Firoze Shakir Hijra Poetry
My poems on eunuchs hijras for whom I have a lot of respect.
Since a few years I have been shooting eunuchs, hijras and transgenders, not for any other reason, but to bring their life as real as it is to the world beyond.
I first began shooting the Hijras of Matunga, as they solicited customers on the road from their tenements on the railway tracks, without being seen from the safety of my car window.
Today they are no more inhabiting this place that was recently demolished and the tenements relocated.
I dont know what happened to the Hijras of this place.
I made up stories of their nocturnal adventures, than I caught up with them accidentally on a Mountain Shrine called Haji Malang, I was a guest of the Chancawalli Body peircing Sufis called Rafaees, here I met Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, who is metrosexual net savvy jet flying Hijra having acted in a German transgender film, In Between Lines,
we knew each other for11 years but had never kept in touch at all.
From here my journey took me to their All India Hijra conference Mumbai, I was bodily thrown out because of my Sadhu attire, but the event managers seeing my press card of Bandra Samachar allowed me to shoot pictures, I shot over1500 pictures in 1 and a half day.
I also shot pictures of a 8 year old eunuch Mona.
Thus began my tryst with the Hijras and the beginnings of my Hijra or Eunuch poetry..
After this I met the Hijras at the Holy Shrine of Khwajah Moinuddin Chishti Ajmer, I met Mona and all the Hijdas I had met at the Hijra Conference...
This was a shot trip, but I was shooting them including the ascetics of Char Yar called Malangs.Char Yar is a cemetery of ascetics.
Back to Mumbai I was planning to go to the Eunuch festival in Koovagam Koothandavar 2007, but I cut the tendon of my right hand, while slashing my forehead at Delhi for Chehlum.. so I could not make it..
This year I became a disciple of Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, my Hijra Guru..this has nothing do with sexual orientation, I became a heterosexual chela or disciple..of their clan, which makes it easier for me to mingle and shoot pictures.The Hijras of India have their unique ethnicity, gods like Lord Iravan the Hijras of the South of India are called Iravanis..
They have another goddess Bhaichura Mata too..
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