I have been shooting him since the time I got addicted to Kurla East aquarium shops .. and this Chacha as I call him is an indomitable spirit , he refuses to complain about the bad days that came in his life he spent away all his earnings on his wifes sickness , he has a daughter in his hometown and grandchildren he stays on rent in some Kurla slums and sells hankies on the bridge since 60 years ,, and he is humble hospitable and respects me a lot ,, I respect him too for his industrious nature , he tells me he hates to beg or be dependent on others ,, he earns for himself and for his daughter ,, and nobody talks of such Muslims and than I wonder of Muslim kids who are caught every day robbing chain snatching , rape murder ,, and it saddens me that many could who have been saved rehabilitated had they been given vocational guidance ,, this old wizened man inspires me , he has seen very hard times but he is always smiling ,,
There are times he stumps me when he says why do you sit with me ,why do you care for me and honestly it has nothing to do with photography ,,,there is something that connects me with this kindred soul ..my father used to live in the slums of Kurla about 64 years back . the poorest slum on a Hindu crematorium with my mother new from Lucknow 15 years old and me one year old .. those were the hardest days of my fathers life and worst for my mother who hailed from Lucknow her father Daroga Nabban Sab descendant of Poet Mir Anis..
My mother even when she moved into tenanted quarters at Wodehouse Road or later Warden Road and finally Strand Cinema never forgot those days and though I was too small to even remember it never allowed us to forget her past ,, it haunts me even now ,,
So this poor Muslim Man hanky seller takes me back into the world of my mothers tears ,, a child mother who dd not know to cook or stitch.. we are products of her perseverance me my brothers and sisters.