Covid Musings: Seasons & plans on the rooftop. – Guest Column by Pranav Bakhshi
Fashion model, photographer, English music enthusiast and graphic designer Pranav Bakhshi has been keeping busy during the coronavirus lockdown. In his column Pranav talks about the various activities that have kept him occupied during a testing time for so many of us.
When the lockdown happened, I started going to the terrace every day at 7 PM as it is my photography time and listening to Aniket‘s show on Radio One time. I speak to Arnez about the musicians and their origins and years of release of their songs. It is also my discussion time with Arnez.
When we started going in March 2020, we had moved from winter to spring. I clicked all the flowers on the rooftop and we discussed why coronavirus happened and why lockdown happened. I was not sure whether or not China was bad because it was responsible for the leak of the virus from the Wuhan lab, or for the bat soup in the wet market of Wuhan but it is not good to insult, be offensive and blame. I was anxious because I saw in the news that so many people were dying.
Anxiety inducing moments
We moved to summer season and the rooftop was hot and burning when we went up. I listened to Radio One, watered the plants and clicked the pictures I wanted. We discussed the lockdown; we discussed how the migrant labourers were in trouble. We also discussed that we should keep helping others as much as we can. I was very worried because the cases in my favourite city Mumbai were rising everyday and also, people were not particular about masks. I used to cover my face with my T-shirt when the Mumbai news came because I was not able to bear it.
Monsoon season came and, on some days, it was humid on the rooftop. I missed going to the rooftop only when it rained a lot. Everything looks beautiful after the rains and listening to music and clicking pictures is awesome. Arnez and I discussed the earthquakes and we prepared an emergency bag because my sister Nikita said it is a good idea. She also had one when there were bush fires in Australia. We discussed the attacks by China. Now I felt very bad about China’s behaviour and wanted to blame them. I was happy that India would also do a fistfight and face-off with them. We discussed the spread of coronavirus and the vaccine. I really hoped that the vaccine would come fast.
I follow the vaccine news and also share it with my sister and my cousins. I felt very anxious and concerned because the coronavirus cases were rising fast and people did not follow precautions. I felt worried about people who were poor. I also write about the Covid-19 era in my journal every day. Arnez told me that the good thing is that there are lots of people who are helping others and she told me about them. Arnez told me, ‘You always want to know how you can make sure everyone wears masks and you can’t do that but you can do one thing. How about you helping people?’ I felt happy that I would also be doing a good thing like so many people are doing. And it is better than worrying and feeling anxious and just hoping for the vaccine to come fast.
Creativity during lockdown
It gets dark early in the autumn season, so we have changed our time on the rooftop to 6 PM. Also, because the monsoon and autumn sunsets are beautiful, I have started climbing the water tank for the sunset series and moon series shots. I balance my camera and my earphones for the music and the phone well. I told Arnez that I don’t want to accept her suggestion that I can leave my phone and earphones with her when I climb up. I want to keep listening to the music while clicking. We also worked on our plan everyday and it became final. I will be using money that I earned in my photography and modelling assignments. Arnez will also give me some. We will be creating trays and coasters with my photographs and designs.
I looked through a lot of the pictures I click, and I decided on two. One is from the Cloud Series. There is sun peeping out of the rain clouds. I waited for a long time for the sun to appear from under the dark clouds because it looked like it was going to, and it is like a low angle shot. The second is from the Flowers Series. I clicked the flowers on the cactus plants in a kind of high angle shot which was also a close up because the rain drops on the flowers looked nice. I also created two designs on photoshop, one with flowers and the other with an elephant and I selected the elephant one.
Arnez spoke to many designers and suppliers and she decided on a designer who would do the trays and the coasters for us. We took out all the trays and coasters in the house and measured them and we decided on the measurements. I feel very excited when I choose the shades I want from the swatches and when I see the digital prints and decide how I want it. The trays and coasters with my design will be ready soon and I will sell them. I feel good because I am also going to help others. When I collect money when I sell the trays and coasters, I will return Arnez’s money and send the rest to the PM CARES Fund. It will help people who are affected by Covid 19.
Last week, Arnez’s doctor friend told her from her rooftop that coronavirus will not end anytime soon. It made me anxious again and I wrote about it in my journal. But Arnez said that we can also enjoy the winter season on the rooftop. We will discuss how I was able to help people and I can click pictures of the vegetables she is growing. But right now, I want to click the aeroplane series and I want to catch the aeroplane inside the rectangle of the grill on the rooftop. And we will wait patiently for the vaccine and hope that people take precautions. And we will again move to spring season on the rooftop.
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