Thursday, April 22, 2010

Elegy for an Undead Person of Interest

This is for Firoze Shakir, the noted Sufi-inspired Poet, Blogger,

Flogger (yes, he flogs himself) and Pho-togger of the dark
side of Humanity. The one who unerringly refers to himself
as 'Bollywood's Most Wanted' and 'Photographer No.1'.
As he approaches the sixth decade of his life he has begun to
increasingly ponder on that extraordinary life and what it
might mean if he is gone and forgotten by all including the
media and his long list of followers and friends on the Social
Networks he haunts at all hours. I responded via email that I
would make sure that didn't happen, because I was in the
process of gathering my thoughts in order to write him a fitting
eulogy, one that he could appreciate while he was still alive.
Here's what came out of that promise.........

Let no man write the Epitaph
of the man who lived to Photograph.
Except me, maybe.

Endless Comments of praise
lengthy Poems of Pain
from a tireless body
and an untiring brain.

Firoze slept with one eye
as the other one scanned
his photos of victims -
the downtrodden, the damned,
the rich man, the beggar
Transgenders and Gays -
no one escaped
his unyielding gaze.

From Bandstand, in Bandra
to Borivli and Thar
he loitered and lingered
in Andheri and Khar
to make himself welcome,
to shoot pictures unharmed
Firoze traveled through Mumbai
as many he charmed.

With feet void of footwear -
often bleeding and cut,
boldly he entered
a Mosque, Church or hut
with simple intentions of showing the truth
of lives all around him,
be they smooth or uncouth.

The orphans, the children
he cried for each time
his lens perpetrated
the scene of that crime
where Padres and sinners,
fanatics in trance
played out life as his camera
recorded their dance.....

the dance for the Prophet -
this follower bled,
piercing body and soul,
even cutting his head
as a symbol of Faith,
as a means to an end
seeking justice for all -
a kind-hearted friend.

On Vox and on Twitter
his words still resound, 
on Facebook and Flickr
his pictures astound
those without eyes
and those without ears
who spit out their secrets,
but rarely their fears.

So was it all worth it,
this endless crusade
to educate, enlighten ?
This Tailor by trade

was a Poet by calling -
superb lensman, no doubt.
We would err by forgetting
him. Over and out.

How to Use Flickr: The Digital Photography Revolution

Twitter For Dummies
Facebook For Dummies

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