Monday, February 16, 2015
we provoke death
shadow box it till
it gives up upon us ,,
dying daily only
highlight it with
a lot of ruckus
must have killed
more people than
any war a thought
that says all about
us ..limbless bodies
only torsos wheels
of death mowing
away magnum opus
add to our status
dogs cats it
to all of us
the final exodus
I shot this a day before our Independence day on 14 August 2010 ..almost 5 years back and you will find another lot of street urchins begging at this famous Bandra Hill Road traffic signal which if you head straight goes to Bandra Station , a left from the main road you head to Linking Road or SV road and the distant suburbs a right takes you to Mahim Dadar and beyond ,, so this is a very strategic signal and it is known as Late Mohomed Rafi Chowk .. Mohomed Rafi was a legendary Bollywod singer ..the corner is named after him.
I pass this signal almost every day and I will go there now after some time to buy bloodworms for the Flowerhorns ..the Aquarium shops are on the left side of this signal. I walk it from home and walk back too via Demonte Street and Bandra Bazar.
On this signal occasionally you will find a drunk hijra lying near a restaurant and other odd species of human life of late there is a robust beggar carrying a sick child of 10 on his shoulders he begs in the evening I have shot him ,,than there are a few Muslim kids girls head covered with their siblings I presume .
On our Independence day you will find kids selling flags and other national emblems ,,,and beggars will never leave Mumbai the city of their far fetched dreams.. beggars who make good money watch movies and are besotted with Indian filmstars some start aping the in mannerism and style too.
As I dont carry my DSLR these days I shoot some of them on my mobile phone ,,and the complain they want to be shot by my big camera they say .. and I am stumped.
And I would rather shoot all than than the publicity prone Kala Ghoda Festival which pampers to the rich and the mighty of South Mumbai.. it has nothing for beggars or poor homeless kids art wont feed these kids or rehabilitate them the rich only feed stray dogs and cats ,,, it would be humiliating the humility of my camera shooting pompous snotty kids and their antics at the Kala Ghoda festival publicly pimped prostituted bt Hindustan Times ,, I subscribe to Hindustan Times , ever since I gave up the Times Of India after the goal like results of the Ayodhya verdict the shittiest editorial insulting the dead of India bot Hindus and Muslims.
And I once studied at Elphinstone College near Kala Ghoda so I have some great memories I was a Colaba refugee but now a full fledged Bandraite.
And these poor kids enslaved to parents who may not really be their biological parents , perhaps kidnapped when young are truly the lost children of God ,, a God who now has been hijacked completely by the rich of Mumbai.. and God in Mumbai has become highly commercial he needs gold , diamonds rich Pashmina shawls he is gifted cars washing machine and the trustees of God are laughing all the way to the Bank,.
a winding lane
in old lucknow
to births deaths
gloom and pain
a past appears
to the minds
eye a prisoner
in chains ..watches
me aware of my
of my ancestry to
a poet who once
lived beyond these
past a pebbled well
known as kankar kua
past the chup tazia
house chant of hussain
above a mocking hillock
the path that led to imli
wali gali the tamrind lane
a cluster of house of my
grandfather now sadly
all sold off nothing remains
daroga nabban sab desendant
of poet mir anis buried at gufr
map imambara .home of his
earthly remains ..i sometimes
close my eyes see my young
mother laughing running happy
in this memorable lane now
sadly filled with pain ..my old
wizened grand mother who would
tell me stories of nawabi reign
of my uncle chaudhan mute
mentally challenged but no
not insane .,memories that
haunt me my mothers sister
choti begum..her early death
her mirth her laughter too
died in this morbid lane
at the age of 62 i shot a
silhouette of silence watching
me asking me whether i wanted
to come back her again to reclaim
the past a chapter of my childhood
hidden in the vacuous corners of
my brain..the chill the freezing touch
of winter rains ..so much poetry of
my life flows like a rivulet in this lane
This is a serious problem in Mosques Madrsas that have male teachers for little Muslim girls ,, and this problem is the trust by the parents who believe that their girl child sometimes even the male child is safe ..in the house of God or in the Madrsa.. and most of these Arabic teachers come from hick towns of Uttar Pradesh. And though I am a person who does not believe in sectarian thought I feel the Sunni school of thought their Alims have deliberately allowed this problem to go out of hand in most cases if the parents had not found out that their daughters were being molested or sexually assaulted the persons concerned would have protected the rogue Arabic teacher so as not to tarnish the image of their seminary or mosque ..
I have seen as a photographer as a father of a girl child three girl grand children that mostly in Sunni madrsas it is the male teacher , calling the shots and one can hardly vouch for his antecedents , most are migrants jobless youth I assume with knowledge of the scriptures .
Never has an attempt being made to promote young ladies to teach the Muslim girl child and we wake up when an incident happens like the recent one at Govandi and mostly in poor slum pockets and this is a scathing attack on the childs mind and body , most children scared to tell their parents and most poor parents will not broadcast it to get a whiplash from people concerned . And I leave it thus I have seen at Mahim and in town Madrsas with teachers using the cane to make the child learn this is not the way our scriptures should be taught.. I think love and dedication is very important .
When I was growing up at Wodehouse Road in the 60s my parents who had no issue with Sunni Shia thought considering all Muslims to be one in the face of learning the Holy Koran and Arabic had hired a sadistic lame Arab Teacher , I still remember the beatings and the welts and my paternal grandmother cursing him for the torture but those days none dare say anything .. so we bore it in silence and he used to come on a cycle this Sunni Arabic teacher .
His idea was we parrot the scripture by heart .. we cursed him too my sister and I..
Now fade out to present times my grand daughter Marziya has been going to the Arabic classes since she was 5 years old at the Bandra Shia mosque . She wears the hijab and is taught by a Lady , no men are allowed in that part of the Mosque , and the classes are segregated .. no boys either .
Marziya now is 7 year old knows the scriptures the Namaz and everything related to her religiosity .. but here I must stress her grandmother too inculcated taught her the basics she recites the Namaz with my wife before going to school. .. so the parents too have to teach the child find time and not leave the child at the mercy of rogue Arabic teachers or suchlike .
And please even those who belong to the Sunni faith should read this constructively .. the main thought here is not our diverse ideology but the love of our child , grandchild her protection we are responsible for it and this awakening is the need of the hour.
No man is perfect because he is a religious teacher we are hardly aware of his sexual shortcomings and his pedophilia ..and I tweeted this issue yesterday but one cant say everything in 140 words .
Madrsas to need to come under the ambit of governmental surveillance and care .. the child has to be protected at all cost and I hope erstwhile Minister of Education Mr Tawde reads this .. weighing school bags in only one of the problems saving the child from teachers who could be molesters is far more important ,,
And I am proud in my area Bandra Bazar Road a Sunni Muslim lady has taken the step forward she teaches Arabic to the Muslim kids she charges Rs 20 and has done great exemplary service in the very small room she lives in she teaches Arabic the scriptures with love and without using the cane ,,
And one point I must add at the Shia mosque in Bandra where my grand daughter studies Arabic they are encouraged , given gifts if they do well in religious class , and taught manners etiquette and norms that are the pillars of our Islamic way of life and thought .
I think this compassion humility and love for humanity are as important too.. as a photographer I taught all this to my grand children respect for other faith sect , and respect for beggars that they shoot and the less fortunate ones ,, the money they save is give to the beggars each one has adopted at Bandra Bazar Road,.
Today was my 7 day of walking .
I left my house at 5.36 I crossed Leelavati Hospital at 5 .47 and end end of Bandra Reclamation near Agasty Building at 5 .59 .
I take a U turn back to Leelavati Hospital and walk to the MET Gardens at 6.06 .
I take 10 rounds that I complete by 6.38 and I am back home by 6.48 .
And earlier when I walked at Carter Road I carried my camera and shot people , or some interesting detail of life ...those days I did not have a camera on my mobile phone and to think I had a Blackberry much later but never used it as a camera it would have been an insult to my DSLR .
My son presented me the Motorola G old version that I use and shoot pictures prolifically ,,and now I dont carry my camera on my walks , there is nothing much to shoot from my house till the end of Bandra Reclamation .. just the dump off Rand Sharda and ricksha guys defecating with deafening roars mostly migrants from Uttar Pradesh .. and at 5.30 am there is huge crowd this end .. some sleep in the rickshas so the open dump or a mound is the best public toilet ,, there is no lavatory or public toilet on this stretch.
The ragpickers cum drug addicts or junkies sleep on the roads , and the Municipal Childrens playground next to MET Gardens is a hub for drunkards and junkies , badly maintained , no lighting pitch dark and also used as gym by the locals from the adjoining slums .But I have seen the educated class living in the buildings across are happy , and this is a solid BJP Shivsena vote bank.. they dont care and dont complain.. life goes on.
And our political honchos take extra mileage using actor Sharukh Khans ramp as means of appeasing and holding on to the Christian votes .. The ramp a concrete platform where he parked his vanity van.. was demolished to give access to those who use this path to visit Mount Marys Basilica .
There is so much ugliness in and around Bandra Bazar Road , Bandra Reclamation , Chinchpokli Road that it is not see bt our local representatives .
Trees have been chopped near ONGC quarters , Bandra Reclamation but they have been dumped on the pavement the Municipality has no time to clear it I have been seeing it since the time I began walking.. and if there is a useless civic body in Bandra it is the Bandra Municipality and they dont care a flying fuck.. the greatest enemy of Bandra is the Bandra Municipality , totally insensitive , apathetic and not interested in seeing Bandra beautiful once Bandra was known as the Queen of the Suburbs ,, now it is a Queen of open gutters and bad roads .
And because of this neglect Bandra once a Congress citadel slipped out of their slithering hands .. the Hand that could barely rock the vote banks they had created in the slums.Even the slumdwellers gave them a golden handshake .
Our local representatives sadly dont love Bandra as they should ,, our MP stays in the tony surroundings of Worli.. and our MLA has a lot of city responsibilities of his party.
There should b a CEO for Bandra ..and they should privatize the Municipality .. I was going to have a photo walk with young photographers to show them the dirtiest ugliest parts of Bandra .. and I kept it on hold in case the political representatives want to join in too,..
And there has to be a purpose to photography , it is a means to an end shedding light on the nether regions of darkness and despair .Why cant Bandra be a model suburb... it has beauty it has culture heritage and smart kids ..
I met Michael my English walking friend he wants me to come to his school where he teaches in Worli and give a talk on photography to the young kids , photography should be a subject that should be taught from primary,,it would change the way a child thinks and sees the world.
My 3 year old grand daughter youngest street photographer of Bandra Nerjis was telling her grand ma my wife ,, Dadda meaning Granny my pictures are on Flickr ,, meaning her pictures are on Flickr ,,
The metaphorical power of the camera Shivas Third Eye.
a street scene college girl
yet to come out of valentine
days spell wondering thinking
of moments now gone back
into a shell he did not call her
today all is not well nervous
soul of this comely belle ,,
on the other side the beggar
weaving dreams of coming out
of his bad days as he begs
outside a hotel dry day means
no clientele the boozers off
day he misses the whiff of
the heady smell.. a couple
had a tiff walking away in
anger love that stormy
emotions cannot quell
not in the picture the hotel
manger tells the beggar to
fuck off as he shouts yells
3 street stories running
simultaneously ,,in a nutshell
street photography is a textless
book of imagery shot as a novel
dedicated to my good friend kelly rae
a photographer in portraiture excels
kind humble bold beautiful rebel ...
every frame that evolves propels
I am perhaps the only Muslim shooting Lalbaugh Chya Raja for over 20 years or more ,,thanks to Mr Sudhir Salvi head honcho of the Mandal.....
Shah-e-Mardan Sher-e-Yazdan Quwat-e-Parwardigar Lafata Ila Ali La Saif Ila Zulfiqar , originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1 ....
Ek Shahenshah Ne Banake Yeh Haseen Tajmahal Ham Gareebon Ki Mohabbat Ka Udaya Hai Mazak.. , a photo by firoze shakir photographerno1 on Fli...
Insan Ko Bedar Ho Lene Do Har Qaum Pukaregi Hamare Hain Hussain , a photo by firoze shakir photographerno1 on Flickr.