Thursday, March 3, 2016

The Quintessential Street Barbers of Bandra



There are a few professional communities I shoot with a divine passion ..and barbers dabbawalas transgender beggars fakirs street performers are some of them the list is endless ..
I shoot street barbers close to my house at Lal Mitti Bandra reclamation and they are north Indians from Bihar and Jharkhand .
They sit close to the bus stop so I meet them if I am going to town or Dadar ...they give me a smile inquire about my health ..they look at me quizzically as I now wear slippers earlier I walked free bare feet .
The other Bandra barbers are all my friends they hunt for customers on the streets but most have regular clientele ..The barbers undertake religious Tonsure and male circumcision ..
Now the barbers in this video sit across
Baba Nagar St Peter Road and after I had shot the Hill Road demolitions I took a detour to my house through this lane and began shooting their video.
He wanted to order tea I politely refused ..and St Peter Road is my earliest humble beginnings I had my first workspace here ..for a few years and it was the time I was incorrigiblly attached to my camera and shot the St Peter Church ..Thanks to Fr Lawrie who encouraged me I shot to learn ..I shot Jesus I shot the Holy Ghost the clergy and the parioshners and the silence of the sacristy I shot the golden glow of the Tabernacle .
I missed nothing I shot a few friends Christian weddings out of sartorial curiosity .I shot deaths holy communion Adoration Good Friday Lent Xmas New Year and feast of St Ignatius Loyola .
And all this helped me get the hang of the camera I shot kids Stanislites playing hockey football.
And outside the Church walls I passionately shot the street barbers ..I shot this lanes muted pain as everybody threw garbage ..they still do ..
I shot a lot of images of Baba Nagar and I have a huge collection of slides negative s classic BW prints all stored beneath my bed and my wife wants me to get rid of it.
But I can't destroy what I passionately created ...
This is a blog for those who swear by the blog and sadly most bloggers are caught in a vortex of inner confusion ..I moved away from analog photography camera clubs from blogging platform s I am no more a blogger I renounced blogging both as a means or and end ..
I now call myself a storyteller I demistify time and space in a nutshell as I try to bring you into the web of my fleeting thoughts shot as pictures ..that are stories of my inner angst my sporadic spiritual reminiscences ..in short every frame a poetry of Life .
I shoot impulsively there is no method to my madness ..I shoot to 're discover the loneliness of a man's life on the streets with a scissors in his hand ..The furtive glance of the street barber ...
I guess this love for haircutting inherently came from my childhood friend Cory Walia he used my head my hair to experiment new styles at his house above Rasna at Churchgate .
When he moved to Khar my head moved too..ready to be teased and tortured mostly Cory made me look like his nephew Rahul Roy .
I was very close to Micky Contractor those early 80 s we both worked for Akbar Khan he did the make up I did the clothes .
I was close to Pandri Dada as he did the make up for Mr Kabir Bed I did both the summer winter designs for the Vimal suiting campaign.
My earliest contact with hairdressing was in 1975 when I worked at Burlington s Taj and late Mr Hakim Sab would join us for lunch at Burlington s we got along very well as Madame Ponpadour watched us our laughter our mirth..Hakim sab never charged us a dime ...The Taj was a treasure trove of sweet memories .
DRD Madame Surmount JRD got their clothes done by our crazy Master Bulbule .
Than came Rashid at the Taj Salon he stayed near my mother's house
When I shifted to Bandra it was Anand from Centaur Salon .
I lost track....and now as my tribute to my hairraising memories I shoot street barbers eloquently ...cosmically poetically .
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