Thursday, July 24, 2014
i shoot beggars
all size all shape
society shut mouth
they only talk about
chapatis random rape
From the day I first traveled to Ajmer and the numerous trips almost every year till this year , the difficulties , the hardships , and the beauty of this rustic travel barefeet as a beggar to the kingdom of Khwajah Garib Nawaz,,
The people I met the hijras who begged recognized me , touched my feet took my blessings , some paid me money to place at the Shrine of the Holy Saint, some fed me and this is all because of one word ,,, Yeh Toh Khwajah Ka Karam Hai..
Nisbet Mili Hai Jab Se Tere Nam Ki Izzat Badi Hai Is Ghulam Ki..
And I left everything behind shooting documenting an Ajmer not seen in travel brochures .. I shot the unseen Ajmer , I shot all this thanks to Khwajah Garib Nawaz and My Host Mentor Peersab Fakhru Miya Hujra no 6 I lived in his private quarters every year I visited Ajmer Sharif and his hospitality is what Chishtiya order is all about an extension of Hussainiyat.. Hope and Humanity ,
And it was Khwajah Garib Nawaz the greatest follower of the path Of Imam Hussain ..he was the only one who embedded what no ruler could have ever done in the history of India..
The words on the Bulund Darwaza
Shah hast Hussain, Badshah hast Hussain
Deen hast Hussain, Deen Panah hast Hussain
Sar daad na daad dast, dar dast-e-yazeed,
Haqqaa key binaaey 'La ila' hast Hussain"
Ruler is Hussain, Emperor is Hussain,
Faith is Hussain , guardian of faith is Hussain .
Offered his head and not the hand to Yazid.
Truly, the mirror of faith is Hussain
Street photographers who incorrigibly shoot beggars , rob peoples soul,,and most beggars genuine or professionals believe so despite the fact we give them money , once a beggar gave me 10 bucks for shooting him and had the cheek to tell me ..to give him a glossy copy as he did not like mat.
The hijras firmly believe photographers are the greatest evil the camera a witchcraft tool that robs soul and hides them in old booze bottles . Now dont laugh when I am serious , I have had innumerable fights with the hijras hiding my gonads the way footballers do when Messi takes a free kick.
Bawas Rifais too hate photographers , even though I studiously dress like them it beats me . so now I make my grand daughter shoot them , they ridicule her and she shoots them better than me.
I shot beggars their tales must be told .and as nobody shoots them irrespective of them being pricey I shoot them candidly and stealthily .
I blog with my own pictures I would lose my authenticity if I needed another persons picture to convey my thoughts and most bloggers dont value original content beats me.
My pictures are my blogs their parentage comes from my being I bough them to life on the soul of cyberspace.
I have not shot the foodlanes of Mumbai and I am happy Assad Dadan with his mirrorless Canon is doing a terrific job he makes even shit street food look edible and he is a self learner ..I have requested him to come and shoot my flowrhorns as I was advised astonishingly Acche Photo Khench Aur Flickr Nahi Quikr Par Bech ,,I cant shoot my flowerhorns they are too fast for me 7 of them of the highest imported breed .
I shot this in 2011.. but it could be 2012 2013 and even 2014 .
Nothing changes we as Indians hate change , it disturbs the quaint poetry of our distorted souls .
As a street photographer I shoot the underbelly of unforgotten unforgiving pain..it is cosmically laid out for me to shoot and God also knows I dont just shoot with my eye but with my camera too.
And I am drawn to Ajmer I have been broke but I made it to Ajmer once I sold my 80-200 2.8 lens to make this trip sounds ludicrously stupid ..so life works in strange when you are doomed to call yourself a beggar poet.
Street photography is the mother of picture making , the shot the timing the opportune alignment of a moment with the disembodied spirit.
And you should not what to shoot and what not to shoot I use my inner reflexes I dont even know why I shoot what I did not need to shoot but like this picture it comes back from the past craving to be seen and be read poetically . provided you read prose as poetry with your eyes closed.
My patron Peersaab Fakhru Miya always told me buy a small place live close to me and the truth of your silhouette , but I am a seaside urban insect I would die wither away without Mumbai so wherever I go I carry a bit of Mumbai with me and that is my camera cosmic eye , we give flow fluidity to a common street scene we uplift it from the street to your esteemed consciousness we shoot a picture you make it a street photography moment in your head .does it make sense .. senselessness is street photography..
Now I shoot the streets every time I step out of my house my humble mobile phone records the moment for me easily without inconvenience .
I could never blog without a picture it would be lifeless you have to read me through my picture it is the bookmark of my rapidly changing thoughts.
My grandchildren all three are not well virus fever , rains and I miss Nerjis s banter more than anything..she came just now with Marziya and said Grandpa I cant drink cold water I am not well I said Yes ,, but I can drink the water from the frig..I said no that is cold too...
So I gain wisdom from kids ,,sometimes crass stupidity becomes a wiser thought than the wise mans fumbling for truth..
My laptop is not well too , my son spent time to get it working and I am using my typing finger as though it is walking over embers of hot charcoal.
It will die without warning it did last night .
for the stray dogs everyone cares
urchins beggar kids abuse and swear
kick them beat them caught in a snare
dirty faces snotty noses disheveled hair
education does not calm the fire in the belly
tattered clothes they wear..
welcome to the city of Garib Nawaz .. heartless Ajmer
the apathetic politicians have no time to spare ..to
make this city of peace hope love ,,beautiful
heal and repair .drug addicts move about openly
of pickpocketeers robbers thieves beware ,,
there are so many beautiful things
to be shot why do you shoot beggars
he was very upset use your camera to
capture the beauty of the sunset
chirping birds feeding their babies
in the nest .shoot that little chubby
boy dancing in the rain all wet
shoot happy things shoot joy bliss
roses magnolias shot cats dogs
other pets but stop shooting
disfigured leprous faces ..posting
their pictures on the net you give
a bad name to our beautiful country
a thought i detest he said
sanctimonious his face all red.
.i duly apologized to him forcing
him to eat his words like burnt
chappatis while he was fasting did
not enter my head .. it was my
camera my optical illusions ..i used
as imagery instead of text..
the situation was very complex
than he said why did i not shoot
the prettier sex ..from fashion
magazines editorials i could get
a fat cheque ...i hurriedly moved
away from him a pain in the ass
a pain in the neck..,a beggar poet
chaos confusion total wreck..
in my camera eye he saw a
branch but in his own eye
he failed to see the dirty speck
we all see things differently
what the heck.. the cataract
in my eye i must recheck
Dedicated to a friend in Montreal
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Insan Ko Bedar Ho Lene Do Har Qaum Pukaregi Hamare Hain Hussain , a photo by firoze shakir photographerno1 on Flickr.