Saturday, September 26, 2015
to a cosmic wheel
forever a beggar she
will remain to a god
hard of hearing she
to her misery she
wants to break free
of these rusty heavy
chains pursued by
more rejection on
the silent soul of
her dreams some
of pain..two children
a third waiting on
peeking in through
the panes her life
wasted in vain
held captive to her doomed state
begging for alms on the streets
when she grows a little older her
parents will marry her off to another
crippled deformed beggar her fate
she cant cheat ..with the money the
groom to be will give her parents
they will pay off their creditors in
the neighborhood of their slums they
will distribute sweets ,,happy days
a burden off their shoulder a liability
they will dispose of satisfaction time
for the nikah and feast ,,necessity the
mother of invention no more fear of
the young son of the butcher who was
stalking their daughter that beast,..a
story within a story time for a treat
a beggar girl her lost illusions her lost
dreams catapulting her from one stage
of her life to another both sides defeat
embalming an imaginary moment when
the cosmic eye of the camera and a beggar
child in a hijab accidentally awkwardly meet
What is the mother thinking begging on the streets on Bakra Eid at Bandra most of my beggar stories are born in Bandra ,, what is her son thinking ..is he thinking I dressed in saffron am mocking them I certainly dont look like a person from their community and I normally wear black it was just a last minute decision to wear this obtrusive attire on a Muslim feast day with no allusions or hidden meanings ,, and it was this attire I had kept ready to go shoot the last Shahi Snan I was to leave on 23 Sept but it did not happen I gave myself another chance 24 Sept and than I waited for a miracle too but the person who was going to sponsor my trip forgot all about it ,, I decided to stay back in Mumbai celebrate Eid with my grandkids and shoot the Eid Namaz ,, Eid Al Adha at Bandra Station Road ,,
I dont want to shoot Nasik 12 years hence I dont know with malfunctioning kidneys gall bladder and unhealthy pancreas whether I will be alive to shoot the Kumbh,,, so I wore the saffron as my winding sheet of my failed pictorial desires ,,my Naga Guru called me but his call did not help at all.
So back to the beggar mother and her grown up son begging helplessly on Bakra Eid ,,and I have shot many of them .. the pathos of their undying failed dreams ,, and they come from distant suburbs to Bandra West ,,why Bandra West beats me ,
I have shot the Azad Maidan Eid Namaz .. I shot it very long time back but it is Bandra Station Eid Namaz that adds beauty to this spiritual calisthenics of Faith ,,I shot a lot of beggars during Eid Ul Fitr as compared to Eid Al Adha ,, Ramzan is a Month of Piety Charity and much more ,,,
I have shot over 5000 images of Muslim beggars as they touched the inner soul of my camera ,,shot and showcased their struggle survival and their perennial hardtimes ..the ones I shoot are hardly members or adherents of a beggar mafia ,, these are helpless creatures fending for themselves ,, trying to make ends meet with the most shameful humiliating job profession called beggary that keeps alive the temples of diverse faith ,, and the spiritual market that needs beggars as man needs water and air ,,
This world’s existence is one night long. There’s a great lively gathering that night, but some people sleep through it. ~Rumi
It was her little son I shot first staring at me in my saffron attire barefeet , he was curious he was scared but when I handed him some money , his young mother smiled and I shot her ,,I shot the humility of her beggars life on our feast day , I shot her lifes failure , was her husband bedridden too,, why was she begging and in the chaos there was no time to ask her this simple power packed question,, I shoot pictures and let pictures talk emote and sensitize my soul.. if she was in my backyard I would have shot her video.. we must know why we have failed the lesser privileged ones of our community ..
Being a photographer and a beggar poet sometimes it is the poet in me the beggar too that overpowers the soul of my street photography .. down the line every street picture is a story , in words if you decode it or in silence if you become one with it ,,
I get along well with two main communities .. the beggars and the transgender hijras that I shot ,, and beggars among them I poeticized their pain as it passionately grasped me in a vice and a hold..
This mother and her child were waiting near the bus stop , the photo journalists were dramatically shooting the posing Eid Hugging kids and I was shooting her and her kid ,, and hugging the pain of their doomed destiny with my own ..
This time I shot less I did not hang around I just cut across the slums I had to meet a beggar suffering from encephalitis last time I had begged with him..earned him some money . this time he sat there desolate at Bandra Slaughter house compound I gave him some money and hoped that he gets more alms ,,for me Bakra Eid namaz is just the beginning not the end I search for stories and transform them into pictures such is the power of the camera and its cosmic lens that penetrates the soul of human poetry.
And I skipped the poem here it would rob her of the tribute I was paying her after clandestinely stealthily removing her soul from her body.. I only left her with the spectral light and its disillusionment in her veiled eyes ,,
On Bakra Eid with her little one
she would not be begging on
the roads pleading give alms
to me in the name Of Allah
a sad picture of failed motherhood
failed womanhood on the soul of
laid back expensive goat slaughtering
Muslim society a message explodes
a few coins they will give her out of
mercy misplaced charity a pitiable ode
she will be there again next year at
Eid ul Fitr ,,bearing her heavy load
Hotshot media photographers eminent photo journalists come to shoot the Eid namaz besides the namaz what else do they really see , myopically they have one track vision all of them as the Namaz and the prayers are about to end fathers uncles relatives get ready to force their nattily dressed kids to hug each other ,,yes with a reason .. their kids will be featured in the main dailies Hindustan Times and other sacrosanct editions .. this is Eid t be showcased to the public ,, this is perhaps the strict dictum of their brain dead photo editors this is a newspaper type stock picture ,,over the years and does the Muslim really want to see this arranged manipulated image ,,a hangover of the medias limited understanding of Muslims and Islam.
Will they show two beggar kids hugging each other in torn tattered oversize borrowed clothes ..will they understand the pain of a Muslim mother on Eid begging here at Bandra Station , than carrying her child she will visit the Muslim slums nearby for some mutton.. and the Muslims in the slums understand poverty understand the hardship will give her something.. she will be driven away from the buildings of rich Muslims by the security guard where in the compound the rich Muslim is busy getting his 10 goats slaughtered .. he has the responsibility of a large family dont you see..the bearded Mullah brushing away the sweat of his brow another 8 sallas remain ,, the first stroke of the knife on the animal to be slaughtered ,,,
Allah Ho Akbar ,, Yes God is Great ,, he fills everyones plate
posted at Facebook
As I was taking my rounds this morning after playing tennis I had words thoughts swarming my inner consciousness like a cluster of flies on the garbage that I shoot every morning ,, and I am posting those thoughts now directly to Facebook.
A lot of you know me since ages so I I dont need to give disclaimers , explanations . why I shoot what I shoot ,, there are those who added me recently Pais Kamaths Shenoys others from the erstwhile GSB community .. I just added them back ,,normally I add people directly if we have common friends ,, people without profile picture or without profile and backstory of their life I simply delete ..and I dont want you shitting your bigotry hate narrow mindedness on my Facebook timeline ,,if you have problems with Hindus Sunnis Shias others than I am not a person you should add at all..
Dont simply add me because of my religiosity or my sect .. but do add me if you love photography , humanity ,, blogging I hate you all when you tag me unnecessarily to promote your faith your political party your preference you bigotry whatsoever .
I add people at Facebook on good faith and if your updates are to hurt others I simply unfollow your feeds as I type with one finger I have just a few people on my feed ..as I dont use the Facebook like button I comment either with Nice Cool or more elaborately.
Now the most important part of my swarming thoughts I shoot seasons of religiosity and faith ,,as it affects me all of you .. I shoot long lengthy storyboards at Flickr the source of all my blogs and my archive of 353000 images since I joined Flickr in 2007.I post my thoughts here only for friends I hate the faceless Facebook Public.. But I post all my stuff publicly at Flickr Twitter Tumblr Blogspot ,,
I shoot not to hurt your faith or your sense sensibility I am not a Congressman nor a BJP nor RSS nor from any Muslim party or Shia Anjuman..I am part of no group..a very dear friend has added me to socks and shoes ironically I mostly walk barefeet in memory of a friend who has no legs no hands I walk for him and try to feel his pain he has gone missing since a few years now.
I shoot with my opinionated camera I shoot not for you I shoot for myself I shoot with my shortcomings my fragmented mind but I shoot with the vision of the poetry of my soul,. and as a poet photography takes an entire new dimension.. you will see a beggar I see Muslim misplaced charity and mind you I have lived with beggars begged with beggars I am not a rich man but I do what I can to help a few families through friends like you ,,I could never do it alone and I am more than lucky to have friends like you the best of the best here at Facebook and Flickr too ,, I have recently made a lot of friends at Twitter too .
I normally came to Facebook in good faith but at times an issue or other mostly with my Shia images of bloodletting that would get reported I would leave Facebook,,I left for long duration and than came back because of my friends .. I missed them terribly ,, most of my albums on Shiasm , my poetry blogs are still locked up at Facebook.
If you have problems with what I shoot I dont promote proselyte Shiasm I am sure you know all that I get kicked by Shias too for the wrong reasons obviously you dont expect a Shia from the neigboring country or a hicktown to take kindly my wearing saffron living eating breathing with Naga Sadhus ,, and I am not going to change or follow what your parents bequeathed you ,, my parents gave me the love of all religion.. my parents for me were one of a kind they were staunch followers of the Shia faith but living in Mumbai as migrants from Lucknow they adapted to the waters of their new surroundings away from a parochial pond ,, I am the product of their upbringing I will not borrow your parentage ,, whether you browbeat me with your hate comments or messages .
I was into drugs that I stopped after marriage but I could not unhook myself from the bottle of rum it took my wifes best efforts and the love of my children to change me and I gave u Booze since 17 years now I dont drink at all.. I always thought that my creativity my juices flowed because of Alcohol now I dont think it flows because of the cosmic eye in my camera .
I have had great Gurus of photography I am still unlearning my textbook of photography is not Facebook or Twitter only Flickr I follow 2000 great photographers I am inspired by them.. and I see their Flickr timeline and I try to grow through their works and effort ,,
I taught my grandchildren to hold the camera firmly ,, pictures came and will keep on coming ,, they are my only dedicated disciples and blood of my blood .
So dont waste your time judging me through the pictures I shoot ,, my best pictures I could never shoot so I began shooting life without a camera used a bit of text instead of images , I am a street poet I see poetry on the streets and I share it .. but dont force feed you with it you have a right to skip, move on and the right to remove me from your feeds absolutely ,. I dont lick your ass for your Likes you dont have to like my stuff at all ,, but sometimes what I shoot might connect with you mystically ,, photography is a mystical medium..I have shot monks bawas that could stop your camera make it brain dead irreversibly ,,
I am not a fan of Saudi Arabia or any other Arab country .. I have great Jew friends but I am not a fan of Israel but I dont post links or pictures from the net to instigate I shoot my own pictures ,,
My wife wants me to see Karbala once she has seen it several times .. but my Karbala is India my Dharam Bhoomi and my Karam Bhoomi .. I pray others get that opportunity to see Karbala people more devoted than me ,, and if I ever get a ticket I will give it to some poor Shia true lover of Imam Hussain ,, I search for Hussain in India in the various cities where I shoot Ashura Chehlum.. I dont shoot Moharam or participate in Moharam in Mumbai my personal reasons .
And I love shooting goats bleeding because in a few weeks I will be bleeding like a slaughtered goat my daggers are ready to etch their sorrow on the furrows of my skull..
Sadal Wida Hussaina Ya Hasrata Hussaina .
Lastly I shoot Malangs but it is a way of life that I document only but do not follow ,,
The beggar Muslim lady was waiting for namaz to end ,, she clutched my money in her hands that was neither her salvation or mine.
I dont use Facebook to sell a product or my pictures I dont use Facebook for fame money or gain.. I use Facebook to stay connected with my friends all of you new old ,, I pimp my blogs on Twitter ,,so I have finally said what I have to say ,,, please read it in good faith ,,
We met during the Ramleela Shivaji Park, Good Friday and almost every year for more than 5 years at the various Eid Namaz At Bandra Station Road .
I call him Guru out of respect and his seniority as famous iconic photo journalist of Mumbai ..He is absolutely humble , no airs and is always trying to evolve experiment with his shots , its a great learning experience watching him work totally involved and he along with Ashish Rane Nitin SonawanePradeep Dhivar to name a few have always supported me helped me guided me ..and the striking common factor in all of them is their down to earth humility .There are others too I dont know them by name only by face who are the pride of photojournalism in Mumbai .
But sadly I have also met those with big fancy lenses cameras and solid roll gold attitude , arrogance who treat newbies bloggers mostly as piece of shit and even these guys in a way helped me ,.. to not become like them and there are many I dont wish to name ,,they have a famous newspaper press card and thats it.. but all in all I am grateful to have met some real great good photographers at such events having shot disasters , bomb blasts and other iconic Mumbai event feasts and festivals .
Satish Malavade is truly a person worthy to be called a Guru..
And last but not the least a photographer much younger than me , very bold and unafraid who inspires me the most we shot the Maha Kumbh is my nephew Adnan Abidi of Reuters he is one daredevil photographer lover of Adrenalin and Adventure ,,,his great grandfather Daroga Nabban Sab is my maternal grandfather descendant of poet Mir Anis.