At the time of writing, the government’s lock down in India has gone on for over a month. If you ask why, then there is only one answer—we were all caught surprised and unaware by the speed of transmission of the second wave of Covid-19. Apart from this, we nothing prepared us for the sheer viciousness of the second wave. Yes, Covid-19 caught us unawares.
I don’t want to get into any debate about how the government has failed, because it has. The second wave of the virus has devastated people across the country, and no one will be the same. Apart from this, the vaccination rate is very slow, and I expect that millions of Indians will remain unvaccinated by the end of the year.
What this means is that we are looking at the strong possibility of a third wave.
Since I have been ‘locked down’, I have been spared much of the chaos, the death, and the misery. Yet, I could not put the faces of the people I photographed behind me.
So, when I decided to re-edit some images, I shot a few years back; I focused on the faces of some individuals. Here, I had gone to Zakhir Nagar, in South Delhi a few years back, to take part in a food walk. The organizers had planned this in the holy month of Ramzan, or Ramadan. The word Ramadan refers to the scorching heat of the sun. I assume that the scorching heat of the daily fasting reflects the scorching heat of the desert.
I remember straying off from the group and wandering around the streets. When you think about it, there is only that much you can eat in one evening. Anymore, and you resemble a stuffed pig.
When I walked around, I spoke to the people, and then photographed them. There were some who I photographed and subsequently acknowledged with a smile. I find this to be the best way to do street photography.
Recently, when I edited the images again, I wondered what had become of them. You will see, in the image above, two men sitting in front of a shop. They were chatty and seemed to be friends.
Where are they now? The one thing I know, is that we Indians have been pulling ourselves out of this mess by supporting each other, and we know that the government has failed us. This is not the first time, and neither will it be the last.
I shot these images with my Nikon D 200 years back, using a 50 mm f1.4 prime lens. The light was low, so I had opened the lens but was still shooting at ISO 800.
When I edited this image, I started with DXO Pure RAW, which is fantastic. Then I ran it through Photoshop, and finished it in Nik Silver Efex Pro, where I gave it a selenium tone.
If you are interested, you can click this link to a Loom video where I discuss two other images.