Mumtaz Madonna

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    Mumtaz was the beauty of her little gang of Triplicane street kids in Madras (Chennai). She daydreamed about opening a hair "saloon," but wound up falling in love with Haniffa, the local Romeo. They finally married when Mumtaz was about five months pregnant.

    My friend Mr. Robert bought their house in a slum near Marina Beach, as well as all the utensils you see in the photo - which are kept very tidily on the shelves.

    aelena, dalva, varungm, R45821, and 27 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    View 6 more comments

    1. j.d.ripper (Nigel) ages ago | reply

      The link for "Mr Robert's site" seems to be broken. Site no longer up?

      can't find the server at

      do you have an updated link ?

    2. cecile.johns ages ago | reply

      she's so tiny, and her face so radiant.

    3. saicode ages ago | reply

      nice description.....she has got such bright eyes!

    4. Sirensongs ages ago | reply

      Sorry, Jack D Ripper, the site does appear to be down now. Maybe I can get Mr Robert to restore it. It was full of his stories watching the street kids grow up.

    5. Christian Lagat ages ago | reply

      Very beautiful picture, and touching story !
      All your women portraits are really great ! You have a real good connection with people...

    6. Lars-Gunnar Svärd ages ago | reply

      Vilken skönhet och en sorglig kärlekshistoria...

    7. Sirensongs ages ago | reply

      @Hobbe: Can you translate? karlekhistoria seems to mean "story...."?

    8. Sirensongs ages ago | reply

      Since so many people enjoyed this photo and the story, here's an update. Mumtaz has just had her second baby, this time a girl. She has evidently had "an operation" to have her tubes tied but since they are poor, god knows what this really means. I hope she didn't go to a quack.

      Mumtaz, it turns out, was far younger than I realized when she had the baby in the photo. At the time of his birth Mumtaz was about 14 years old! Of course, it is hard to say because none of the Street Kids had proper birth documents. Some had ration cards, but even those just have an estimated age.

      Mr Robert, who is still in touch with the Madras Street Kids, wrote this:

      Most of the kids in Triplicane marry soon after 14.
      Both Nagamma's
      mother and grandmother had their first children when they
      were 14. You can be a grandmother at 28 and dead by 39 (though women live much longer than the men.) It is a very short life.

      When I visited India for the first time 10 years ago, Mumtaz was about 7 or 8 years old. (Her ration card birth date said she was 6
      years old.)

      I hope the daughter takes after Mumtaz.

    9. HOLISTICAOLGA ages ago | reply

      Tu eres otro yo !!

    10. tigrić ages ago | reply

      i could spend hours looking at her face! ;)

    11. Azani_Manaf ages ago | reply

      the kind of pic that tells a thousand stories ... well captured. Love it

    12. gobou [deleted] ages ago | reply

      Excellent image and capture - I love all the details of the shot

    13. HAKANU ages ago | reply

      A wonderful capture and lady and story! Lovely portrait!

      Voyageurs du monde

      Group voyageurs du monde
      Congratulations: Voyageurs du monde

    14. an-sk ages ago | reply

      Seen in Travel Photojournalism
      brillant picture..and i love her smile

    15. Cuqui Ros ages ago | reply

      absolute beauty !

    16. livetowander 119 months ago | reply

      She's certainly got a sparkle in her eyes.

    17. Carlos Alberto Ávila 116 months ago | reply

      Oi! Sou administrador de um grupo chamado Pessoas do Mundo ( People of the world ) e nós adoraríamos ter isto adicionado ao grupo!

    18. vnsipped 112 months ago | reply

      She's really beautiful!! Like a princess she has a great love story!!!

    19. Jeans Man Japan 95 months ago | reply

      I d like be in touch with MUNTAZ. someone else know how to get she adress or contact ?
      becouse I live in japan and would like bring some gifts to baby and maam.
      So hope someone can give some help thanks.
      andre costa

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