Mission Delhi – Sakeena, Central Delhi
One of the one percent in 13 million.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Sakeena regards herself as a modern woman with specific reasons to back her claim.
“I earn my own money,” says the lady, asserting that she is not financially dependent on anybody.
Only in her early 20s, this resident of central Delh’s Sarai Kale Khan works as an unofficial parking attendant alongside a busy avenue. She assists car drivers to park along the roadside, which is within walking distance to a cluster of popular monuments.
“The little money I earn comes handy to raise the two children,” says Sakeena, her well-oiled hair clinging to the scalp like black paint.
The young woman is on friendly terms with a group of families living further along the pavement. A few evenings earlier she was spotted having chai with a rickshaw puller’s wife. Another day, she was consoling a beggar-woman grieving over her son’s recent death in a road mishap. This evening she is talking to The Delhi Walla of her personal life, confiding an account of her early meetings with the man who would one day become her husband.
Sakeena reveals that she supports the man from her earnings. “My mother and father are gone, my sister has her own family and so does my brother.” She’s only left with her husband and her children, the lady remarks.
The kids don’t attend school yet. In fact, right now they are playing an indecipherable game with a couple of children who live on this stretch of the pavement.
Suddenly, Sakeena’s attention is diverted. She gets up and deftly directs a driver maneuvering his cab into the narrow parking space still available between two cars.
To the rush hour commuters speeding down the road, the family breadwinner at work is probably indiscernible in the gathering darkness. Thereby, missing the chance of viewing an extraordinary portrait of everyday feminism.
[This is the 236th portrait of Mission Delhi project]
A moderns woman