To Mask Or Not To Mask? Street Life Photos From Jaipur

The world has changed after the coronavirus pandemic. In many parts of the world, people are ordered to wear masks in public places. The conditions vary from country to country. Few countries advocate face masks while traveling on subways/trains and shopping in the supermarket in Hungary. On the other hand, in countries like India, it is compulsory the moment one steps out of the house. Authorities have also directed face masks as a personal choice in some nations like the USA. Most people abide by the directive to wear a face mask in Jaipur. Yet, there are many who disregard this. This is evident in the city streets. Earlier this week, I decided to do street photography after a long break. Habitually, I use a face shield along with a face mask when visiting the market area. Furthermore, I avoid walking long distances in the market and park my car closest to the destination spot. Using a face shield was not possible with the camera, so I selected the least crowded part of the walled city. The zoom lens allowed me to click pictures from a safe distance. The traffic on Jaipur streets is at an all-time low on weekends; consequently, the bazaars are not crowded. Over here are pictures of the street scenes from Jaipur for you to enjoy this virtual tour of the Jaipur walled city area, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Street Photography From The Street Scenes In The Jaipur Walled City


Looking at the street scenes in Jaipur, it seems the most common dilemma is to wear mask or not. Here’s more to this quandary.

  • Safe Distance

Safe distance seems to be the thumb rule. Below is a picture of a man waiting for someone; at the time trusting a safe distance and a mask to stay safe.


  • Divided World

The world seems to be divided on the use of face masks. This is evident from this photo of these friends in conversation. One of them is clearly not convinced that a face mask will keep him safe.


Here is a picture of young street sweepers. Like one of the pictures above, their views on safety seem to be divided.


And yet another set of people. With and without the mask.


  • Safety First

This is one of my favorite photos. This family has taken the pandemic seriously, and all of them are using face masks. A role model?


  • Survival is paramount

During India’s lockdown in March-May, the hardest hit segment was the daily wage earners. During the pre-COVID world, it was easy to spot them in large numbers on the street. But now, this is not the case. Here is a picture of one such daily wage earner, a Pan Gutka seller in the streets of Jaipur.


Yet another picture of a daily wage-earner, a ragpicker on Jaipur street.


There are many who wear a face mask over the chin. Probably, Just to avoid the fine for not wearing one?

Wearing a face mask in current conditions remains a necessity. Unfortunately, we are not accustomed to the same. This results in lowering our guards. Comfort can be fatal! Here is a picture of a pigeon grain feed seller from Jaipur who prefers comfort over safety.


  • Cover it all

In stark contrast, this gentleman on a cycle prefers to cover it all.


And a few more.



  • DIY Masks

While walking on the streets of Jaipur, it is fascinating to note the variety of styles of masks. The fabric masks remain the preferred choice owing to the climatic conditions and comfort it provides. Simultaneously, one can also witness people using contraptions. It is not because they want to save costs; people have been using Gamcha for centuries in this part of the world. Here is this gentleman unwrapping his face mask before getting into the act of feeding pigeons.


Often, people from the neighboring villages visit Jaipur for work. And they use the most interesting contraptions. They are both adaptive and innovative. The Pagri used for covering the head also doubles up as a face mask when it is unrolled.


This one is probably the safest face mask I have seen, to date!


  • Face Mask is more about compliance than safety for some

And here is another pigeon feed seller in Jaipur, with a make-shift mask, a handkerchief. I’m not sure how effective such masks are when they don’t cover the nose. Some people wear masks to comply with government rules and avoid a fine.


Many people wear a mask without covering their noses. This is either for comfort or due to ill-fitting masks. Here is a rider who is wearing an ill-fitting mask.



There is an abundance of choices when it comes to styles and a variety of masks.


  • The right way

Very few people believe in getting themselves completely covered like this rider.


I came across a flower-seller in Jaipur Flower Market; he was relaxing after selling his entire inventory. Very few people in this morning market in Jaipur were wearing masks. It seemed like we were back in the pre-COVID times. I will suggest people not to visit such crowded markets currently as this is risky.


  • The exception

So when is the removal of masks in the crowded market justified? When you are starved and you give in to tempting street food like Jaipur Kachori?


People are divided into face masks. Some feel this interferes with their freedom. On the other hand, people advocate wearing one for their personal safety and that of others. As with anything, there are two sides to a coin. What do you think? Do you wear a mask when you step out of your home? Do you have any pictures to share on a similar theme of your favorite photographer?

I hope you enjoyed these street photos from Jaipur.

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Here are more posts on street photography in Jaipur “Eye-less” Street Photography  and Face-less Frames -Hands


83 thoughts on “To Mask Or Not To Mask? Street Life Photos From Jaipur

      1. The man with the mask (not wearing it properly may I add but that’s a him problem) and the man without the mask having a conversation to me has the most intriguing story

        Liked by 1 person

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