BY SIDDHI JAIN

Studded with exquisite remanants of history, Delhi was not always this busy and polluted megapolis groaning under the weight of almost 2 crore people. ‘Delhi That Was’, an exhibition that opens at the Ojas Art Gallery today shows us what life in the national capital was between 1940s and 1990s through 45 archival images captured by photographers Habib Rahman, Madan Mahatta and Raghu Rai. The images belong to collections of the three photographers spanning over the five decades, and will be on display till November 12.

Sepia capitalscapes

The exhibition will depict the aesthetics of Delhi – through architecture and lifestyles – and how the city gradually transformed into a cacophony of concrete constructions.On display will be images capturing the rich cultural life in the noodle-thin lanes of Old Delhi and the architectural wonders like Qutub Minar, Jantar Mantar and other such monuments that became a thing of the past.

“The purpose of photography is to capture the times we live in, because this is visual history. The Delhi that I photographed 50 years ago, does not exist today. This is a very important role of documentary photography or photojournalism, which cannot be replaced,” Raghu Rai had told IANS in an earlier interview.

“In the last fifty years, photography has seen a paradigm shift. But the purpose remains the same, to capture an evocative moment that reflects the essence of time as this is the visual history for tomorrow,” he said.

Details: Ojas Art Gallery, 1AQ, Near Qutub Minar, Mehrauli, New Delhi (11 a.m. – 7 p.m. from Tuesday to Sunday)

(This story has been published directly from agency feed without any modification to the body text. The only headline has been changed. Siddhi Jain can be contacted at siddhi.j@ians.in)