Mission Delhi – Sush Pal, Vaishali
One of the one percent in 13 million.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
At first glance, this auto-rickshaw driver in Vaishali in the Greater Delhi Region looks like somebody out of the post-gender age—where it’s politically incorrect to define people based on being male or female.
Peering at him in the rear-view mirror, it seems that Sush Pal has a moustache as well as a nose ring and lipsticked lips.
But, well, it’s only an illusion.
“I’m very much a man,” declares Mr Pal, slightly annoyed. The trick is the rear-view mirror itself, which has a female face imprinted onto it. Just a few strokes rendered by an auto decorator (yes, that too is a profession), and consisting of eyes, nose and lips. But sparse enough not to block the driver’s view.
He emphasises that nothing whatsoever should be inferred about his private life. “I’m neither married nor do I have a girlfriend. It’s just that I like viewing a girl’s face.”
So… is he waiting for a suitable woman who fits the ideal depicted on the mirror?
Mr Pal takes the query seriously, pausing for a few moments. He then declares a tad shyly: “The world is changing. Difficult to find true love. Everybody’s out there to exploit you.
“I don’t think I can ever find somebody who will like me for my heart.”
In fact, Mr Pal plans to leave it to his family to find a suitable companion. In the meantime, he’s got to get that face on the mirror fixed. “Somebody scratched off her eyes.”
[This is the 243rd portrait of Mission Delhi project]
His suitable girl