The bravest Delhiwalli.
[Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi]
One afternoon, The Delhi Walla sighted his most beloved Delhiite â€“ author Arundhati Roy. She was at The Foreign Correspondents Club of South Asia, near Pragati Maidan, central Delhi.
Ms Roy’s hair had streaks of grey. Her forehead was looking larger than usual. Her skin complexion had gone darker. Her eyes were kohl-lined. Her ear-danglers were of silver. Her black beaded necklace had a red pendant. Her blouse was black. Her brown cotton sari had maroon stripes. She was older, a little less thin, and more beautiful than ever.
Ms Royâ€™s cheeks were still sucked close to the bones. Her smile â€“ she was occasionally smiling â€“ was still radiant, but also a little sad. That familiar wildness, which I have always sensed around her, had faded. The anarchy in her persona was less loud. The outward impression, however, could not annul the consequence of being Arundhati Roy.
Ms Roy looked like a great man. She had that historic quality, which comes from intense focus on an important subject (Kashmir? Maoists? Adivasis? Justice? Nabokov?). It is certain that one day she would be assassinated.
While walking out of the club, greeting people around her, she did not for a moment break her interior communion. She was entirely governed by her ideas, which were noble. Outside, on a tree-lined lane that skirts Mathura Road, she kept walking straight. I was standing behind a neem tree. After what seemed to be a lifetime, she came very close. Then Ms Roy looked at me, looked away and walked ahead. Like a jazz tune.
Arundhati Roy spotting
Being Arundhati Roy
Stay safe, Ms Roy