Saturday, October 25, 2014
"SIR: Poseyal : KNIGHT of the DESPOSYNI Pro User says:
glad we are friends
so how much for you to print me a 11x14 of this and ship it o me with a poem?
basking in the sun
out of door
he has finished
on a burning floor
in new orleans
across the shore
on wings of fancy
he loves to soar
his poetic heart
on the soul
he loves to pour
of the mind
pain of living
prevention is better
there is no cure
you cant ignore
on a mumbai
After I had shot him several years back at Mount Marys back steps I never saw him again .
And these are nameless beggars I shot impulsively , I shot them because their lives will never change , they will be begging from one day to the next ,, will there be a ministry of beggars homeless destitute ,, Never .
Beggars are part of our piety , we need beggars to blackmail God who created them , we give alms and hope to get an account of every coin we give ,,this is how I see it ,
I know of people rich who gave away everything and became beggars themselves .. living among beggars and watching the vagaries of the rich man from the poor mans end.
The largest number of beggars I saw at Ajmer Urus seeking alms in the name of the Sufi Saint Khwaja Garib Nawab , his very name suggest the The Holy Saint Of The Poor.
I have begged at the Kumbh with my Naga Sadhu Guru and it is a unique feeling devoid of that egoistic Self ,, eating leftovers as he took me from door to door to beg ,,that was my lessons in humility .
Than begging with the Sufi mendicants body piercing order of Rifais ..I had to become a part of the people I shot , and the money I got I gave to the Murshad ..
And I still have a beggar bowl given to me by a Sufi old monk , he gave it to me and said this bowl will be part of your spiritual destiny .. collect tears in it , as they fall from a Mothers eyes , the Mother of Hussain and the start of Moharam from today ,, brings tears to my eyes too..
And these are old archive images I am bringing out from a treasure chest of memories ..giving them a new lease as BW ..adding my restless angst.. I dont need a camera to shoot images I create imagery with a click of my mouse ,,and one working finger of a damaged hand.
I will be shooting Moharam in Hyderabad the city of love hope and Humility , the Hindus Of Hyderabad their love for Hussain , pulls me towards this city of Pearls ..I have never seen such austerity impassioned love for tears for Hussain.
And this time accompanying me are two world famous photojournalists who want to shoot the Shia ethos of Hussain .I dont know them , we met on Flickr and photographers are a Brotherhood beyond color caste or creed ..we create flowers of Peace from a digital seed ..
And on Day of Ashura
I shall Bleed .. cursing
with my Blood on the
Accursed Soul of Yazid
I am a storyteller and all my stories are pictures of people I shot as they touched me on my journey of Life that I call poetry of Life .
I met Appu this piece of human torso without hands or legs at Chor Bazar many years back . and we became friends I shot him on my trips every Friday at Chor Bazar and he was an iconic beggar a landmark so to speak,
Than in 2008 I took my American friend Dr Glenn Losack to Mahim and he was stupefied by Appu , Appu touched him perhaps like no beggar did and Appu does not plead and beg like other beggars he sits silently you offer him something he accepts humbly.
Than Appu met my granddaughter Marziya Shakir she was about 15 month old and Marziya till date has never forgotten him .. I have not seen Appu for two years now ..I searched for him at his old haunts but no luck.
Appu is from Assam he is a Muslim but I never asked him how he lost his hands or legs ,, I shoot pictures you fill in the blanks ,,Appu is a photo set at my Flickr photo stream, Appu in the rains at the Shia cemetery , Appu trying to fight a goat at Chor Bazar , Appu with Marziya , Appu with me , Appu with Glenn Losack ..and Appu taught me to walk, as my tribute to Appu I walked barefeet for many years despite my diabetic condition.. I still walk barefeet during religious feasts that I shoot in Mumbai or other parts of India .
Appu is a mans story his fight for survival and all those big fat rich Muslims who buy a dozen goats to appease God and his Holy Prophet wont buy him a prosthetic ,, this is misplaced Muslim charity in more ways than one ,,
I give Appu whatever I can I give him hope I give him respect . and he stands for resilience and resurgence of our indomitable Indian human spirit .
At Chor Bazar a lot of old religious photos , frames posters are available on sale sourced by the Gujrati Vagri community from old houses , old shops etc.. all this is than sold to Chor Bazar dealers who buy old stuff ,
This was a poster and I liked it immensely Lord Shivas youth , his posture and Goddess Parvati watching him coyly from a distance .,,
Once upon a time I bought a lot of old classics , rare books from Chor Bazar including old cameras I had 275 old camera and as I could not manage them and times were bad I sold it to a fried for peanuts.
I still have the old books , old negatives , slides and prints that wife wants me to dispose off but I am still holding on to them..
Chor Bazar was a Nasha , a high I visited every Friiday come what may and than one day I suddenly stropped its been over 8 to 9 years now ..
Along with Chor Bazar I visited the Kamatipura Friday flea market haven't been there since ages now ..
Every picture has a tale to tell
I have been shooting street barbers , barbers on the move who cut your hair , and move on to the next client on the street ..they lead a tough life searching for clients among the poor and the working labor class .
This was shot at Kamatipura close to the redlight area ..the brothel lanes of Mumbai city .
He has has stall close to a tea shop , so he gets good work and takes part in the gossip of his clients and tea drinkers .
People hardly shoot these street barbers who do a great service to society and their contribution to the poor class is immense to say the least , most of these barbers also do circumcision and mundan or religious tonsure ,
of heat humidity
bad to worse
the poor in the
slums get to
thirst shot from
a cab in which
at a traffic signal
my camera reached
These are scavenger girls , who used to pick up odds ends refuse at Chor Bazar the Market of Thieves .
Metal parts , other stuff that they sell and get money , I never saw these girls again but than I stopped going to Chor Bazar completely or every Friday I would go to Chor Bazar to pick up old cameras old books and antique jewelry and shoot the surroundings ,
Like these girls there are also little boys who work as scavengers but soon get into drugs and sniffing polish and its a sad fall..
And who really cares about these kids not society that will soon shun them and force them with this alienation to become anti social elements , most of these young boys are pulled into drug peddling , stealing , pick pocketing..
Most of these kids are pushed into begging for the beggar mafia ,,
This one image really pulled at my guts when I shot it many years back at Chor Bazar.
Girls are more vulnerable as the flesh market of Foras Road Peela House Kamatipura and Shuklaji Street is a walking distance from Chor Bazar.
begging on the
streets in guttered
living on mounds
of fetid slime
hope in every
coin every dime
forced to commit
eagerly for good
times while they
build new mosques
new madrsas bearded
men in noble robes
their thoughts sublime
shooting out fatwas
as pastime ..the poor
age fade away in their
prime a long upward
task a very steep climb
good times arrive
the common man
will clean india
get rid of corruption
scams crooked leaders
if mother india has to
survive ,,or will dreams
before they are fulfilled
nosedive . another mantra
to be archived ..economy
good living a dead body
needs to be revived ..
we need to strive ..
high five ..
Maria and both Mary are coverts they became Christians . but has the conversion helped , I dont know they are both begging on the streets , perhaps the only saving grace is that Maria's grandchildren wont have to beg at all..
I have been documenting Marias life since many years , and ever since the monsoons set in Maria has left Mumbai , her sores her leprous condition gets worse her body parts start falling in the heavy rains .so Maria has given her place to her daughter Mary who begs outside a Sunni Mosque dressed as a Muslim , with a head scarf and I pass her on my way to work , always inquiring about Maria..I give her money too.. though she never asks me for a penny.
My grandchildren know Maria , both have shot Maria , and respect her a lot , teaching both my grandchildren to use the camera was to bring them closer to God through Humanity ,,
The colors of Religion certainly teach you God but nothing about this humanity of beggars lepers and the rest.
So Marziya now and Nerjis now 3 both Canon users shoot Maria like me .. Maria has empty sockets for eyes but the sound of my feet and she knows I am there we chat , Maria ties her beggars tin to the stump of her leg.. and within the tin is another smaller tine beneath the smaller tin she places the notes that she gets , this precaution is necessary as drug addicts pretend to give her coins and would steal the notes from the tin.
Its a very hard life , and drug addicts love Bandra as the Bandra cops let them live without ever nabbing them , they will be nabbed when a little child is raped by one of these drugaddicts .. we as a society wake up when our houses are burnt down.. we hardly know the meaning of prevention ,
Well back to Maria ,the leper lady of Boran Road ..I have shot over 250 images of Maria , my American friend Dr Glenn Losack too is very fond of Maria ..he has shot her too..
I hate conversions completely , but even this conversion from Hindu to Christianity has not really helped Maria or her daughter Mary..I think and I wont be surprised when some rich Wahabbi Muslim pays a hefty sum and gets Mary to accept Islam.. the seeds have already been sowed ,. Religion too is dictated by Money.. and the poor see God though their empty stomachs .
These are my Bandra Blogs , and there was another lady homeless destitute I called her the Umbrella lady of Bandra Reclamation she died recently unsung uncared both my granddaughter gave their pocket money to her .. and this is the power of the Camera , they shot her and learnt the true meaning of Charity .
The third person in my story of beggars is the limbless Appu my best friend he is a human torso and has met Marziya when she was young .. but Appu has disappeared too he is a Muslim migrant from Assam ..he begs at Mohomedali Road or near Mahim church these are the few people I documented to awaken the dead soul of those who get hurt when we shoot beggars , they find our photographing beggars gives India a bad name ,, and they actually forget those who really give India a bad name ,,
Shooting beggars to sell their pictures was the first unwarranted response , but than those who know me , also know that Photography is not my bread or my butter .. I shoot pictures like a painter loves to painter or like a carpenter loves to use the chisel. I use my camera to take you to the dark nether regions of the underbelly of my city Mumbai.
I have shot beggars at Red Light areas , these were once rich guys who spent everything on Mujra dancing girls now grovel the earth taking brown sugar or working out as pimps ,, yes I am a storyteller bad grammar , rusty lexicon but my camera makes up for all those shortcomings
And Hijra beggars in trains hijra beggars at traffic signals I shot them all ,, and this section I removed from public view because of picture stealers at Flickr.com
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