Nostalgic clicks of Dilli 6

Enthusiastic and passionate about his birth place in Old Delhi, photographer Hemant J Khendilwal has curated the exhibition ‘Old Delhi: A Vibrant Heritage’ at Kavasa Studio.

Someone who has been into fashion and portrait photography for as many as 18 years, Khendilwal stepped in for the first time to do street photography which beautifully encapsulates the values and emotions that were prevalent 200 years ago.

“When I was in India, I never realised the culture and value of Old Delhi. One tends to take such things for granted. But once I moved overseas, I suddenly felt the very strong urge to capture my roots and my ancestral livelihood,” Khendilwal tells Metrolife.

Shot extensively over a period of a few months, the exhibition takes one down the memory lane, when life was much simpler and slower, and the small things held a lot of
significance.

“I have used the sepia tone for all the captures, primarily to instil the feeling of nostalgia amongst the viewers. During a time when people literally get scared of visiting Chandni Chowk or Chawri Bazar, I feel these captures are very crucial in making people aware of Delhi then and now,” he says.

From the local houses to the natural view of the markets, from the laid-back life and mindset of the people to the innocence of childhood, Khendilwal wistfully tries to revive the lost days of glory for Delhiites.

“It is sad to know that the modern day Delhiites don’t even want to venture into Old Delhi. Despite the last-destination connectivity with the Metro, people have this block in mind of getting lost in the streets of Old Delhi,” adds Khendilwal.

Be it the mouth-watering food or the fascinating, vintage shops, everything in
Old Delhi is worth the time and effort.

“Moreover, it’s nice to be around people who are helpful, grounded and modest. In a world of richie-rich and showoffs, people in Old Delhi seek peace and are completely satisfied with what they have. This a rare sight...” he exclaims. In his own artistic way, Khendilwal brought forward the most natural and the most iconic sights of the city.
“If you want to go back to 200 years in just 20 minutes, board a Metro and visit Delhi 6 today!” says Khendilwal while addressing the readers.

He now plans to take forward his love for Old Delhi by writing a book and furthering Old Delhi: A Vibrant Heritage on the international front.

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