Mission Delhi – Manoj, Rose Garden, Gurgaon
One of the one percent in 13 million.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Silently he unrolls the plastic mat along the leaf-strewn grass. Next, he takes off his shoes and socks, and plops down on the improvised bed, making the gigantic blue bag his pillow.
This is delivery man Manoj’s daily routine. Every noon he heads to the same spot at the Rose Garden in Gurgaon’s Sector 15A in the Greater Delhi Region for a half-an-hour break from work. “For time pass,” he says.
Manoj is 19. He finished his school last year and joined “a diploma course in computer” but “man nahi laga (didn’t enjoy).” One day he spotted a “delivery boy at work” and decided to go for a similar job.
“It’s going on easy since then,” he says, the leaves of the tree above making patchwork shadows on his face.
Oftentimes in the park, Manoj chills out by shutting off his eyes and listening to the bird sounds. But today he is busy on his cellphone. “I’m browsing through Flipkart… planning to buy a new mobile.”
While squirrels are playing about him uninhibitedly.
The young man gets up after a while. Now, he says, he will stop by his office in Rajiv Chowk for lunch. After which he will make further delivery rounds until evening.
As he pulls up the straps of the giant bag onto his thin shoulders, Manoj mutters that while he likes the job, he is not in it for long. “My dream is to start my own business. I want to have an electrical shop.”
In that way, he feels, he will be more connected to his father, an electrician.
Manoj now walks away. His patch of paradise will host him again 24 hours later.
[This is the 252nd portrait of Mission Delhi project]
A delivery man’s paradise