As you wonder why I shoot the same Hijdas over and over again..I wonder too.
What is this magnetic fascination for the third sex of India -the Hijdas Indian transgenders.
A community badly maligned, neglected., I talk of the poorer lot that I shoot and not the Metros sexual Hijdas or the jet setting Mujra Dancing Hijda Queens.
Recently there was an article in the Times of a young married guy eloping with the hIjda , he was with great difficullty united with his wife, as they feared he would be castrated eventually.
God save you from the Wrath of a Hijda spurned?
I met this Hijda in the picture at Ajmer during the Urus of Khwajah Garib Nawaz.,presently se heads the begging at the Turner Road Traffic junction.
She is a Guru, of the young Hijdas that you see in my Turner Road Hijda pictures.
Laxmi the beggar Hijda that earlier manned this signal had disappeared for two months to a holy pilgrimage of Balji and Tirupati..so now as I write this Laxmi has been completely sidelined.And Laxmi the beggar Hijda has shaved of her tresses given it Lord Ayappa…
The Hijda devotion for divinity is unmatched for, they give all of themselves whether to Lord Iravan, Goddess Bhauchara Mata or the Holy Saint of Ajmer.
The Hijdas at the Turner Road junction Bandra are a very polite disciplined lot , no strong arm tactics while begging as you see on the trains or at Band Stand Bandra as indulged by those Hijdas.
The Turner Road Hijdas want trinkets from me that I oblige , I pay them too, last I gave the Hijda in the picture Rs40..they take money kiss my hands and its a blessing that I desperately need as a boost in my business.
The job I like best Photo Blogging ,does not pay me, yesterday I was very upset when a Turnet Road beggar who was pursuing me for alms told me , almost humiliating me and he came upto my knees that I was taking pictures and selling them.This hit me hard I was mad but drank my anger so to speak.
So as I have to pass this signal once in the morning and again once in the evening to and fro from my work place I cannot resist taking pictures.
You would if you loved photography and was stuck to your work place without going on pictorial tours.Funny you might not believe it I do not have a passport as my old one expired a few years back.So it is Mumbai.. for me I make do with the street side opportunities I get,,,
I met a Korean photographer at the Durga Visarjan at Juhu -Leslie he works in Mumbai and visited me twice at my tailor shop, yesterday I took him home for Muslim lunch, chicken Korma, chappatis, and cauliflower peas dish..
Wife and Marziyas mom had gone for a Majlis.. so I served him myself..
Explaining to him about the Hijdas and why I love shooting Hijdas.
Yesterday I got a greeting from Marc De Clercq the Belgian photographer who shoots transgenders too, and had stayed at Thane with my Hijda Guru Laxmi Narayan Tripathi..
He had gone to the Ajmer Urus with the Hijdas..he shoots big format ..
I was too meet him at Koovagam for the last Eunuch Festival April 2007 but cancelled the trip due to a sword injury on my rigfht hand during Chehlum Moharam in Delhi.
Marc had a bad time his entire Hassleblad equipment was stolen from a bus depot at Pondicherry Tamil Nadu.
I feel the government of my country must give adequate protection to all tourists, specially photographers who come here to capture the unending magic of India..
I have always helped foreign photographers will continue doing so, as ours is a real Brotherhood of Peace and Harmony..