Sunday, July 12, 2015

Living With The Malangs In The Mountains

What Was He Thinking While I Was Shooting Him

Perhaps foreigners if they did come up these mountains might have been intrigued by his simplicity his rugged lifestyle ,, might have been curious seeing him selling cheap fake gemstones , not the real thing..duplicates of expensive stones and the poor mans agate a stone in great demand among the poor Muslim pilgrims ,,
He was actually looking at the stones round my neck and on my fingers part of a rare exotic collection,,,he showed no emotion , no envy , he was happy selling his stuff,,,these are men who became bawas fakirs gave up family life and retreated into the mountains , but because they did not want to beg, they bought these stones and earned their daily bread.
Dealing in stones made them healers , exorcists and they did dua tawiz .. removing evil spirits from possessed bodies ,,they lead rustic life , smoke the chillum hashish and in most cases they grow their own hashish up in the mountains for their personal consumption.
Once a year they have a boom during the annual celebrations of the Holy Saint ,,and I had already been initiated as a Malang , he gave me respect ,, but this is a strange alien world ,,they fall sick, but use herbal medicines .. sometimes they are joined by their murids or disciples ,,who take care of them..
This is what I shot and for last two years I have not taken this mountain trail ..I climb the mountains barefeet so it is not a very easy task as such.
But I would rather shoot this than the backwaters of Kerala or or he exotic panoramic places in the Himalayas ,,,

Street Photographers Are Ventriloquists We Give Our Voice To The People We Shoot

The Municipal Conservancy Staff .. Foot Soldiers Swach Bharat

the goat recites fatiah for the butcher

this goat was reared by the butcher
who suddenly died and though the
goat knew that he would be slaughtered
by the butcher one day his pain he could
not hide ,,so sad he came to the grave of
the butcher reciting the prayers for his dead
master his mentor his guide ..this prized goat
was his pride the living and the dead a split
open wide the great divide ,,

"Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?"

Why do you stay in prison When the door is so wide open?” ― Rumi,

Iftar Time Shopping Near Bandra Badi Masjid

pinjare ke panchhi re, tera dard na jaane koi

pinjare ke panchhi re, tera dadr na jaane koe (2)

bahar say to khamosh re hai tu (2)

bitar bitar roi re hay e bitar bitar roi
tera dard na jaane koe

kah na sake tu, apani kahani
teri bhi panchhee, kya zindgani re (2)

vidhi ne teri katha likhi aansu mein kalam duboe

tera dadr na jaane koe (2)

chupake chupake, rone vaale
rakhana chhupaake, dil ke chhale re (2)

yea patthar ka desh hain pagale, koi na tera hoy
tera dadr na jaane koe

pinjare ke panchhi re, e e e tera dadr na jaane koe
tera dadr na jaane koe

pinjare ke panchhi rey, e</

The World I Love To Shoot Lies In The City Of Ajmer

I Asked Him Good Sir Where Are You Going .. He Said Not To The FTII

In India The Poor Will Always Remain Poor Only The Rich Will Get Richer

Photography Is Nothing But An Art Of Creating Optical Illusions

Curse On You Photographer For Robbing My Soul..

the fire of my life
even that you
stole publicly
hanging me
part and whole
as a photographer
is that your goal
you walk on water
i walk on embers
of coal mystically
we conversed
in silence she
was in control
with all my
i was nothing
but an asshole
my fucked camera
i called my beggars
bowl  she spat on
it .. my hellhole

I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being. - Hafiz

I was born a beggar in the begging bowl of my mothers womb

I Fucked The World Goodbye

One regret dear world, that I am determined not to have when I am lying on my deathbed is that I did not kiss you enough. Hafiz

The Beggar Poet Uses The Camera As A Beggars Bowl

I Have Learned
So much from God
That I can no longer
Call Myself
A Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim,
A Buddhist, a Jew.


Ever since happiness heard your name, it has been running through the streets trying to find you. Hafiz

The Blind Beggar of Ajmer

These are images I shot at Ajmer 2012.. once I shot uploaded my pictures I hardly revisited them but I use the Aviary tool to transform the soul of my colored pictures , I desaturate them.. making them more  starker than I shot them I do not have a gifted vision , I just shoot impulsively and without composition but I shoot , from within.. I dont photo shop my images never .

I shoot alone lurking scrounging scavenging for beggar souls I capture them add them to my beggar documentary here at Flickr .I rarely talk to beggars , and here this blind beggar called me closer to him offered me tea,,did he know I had shot his picture ,,I dont know but I am certain most blind beggars are mystics ,,they know the here and the hereafter ,,and all this depth I could only find in Ajmer ,,

As I blog about beggars I have to keep reminding new readers I shoot beggars because a part of me submerged in the nether region of my despair wants to surface come out as a beggar ,,in short I dont sell beggar pictures , I only pimp my beggar pictures adding a handful of words to my imagery..words are merely to add texture ,,a lot of people I connect with dont know about the rich tapestry of the poor of India..

Sometimes I tell myself stop shooting pictures I have over
342,184 Photos at my Flickr archive... if I work on a few of  them I could re blog them as a new post ,, like this one and the one before this.

I have never visited Ajmer in Ramzan or Moharam .. The Holy Saint calls me during his Urus , he helps me in every possible way to com to his kingdom , he makes sure I shoot his lost tribe of Beggars ,,they may be professional beggars or they might just be posing as beggars but the Holy Saint considers them his children , he sees they are fed and there is nothing called Hunger in Ajmer .

Food and dargahs are interconnected .. I will tell you an incident  I had come to the Dargah of Nizamuddin Aulia , during Moharam Chehlum first time, I did not know anyone I was wearing a long black robe ,, I had not been initiated as a Malang ,, I called up my mentor Peersab Fakhru Miya in Ajmer Hujra no 6 from Nizamudin Aulia and told him I had come here ,and did not know anyone ,,soon after the phone call ended a young boy came to me he said  are you Firoze Shakir , I nodded my head , he took my camera bag and I met the Khadim they offered me Niyaz..this is the kind of connection from one dargah to the other ,,,I was really very hungry,,,

;Last year too at the Nizamuddin Aulia Dargah I had come to spend some time , a guy asked me to take Niyaz ..I did I bought it on a paper plate and was about to eat and this young kid more hungry than me sat next to me .. I placed my Niyaz and asked him to eat it all I left the dargah but I felt I had eaten a lot ,,actually I had eaten nothing.. so beggars are connected to food through other beggars too.

the blind beggar of ajmer

his pain with all of you
i want  to share
robbed him of light
adding to his despair
his world of darkness
his soul ensnared
he has come to be
blessed by the lord
of the poor the holy
saint of ajmer begging
for alms empty sockets
 that stare  badly broken
lanterns in need of repair
clutching a fistful of hope
gasping for air..beggars
enter where angels fear
to dare he touched me
asking me if i wanted
some food money he
thought i smelt like a
beggar ,,his sixth sense
was more powerful than
my camera vision i swear