Monday, April 6, 2015
I shot him a few days back at the Bandra Station and he has stumps for hands , than I asked myself how does he have his rice and dal and one after the other several questions began to bludgeon me ..he will never write , surely he has someone taking care of him and than I decided to let go off my thoughts ..
I feel sad as a street photographer who documents beggars gives them money food clothes I am yet not used to the idea of sitting talking to them, asking his name and so many things I am in a hurry moving from one work to the next and all this I shoot on the Xiaomi mobile I am trying to get the hang of it and it is obtrusive bulky and glistening white .. but it is my sons gift to me .
What ever I earn my wife keeps some money aside for the poor kids , she gives for their meals and schooling through the Mosque ..they have a group that does good work..
And beggary will always be there as there are States in India which lavishly spend money like Saifai , and most of the beggars are from Uttar Pradesh , W Bengal Jharkhand and even Kashmir ,, these states never thought of building infrastructure creating jobs hope and their priority was building parks statues and engineering riots ,, to keep the people away from core problems of bad governance bad law and order ..
Will the Beggars of India ever see Good Days ,, I dont think so I have been seeing beggars for last 50 years and is there a census on beggars ,, I dont know beggars are always on the move from one city to the next , and it is Mumbai that brings in the most beggars .. and Mumbai is in more ways generous to Beggars ..and beggars dont have to take shit from bosses , beggars are their own boss , beggars dont have to pay taxes and the beggar lady who sat under an Umbrella at Bandra Reclamation I am told had Rs 180000 when she died and where did the money go.. This is Mumbai.. even the dead are not spared , there are vultures among the cops and the municipality too..
So I shoot beggars and weave stories ..draw your attention to their lives , beggars marry beggars give birth to more beggars , urchins beggar kids the more kids the more money and certainly they dont save their money in banks they dont buy gold appliances , so where does the beggar money go.
Beggars pay local hoodlums , cops hafta or protection money and when the beggar goes to his hometown , he seduces other beggars and brings them to Mumbai the City of Beggar Dreams .
I was introduced to a builder , his wife wearing a lot of gold at a Niyaz and I was really impressed , than my host took me aside and said he was once a beggar at Mahim .. he used to sit outside the restaurant that serves beggar food and in a short while after becoming a police informer he builds homes offices in the distant suburbs ,,
And Mumbai is a rags to riches story .. they never end .. ..there are also those you will find begging outside the infamous whorehouses of Kamatipura begging I was told they were rich once patrons of the prostitutes till they lost all the money on the women boozing and gambling ..
This was shot by kids learning photography and who came here on an outing to learn about outdoor photography at Jijamata Udhyan our local zoo.. And their teacher Mr Malushte my photo guru would invite me to come and pose for them as a model.. I dress differently I look different and so the kids got a model hands-down.. and I always obliged as we have to teach our kids , and photography is an essential tool to see a world upside down down side up.
What I learnt from my 3 gurus and most of you on Flickr I taught my two granddaughters , those photographers who visited my house also added to the knowledge quotient of my grandkids ,, and there were many who came to my house , some I met on the streets and bought them home to use the Internet or the washing room as there are hardly any clean toilets in Bandra .. the stench the filth would drive you insane and toilets in Mumbai is a separate topic by itself at Allahabd during the Maha Kumbh the first class waiting room had the ladies toilet inside the gents loo and urinal.. at Murud Bus depot there is no ladies toilet and in a way I think women in India are second class citizens ..and I must tell you Mumbai folks are insensitive if a woman is being harassed in the bus or train all will watch from a distance but do nothing.. they avoid getting into a station where the cops will make them wait hours for their statement and God save you from Indian police stations ,,the only place where you have to prove your innocence before you commit a crime and sadly barring a few good officers most of the cops in India are badly outsourced have no compassion humanity and sometimes nothing in the head as the criteria for becoming a cop is your chest size your height and your weight ,
And I hope changes come soon even our cops are overworked , long hours no proper housing , and than we grumble when we read about cops taking bribes .. and this is where Swach Bharat should be applied and not taking a broom stolen from the Am Admi party to remove the litter on the roads .
And religion has done more harm than good , very few religions talk of humanity , one religion god wants another religion gods followers to be killed and than I say ti myself despite all this we are better of than in Nigeria Pakistan or the ISIS held Arab territories ,, we have not allowed that sectarian poison to enter our DNA.
Photography should be taught to kids from the day they enter a playschool and I can assure that the kids who take a camera in their hands will change the way we see the world ,, and the camera is the most feared tool among temples police stations and in the offices of our politicians and I will not talk about Fabindia ..there camera backfired on them .. but does it matter ,,
First we shot pictures , showcased them now we shoot pictures and blog our inner angst , we become voluble we become writers though we never knew how to hold a pen I type with one finger so you can imagine how I have abused this overworked part of my anatomy ,,when I set out to become a photographer it was an alternative for having been an alcoholic for a very long time during the film shooting era and learning unlearning on slides BW .It was a great intoxication those early days now if I dont shoot pictures I will survive using an image from my archive , teaking it trough Aviary , saving a new copy and than changing the EXIF data to present date and I have a new photoblog a new story a new thought and a new outlet for the dissipation of my thoughts ,,,
And as a blogger you can talk about so many other things beside the picture you shot and as a photo blogger you shoot your own pictures , it is called Original Content .An inveterate photoblogger wont rob another photographers picture ..he will shoot his own and with the mobile phone the subject is only a click away..
Although a still photographer catering to the Internet and without making a dime as an amateur photographer , the only reason why my old lady gets a short fuse ,,I think photography made me a tea drinker a teetotaler .. and I think a good humanbeing I dont rob steal or fornicate ,,Photography gave me a reason to add a smile on a beggar childs face ..Photography point and shoot helped me capture some great moments of various faiths including my own Shia Faith .. the Maha Kumbh the transgender and instilled an empty vessel with 10000 poems .. juggling with words within the soul of my pictures and I met some great folks like you .. and finally without Humility all the camera lenses is zilch.. Humility Simplicity and Sincerity and moderating your images before you post them so as not to hurt another mans faith or his beliefs ,, but still that does not save you from Trolls and Spams ,,And Flickr changed me completely ,, it made me Human.. irrespective of the Favorites and number of Views on My images ,,
Thank you all those I follow those who follow me and those who accidentally end up reading me cosmically .. you can only read or see pictures you were destined to see .. and you can only shoot what you were destined to shoot ,,
as this beggar lady
watches the dainty
dresses fit for a bride
will she ever wear
one she wonders
tongue tied for a
moment her feelings
she silently hides
begging on the
hands tied ,
when i was born
as a beggar girl
i wish i had died
turning away from
my camera lens
averting her gaze
she humbly replied
He was shot by my granddaughter Nerjis Asif Shakir so he does not forget me at all.. I was coming back from St Peter Church and he was seeking alms from the Christians on Easter Sunday ,, and he was standing strategically on the path that leads to the fish market , chicken beef and mutton markets .They have to pass him and he is neat clean beggar , unlike those who are disheveled and bedraggled , he cannot be dirty or unclean as he performs the Namaz and he is a devout Muslim .
He is a migrant from Uttar Pradesh and if he is not begging here than he begs at JJ Colony another market area where the crowds are predominantly Muslims , and mind you even those Muslims living in the slums poor folks are generous too.. and it seems to people that begging is an easy task mind you it is tough and demeaning ,, charity comes with a price ,, and this beggar hardly opens his mouth , he does not plead shout yell out like other rowdy beggars who cinematic-ally dramatize their impoverished existence ,,
I met Khwajah Bhai too but I was not carrying my wallet I had some money that I gave to this guy and I felt bad , I hate carrying my wallet I just carry some money and I was going to visit Fr Jaun I shot the Latin Mass video accidentally ,, and I dont know the technique nor the knowledge to edit videos I simply shoot the videos for you to get the feel and become part of the world I shoot ,,
My leg is slightly better and I dont think I will continue the massage at the Bonesetter it took me three sessions only ..the first time I paid Rs 120 and the next two visits Rs 100 per session and I shot two videos .
The Xiaomi Redmi note gifted to me by my son , troubles me a lot while shooting videos or taking pictures it hangs but it is quite an interesting Android phone ,,I have Aviary , Flickr Twitter Ello my mail on my phone ,, it is bulky too but I like it ,,
I used the Moto G for a few months ,, and shot most of my pictures on it ,, carrying the DSLR is a real pain if I had money I would buy the Leica digital.. but I will have to wait for the sunshine after the eclipse .
And so beggars make me voluble .. give me a reason to write .. and I like Ello ,, I am waiting for the V2 version..
I have not gone to the Bandra Talao.. I gave it a skip.
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