From Shillong to Bihar: Tarun Bhartiya documents his journey during the pandemic

When the nation went right into a lockdown owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, Shillong-based documentary filmmaker, poet and political activist Tarun Bhartiya took his Sony RX 100, adjusted it to a black and white mode and set out to seize the sights of Meghalaya’s capital metropolis. “I started doing that to document the lockdown,” says Tarun over the telephone from Shillong.

Then, just a few days into the lockdown, Tarun obtained a telephone name from his mom in May from Simari, Madhubani. His 79-year-old father was unwell and is being taken to be hospitalised in Patna. With the vital preparations and an emergency transit go, Tarun employed a automotive to cowl the roughly 1000 kilometres journey by way of a cobweb state and National Highways.

What adopted was a photograph documentation that enabled him to face the pandemic. He describes his journey as an especially eerie one with the solely freeway that connects NE to the remainder of the nation being abandoned. He says, “There had been vans however it was simply not the identical busy freeway. The dhabas and chai factors, the lifeline of street travellers, had been shut. I crossed three borders Meghalaya-Assam, Assam-Bengal, Bengal-Bihar.”

Trucks at Bihar-Bengal border Dalkhola

Trucks at Bihar-Bengal border Dalkhola
| Photo Credit:
tarun bhartiya

Reality checks

While the journey wasn’t a really lengthy one — they (him and the driver) took about 28 hours — the sights made it extraordinarily draining for the photographer. Tarun wasn’t prepared to consider how dangerous the pandemic was till he began seeing scores of working-class individuals on the highways, heading dwelling.

“My wife had packed all sorts of food. I had tea, water and everything to last the two of us for over a day. I was in a car, shielded from the sun, but the people walking, pedalling, hitch-hiking to reach their destination made me realise what kind of a situation we are in.”

Tarun’s transit pass

Tarun’s images and weblog about his journey chronicle the sights, sufferingand the hardships of individuals.

“At Naxalbari in Siliguri, I got here throughout a household pedalling on a thela (a pushcart connected to a cycle), all the approach from Noida to Dhubri in Assam . I do know it’s far, however to know precisely how far, I turned to Google Maps; it confirmed 1600 kilometres! Time taken to cowl that distance by automotive confirmed 29 hours. I used to be greater than shocked to think about the variety of days the man had been pedalling and the power he had. In comparability, my journey and stress appeared insignificant,” says Tarun.

Migrant workers on trucks in the highway

Migrant staff on vans in the freeway  
| Photo Credit:
Tarun Bhartiya

In his weblog, Tarun shares his ideas and the chats he had with his spouse to replace about his journey. In most of it, he mentions the sights and stench he confronted. “In Patna, I saw a large number of people on their way to their respective destinations. They seemed to be anxious and tired but they must walk, they must keep moving, they said,” recollects Tarun.

Migrant works force on their way by foot

Migrant works power on their approach by foot  
| Photo Credit:
Tarun Bhartiya

After reaching Patna, Bihar, Tarun met his mother and father, received his father dwelling from the hospital after he had recovered and took a flight again to Shillong. “I had spent a month in Patna and took a flight back home after the airports were opened. Air journey, too, is not the same again,” he feedback.

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