Old Delhi Views and the People (1946 –56)
Old Delhi was founded by the Emperor Shah Jahan with the completion of the Red Fort in 1648. These pictures of Old Delhi are from three centuries after. My childhood years were spent in a flat on Nicholson Road running next to Shah Jahan’s city wall near Mori Gate. The view from the front verandah was fantastic. One could see all along the old wall ending with the Kashmiri Gate at a distance of about half a mile. When we went up on the roof, the entire panorama of the old city could be seen from the Lahore gate of the Red Fort to the Jama Masjid and the old clock tower standing in the center of Chandni Chowk.
Pictures illustrating this feature of Old Delhi were mainly shot from 1950 to 1956 with the sole exception of the Kashmiri Gate photograph shot in 1946. Right from the early days while roaming around Old Delhi for interesting shots I tried to capture an unusual angle, weather conditions, or a unique subject like an old tram car which have vanished since the sixties. Before concluding, I might add that while in our last year at the university I was bold enough to ask three of my class friends from Miranda House, the premier ladies college in Delhi at that time, to pose for me inside the Rang Mahal of the Red Fort for adding colour and interest while creating a lively photograph of Shah Jahan’s palace.