And He'll open the door
Vanish, And He'll make you shine like the sun
Fall, And He'll raise you to the heavens
Become nothing, And He'll turn you into everything.”
― Rumi

I am not a face reader , nor do I read books I once did voraciously deliriously , chimeric-ally maybe reading all those books helped ..my pictures in introspection are Dickensian , they tell you the garrulous nature of life and the struggle to remain afloat.

I hardly talk to the Muslim lady beggars I shoot , I shoot and than the poetry of Life fills in the blanks.

Perhaps if I was a woman I would have sat with her asked her about her pain her tribulations ..why was she begging what went wrong how did the wires snap.

While shooting Men Muslim beggars I keep my distance never try to get curious I just shoot and offer them help if necessary .

I a good at reading body language so I know a professional beggar from a mile and having shot so many beggars I know the vocabulary of their angst and pain.

The Muslim Beggar Girl

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I'll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.”
― Rumi

The season of beggars is not spring or autumn , it is Ramzan our very holiest month , a month of piety , introspection and much more .

I used to fast , shoot the street scenes the Iftar , Sairi at my house but than my gallbladder stones put stop to my rozas its been two years now.

Ramzan is a very soul satisfying month and it is a lucrative month for beggars , finally God answers their prayers through the kindness shown to them by the people at large ,Ramzan touches the non Muslim too in more ways than one .

And Ramzan in the Bandra slums is a month of happiness despite sufferings and their impoverished lives , the poor serve the much poorer ..

I shot all this as sets , than clustered them together for easy access at Flickr ..the aroma of food , dates , the awakeners who wake up people to begin their fasts .


And R…

The Muslim Beggar Girl ..

I shot this a long time back, most beggar children irrespective of their caste color or creed are fascinated by the camera , it is as though they give you access to enter their souls and if possible steal it too.

Her mother must have been around and I have myself come a long way since I shot this picture , the milk was given to her by the  Nagori Muslim milkshop next to my old workplace ..a workplace that was a stopping place for beggars , naga sadhus , hijras and urchins from Turner Road.

I was generous too , gave them money , took their pictures and they would enter my workplace too see my old camera collection , all displayed instead of textiles and later sold for a measly sum when bad times came ..

The Naga Sadhus strangely came to see me before going on a pilgrimage and to bum me for beads and bangles ..some cheap stuff that I kept to use in film work.

I shot a lot including the serial train blast at Bandra Mahim Matunga .. and came and posted the same from my workplace in the w…