HYDERABAD: Age is just a number for renowned city photographer Lenny Emmanuel. The 72-year-old is young at heart and his love for photography knows no bounds. During this second lockdown, while most of us stayed at home to keep ourselves safe amid a raging pandemic, Lenny roamed the deserted streets of Hyderabad to capture the mood, emotions and cityscape.
Fearless, the fourth generation shutterbug, who is on a mission to carry forward his family’s legacy, hopped on to a press vehicle that took him around the city as he captured priceless moments of the lockdown in black and white. “I knew that we would never get this opportunity to capture such images again. I took these images because I want our future generations to know what we are going through. Hence, I started ‘Lockdown Files’. Right from Secunderabad to Hyderabad, I tried to capture the shades of the pandemic.”
It’s not that the thought of contracting Covid-19 did not cross Lenny’s mind. But, he’s lived his life and has nothing to lose. “I thank God that I am still alive. I do not know how many photographers of my age would venture out during such times. Most of them are scared. I had the same thought, but was not afraid. I have lived my life and seen the best of whatever there is. The experience was great,” he says.But what gave him the chills was the deserted streets of Old City. “Charminar is such a place where every square is packed with people, but there were these few hours during the day when there was no one. That was scary.”
In one of his pictures, there’s a woman walking alone. “What if something had to happen to her? No one would even get to know. The fear that I had was what if someone snatches away my camera.”Giving out a message through these images, Lenny says, “Hyderabad is a wonderful city, let us look after it. During the lockdown, I got to see its beautiful architecture. We also have to take care of ourselves during these uncertain times. We live in one of the best cities of the country.”