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Brilliant bytes from a Delhiite's life

Henna Rakheja, Jul 3, 2014, DHNS : 19:33 IST

Telling shots

The long alleys of a historical monument, the vast expanse around the war memorial of India Gate and the speeding vehicles on road that whizz past, their flashing headlights a reminder of a City in a tearing hurry.

All these and more when put together define the National Capital of India which “is an ever agitated and roaring city” with oxymoronic exisence at every step, high rise buildings next to slums and plush malls standing tall against ancient single-storey markets.

As denizens of this famed City, we live and see this every single day of our lives but when glimpses of the same are represented in photographs, one does halt to take a second look at them! Pictures clicked by Jagdev Singh for the exhibition ‘Life Bytes @ Delhi’, have a similar effect.

While going to the popular restaurant Delhi ‘O’ Delhi at India Habitat Centre, the tiny black and white photographs hanging in the foyer don’t immediately impress. But on a closer look, the images remind a Delhiite of his or her life in the City and introduce a non-Delhiite to the National Capital.

Each of the 10 photographs has been given a title which makes it easy for a viewer to relate the picture to the thought that occupied the lensman’s mind while taking the shot. Be it ‘People’ – with a reflection of people in a puddle or the ‘Night Bazaar’ – where hazy shots of people’s faces represent their anonymity in a market; all photographs depict the life of commoners.

“The city presents a unique and a dynamic face at every corner. The city per se appears overcrowded and you see traffic moving bumper to bumper on several main roads of the city. Busy markets, street food, cycle rickshaws, night bazaars flooded with people are a common sight in Delhi. Life never stops in the streets of Delhi,” says Singh who has tried to capture the essence of this place with his Canon 450 D camera.

Photographs in which Singh clicks pigeons pecking grain near Connaught Place show the humane side whereas, the photograph of hoards of people in Tilak Nagar market represents the ever-increasing population.

“I shot the Tilak Nagar market’s entrance from a flyover,” says Singh who is a resident of West Delhi and has shown this part along with Old and Central Delhi in a justifiable manner. But most of the pictures omit South Delhi, making the exhibition an incomplete impression.

Singh’s fascination with the architecture of Jantar Mantar is presented in the photograph ‘Symmetry’ which showcases the monument in a different light, almost like a Baoli. “Even the centre pillar of the photograph is worth a mention because it shows the scribblings of visitors and the love of Delhiites to give their autographs on old buildings,” adds the photographer who displays a keen eye for details rather than opting for wide-angle view.

It is difficult to overlook the picture ‘Majestic’ with a single dog in the frame that captures India Gate and the canopy in red sandstone in alignment. Few from the present young generation are aware that the canopy which was built in memory of Sir George V is now kept empty as the statue was removed after the country won independence.

Singh says he purposely waited for “all humans to vacate the area and the lucky dog to enter the frame” so that he could take this brilliant shot.The exhibition is on display at Delhi ‘O’ Delhi foyer, IHC till July 31.

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