Wednesday, February 4, 2015

What Actually Is Street Photography ...

I dont think it is taking a camera walking down the street taking random shots ,I think it is much deeper , more mystical , more mind awakening venture and a learning device too..

I am not talking about theatricality I see every frame as a poetry of life  juxtaposed between here and there, as I travel mostly by bus I shoot from the bus window and something pushes me to add a scene into the heart of my camera , I shoot all my pictures in color, here it was the lady , in her own world she was wearing a bright blood red saree ,a South Indian lady and again what you really shoot is body language , which only the camera understands ..I dont compose I simply shoot , I shoot for myself , and what I shot with my mind could be read differently by your mind .. I believe in simplicity , simple scenes of life that we have forgotten to see and appreciate .

I cannot go on a photo walk , I am a loner I shoot exclusively on my own..I remember once I was aggravated with a lady at Vasai beach she kept following me I used some harsh words but she said she just wanted to see what I was shooting..

I felt bad that I had scolded her I went back apologized to her profusely today she is a good photographer and a good friend. So I stopped shooting in a crowd completely .there are exceptions ,,now I have friends who come from abroad I go out on shoots with them but I learn from them staying at a distance and there are great masters you can learn while watching them , the way they approach their shots , the way they hold their cameras and I make sure they are not disturbed by my presence I become disembodied ..and so I learnt from Dr Glenn Losack  he is an absolute loner ,and in his own world nothing exists betwen him and the camera just the subject and him and he talks to them while he shoots , they think he is raving mad , and they are mad too .. I mean the beggars he shoots .

Than there was Jean Marc Gargantiel from Reunion , he shoots in such a way that you dont know a foreigner is shooting , he becomes one with the crowd ,, and this masterly quality I found in my friend Marc De Clercq he is very fair , tall handsome long curly hair but when he shoots he cannot be seen .. and I trailed behind trying not to copy their shots but changing perspective did get me some interesting flow of imagery.

Finally one person who impressed me recently was my friend Boaz , he is very serious about what he shoots , highly patient , does not give up, wont get aggravated or angry and is always smiling even if an apple fell on his head .I learnt a lot from him , first being selective and not trigger happy , and working on the final product this is something I cant do, I shoot  a story board , sequences  and a string of symbolic thought ..Boaz was god sent we got along pretty well both here in Mumbai and Hyderabad a truly great photographer and if you are with a great person something cosmically will rub off on to you ,,it did I know.

And all this important , learning unlearning ,, you dont have to copy what they shoot but get inspired and improvise ..the sky is the limit.. I am self made photographer I have Gurus I learnt  from them but it was not always photography , it was humility ., simplicity and other such thoughts.

I try not talk about what I shoot as pictures are more talkative than us , they can start a conversation with your mind in silence and thus it brings me to one of the finest street photographer on Flickr Akbar Simonese  he shoots pictures that are simple but they touch a chord , and I am happy that I have learnt a lot from this wise young man at heart from Amsterdam.. he encourages , he instills hope and he is not condescending about his skill or his experience .. following great photographers is very important though you may not shoot the same thing .. you have to accept other forms of photography and find your own ultimate path..

There are many great teaching photographers on Flickr provided you are willing to take up the challenge and you dont need to get your ass roasted to be a good photographer...when I began teaching my granddaughter photography people thought I was loony crazy , but  what I really taught them was how to hold the camera and to never be intimidated by it , the camera is the cosmic slave of our mind , my granddaughters will never be photographers but yes but they will always be able to shoot pictures of their own children...and will store memories that I have stored for all three of them.. photography is not just  a hobby it is something more and once you get hooked there is no end ,and this post was destined to filled with words ,,its up to you t remove wisdom from a jumble of sentences .. Adieu

The Mumbai I Shoot Is Very Different From The Mumbai You Live In

And all these areas are clusters of hope ..the children playing outside the symbolic wooden frame shops hardly know the hardships of their father , the mother burdened by perhaps 4 or 6 kids ..My mother may god rest her soul was blessed with father started of a  tailor in his struggling days a migrant from Lucknow ,, his first home where I lived was a shanty in Kurla next to a Hindu crematorium.. I was born in Lucknow and came with my mother to Bombay as it was called when she was 15 year old.. at these slums which were actually known as Bakhar or wood and carpenter workshops.

My mother sometimes with tears in her eyes would narrate those days , the fear , the leaking tin roof , the dead bodies that she was scared to see even from far and it this fear of graves that never left her ,.. she now lies buried next to my dad at Rehmatabad Shia cemetery side by side as husband and wife on a long journey once again without the bothersome litter .

So in short though our father pulled us out of the slums , the slums never left her or me cosmically ,, My mother and our small family from Kurla slums came to the only tony area those days Wodehouse Road early 50s ,, Khatau Bhuvan the servants quarters of late Nawanb Kashmiri thespian actor remembered because in order to do a role of an old man he had his teeth removed a contemporary of Mr Dilip Kumar Jayant Mukri Begum Akthar and others of our golden age cinema ..

From Wodehouse Road when the new landlord took over the palatial Nawabs house and he wanted our rooms we had three facing the main Wodehouse Road , he  gave us his house at Breach Candy Neelam Apts .. and finally from Breach Candy we landed at Strand Cinema Colaba .. Mohini Mansions where the rest of the Shakirs were born.. total  7.

Near Strand Cinema were the famous Sundar Nagri slums and the homes of fisherfolks and my Koli friends .. so the slums really never left me like a poetic thought and those days if you visited Sundar Nagri .. you would end up smelling of fish all day.

Our first house me and my wife was Danpada , the Koli village , you cant call t the slums as they have ore gold than the REserve Bank of India .. cheek and jowl and here sadly the smell was of Jambul the local hooch instead of fish that knocked you out much before the day began.. Our dreams were shattered after the 93 Riots we were forced to realize we were nothing but Muslims period ,, however I have stopped cursing VP Naik and Mr Sharad Pawar and the Congress and moved on in life .. and my 60000 Hindu blogs are a testimony it was not Hindus that ruined our lives but crooked politicians who divided polarized compartmentalized the Soul of Mother India .

After the riots thanks to Mr Nitin Manmohan my ex boss I lived at Chand Society Juhu , 11 rd Juhu JVPD next to Mr Dannyjis house in a bungalow in transit till the riot fever died down.

We sold our Danpada house for peanuts and finally came to live at Bandra Bazar Road not a slum but a Gaothan called De Monte Street ..and finally Bandra Reclamation ,, this time we have slums all over , and the funny thing about slums every time they are demolished more slums come up, Finally they are bought by political influenced builders and now Bravo no slums towers will come up,, and not far from my house with the blessings of the political biradri we will be having the most expensive condos on a road close to our house .

And to make the new owners congenial to the surroundings all the slums will become Slum rehabilitated the poor will become middle class .. and the middle class is always fucked from asshole to eternity ,, the very rich and the very poor always have the last laugh while heading to the bank.

So forgive the autobiography part as digression , but not intentional this is the story of my slum photography .

I have shot most of the slums in Bandra disaster prone the Behrampada Fire The Garib Nagar Fire .. and the apathy and dirt filth of the dirtiest slum in Bandra Nargis Dutt Slums ,,  leave aside erstwhile Advocate Ashish Shelar even God cannot save it ,,

Than comes the thought why with a beautiful religion called Islam ,, why are Muslim slums dirty and not garbage free , the answer is habit and the Muniicipality authorities have always treated poor Muslims as second class citizens ..
My writing finger is tired I have shot the Compound Shastri Nagar Slums Bandra second dirtiest place , all predominantly Muslim and most of the mess is thanks to 15 years of a garbage ridden coalition ,,

So though a traditional Congress voter en masee we voted for BJP and Progress and Development ,,, as this gets published online we are still waiting for Progress Development and the furtive elusive Acche Dine and for God sake please dont ask me why bloggers are not promoted  by Media it could seriously affect the circulation of thei rags that add to Garbage Porn.

For bloggers this is Original Content milked from  the udders of my fucked brain.

The Muslim Beggar On A Badly Dug Out Mumbai Road

a muslim man passes by
a hindu lady passes by
a street photographer
shoots her on the sly
she is having a frugal
lunch hiding it from all
your eyes..why is she
begging perhaps you
too are surprised ..
now why will you ask
her its not nice ..on a
mumbai perennially
dug out road an open
heart digging ,,to be
concise ..they dig leave
it open for someone
to fall in to be precise
our surroundings are
mounds of graves in
disguise says
dev sab mumbai wont
ever be shanghai ,,says
another power loving
neta..Hai Mumbai
with a hurtful sigh
 ,,so back to the
muslim beggar lady
eating her meals as
the day goes by ,,
how much has she
earned ..what  will
she buy essentials
food for her family
in the slums ,,a thought
comes by ,,muslims
are least interested in
muslims ,,such is the
muslim social order
do tell me why ,,the
muslim beggar is an
untouchable is what
meets the eye ..beg
to live and beg to die

than i think of the 72 virgins
begging hands outstretched
in Dantes Paradise ...

a satirical sweep on life
thank you to all you guys
from a beggar poet in
bandra to surmise ..

God Tells Me What To Shoot Muslim Beggars Poor Destitute

children hardened
by hunger silent
mute to the rich
who give them
money victuals
they look cute
the pain of living
arduous acute
forgiving fate
for the calamity
of this birth
a silence resolute
searching for their
roots the wild
wilderness of an
urban jungle
blessings they
freely distribute
abysmal absolute

Nawab Saab Yeh Kaisa Khwab Sab

jab garib ki maut ati ha woh shaher ki taraf daudta hai..

takdir ko tabir se jodta hai
nakamyab hone par waqt
ki mod par apni badkismati
ka sar phodta hai...kabhi aisi
halat main apne khabon ka
be rehmi se gala madodta hai

Everything Is Fair In Elections Like Love And War

all the candidates
with abated  breath
wait for the final hour
aflatoons battle weary
but also battle scarred
each one first second
third lustfully lust for
power ..once elected
a few will build their
business towers waiting
eagerly for that huge
humongous garland of
money and flowers ,,
the gutter trap ready
to catch the voter mouse
says netaji hands folded
bhai bahnji step into my
bower...the one who
will lose will say kismet
gandu thi grapes are
fucking sour ,,

The Uncommon Common Man of India Is Known As Am Admi

locked out
pushed to
the brink
the common
man has lost
it he cant think
he was forever
the day his finger
got inked ..all
the parties woo he thinks
politics in india
is a wrestling match
netajis wearing masks
 of undertaker hulk hogan
khali king kong dara singh
fight to finish this political
riing..the match fixers even
those who are puppets on
a string..the poor common man
asthmatic coughing a muffler
round his neck honest to
the opponents scams he
wont be linked .. his health
pinkest of pink.. he does
not gamble he does not
drink,, once in a while at
the pretty candidate he loves
to wink.. accidental kink
every political armor has
a chink..confused he loves
to blink.. said the lady from
florida locked out of life
without wife without
children ,, on the road
free of gabage swach
bharat with his broom
in the oppositions hand
as he sinks ,,politics
sucks it always stinks

kaun banega chief minster
a post that is jinxed ,,,,

Navratri Khamkhya Temple Assam

Courtesy Jyoti A Deka Guwahati