Wednesday, September 30, 2015

At Lalbagh Chya Raja Pandal With My Dear Friend Vinay Parelkar

I was using two cameras  Canon 60D and Canon 7D ,, I had bought a flash too but never got to use and the bag I was  carrying was very heavy ...after Lalbagh Chya Raja moved out of the Pandal.. Vinay and I followed him from the back and than we got separated in the crowds at Lalbagh and finally met at Girgaum Chowpatty ..this is my last card of my Ganesha Visarjan documentary and after I have uploaded and posted the pictures at Flickr the series will end ,,

I might shoot the Durga workshops if I get time ,,my work is at a standstill I hope the Gods favor me  and I get back on track.

Vinay and I have been friends since we met first time at National Park outing of my Guru Shreekanth Malushte 20 years back and we have been good friends threw thick and thin.
We belong to the same camera club PSI Mumbai .

Advocate Ashish Shelars Ganpati Heads For Visarjan at Bandra Bazar Road

Normally I Shoot Sadhus This Time He Shot Me With His Cosmic Eye

He stopped me outside Lower Parel station and it was not for asking me money seeing me in my saffron avatar he thought I was a Sadhu..he was returning from the Nasikh Kumbh . I was hardly able to carry on with this conversation I was barefeet , my feet burning if I stand in one place ,,and this is the magical quality of bonding in India ,, he was a Vaishnav Sadhu and I was connected to Juna Akhara through my Naga Guru,,

I wish I could have sat with him , some place had meals with him chatted and learnt something ,, but than Lord  Ganesha was calling me at Girgaum Chowpatty ,, and so  I was off on my wings of fancy .. held by the strap  of my camera ,

And this is my reply to a friends comment ,,
I bet his life is Amazing ,,

Siyali Sawant My Friend Hemant Sawants Daughter

Hemant Sawant is a very dear friend who owns Ganesh Color Lab at Lalbagh and helping him out in this successful venture is his dynamic wife and two teenage daughters Siyali and Sonali both avid photographers like their dad and mother.
Hemant is a very innovative photographer technician and knows the ABCD of photography processing printing ,, and has attended many workshops on behalf of his lab,,, He has done fine art adventure photography shot the tribes of Andaman but he is low key and does not flaunt his work.. perhaps I am the only one he shares with.
And strange part is we meet only twice a year when I come for Lalbagh Chya Rajas darshan and the Visarjan so I have been seeing his daughters when they were very small ..its the first time I met them shooting the Visarjan with their dad on a huge ladder ,. all three on each step..
Sonali the youngest one is a bird photographer ,..
I am happy their dad taught them photography as seriously as he does it and as passionately too.
When I come to his lab during this festive period he shoots me I shoot him..
He has helped a lot of people make extra money , he gives them the Lalbagh Cha Raja prints that they sell to the crowds on commission basis ,, this year he was selling Ganeshas digital printed caps and Tshirts.
I was shooting with him perched on his ladder I shot Ganesh Gully and Tejuka Ganeshas had I waited another 3 hours I could have shot Lalbagh Cha Raja top shot , I rested at his studio for sometime , my feet I dont wear shoes were totally burnt walking on the tar roads .. and I have a unhealing injury on one of the foot that gets aggravated .I decided to leave Lalbagh I walked till Lower Parel Station jumping hopping skipping as my feet burnt and than by train reached Charni Road .
Here at Paramount Restaurant a Irani joint I had black coffee and the owner gave me jug of cold water with which I washed my feed outside his joint and than caught up with my friend Vinay Parelkar who was waiting for me near the Mafatlal Bath .. we were joined by Ravi Shankar a hobbyist and we shot the Ganesh Visarjan Girgaum Chowpatty ,,
The only pleasing aspect of shooting here there were hordes of people students young old professionals media and foreigners shooting the Last Journey of Bappa Morya .all with their DSLR s and the largest number shooting on mobile ,, Lord Ganesha was surely bringing the photographers out ,,
I am 63 year old I felt like a kid this was the first time I was shooting the Lord in the waters .. My pictures all at Flickr a complete storyboard testify to my peaceful state of mind the seawater had calmed the pain and the burns on my feet ,,walking barefeet in September heat is like walking on scalding hot water ,,,
This was a picture blog .. I have now added words to it ,,

Ho maray dam say younhi meray watan key zeenat Jis tarah phool say hoti hai chaman ki zenat. /

Sukh karta dukhharta Varta vighnachi Noorvi poorvi prem krupya jayachi

Sarwangi sundar utishendu rachi
Kanthi jhalke maad mukhta padhanchi

I Would Never Never Shoot Pictures

with ugly borders
hideous watermarks
photography its soul
its essence simple
stark i can only
shoot what i was
destined to shoot
i dont need to bark
let pictures speak
as they leave their
mark yes a beggar
poet barefeet in
a cosmic park
searching for
spectral light
at the end of
the tunnel
when everything
goes dark..

as a photographer
i decided to perish
without boarding
photographers '
elitist noahs ark

poem dedicated
to my friend mentor

thomas hawk

As A Street Photographer I Shoot Story Boards And Picture Stories

I Sometimes Wonder Do You Really Have To Be A Hindu To Understand Ganesha

The Thais That Came To Immerse Ganesha at Girgaum Chowpatty

The Power Of Poetry Lies In The Pictures You Take

you dont
need to fake
glitzy cameras
obtruding lenses
pictures dont make
photography for
photography sake
stealing souls the true
essence of photography
a thirst to slake ..from an
ethereal pond magical
lake ,,now you know
what at this ungodly hour
like a drunken man keeps
me awake ,, i shot what
i once read ,,, thus zarutushtra
spake dickens byron dostoevesky
hiding behind my camera ..
was unlearning photography
an accident or a mistake

Mee Mumbaikar

my loved ones
 my children
peace hope
he said
lovingly into
into the waters
he was led
held on the
bappa morya
bappa morya
as the waves
echoing chanting
a moment spread
at  girgaum chowpatty
as he moved ahead
towards the ocean
beyond the celestial
skies his godly bed

his royal body
his noble elephant
head beneath
the setting sun
a silhouette
shimmering red

The Third Eye Of Shiva Either You Have It Or You Dont

if you think that it is vision
which creates pictures
than fucked you are wrong
having a camera in your hand
does not make you a photographer
a thought that comes along
a hammer in your hand knocking
a nail in a coffin does not make
you a carpenter to that category
you definitely do not belong

A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.”
Maya Angelou..

My Tryst With Lord Ganesha At Girgaum Chowpatty

It was Mr Shreekanth Malushte one of my Gurus of Photography who first introduced me to Lord Ganesha at the Ganesh Gully Workshops ,, I began shooting the Lord on slide and BW and color roll ,,

After that I visited Ganesha Pandals shot Lord Ganesha on his throne ,, Visarjan time Mr Shreekanth Malushte bought us to his ancestral home at Girgaum and after a hearty Marath meal along with his son Himanshu Malushte bought us on the roads near Opera House to shoot the Ganeshas coming for immersion..and I only shot from the roads standing on the drums used as barriers by the Traffic Police and after shooting on film I would vend my home and it was here near Grant Road I met the Hijras with their Ganesha from Kamathipura , they were with their toyboys , some were drunk and I shot a lot of pictures now closed to public view .
And I also visited Heena  a Hijra Queen of the Redlight Area at Pila House during the Ganesha festival and her guru was a Hindu Lakshmi not the celebrity .. I presented their Lord Ganesha a huge chunky Australian Quartz..

So I continued shooting Lord Ganesha year after year from the roads , there was an incident of the cops catching me shooting on the beach so I never ever shot or went near the Beach.

And than years later I was introduced to Lalbagh Chya Raja and I completely stopped going to Girgaum Chowpatty on the main visarjan day ,, for years I followed Lalbagh Chya Raja from Lalbagh till Do Tanki where the Muslims felicitate the Raja .

Than a few year back guys ripped open my satchel and robbed my money my cards even the cards on which I had shot the morning Arti at Lalbagh Chya Raja Pandal ,, and I stopped following the Raja last two or three years I shoot the Pandal the Arti and return home ,, also I walk barefeet and a leg injury made me stop the grueling walk..

This year after the Arti I would have returned home but thanks to my friend Vinay Parelkar a great innovative photographer , I came to Girgaum Chowpatty , caught up with him there and shot on the beach and in the waters ,, when the light began to fade I decided to return home ,,I did not want to shoot with flash or on a higher ISO./.

So in a way it was Lord Ganesha son of Shiva and Parvati who pushed me deep into the fathomless abyss of the camera ,, I have yet no surfaced ,, and the Cosmic Eye of Shiva does not let me drown fully.