The month preceding lockdown was when I was diagnosed with Endogenous Clinical Depression. I voluntarily decided to follow a medical route because it helped with the therapy that I was undergoing. Unfortunately, in the midst of lockdown, I realised I had run out of medication and it was impossible to procure more without a new prescription. The days that ensued were lived in fear of the thoughts that constantly occupied my mind. But I soon found respite. What helped was the new home in Mumbai my husband Nigel and I have made for ourselves, along with our two dogs, Adori and Otis. It’s been a little over a year in the house and now I finally had the time to embrace it in a way that I wasn’t able to previously. Family has always featured prominently in the repository of my personal work. Before Nigel became a part of it, the pictures constituted our daily life in Indore.
When Nigel and I moved into our new home, everything moved at a rapid pace. Like most newly married couples, we were flailing while trying to adjust and figure out this new space we were to share, while simultaneously also juggling work. With all our assignments and projects on hold, the lockdown allowed us to slow down and appreciate not just what we have, but also one another.
As much as the photographs were a result of love and kinship, in hindsight, I was also looking to address disconcerting questions that inhabited my mind while growing up at home, with mom, dad, my grandmother and brother. As close as I am to them, there was always a sense of unbridled distance that I felt in my pictures of them. This wasn’t the case with Nigel and the dogs. There is calmness and a sense of wonder when I look them. There is so much I have realised to uncover, discover and invent. When photographing I see in them my present and future.
I have been photographing a lot more now, while also discovering new qualities about the apartment. For instance, I only recently discovered the number of reflective surfaces in the house and I love incorporating them in pictures to create a more layered visual. But more importantly, and this is something that I’ve been struggling with, I am trying to let go of control over situations that don’t need any tending in the first place. I used to worry about the mess in the background of my kitchen or in the room, or not being able to cohesively arrange the elements in my frame. I have come to embrace and welcome this mess with the realisation that nothing in life is neat or linear and that it’s okay to wade through some amount of clutter. Adapting to Pandemic Lockdown has cleared my mind, if not my apartment.
Sakshi Parikh is a professional fashion, editorial and wedding photographer based in Mumbai. An alumnus of the International Center of Photography, New York, and a former Features Writer at the Better Photography magazine. Her work has been published on various platforms such as Verve, Vogue Italia, The Hindu, The Print Swap, Inspiro India and Indian Photo Concept. Sakshi’s mantra is based on artist, John Baldessari’s quotation, “I will not make any more boring art.”
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