Sunday, May 25, 2014
This is the rustic part of Bandra also known as gaothan, once a predominantly East India commune of fisher folks ..and much of this land surrounding areas belonged to the once famous De Monte family that is why the lane ahead is called
De Monte street .. our first Bandra house was here at De Monte Street .. we moved here after the riots from our pagdi Khar house at Danpada Khar Danda.
This is a very peaceful area quiet and tranquil. Nothing has changed here , the crosses , that mark this East Indian pride ..they still have Novenas here and most of the time this peace has been disturbed by those representing the law wanting to demolish the ancient heritage crosses so this time I am sure even the Christian community went for change and development .
This sadly is the most neglected part of Bandra the so called Queen of the Suburbs.
I am taking a break from beggars I must have depressed you all quiet a bit..but as I blog my backyard the beggars become a vital part of the road map of Bandra.
As a photographer I documented this area extensively its cosmopolitan beauty and secular texture of tolerance and mutual coexistence..
thanks to our elected representatives
bandra bazar road resonates explodes
the filthiest area dirtiest surroundings ..
neglect apathy ..open gutters overflow
the bandra bazar cries ..curses for being
given this step motherly treatment with
head bowed its east indian humility its
gaothan heritage overshadowed a pain
that resides within ancient houses portico-ed ..once god lived here fled forever
for his crosses being demolished ..his pain
still echoes ..lost illusions like never before
after the elections
the drubbing colossal defeat
various heads angry for having
lost their deposits their old seats
under the high command convulsively
meet ..the fans whirling above sweaty
faces downbeat .hurling abuses
at those turncoats rebels those
undercover cheats ..kaun babega bakra
they all get cold feet ..agli bar an abusive
word to their ears or even acche din
ayenge they dare not repeat ..
janta maf nahi karegi...they look at each other a campaign the last nail in their
coffins circle complete ..accidentally
a child offered a toffee to the neta he
went virulent threw it at the childs feet
our political scenario words you spew
words you swallow words you are forced
to eat..you fell because of your arrogance
your disconnect with the public your pride
your wallowing conceit ..
Most of my beggar pictures are shot at Bandra , mostly during the two Eids , this was shot at Bakra Eid 2009..
And during Eid after the namaz the Muslim beggars and even other beggarsdressed with a head scarf and a hijab stand for alms I know they are not Muslims but on this day every thing is forgiven..
Necessity is the mother of Invention and wearing the Hijab to beg is no big deal nowadays the Hijab is used by criminals to rob and steal, and everyone thsart wears a hijab and sits on the rocks off Carter Road pursuing their sexual escapade are not just Muslims .
The Niqab is the finest example and less cumbersome and used by most girls when they are out with their Romeos .
But I guess I am digressing this is a beggar post and it is about the tragedy of being a beggar on the streets ..
During Eid we have beggars knocking our doors asking for alms food , and than we have the Muslim white collar beggars with fat receipt books asking for more money to build a mosque or a Madrsa in Uttar Pradesh..
Than we have the Kashmiri migrant beggars pleading for help with their families and half a dozen children it is sad.
You cant wish them away ..try as much as you want ..
I told Marziya Shakir to shoot him , and what did she see , she saw what all of us have no time to see she saw a larger picture a vast canvas ,, she saw an old man product of Muslim society , a war veteran of life who lay injured bruised on the street side , waiting to be seen by someone..
He is a beggar and a few coins wont even give him a decent lunch.. and I wish the Congress motormouths had seen all this ..but beyond their glorified cjamchas and sycophants they see nothing they did not even see defeat lurking nearby ,, and now they are not even left with toffess in their hands .
This is the dark side of Bandra where I live , the filthiest dirtiest area and mind you ministers of the Congress dont live here it is their extended vote bank ,.. further from where I stay are the larger vote banks of rad the names Rajeev Nagar Indiraji Nagar and the eponymous Nargis Dutt Nagar .. Nargis Dutt was Mother India mother of Sanjay Dutt Namrata and Priya Dutt our ex MP..a very clean honest sincere person let down by her own part coterie ..
I stitched her father Mr Sunil Dutt saab suits .. once upon a time ..before he passed away leaving his legacy his love bequeathing his political responsibility to Priya Dutt ..and she just blew it in the Winds .
The voter Madam is no more dumb his pain is wide awake you never realized it .
I wish you well through a picture shot by a child ..see his eyes deep inside is the fear of living not death.. you guys lost touch with humanity and poetic justice .
What I am going to tell you on this hot humid Sunday might sound highly unbelievable ,but this world is rotten .
Once you have the urge of making money by hook or by crook than nothing stands in the way , not even human values ,.
I used to see a man who looked like a drunkard begging with a child with a burnt leg and a prescription , demanding money at the Sahiban circle Pali Road Turner Road junction ..I got out of my ricksha and told him this was cruelty , he ran away but such is the state of beggary where the child is the victim or the means for making money .
This child I shot at Dongri has a badly burnt leg I dont know the story behind it nor do I ask , but anything is possible in the beggar world in most cases run by the Beggar Mafia.
Little kids are exploited by their parents guardians , beaten burnt made to beg at traffic signals ..and a lot of sexual abuse too I am sad and the kids have no escape.
I use my camera and try to reach out those dark areas but I cant do more than that .. there was a time the elder beggars at Turner Road Traffic signal had warned me not to shoot their wards with dire consequences but I continued.
I try not to talk much on my pictures but someone has to do something.. every one is hand in glove even the authorities know it , but our system is corrupt inherently and nothing much can come out of it..
Good salaries good perks better standard of living to the policemen would bring corruption down but there is huge talk but no police reforms ..thereby giving birth to rogue cops all cops are certainly not crooks ..
And I will have to discontinue this beggar narration and pictures as I will be adding a new set late evening.. hopefully .
So photography is a curse and a boon.. it holistically heals it informs it has a social purpose and it is hardcore evidence that is why they dont want photography in many places where they site various reason..but the main reason is not get caught with their hands in the cookie jar and get exposed.
I think we photographers have a responsibility and trust me truthfulness dedication pays in the end.
Those masters who taught me photography , taught me the holistic reach of photography and it is this power of truth I taught my grand children when I began teaching them this medium at a very early age.
There are beggars during Ramadan I broke fast with them and I was touched by their humility ..I learnt a lot from beggars .
we are alll beggars in one way or another .
we beg from God and God begs from us ..our godliness to add to his humanity.
I have some great friends on Flickr and I thank them for their comments encouragement and at times can go in depth as I type with one finger that accuses me of hard labor grudgingly I think.
There is so much I want to do learn but time is short , I want to runaway but than I am a mystic caught by the tale of my tragedy of unliving.
Now I will feed Marziyas flowerhorns .. black ghosts , I clean the tanks almost every day ..and than water and feed her community of Java finches .
And I miss all 3 of them on summer vacation Marziya Nerjis and Zinnia.
So a blog serves as catharsis empties out the tank of residual remorse ..
i am the living dead
my pain you see
you have read
thanks to your
i am fed .
i beg and earn
god i am tired
my flesh withering
my slowly dying soul
underfed ..i follow
where i am lead
to your mercy
i bow my head
a very young age
i was wed
me of my youth
my beauty he
the poison that
he instilled in me
I always carried my camera to work at my old workplace on Bandra Hill Road and I never had to stalk people I shoot they just appeared from nowhere .. and I captured them along with their souls .
I took as many shots the advantage of having a Flickr pro.. unlimited uploads ..
And I shot the streets and the Muslim beggars , it was this segment that I needed to showcase , the minority that even God does not appease let aside political parties ..
What is the future of these beggars who come from far flung suburbs to Bandra west ,,here alms food is guaranteed .
There are lot of generous folks out there ..
who help these beggars in cash and kind .
Will her daughter end up being a beggar too , this is the sad part of shooting beggars ..what is her future , early marriage and than what ?..
Who marries a beggar , and what can she give as dowry ..because a beggar who marries her will also ask for perks ..
Honestly I dont want to get into all these question answer sessions , that is why most of my colored original images are free of text , just a picture and tags and title and the set that it has been placed in..
295,584 photos private and public from 10 June 2007 till date ..
views today 54,754
views yesterday 40,959
views all time 27,868,573
My world as I captured it ..earlier I shot a lot not anymore ..now I dont leave home with my camera ..only if there is a feast and only if I am invited I go and shoot it .
or I use my mobile phone Motorola G
And I am a blogger more than a photographer or a poet , I shoot to blog . I am a photo blogger we are lower down the order among the so called fine art photographer the holier than thou media photographers god handpicked them and sent them on earth..and we bloggers can shoot without cameras , the media photographer needs it without it he would be emasculated forever ..ha ha
And photography blogging must have a purpose otherwise it is doodling for fucksake ..I taught my grandkids that when they shoot a picture they create hope , they create a sense of purpose that may have been a void before they shot it..
I demystified the camera for them... I made them shoot pictures with a blindfold I made them add light to darkness ..
lives hanging on a thread of despair
existence very stark...human puppets
trying to make their mark ..waiting
to disembark from a leaking noahs
ark..silence a code of their doomed
destiny pain their trademark
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