An accident on London Streets

This picture has a peculiar story. I was rushing by Piccadilly in London not sure what was happening and just clicked on it. A very large man standing next to me looked at me accusingly

” what the fuck did you shoot that for”

I looked carefully and realized it was an accident. Mumbled an apology and left. I had obviously upset his sensibilities and it was understandable. As I was a bit away he shouted

” You shit head”

I thought about a confrontation. Decided I would do so, and went back to him.

” Do you watch TV ??” I said.

“what business is it of yours, but yes”

“and you watch video’s of Afghan kids dying on the streets, and Iraqi civilians with their limbs blown off, and every where else that your troops have caused death and destruction and your media has gleefully put them on your TV and you watch them. But it’s not OK for me to shoot something in the street of London that may have been an accident ? Why ?”

I wish I could send him this picture to compare mine to the ones media shows.

I was being unreasonable I knew, but was angry. I was actually angry at all the the hype being given to the new Wiki leaks about what the US and British troops did. Like the world did not know all this was going on ? What kind of naivety is that ?

44 Responses to “An accident on London Streets”

  1. Its hard to argue against the logic you used. What was the man’s response?

  2. shekhar says:

    i left because I was getting late for a screening, but I guess if i stayed, he would have been obliged to up the ante’

  3. TWINS says:

    It was a little insensitive of you but your point of view to that man was absolutely correct as the man needed to know that he was being indecent.
    But maybe this is what we call double standard and hypocracy of the west.

  4. I remember while ragging one of my juniors annoyed I told him “u cant f*** hear”…n he said sum medical problem wid his ears…and I instantly laughed laughing a few seconds later it was insensitive..but by then I was gettin pathetic stares…I guess sumtimes….We just have an instant to react and logic is partly processed by brain and our actions takes their course..

  5. Horst Vollmann says:

    Shekhar,

    your reasoning is obviously right on the mark although you may have directed your anger at a cantankerous bloke whose self-righteous reaction to an act he thought was improper was rooted in the age old code of conduct imposed upon us by society and our own conscience at a time when the nerve endings of sensitivities were still raw and tender. In the meantime calluses have developed for the more recent horrors to be extensively viewed on Youtube and to be glimpsed in ever lengthening sequences of death and destruction on TV. This man in the street of London has obviously not yet grasped the hypocrisy in his thinking and may neatly be compartmentalizing his sense of indignation when our world has already long grown blunted to the obscenity of a far greater morbid curiosity.

    Obviously the world knows about all these acts of cruelty but I strongly believe that there is a collective fatigue to process it and as long as there is a denial that these acts are not a function of government sanctioned warfare but rather immoral deeds of brutal individuals nothing will change peoples uncanny ability to sanitize the ugliness of war and to placate their bad conscience.

  6. KayEm says:

    What DID you think it was? If I didn’t see the person in the centre of that group being attended to, I would be curious too. They look like they are looking down a pothole or something. As for that man’s anger – totally out of proportion – perhaps to justify his wanting to call you names.

  7. sunita says:

    we’re increasingly cynical about media reporting now and during a crisis, crowd-sourced information such as the photo you would have taken may prove to be invaluable e.g. you may have inadvertently caught the perpetrator or caught some evidence which may have been later contaminated.

    as for that man next to you, how different an invasion of privacy is it to snap a picture with your phone or to capture an image in your mind, as he was doing standing there right next to you…?

  8. Rudra says:

    Let me play Devil’s Advocate here.

    I don’t believe Shekhar went back to this man and said what he said . Such Spine from a Celeb ? Shekhar ? Really ?

    Why would you Risk getting hit by a hooligan ? A famous Director like yourself ? With So much at stake , would you really have gone back to a potential Thug and said something that intellectual ? Would the said Guy have understoof what you said ? Are you sure Shekhar , you were thinking of giving it back , but the incident never took place ?

    I think the man may have been disgusted that someone is filming or picturing an Accident – nothing to do with you being a Foriegner in England.

    But having said that – Almost 2 million Iraqi and Afghan Civilian casualities by the Anlgo- Saxon Empire will not go without some Karmic Repurcussion.

    But , If the said incident is really true Shekhar – I commend you for showing some Spine – thats aasking a lot from English speaking Intelligensia of India.

  9. Kiran Kandade says:

    Shekhar, sure you clicked that picture out of curiosity & unawareness that it was of somebody in trouble, but your justification of it escapes me. Do 2 wrongs make a right?

  10. aarohi14 says:

    @rudra
    Bravo for confronting shekhar on his own web page and calling him a liar (of course subtly). What do you think, is he going to admit to you that he lied and made up a story?

    you sure are a cynic my dear friend, if you decide to read someone how about just keeping faith. And if you don’t believe, is it really necessary to comment something like that.

  11. Janita says:

    There are two sides to every question( you making the photo, being angry about the hype being / the men on the street who insult you for making the photo). Did he give you an answer?
    I think the kind of naivety you asked is an pluralistic naivety-ignorance. How can you not be informed about ” what the US and British troops did”(Afghanistan, Iraq etc. ) There is a limit to everything.Thats the reason why I don t watch TV anymore.That what I call consequence.

  12. Harb says:

    aarohi14, well said.

  13. KayEm says:

    From the language the man used, it is clear he himself lacked sensibilities. The first time might’ve been acceptable – he genuinely didn’t understand Shekhar’s ghoulish tastes in clicking at someone’s obviously private moments of pain and distress. (Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt.)

    But when Shekhar was unable to come up with anything by way of an explanation except a genuine “sorry”, for not realising what or who was in the centre of that crowd, this man indulged in some more ugly name calling, the big, crude oaf! The BULLY.

  14. Pallavi says:

    I don’t want to offend you Shekhar. What I believe and follow is, when you feel someone is doing something wrong, then you yourself should not be doing the same. In this context it’s about the broadcast od the ‘videos’ on TV.

    I know you have not clicked the pic intentionally and also there is nothing ‘offending’ in the pic itself. But when you compare this pic with the ‘offensive videos’, then i think you should not have posted this photo, as you youself belive that some how this is wrong!!

  15. justbe says:

    bravo aarohi!

    & uncle herb, cheer up,
    cheers to the devil & the god: )

  16. AJ says:

    It appears a British lost his values (politeness)
    Or Maybe he is not British

    Truth hurts

    Your thought about a confrontation and putting the facts as is, most appreciated. An excellence of courage, which no doubt you are …

  17. sara n says:

    The hypocrisy and the pseudo human rights and sensibilities that west practices couldn’t have come out more vividly. I wont blame that man though. That is how he is trained think.

  18. ajay says:

    Hi,

    See,observation and being in process itself is two different thing.Let me put another way,if someone is invovled in any issues emotionally or in reality which is connecting him in anyway like race,cast,profession,in that case, his reaction would be different,And again something which is just being observed without any connection then that person’s reaction would be different.We would not react in the same way to some european civil war while we would react strongly about Ram mandir issue ,why so?

    Now coming to shekhar’s reaction,there is two side to it, number one,he reacted not because he was only offended by iraqi civilian war videos by UK media,of course ,its one of the reason why he gave reply to that person,but he also get insulted by that unknown person which definately hurt his ego sponteanously somewhere his subconscious mind worked and said that he is celebrity so it happen.

    As far as that individual person concern again he reacted because he was somewhere emotionally involove with that accidents so he shouted at shekhar when he took pictures,its perfectly normal for him.

    Who is right?

  19. Rudra says:

    hahaha….silly but interesting to see some responses…

  20. Chakra says:

    SK tried to pull off a danny boyle kinda act and fell flat on his face; this whole thing shd have reminded him of his roots…..

  21. justbe says:

    silliness is infectious my dear friend. lol.

  22. justbe says:

    & uncle harb, (on your feeling in another post ‘just feeling like closing shop’):
    Leave out that option till you feel there are atleast 1% of the people who are there within an atmosphere (shekhar’s site in this case, including shekhar) who are able to catch in some way the freshness of the so called old(same old:) fragrance that comes through you.

    or shall i say – don’t be silly: )

  23. brahmastra says:

    So the pseudos wanted the Nuclear bill to pass so all these foreign companies can come in to put more money into the UPA’s Swiss bank accounts while further destroying the rural landscape, and on the other hand they talk about rural welfare ? No point blaming US, UK on Iraq..when you are doing it to own people.

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/Nuke-power-project-3000-villagers-court-arrest-in-Ratnagiri/articleshow/6836138.cms

  24. Appu says:

    The second shout And the argument – The reason.

  25. Chakra says:

    Kudos to you Brahmastra [as always] for showcasing real issues on this blog; like the one above and also about SK raising his voice against Cola brands.

    SK has pathan looks and hence his soft corner for AfPak 😉

  26. Harb says:

    justbe, alright, but I must say there is a very fine dividing line between that ‘fragrant’ knowledge and being silly.

    To know more visit my freshly created blog as above and let us see whither and how far we go. Not for nothing some wise man said “vehle aadmi da dimaag shaitan di workshop lol.”

  27. justbe says:

    thts true indeed, tkx for your countercomment.

    actually the silliness part was just on a lighter vein and a bit carried away too i must admit, but yes point taken.

  28. Mee says:

    Its the arrogance of the european world as opposed to the frustration of the developing world.

    Belonging to a Corporate world- one sees these power struggles everyday!The average american or australian or the english believe they have more knowledge than us, so try to undermine the Indians at every step. And when they don’t get their way they go crying to global sugar pops n moms who are quick to flog the Indians n deliver stern lectures!

  29. Ra'ed says:

    You were right man… Don’t give it a thought

  30. Shreemoyee Kanungo says:

    The images on TV are brought in by paid professionals with an object to provide news, ( One may debate about the graphicness of the images and moderation needed) yet the images are there to record an incident in public consciousness. Also TV creates a certain physical and mental distance from the scene being broadcast – people watching it are not physically present to be able to act on the information in terms of help or just staying out of the way. In this, the TV crew’s job of filming the incident is an intrusive and thankless one.

    Being an onlooker and clicking a picture/recording an incident, without a specific purpose seems more voyeuristic. Yet public recording of an incident does have value i.e pictures out of the iraq elections last year from twitter. This looks to be a gray area topic.

  31. SHIVA says:

    DEAR SHEKHAR,
    PLEASE IGNORE THE IRRELEVANCE OF THE TOPIC AS I JUST HAVE A POINT TO SAY. ITS HIGH TIME THAT YOU CONSIDER REMAKING MASOOM PART 02. LET IT BE LIKE Masoom-The Journey Continues. WITH URMILA, JUGAL, NASERUDIN, SHABANA AND TANUJA STILL THE BEST CAST AROUND, WHY NOT CONTINUE THAT STORY FAST FORWARDED 15 YEARS LETS SAY. WITH OLD CLIPPINGS OF ALL THESE IN THEIR YOUNGER DAYS, FLASHBACK TECHNIQUES LIKE BLACK, BLUE OR GREEN WHATEVER YOU KNOW BEST. LETS SAY THE STORY GOES LIKE THIS THE YOUNGER KID (MINI) IS NO MORE AND THIS BONDS BETWEEN BROTHER AND SISTER THAT IS RAHUL AND PINKI GETS MORE STRONGER WITH TIMES. BOTH HAVE AHARD-WORKING AND SUCCESSFUL CARRER. INDU AND DK ARE MORE MATURE IN RELATIONSHIPS AND KEEP SUPPORTING THE TWO KIDS. LET THIS BE A GOODDY-GOODDY STORY WITH HAPPY ENDING AND MORE MORALES FOR THE YOUNGER GENERATION. MORALE ENDING MAY BE WITH THE MESSAGE THAT ANYBODY CAN MAKE MISTAKES BUT IT TAKES A GENTLEMAN TO ADMIT IT. As Luis Miguel Mexican singer, producer and songwriter quoted I think we all wish we could erase some dark times in our lives. But all of life’s experiences, bad and good, make you who you are. Erasing any of life’s experiences would be a great mistake.

    PLEASE CONSIDER MY PLEA AND DO THINK ON THIS PROJECT. MY 5 YEAR GIRL STILL RIDES ON THE LAKDI KI KATHI SONG. ITS A GREAT CONTRIBUTION SIR, KEEP THE GOOD WORK GOING.

    FROM,
    Dr. AITHAL (AssT. Prof),
    PhD MICROBIOLOGY
    UDUPI HOTEL NATRAJ,
    SHIVAJI ROAD,
    PARBHANI-431401

  32. shivashankar says:

    Everyone including Shakhar is unable to decipher why he reacted like this …this was totally Racial by the Old white man …the Whites as we all know always need a sucker to live happily . First it were the Africans and now that the Africans are fucking their white babes big time they are left alone , then it were the Chinese and Japanese but they are beating these guys economically . So now its the Indians who are the new suckers .

  33. Uttarakhand says:

    So, what will you do if that is going in the Streets of India?

  34. Well done, Shekhar! Guys don’t forget he shoots everywhere uniformity and honesty. However I don’t believe Wikileaks is all hype, its a people’s forum, and it deserves solidarity from well-meaning honest intellectuals and celebrities like Shekhar Kapur.

  35. Rudra says:

    By John MacLithon
    12 Nov 2010 12:23:00 AM IST

    An empress of India in new clothes Like Sonia Gandhi, I am a Westerner and a brought-up Christian. Like Sonia Gandhi, I have lived in India many years and I have adopted this country as my own.
    But the comparison ends there. I did land in India with a certain amount of prejudices, clichs and false ideas, and I did think in the enthusiasm of my youth to become a missionary to bring back Indian pagans to the true god. But the moment I stepped in India I felt that there was nothing much that I could give to India, rather it was India which was bestowing me. In fact in all my years here India has given me so much professionally, spiritually, sentimentally. Most Westerners, who come here, still think they are here to give something to a country, which, unconsciously of course, they think is lesser than theirs. It was true of the British, it was true of Mother Teresa, it is true of Sonia Gandhi.
    It is a fact that Sonia brought discipline, order and cohesion into the Indian National Congress. But the amount of power that she, a person of foreign origin, an elected MP like hundreds of others, possesses should frighten her. All the television channels report without a blink that Maharashtra CM rushes to Delhi to meet Sonia Gandhi to plead for his life. But should not Chavan have gone to the prime minister first?
    The CBI blatantly and shamelessly quashed all injunctions against Ottavio Quattrocchi and even allowed him to get away with billions of rupees which he had stolen from India. Yet, without batting an eyelid, and with the Indian media turning a blind eye, it goes ruthlessly after the chief minister of the most efficiently run state, the most corruption free. Today the Congress, with Sonias overt or silent consent, pays crores of rupees to buy MPs to topple non-Congress governments. Her governors shamelessly hijack democracy by twisting the law.
    Are Indians aware that their country has entered a state of semi-autocracy where every important decision comes from a single individual residing in her fortress of 10 Janpath surrounded by dozens of security men, an empress of India? Do they know that the huge amounts of the scams, whether the 2G, the CWG, or the Adarsh housing society scam, do not go into politicians pockets (only a fraction), but to the coffers of the Congress for the next general elections, and more than anything to please Sonia Gandhi? Nobody seems to notice what is happening under the reign of Sonia Gandhi.
    That an Arundhati Roy is allowed to preach secession in India, whereas on the other hand the Congress government has been going after the army, the last body in India to uphold the time-honoured values of the Kshatriyas courage, honour, devotion to the Motherland. They alone today practise true secularism, never differentiating between a Muslim or Hindu soldier and who for a pittance daily give their lives to their country. First it was the attempt of a caste census, a divide-and-rule ploy if there is one; then there are the first signs that the government is thinking about thinning down the presence of the Indian army in the Kashmir valley, which will suit Pakistan perfectly. And now there is the Adarsh housing society scam in which the army officers, at the worst, were innocently dragged into it. We know now that it was the politicians of the Congress who benefited the most out of it.
    It would be impossible in France, for example, to have a non-Christian tell a Hindu (who is a non-elected president or PM) to be the absolute ruler of the country behind the scenes, superseding even the PM. There are many capable people in the Congress. Why cant a billion Indians find one of their own, who will understand the complexity and subtlety of India, to govern themselves? Not only that, but her very presence at the top has unleashed forces, visible and invisible that are detrimental to the country. There is nothing wrong in espousing the best of the values of the West democracy, technological perfection, higher standards of living but many of the institutions are crumbling in the West: two out of three marriages end in divorce, kids shoot each other, parents are not cared for in their old age, depression is rampant and Westerners are actually looking for answers elsewhere, in India notably.
    One does not understand this craze to Westernise India at all costs, while discarding its ancient values. Sonia Gandhi should do well to remember that there still are 850 million Hindus in India, a billion worldwide and that whatever good inputs were brought by different invasions, it is the ancient values of spirituality behind Hinduism which have made India so special and which gives it today unique qualities making an Indian Christian different from an American Christian, or an Indian Muslim different from a Saudi Muslim. It is an insult to these tolerant Hindus to show United States President Barack Obama as his first input of the Indian capital the tomb of Humayun, a man who slaughtered Hindus in thousands, taking Hindu women and children as captives. He even subjected his elder brother Kamran to brutal torture, gauging his eyes out and pouring lemon into them.
    The tragedy of India is that it was colonised for too long. And unlike China, it always looks to the West for a solution to its problems. Sonia Gandhi, whatever her qualities, is just an incarnation of that hangover, an empress of India in new clothes.

  36. Harb says:

    It is also a speciality of India that it adopts her bahus as her own who then no longer belong to their parents or parent countries.

  37. brahmastra says:

    The brown-sahibs of India will sell their souls for a BlackBerry that is made in China. These are the kind of people that support the likes of Sonia Maino and Sheila Dikshit. The futility of injecting any sense into such people is on display in instances such as when Sonia Maino was laughing away with other party members when Sushma Swaraj was screaming hoarse about the corruption scandals in parliament. Sonia Maino knows all too well that the UPA’s pseudo-secularist divide and rule strategies are a fool-proof way to fill up her swiss bank coffers. The 70,000 crores swindle in CWG and the lakhs of crores in 2G scandals are mostly the tax money of middle and poor class.

  38. brahmastra says:

    Another 4 years of UPA? God bless India!

  39. brahmastra says:

    Again, the Harvard Professor Dr. Swamy on (Raul Vinci) Rahul Gandhi’s education & citizenship:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5As3uAc0vU

    This is the kind of critical information that needs to be shown on NDTV and other Indian media. Anyone who votes for this guy or Sonia is off their rocker.

  40. brahmastra says:

    Harb,

    Please check out these facts about the “bahu” Sonia Maino:

    Dr. Subramaniam Swamy on Sonia’s family smuggling Indian artifacts:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mjdFujlVwo

    Dr. Subramaniam Swamy on Sonia’s education lies:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-BfdiWpICo4

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vX64jdbJh0
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTzLOxnppRA
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bWtCkTtCCE

    By the way, Swamy is the former Law Minister of India. This “bahu” needs to be sent back to where she came from.

  41. hilal hayat says:

    west always dominant, rest of the world because their dual policy.

  42. Khanna says:

    USA = United States of Arm Traders
    USA = United States of Anger
    USA = United States of Adultery
    USA = United States of Accusations
    USA = Un Solicited Assistance
    USA = Un Solicited Aid

  43. Pratul says:

    Dear Rudra: You hit the nail – “ thats asking a lot from English speaking Intelligentsia of India.” Well said.

    If Shekhar believes that he was yelled at because he took this stupid photo, I will use his own words here – “What kind of naivety is that?”. You live in UK my friend.

  44. RajuK says:

    When I was a kid, and first heard of war photographers, I was baffled, that such a profession exists. Yes, there are people who go on the frontlines with soldiers, but these guys do not carry guns, instead they carry cameras. These are the people who capture the images from Iraq and Afghanistan that Shekar was referring to. Sometimes you wander, shouldn’t these photographers carry a gun instead of the camera, shouldn’t they shoot the enemy with a gun, instead of a camera?

    It is then, these photographers (Shekhar included) will tell you, “exactly, I shoot with a camera, not a gun”. And add something like, “the soldiers shot will kill only the few enemies he can see, but my shot will go back to the decision makers to decide to fund this war, and to posterity to see are there really any winners in wars…”.

    Similar argument applies to Film-makers like Shekhar. At times, don’t you wander why are people making fictional movies, instead of focussing on real-life issues? In other words, why did Shekhar dedicate his life to fictional movie making, and not to social work, or contest (cleanly) in political elections, or lead peaceful protests, or not do something real?

    It is then people like Shekhar will tell you that they can contribute more to society by fiction, rather than facts. Hitler understood this, and did control German propoganda media.

    The first time ever I saw deformed Caucasians was when I first visited the Western world. Before that, we get to see only the healthy whites visiting India, or Hollywood’s glamour. So this image of Shekhar is exactly what Shekar said it is, “to show the rest of the world, that even the British have road side emergencies”. Why is the English man annoyed at that? Face the reality. And it may not have a negative impact on Britishers. In fact, it would generate compassion for Britishers around the world, that they too are human and frail like the rest of us.

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