Delhi, 2020 Lockdown days…. 1.2.3.4.5 ?

Everywhere, unusually closed, like dried out, a ghost effect….
Yes, I have never seen the capital New Delhi like this.

Everywhere, unusually closed, like dried out, a ghost effect….
Yes, I have never seen the capital New Delhi like this.
Delhi had never shut down in any circumstance, no matter what. Since 1997, I have never experienced such a closure. During the first 65 days of the lockdown, I went around the city to find out how it made its peace with the new conditions.
I found Connaught Place, Chandni Chowk, Nehru Place, Chawri bazaar, Kashmiri Gate, India Gate, Jama masjid and many more bustling areas of this megapolis, emptied of energy and people like never before. At times, I felt it’s a dream.

The streets of Delhi used to vibrant. The city never slept. Once the shops are closed for the day, the homeless, rikshawallahs and migrant labourers occupied the nooks and corners of the capital. It’s their home for the night, they cook the only meal and be together.
When I saw Delhi shut like this, I felt its heart has stopped beating. The migrants and small-scale labourers are leaving as they felt insecure here and decided to move. Delhi was not stopping them. Delhi needs all kinds of people to keep it alive. Otherwise, how can you call it Delhi. It’s your capital city.
I come from a land of hartal and protests where they close the entire state over any frivolous issue. I am reminded of the time when I was in Fort Kochi on an assignment for India Today. They declared a hartaal overnight. I knew that I won’t be able to do anything as I won’t get any transport to move around, difficult to find eateries or tattukadas. “Thattukadas” means street food carts, normally found in every corners and most popular in Kerala. I ignored the hartaal and walked the entire island. I was alone in the streets.

Today the same feeling is back. Since 1997 I have never seen Delhi gone dry like this. During my lockdown walks, I realised that the roads, streets, malls, bazaars in Delhi are waiting to have your presence. I see the tears…
I am sure, people will return, finally.

#lockdown #covid19 #newdelhi #india fight against corona #india #gireeshgvphotography #gireeshgv #kochi #connaughtplace #tradecenters #photojournalism

on a Hartaal day, Bazaar road, Fort Kochi, Kerala in 2006