Mission Delhi – Manu Chopra, Starbucks, N-Block, Connaught Place
One of the one percent in 13 million.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
There’s a reason Manu Chopra is so often seen spending her entire day in the Starbucks at N Block in Central Delhi’s Connaught Place. It’s her escape from the city.
“I don’t feel connected to Delhi,” says Ms Chopra, 35, who’s been living in the Capital for 15 years. A banker for an international company, she checks into the café during those days when she’s not in her Gurugram office, and uses her laptop to conduct her work. “Just too many people in Delhi,” she reflects. “I feel lost in the crowd… lack of feelings, so inhuman, and, you know, I’m simply unable to breathe properly.”
It’s evening now, and the café is filling up with a noisy crowd. How is Ms Chopra taking to that? Is she again feeling lost?
She shrugs. “I’ve been coming here the past two years, and the warm staff treat me very well.” Pausing briefly, Ms Chopra collects her thoughts, and adds: “There’s no calm in this city, but here in this coffee shop, I find peace.”
There’s another place in the city where the lady feels at home. “I go very frequently to Bangla Sahib Gurudwara… that’s the only place where I get to see water,” referring to the temple’s famous pond.
She’ll quit the coffee shop at 8.30pm for home in Mayur Vihar Phase II, and, one of these days, “I’ll leave the city to settle down someday in… Goa.”
[This is the 262nd portrait of Mission Delhi project]
To Delhi, with no love