Mission Delhi - Dawood, Central Delhi

Mission Delhi – Dawood, Central Delhi

Mission Delhi - Dawood, Central Delhi

One of the one percent in 13 million.

[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]

Passed over by a woman he loved, Dawood now immerses himself in work “so that I forget everything else.”

Every day he collects large quantities of discarded glass bottles which he then sells to the next link in Delhi’s complex chain of recycling.

Pausing for a few moments, he settles down along a central Delhi roadside to pour out his heart.

Last year Dawood met a young woman, “a part-time gardener’s daughter and very friendly.” He fell for her almost immediately, but “she started loving me only after many days of me trying to break ice with her.”

The girl’s father was opposed to the relationship. One reason was that Dawood is not from Delhi, hailing instead from faraway Chennai.

Then there was the fact that Dawood wasn’t in touch with his own family and didn’t have a suitable dwelling either.

Until recently he slept inside a Lodhi-era tomb, and “that’s where I first met her… she lived nearby in a jhuggi.”

The girl ultimately bowed to her father’s wishes and married somebody else a few months ago. She now lives in Punjab. “Now I’m completely alone,” says Dawood, drawing an imaginary circle in the ground with his finger.

Only in his 20s, Dawood conceivably has other opportunities to meet a suitable woman. For now, he slowly ambles towards the nearby Sai Baba temple, his current address at the moment.

[This is the 255th portrait of Mission Delhi project]

Heart has its reasons


Mission Delhi - Dawood, Central Delhi


Mission Delhi - Dawood, Central Delhi


Mission Delhi - Dawood, Central Delhi