Mission Delhi – Satish Kumar Chakri Walla, Janakpuri
One of the one percent in 13 million.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
From a distance, the vision looks like a tiny pageant, or maybe something else?
But on coming closer, The Delhi Walla realises that it is a man. Satish Kumar is selling something I haven’t seen in years — truly exquisite pinwheels, spinning merrily in Janakpuri.
It is rare to see anyone hawking what Mr Kumar calls ‘chakris’.
In this age of mobile phone distraction, are people really interested in these paperwheels?
Soon enough, a little girl turns up, selecting a green pinwheel and forking over 10 rupees for it.
“I make them every day in my home,” says the seller, who’s stacked the wheels in a straw basket — so lovely I want to buy it.
Mr Kumar smiles, shaking his head: “I wouldn’t part with it for one lakh rupees! Made it myself 20 years back.”
Unlike most other vendors he walks across the city without a fixed route. He picked up the trade from his brother, some 35 years ago, but his sons won’t be succeeding him. In fact, his own father was a government employee.
Mr Kumar needs to move along now, and so bids farewell. His hand-wrought pinwheels spin faster and faster, as though they want to fly out of that basket. Taking matters into their own hands.
[This is the 151st portrait of Mission Delhi project]
The solitary chakri walla