Monday, July 21, 2014

This Was Shot On The First Day Of Ramzan 2011

I was bringing Marziya Shakir my grand daughter from her playschool , and these were tutorials , exposing her to street pain , she had inculcated the love of dogs , cats , goats as a 9 month old , but this was a serious level..the very poor downtrodden Muslim souls on the streets , faces covered with the hijab thereby saving the ignominy of being recognized as a beggar .

Most of these Muslim mother child came from far flung suburbs like Mumbra and strange even those days I never talked to them just  documented their life , gave them money or rather made Marziya hand over my money to them.

Marziya used to feed beggars on her birthday before this so she was aware of their life style..and these are all part of my Ramzan blogs from 2007 till 2014.

Now Marziya and I hardly go out , but I am sure she will remember all this and all this has given her a tender heart , she is sensitive to pain and feels it now.

So street photography in many ways became her text book at an early age , a camera is not a bag of heavy books on the already bent back of a child ,,I always felt if you taught a child photography even with a point and shoot camera  took her for an excursion she would learn much faster.

Moods Of Marziya Shakir

Marziya Shakir my first grand daughter was born at Holy Family Hospital 24 November 2007 .. I saw her on the second day at the hospital as there were complications at birth .her umbilical cord had choked her neck I am told .

So from that second day I began shooting her pictures , till the day she came home , I could not resist shooting her , every nuance every mood every detail .. I had never shot any of my kids simply because I was locked up like a genie in a bottle I was an alcoholic and children s birth or growth made no difference to me

But after giving up booze smoking and with the birth of Marziya life changed I found God had given me a second chance at parenting , and I exposed her to the streets , animals , beggars Appu , Moharam, every aspect of life and street life ,,

She was my lucky mascot , if she fell sick life became unendurable , and so from this grand daughter I began evolving , I documented her birthdays , her school life , her moods , and as she started growing , I cut down photographing her , her parents too did not want her exposed on the net.

Than came Nerjis and I shot her less , and Nerjis became the new chapter of my life , and than Zinnia and the pictures are a step to learning as I showed them their lifes album that I had collected for them ..Nerjis will want to see her first birthday or her mundan , and its all there a click away.

Zinnia my third grand child is prettiest and wittiest and though not influenced by my camera can shoot pictures assisted by me .

But all in all Marziya was the lucky talisman of our family she gave us the strength during bad times , good times , and now she is 6 very religious goes for her Koran lessons with her grand ma , and has become reserved ,, she takes care of her sisters .. and has a powerful bond with my wife.

So I always tell friends shoot their kids , so the kids can see moments , bought back to life ,, I could not bring my children s moments back to life but I have bought my grandchildren s moments as a storyboard of nostalgia.

God bestowed me the chance to be a grandfather .. I think I was plumb lucky.
(16 photos)

Teaching Photography To A Child

If you see Nerjis watching the photographer shoot us , you can understand her dilemma ,but the person who shot us was a passer by educated , perhaps not comfortable with the DSLR ..

And this was shot a long time back , when I whisked her away without informing her parents to Juhu Beach and I can only take her within the boundary of Bandra Bazar , no further ..

Now she is 3 year old with sophisticated camera etiquette not taught in camera manuals , first she places the camera strap around her neck, she than holds the camera sits down ladylike and takes her shot , she than checks the monitor , perhaps she is aping me in some ways .

She spots a picture and I let her shoot it , first it was tame stuff ,beggars , kids , than she shot St Peters Church the crosses at the Bazar , the Ganpati Pandals , the Ram Mandir ,,I let her love become a passion...from the day she was born I blessed her with the camera .

She is intuitive ,but more than taking pictures I taught her humility through the beggars and the poor kids in the slums ..I buy toys I ask her to give it to the poor kids , and I nurtured her as a little plant and I see her bloom each day..

So one thing is certain she will never become a Bigot , we have many around us ,she wont be a racist , and when she shot a Hijra for the first time I explained to her the meaning of respect for all.

So obviously with such human groundings I dont think she will ever join a camera club , and she meets the best international photographers who come home ,she knows Flickr Facebook , and most of all she knows the Internet ,,

Dada picture Internet par dal diya ,, these are her words ,, when she sees her images on my photostream.

I learnt photography very late in life ,,now through her I am unlearning everything all over again ..and it is No Fuck F Stops .

Home Is Where The Heart Is

its a home
airy roof
huge windows
 ..brick less doors
when it rains
they stay indoors
humility as its
core as they
they get
wet shiver
as it pours
but this home
paver floor
on the tree top
is their store
home sweet
home when
the winds roar
thank you god
for what you
have bestowed
for this natural
public abode
on good old
bandra hill road