Society

View from a terrace: Chennai photographer documents life under lockdown

Her hair is splayed behind her as she rests on a pillow on the floor. A clothesline heaves with wet clothes in a terrace crowned by an overcast sky. She dries her hair by the table-fan, seated on the floor, sending tufts billowing behind like a cape. A mother and son are cleaning avarakkai together. A mother and daughter lounge on a mat on the terrace one evening, as dried clothes sent astray by the wind float behind them. Wedding photographer Pon Prabakaran’s lockdown story from his Triplicane home is poetic by remaining austere.

View from a terrace: Chennai photographer documents life under lockdown

The 29-year-old found himself stuck indoors after a long time due to the pandemic. “I am usually travelling on shoots, and my mother Chandra, who is a babysitter, is working all day. My sister goes to college,” he says. Suddenly, all three of them were at home together. The photographer that he is, Prabakaran documented these out-of-the-ordinary days as photos.

“I didn’t use my camera since I didn’t want my mother and sister to feel conscious,” he says. He used his mobile phone camera, and the results are fascinating. Prabakaran recently shared them on his Facebook account.

View from a terrace: Chennai photographer documents life under lockdown

Apart from being a photographer’s take on life under lockdown, the photos also document life in a typical Triplicane home.

“Our house is on the busy Bells Road,” he says. But now, with visibly less-traffic, all he can hear is the occasional siren of the ambulance and morning and evening prayers from a nearby mosque. “For me, the lockdown has not been all that unbearable. We play cards and carrom at home, share everyday chores; in the evenings, we head to the terrace. We get a lot of sea breeze there; we sit down, chat, play another game of cards or Ludo…” It is all there in his photos.

Pon Prabakaran

Pon Prabakaran   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Prabakaran’s mother, however, was not all that happy with some of his photos.

“She got me to take down some from Facebook,” he laughs. “My father was a photographer, and she is used to his style, in which we dressed up and posed for the camera.”

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Printable version | Aug 15, 2020 6:19:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/view-from-a-triplicane-terrace-chennai-photographer-documents-life-under-lockdown/article32022309.ece

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