City Life – Home Sweet Home, Mathura Road
Inside the walls.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
One cold evening The Delhi Walla met the 80-year-old Manikchand, a retired rag-picker. He stays alone. The entrance of his one-room shelter faces the busy Mathura Road.
In a pinkish-red dressing-gown, Mr Manikchand was lying on the floor. His bed was made up of three layers of sheets: plastic, jute and cotton. A part of the floor was covered with urine stains. A mustard-green pillow was placed near a pile of bricks. The walls had broken in places.
The rays of the evening sun fell on Mr Manikchand’s face lighting up his eyes.
“I can’t see,” he said. “Do you have anything to eat?”
I went to a neighboring bazaar and got kebabs and parathas. “I’ll only have parathas. I’m a Hindu, can’t eat meat.” A moment later, he said, “You too must be hungry. Have one paratha from me.”
While eating, Mr Manikchand said, “I’ve no family. I don’t remember how I arrived in this shelter a few weeks ago. I think I’ll die here.”
Cold weather shelter
The remains of the day
The view outside
Elderly and by himself