Saturday, October 11, 2014

Happy Birthday Mr Mukul Anandji ..

Today is late director Mr Mukul Anands birthday ..I worked with him since Insaf and whatever I am today I owe a lot to him,, he was a great teacher , a great taskmaster and his contribution to Indian cinema is immense ,,

This was a picture shot on Mukuljis birthday hosted by producer Mr Nitin Manmohan many years back.

Happy Birthday To Mr Amitabh Bachchan From Bollywoods Most Wanted Designer No1

I have done Amitjis costumes in Lal Badshah and Bade Miya Chote Miya ,,

I Dont Shoot Beggars - Beggars Shoot Me

with their cosmic
eye attached to their
unending eternal
cosmic pain they
mute me silencing
me forever they
loot me of my
feelings my
emotions they
refute me
out of the blue
shoot me

The Wheel Chair Beggar Of Bandra

I talk less when I shoot more , I have a bad memory and I just cant remember names ..I have shot this person on the wheel chair but never talked to him till date ,, as photographer I simply dont have the killer instincts and I grapple with words when I write prose ..

I never would ask him why he is begging , what forced him to beg, what was that mighty calamity that threw him out on the streets ..who gave him the wheel chair .

Perhaps all this happens  as I shoot hurriedly , I do have beggar friends I have more beggar friends than I have friends ..

I connect with beggars because they know I care for them ,I give I dont scrounge,, so some of the beggars of Bandra Bazar are like family .. Khwajah Baba the senior most beggar in Bandra , was mighty pleased a few days back when Nerjis walked over to him gave him a tenner he kept on blessing her .

And I hardly take her out , ever since this dengue scare happened in Bandra .

So this beggar on the wheel chair near Anjuman Girls school at JJ Colony Bandra is an enigma .. with his bucket he watches the world pass him by .. and why I shot him I dont know I dont stalk beggars .. yesterday  being Friday there were a lot of burkha ladies begging in my lane I did not have my mobile phone or I would have shot them..

And you can be sure I wont ever publish a Coffee Table Beggars Book.. wouldn't want you to spill your coffee all over your shirt front,,for the same reason I will never publish a Hijra Coffee Table book.. I am the only one who shoots the anomalous soul of the Hijra along with his paper thin flesh.

And I began to write as a photographer I see an image and words flow out ,, seeking an outlet a path to your own soul and search..

I Am Often Told By The Sanctimonious Why Dont I Shoot Good Things About India

I do shoot good things too but than you should have good eyes to see them. I dont have that kind of money to visit the tourist spots of India ad I will die without seeing India .

I have yet to see India and I am 61 year old .. there are almost 90 % of the Indian states I have not seen I will go away without seeing them might be my only regret , my income is not from photography .. this is merely a social service and putting my camera to good use. Photography should have a purpose or it is meaningless .

I shoot religious diversity of India mostly in my backyard I shoot rituals culture and I do it to enlighten the world of our unity our oneness .I shoot all religions and sadly beggars are the only ethnic segment connected to all religion..  beggars dont seek God they get money they find God.

All the religious fairs Urus reuire beggars to complete the act of charity , re awaken compassion , and let us be human .. without beggars life of any  religious section wont be the same .

Beggars are irreplaceable ..beggary is big time business too, it has a demand and the supply comes easily as we are a poor nation , farmers who have survived suicide attempts in Maharashtra come down and beg in our great Mumbai city , and those Ministers that became big because of Mumbai fill the coffers of their hilly billy hometowns without caring for Mumbai , they build infrastructure big roads big schools big hospitals only for the rich folks ,, and mostly it is the poor that give to the poor the rich are not bothered by all this .. and Flipkart is not going to give anything to the poor ,, do rich industrialists have time to build free hospitals free schools  sorry they cater to their own rich community .

Beggars are human , beggary has robbed the soul of their self respect..I have seen educated people begging on the streets , there  are school kids who beg at Bandra Reclamation to supplement their familys income .

And this is the story of a beggar ,, it has a beginning but no end ... politicians become beggars during elections only ,, beg beg beg and than kick the bums of those who voted them to power ,, till the next time ,,? and honestly the voter is the biggest chutiya in this political drama ,, that comes on the big screen every 5 years ..Democracy needs to be revisited and revised made new Democracy is a greater nee to save India and a Swach Bharat ..Acche Diin ,,,

In India Begging Begins In The Womb,,,

There is no age restriction for a beggar or a beggars child ,, these are born to beg beggars and I am showcasing the beggars of Mumbai , mostly migrants who come with dreams in their eyes and begging requires no skill .. but as one begs it becomes a skill.

The beggar kids of Mahim Church are very glib , they can talk you out of their money , there are kids who are  good at touch begging I dont need to elaborate these are young pre pubescent girls  and I have shot them too.

Mumbai has a lot of beggars because Mumbai surely has a heart to give for whatever reason.

And Mumbai is an enigma if you are dying on the road nobody will come to your Help,, and we have a callous insensitive Police that considers even the person who Helps a person in a road accident as the main culprit must have knocked him they say .So mostly the Mumbaikar keeps away from all these situations .

Here in Mumbai I have lived since the age of 1 it is a Catch 22 situation ,,you give a lift to a girl she will cry out Rape till you pay her off ,, danger lurks on the streets .

Most of the beggars are police informers too, and most of the beggar kids work as informers for the carjacking Mafia .. that is why you have cars disappearing from the  roads off St Michael Church Mahim.

I have met almost all kinds of beggars as a photographer I have documented them see them closely ,, they are humans living in total degradation ,, the new born baby in this beggar tribe is the main source of income .

The child is hired out , and there is good money , as children get more alms than the adults , the adults in the tribe  gamble drink do drugs and fornicate , there maybe child prostitution too the girls become pregnant and are hidden from public.. once the child is born it is merely a commodity ,,

I documented all this once at the Turner Road Traffic Signal Bandra , this beggar nomadic tribe lived close to my house on a mound near Rang Sharda.

Than they split some girls pose as Hijras clapping their hands and beg at Linking Road , the moment they see me they run , these are kids I know since they were toddlers .

There is love stories among these beggars too , young couple  falling in love at the traffic signal, the parents dont mind provided  there is a child in this arrangement the new born child is the money spinner .. he keeps money coming in.

This lady with her child is from one such beggar tribe I shot her near the infamous Shastri Nagar slums of Bandra abutting the railway tracks .

Eid is a day for beggars to work hard and catch the prospective generous soul and let the money keep coming in .. mostly they get coins as these Muslims are mostly poor too workers and laborers .

So the child that begs early learnt the tricks of the trade in his mothers battered womb.. and he comes out with his hands stretched and the eponymous beggars bowl.

Most Of The Muslim Women Are Forced To Beg By Their Good For Nothing Husbands

I dont think for the Muslim woman begging is a profession of her choice , but I have over the years seen once they start begging than getting them out of the begging syndrome is very difficult ..

I have seen the Muslim woman begging with her children and the cunning husband keeping an eye on her from far and I shot his wife and his children..and because the girl child girl woman is a liability to the overburdened parents they get her married to get rid of her , and she may end up either with an old divorcee or  end up  as a wife of a petty thief , gambler robber , whatever and it could be worse than mere begging..

There are guys who get married and dump the wife in a brothel selling her for a good amount and these are not just  stories but the truth and Muslim society can do nothing about it has too problems of its own the clergy in most cases is busy trying to get hands on properties of the Wakf Board ,, I mean its total chaos and there is no platform for these women to approach , and the greatest curse is the Triple Talaq among the Sunni sect ,,

So shooting beggars is shooting their pain and trying to tell it through a single frame ,,I am not a social activist , photography is a hobby and not my source of income ,, I have begged in Ajmer with the beggars , given what I earned to them and I know the degradation , eating left overs with them , it is sad and demeaning .

Neither am I a story teller but it kills me when a beggar family tells me to find a groom for their comely child , half woman half child giggling at me with her siblings ,, and I am barefeet , a strange beggar in beggar land .

And after the Namaz gets over there is a mad rush to grab the men , women children holding him to get their Eid baksheesh ,, and this lady veiled crying out to Allah to ask his followers to empty their stingy pockets ,, yes most Muslims are stingy but give reluctantly to save their souls during Eid ,,

Press Photographers Dont Shoot Beggars It Would Humiliate Them In The Eyes Of Their Camera

This is the Eid Namaz , the photographer in the frame is checking on what he shot , he will now train his camera on the Eid Poster kids that is the picture to please all the chutiyas who read newspapers .. that is the picture the photo editor wants ,, thats the brief.

I have no editorial constrains but yes I self moderate my thoughts and my vision when it transforms itself to the poetry of my soul .. The beggar woman in the picture first came to me I gave her Rs 50..than she thought she would try her luck with the next photographer .. I leave it to your sense sensibility ,, how really cares for Muslims beggars not even Muslim society with heavy hearts of stone ..

After namaz the rush is to reach home get over with the Qurbani give the goatskin to the Mosque and meat to the neighbors ,,, and close relatives .

And I come twice an year here not just to shoot the spiritual calisthenics of the Namaz but emotions feelings and whiff of sadness where the beggars are concerned and this place is full of cops top cops ..but the beggars are allowed this day to beg or normally if caught they have to pay a stiff fine of Rs 1200 or be sent to a  beggars home ..

And through body language I also know which veiled woman is a Hindu begging as a Muslim..and I know most of the beggars in Bandra dont blame me blame my camera.

As A Photographer I Steal The Cosmic Soul Of The Beggars I Shoot

snatching her soul
from the folds of
her veil  her face
deathly pale .her
wretched body frail
her inner screams
her inhuman wails
her god sees her
from afar watches
her in her worldly
jail when the namaz
gets over she will
beg from this bastion
male ..who will rush
home the qurbani to
be done friends to
be regaled - through
the words of my poem
a moment set sails

Nobody is bothered about the fallen Muslim woman a common sight ever Eid after Namaz .. a wall she must scale
the story of a Muslim woman her hope derailed .. to her fate
hung  crucified nailed .

Being a minority unlike the Parsi or the Jain the Muslim woman betrayed slaughter like the goat on a large scale