Saturday, August 15, 2015
This junction with the sizzling aroma of food from Jeff Caterers is the most traffucked place in Bandra , the road forks from here the road on the left entering Chapel road to exit towards Mount Carmel , the road on the right goes straight to Waroda Road a one way and the right takes you out to Bandra Hill Road ..via St Peter Road via Baba Nagar which was my first workplace several years back..the road extreme right a no entry goes to Bandra Bazar Road via the Shia Mosque ,,from here you can go to Chapel road or Bandra Hill Road but you cant enter this road from Waroda Road or Chapel Road but the two wheelers and cyclists dont bother about road laws so in a way it gets jam packed with no traffic cops ,, and forced two way traffic,, tempos and trucks ,.
The Bandra Bazar is a market with half the road taken away by hawkers on both sides of the roads , nothing was done to make stalls for them as they are here since three generations , Bhaiyyas and the Marathi Manoos ,, so the demolitions that take place once in a blue moon is total hogwash to appease the public ,, nothing else .,.as soon as the demolition squad goes after a few hours the guys are back in business after all it is these hawkers that got carried away by Acche Din and voted for Progress and Development and perhaps a Congress Free Bandra .. but nothing much has changed this 69 Independence day or those days that came and left furtively ..this is one of the dirtiest filthiest area of Bandra , totally neglected , and the Municipal apathy will not change with the change of government or change of Municipal Commissioners ,,
I have lived her for about 25 years and I dont think this this area will change it may change once the regressive dumb CRZ rules are scrapped , than this Bandra Bazar area might see more towers and the vanishing of the East Indian ethos ,, times are changing families are expanding and Bandra too will have to grow vertically ,,
And Jesus watches silently since over 100 years he was installed here ,, as a custodian and sentinel protector of the poor hungry and the unfortunate too .. he was there be it the plague floods or other nature angry calamities ..
He is 75 year old , he has lived in Bandra for 55 years , he struggled , when this area was like a swamp..and I meet him reading the papers during my walks , I am very fond of him, he is a very soft spoken person , and does not mind my taking his pictures ,, he is very proud of his children in diverse fields , he educated them and set them in life .
He stays near the Sunni Bandra Reclamation mosque ,we got to know each other since Feb 2015 when I began walking seriously and rigorously.
He is a Sunni I am a Shia but it hardly matters we are both Muslims of Bandra we dont wear blinkers and we both see the world where we live in beyond sectarian difference ,,he reads the paper and sometimes does not even know I am shooting his picture , he has a very benevolent face , a face etched with lines traversing in subtlety , speaking silently of his migration from a village in UP to Mumbai and now a pucca Mumbaikar like me ,, and do you really have to be born in Bandra to be a Bandraite ,,his children , my grandchildren were born in Bandra is reason enough to be part of this canopy above our heads called Bandra .. sometimes even educated people can be as illiterate as the angootha chap on the road,,
I met Asma or Rishi as she called herself at Ajmer Station while returning from the Urus 5 years back.. I shot her pictures as the train was late ,and as we were traveling to Mumbai..
She told me of her struggle as a crossdresser as a dancer , and her Muslim parentage , how she overcame all this and worked hard to give her parents a home her brothers a shop and invested wisely ,, but she was headstrong and though there was much opposition from her conservative relatives she did not budge , worked with dignity and I met her accidentally after so many years at Bandra Hill Road,,
Once she and Ritu a hijra had come to my place to meet my family as men , and my wife could not believe they lived another life as women. Ritu is a transgender , but Asma decided not to live or become a hijra .
We spoke of old times and she was wondering what happened to my bulk load of picture on the Hijra community I told her barring a few I had disabled the rest from public view completely ,,I have no regrets ,, the public is not ready for hijras in India sadly the Hijra is nothing but a sexual commodity , and being homophobic the public uses them abuses them and there is no hope for their emancipation or salvation with the anti human law Article 377 hanging over their head as a Damocles Sword,
Asma is a dedicated devotee of Khwajah Garib Nawaz.
posted at Facebook first ..
Unlike most of you who post updates without a picture or some GIF or share another persons picture as your update ..I simply cant do it ,does not work for me here at Facebook , so I went to my Flickr archive bought forward a picture changing the Exif data from June 2015 to the current date ,,this post is blank at the moment at Flickr I shall cross blog it from here to Flickr .
In the evening at about 6 pm , I went to Bandra SV road to get bloodworms for my flowerhorns I have some exotic ones about 8...after I bought the worms I decided to go see my ear cleaners friends Nabi , Kassim and Raju..
I was carrying my DSLR too, I met Kassim bhai , he was grumbling business was bad as a guy perhaps a drunkard had drowned at the Talao the pond ..he was fished out by the cops ..and there is no security , kids come and fish here , the BMC cares a fuck.. to put it more aptly ..dead Indians are the best Indians .
Well I decided to bring a smile on Kassim bhais face I sat down to have my ears cleaned and shot the proceedings on my HTC Desire 826 ..I paid both Kassim bhai and Nabi too , Raju the third earcleaner had left home early because of the death of the drunkard at the Talao.
After I had shot the video I said goodbye to them , walked back home on the way near Jain Mandir Road Bandra is a new South Indian joint, they make the best rasam idlis I decided to fill myself ,,and shot a few pictures but I got an urgent call from my client who stays at Orbit Heights Grant Road I was needed urgently before 9pm.. it was 7 pm.. I rushed home showered took a cab not much traffic I reached by 8.30 pm.. I finished my work and walked through the Grant Road vegetable market , nobody recognized me as I was in ordinary attire a white linen shirt and black breeches I bought some vegetables ..and decided to return by train.. the Grant Road station at about 9.30 pm was packed with the homeless folks kids moms and the drunk husbands ,, I had no heart to shoot them and with a plastic bag of 10 kg of vegetables shooting on the mobile phone is not easy.
Well the real adventure began in the train.. I sat in a corner it was a Bandra train no rush.. as such but it was crowded and when the train started a guy began to sing some old numbers I decided to shoot his video, and record his voice ..he was a Muslim dressed neatly in a kurta pajama I gave him money and he moved away back near the entrance ,, there he started another song I carried my heavy bag near the door and began to shoot the second video... and he had pain in his voice he sang passionately of a strange longing that mystically bound me ,, as he was about to finish his second song and Bandra was approaching I talked to him on video.. he was from Hussainabad Lucknow going through very difficult times he loves singing and thus he earned his living I told him I was from Lucknow too..and I felt sad he will go to meet his family in Moharam ..I told him my Lucknow connection , when I got off he had disappeared into the crowds leaving behind a memory that I add to the eve of 69 Independence day ,,without Congress under the auspices of Mr Narendra Modiji...the wait for Acche Din and most of all without sarcasm or satire a genuine hope for Sab Ka Sath Sab Ka Vikas ,,
Dal Dal Par Soneki Chidiya Karti Hain Basera Yeh Bharat Desh Hai Mera ,,
I will upload the videos of this Lucknow singer from Hussainabad but the pictures on my DSLR can wait ,,
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