Mission Delhi – Urmila, Civil Lines, Gurgaon
One of the one percent in 13 million.
[Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Urmila is 20 and had never imagined while growing up in a small West Bengal village that one day she shall be living in the great metropolitan area of the Delhi region.
“I had never heard of Gurgaon,” she says shyly, holding her year-old son in her arms. The young woman found herself in the so-called Millennium City following her marriage a couple of years ago with Birango, a church gardener in Gurgaon’s Civil Lines in the National Capital Region. The couple’s home is in the church compound.
This sweltering afternoon Birango, 27, is watering the parched flowers, while Urmila, just finished with household chores, is strolling around the garden with her son. “My mother-in-law who lives in the village helped me learn how to cook,” she says, giggling. That good woman also helped Urmila learn how to talk to her husband in sign language—Birango is hearing-impaired since birth.
“Even Joy is very good in talking to his papa through his hands,” she says cheerfully, referring to her son.
The little boy is prancing around barefoot in the lawn. Birango suddenly turns away from the flower bed and showers the boy’s feet with water from his garden pipe. Joy bursts into happy screams.
At night, Urmila says, her domestic life centres around the TV. “I never miss my Gopi serial while Birango is a fan of wrestling matches.”
Now the family poses for a formal portrait. Birango throws away the water pipe and gently spreads his arm around Joy who is perched on Urmila’s lap. A moment later Birango restarts watering his flowers while Urmila walks away with their baby.
[This is the 201st portrait of Mission Delhi project]
The family of a woman