Mental health has finally found a spotlight in these testing times. Maybe, it is time we broaden that spotlight to include conversations about the mental health of the youngest people around us. Social distancing and isolation have veered children against their inherent nature, far from their carefree selves. Their curiosity is their greatest teacher and what makes them the best learners.

One couldn’t have put it more succinctly than Kay Redfield Jamison when she rightly said, ‘Children need the freedom and time to play. Play is not a luxury. Play is a necessity.’ Playing brings out ingenuity and creativity in children and gives them a chance to practice what they learn. It is an expression of freedom for children, a close aide to their carefree nature.

It is a heartfelt visual when we see children as their joyful and carefree selves at play, but it is an even more endearing visual when seen from the lens of award-winning photographer, Apu Das. A peek into his mesmerizing portfolio reveals pictures of innocence that will tug at your heart. His black and white images are rich with colour of a carefree childhood, reminding us of all the things that our children are missing today.