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S S Kumar 9

Covid Skies by S S Kumar (India)

The changing skies of Kolkata during lockdown captured with an iPhone 11

A series of photographs taken from a Kolkata rooftop

during lockdown became a cherished catalogue of a

unique time


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The announcement of a sudden and prolonged lockdown totalling seventy days confined the entire Indian nation to their homes. Senior citizens and those with comorbidities were particularly vulnerable to infection and were warned not to venture outside under any circumstances. I fitted into the category and took to a new lifestyle, different from my various other busy activities.

Covid brought in visible changes too to the environment. The skies became clearer, visibility often restricted to a few miles now clear and extending to many miles. The splendour of the skies, often missed by me staying inside my office was a pleasant surprise. With the clear skies and the colourful flowers welcoming me every day, I decided to reciprocate their love by documenting their beautiful appearances.

I decided to confront the negativity and splurge into what was suddenly abundant and full of positivity. The change of colours and scenarios, even during the same day, within minutes amazed me. I decided that I will not photograph similar situations, but the skies seemed to laugh it away, teasing me and presenting itself each day in a new Avatar.

Some days the skies were awash with fiery red, other days with the threatening rain clouds. The clouds, an enigma of every thinker and artist, formed patterns and shapes never witnessed before like one evening when the city suddenly seemed carried away near hillslopes.

My wife, often with varied other interests, joined me in the pursuit of keenly observing nature, and it is she who nudged me one day from my sleep close to midnight. Cottonball like clouds were floating in the coal-black night skies, which I caught in my camera.The drudgery of the confinement was soon overcome as it became my obsession to wait for the beautiful evening skies every day.

What would have otherwise ended as a mundane and forgettable part of our lives, the lockdown transformed me into creating a cherished album of nature play. The magical moments with the skies became an unforgettable journey.

I am glad to share a some images of Covid Skies as a proof of our indomitable spirit and unique bond with nature. All I needed was a camera in hand, I had my Apple iPhone 11!