-by Prabhakaran Sambandam
Camera: Leica Q2
I’m a nature lover, and I’ve always enjoyed playing with colors during photography and film-processing. Living in Chennai, I’ve had a long-standing habit of going to beaches to capture the most scenic dawns and day-breaks that I could find.
The world’s second-longest (12 kms) natural sandy beach used to always be filled at dawn with a bunch of regular walkers, joggers, vendors, and circles of friends. When the lockdown was declared in March, the whole state came to a stand-still, as did the Marina.
One day, being an early-morning riser, I went with my Leica Q2 and entered the beach by around 4:45 am. When the day-break happened, it was a mesmerizing sight – with the grey of the passing clouds further adding to the beauty of my photographs.
It was a completely deserted area, with the rare 3 or 4 fishermen starting their morning hauls. But, overall, it was another abnormal day for the common man. Due to the closure of beach-side eateries, the stray dogs were also starting to become quite aggressive. In fact, I narrowly escaped an attack as well when I photographed them.
In the span of my life, I had never before seen this beach deserted to the extent I found it in that day. At least, I got the opportunity to document this memorable sight – hopefully, never to be seen again – of when the Covid-19 lockdown struck life in Chennai.