Tuesday, November 24, 2015
In 2010 I gave my granddaughter Marziya Shakir a platform on Flickr , including her sister Nerjis though it was impossible to handle 3 accounts .. I gave them both Twitter handles Facebook accounts both deactivated , and their blog platforms on Blogspot .
I documented the life story of all my granddaughters birth and shot their nuances their growth..more of Marziya and Nerjis as I had groomed them both as young street photographers .
Nerjis enjoys chatting with beggars , she advises them to wear clean clothes and they love her chatter and she is 4 she will tell her mom or my wife to give them money ,, she loves the Muslim beggar ladies kids and this time told her mom to give away all her old clothes old toys to them.. so teaching these two kids photography has been a positive change to their lives .. I showed them the Bandra slums ,, took them to tution classes in the slums ,,so they could see life.
Photography did not give me a commercial foothold I never had a desire nor inclination but it served as the best teacher for my grandkids ,, none of her school friends or teachers know about Marziyas prowess with the camera ,, above all the camera changed me too through my grandkids ,,Many a freind warned me no to expose my grandkids to street photography at this young age ,,but I did the lepers , the deformed the cripple the hijras I made them shoot all these people above all I made them aware of other religions , Hindu temples , Churches ,,they have the greatest love for Fr Jaun St Peter Church.. and Easter they would ask me to take them to the Church,.
I dont know much about their future but through the third eye of Shiva I opened their cosmic minds too ,, I was lucky I had 3 great teachers and others like most of you ,, my grandkids had me ,, they trusted me ,, and I tried not to fail them ...when a child sees the world through the viewfinder the entire vision of the world changes ,, the camera has been a catharsis in our house ..
And every photographer that came to my house they would watch him or her and learn their style , and they were inspired by a lot of them.. Marc de Clercq , Glenn , Manuela Kim Violla so many ,,,
And I am indebted to all of them...everyone of them..and to all of you who read my posts ,,see my pictures..
I am missing the birthday girl but than sometimes absence does make the heart grow fonder ..Marziya Nerjis are at their maternal grandparents house for Chehlum.
Wherever you go in Mumbai.. you cant escape them.. and they come in hordes to beg to re start a new life away from their farmlands their shanties , and Mumbai is a poor dreamers Paradise ,,
And I shoot beggars ,, but I must reiterate though I shoot beggars I document Muslim beggars more poetically being a Muslim myself ,, calling myself Muslim is not an easy one being a Shia Muslim.. a part of the radicalized Muslim world calls us Rafidis Heretics ,, so be it .. I got Hussain and Humanity asymmetrically through my so called heresy.
This beggar father and child doped with a cough mixture I shot at Lalbagh during the Hindu feast of Ganesh Chaturthi at Lalbagh Chya Raja the great icon of secular Mumbai..
And like him on this road leading to Parel Station were mothers with their kids all doped crying out for money help..
During the Urus of Makhdhoom Shah Baba Mahim in the dargah lane you will find a lot of beggars , beggars from Kashmir too, women with hardy husbands and chubby cute kids asking alms ,, the deformed crippled blind lame all come to beg in this famous Mahim Dargah lane ,
Than there is Haji Ai Dargah and its countless beggars in all shapes sizes ,,, adding to their business of begging are the Bawas Malangs and the Sawalis ,, The Sawalis demand money to go back to say Ajmer , so they shout out to the Holy Saint and when the crowd gives them the return fare they leave the place very happy and satisfied.
There are Maharashtrian families that beg near station they have no money to go home and request you to buy them meals and tickets to go home ..and you will Muslim families begging at Ajmer or other out station dargahs in the same manner .. ticket to go home .. even after they get the money they change the venue and beg at another location for the fare.
I paradoxically cant escape beggars , I meet them at ever step of my life ,,there are an integral part of my beggar poets life .
I shoot them from buses taxis ,, I shoot them in trains ,, and I dont know if anyone buys beggar pictures nobody all these years on the net has ever approached me for beggar pictures though people would willingly buy my naked Naga Sadhu pictures or my prolific Hijra pictures ,, but I dont deal in pictures ,,neither buy nor sell.. I shoot original content ,,
Most of the beggars know me bless me and thank me .. some think I am a beggar too and though with a camera in my hand ladies have given me money and asked me to pray for them..
If I was a bit more educated I could have done a thesis on Beggars ..more as a storyboard with minimum words and some poetry.
And shooting pictures to titillate is not my cup of tea I am a photo blogger ,, we are story tellers , we dont use frames on our street side pictures no fucked water marks ,, and you can recognize our pictures much before you see them.. on Facebook Flickr or Twitter .
Beggars is my lifeline to God .. beggars are his constantly lost tribe ,, and we make beggars to appease the professional demands of our religion and misplaced charity ,..
Religion in India is one of the richest business after politics and acting on screen and hey yes beggars are great actors too.. they could set the stage on fire with their dialogues ,,
A toilet in the slums is totally in the dumps no water to Absolve the guilt of the Indian bum .To shit or not to shit totally stumped.Politically Socially he gets humped a huge chunk of remorse a lump shitting on the tracks as the train comes he jumps.Fuck Donald Trump.
Shah-e-Mardan Sher-e-Yazdan Quwat-e-Parwardigar Lafata Ila Ali La Saif Ila Zulfiqar , originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1 ....
Ek Shahenshah Ne Banake Yeh Haseen Tajmahal Ham Gareebon Ki Mohabbat Ka Udaya Hai Mazak.. , a photo by firoze shakir photographerno1 on Fli...