The ongoing lockdown is perhaps the first time Mumbai has been this silent. This is the sort of quiet that surrounds you in a hill station, not the country’s financial capital. For most, the lack of bustle is the sound of economic stress.
To introduce a note of hope in these uncertain times, brand consultant Debu Purkayastha put together a video that celebrates the city’s spirit. We might be down but we’ll be up and running in no time, is the sentiment. “There has been a feeling of doom and gloom everywhere,” Purkayastha said. “Some don’t have food, some no shelter, some have reduced incomes to zero income, some have lost their jobs and livelihood and some have an uncertain future. Increasingly, I felt the stress everyone was feeling and wanted to create a message of hope.”
The videos is a montage of photographs of the city, from landmarks such as the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus and the Bandra Worli sealink to everyday scenes such as busy markets and traffic snarls. The images of Mumbai in full swing have been shot by Purkayastha and photographer Satyaki Ghosh, the pictures of the empty city in the lockdown have been shot by Vinay Pinto and the words are by Jeet Singh. “Mumbai is a magical city of dreams,” Purkayastha said. “It runs on the ambitions and aspirations of people who come here to realise their dreams. If people stop dreaming then the city stops functioning. What would be better than bringing back the hope, the aspirations and the dreams of millions who make this their home. And also making sure the city continues running, generating the magic. We created this film to invoke that feeling, that emotion that is Mumbai.”
Image: Debu Purkayastha