Mission Delhi – Uday Sharma, Galleria Market
One of the one percent in 13 million.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Some read for leisure. Others have more specific reasons. Like Uday Sharma.
A cake shop assistant in Gurgaon’s Galleria Market in the Greater Delhi Region, he reads “to understand how people struggle and grow in life.” This afternoon he is poring over How to Develop Self-Confidence & Influence People by Public Speaking.
The store is empty for the moment and the book, its cover neatly wrapped in a brown paper, is lying atop a glass case filled with croissants and quiches.
A dedicated reader of self-help literature, Mr Sharma, 28, has internalised some of the classics in that genre. Such as How to Win Friends and Influence People, Think and Grow Rich, and The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari.
Speaking thoughtfully and slowly as if measuring the significance of each word, he says that “these books help me learn how to make my way in the world, and how to interact with people.”
Nobody nudged Mr Sharma into a life of reading. He himself found his calling despite “facing trouble with formal education,” he confesses.
“Our family’s money situation was difficult. Things were so bad that my parents had trouble giving me daily conveyance for the commute between home and school although the one-way bus ticket was just 5 rupees.” Mr Sharma grew up in Delhi and has been working in the “service industry” for some years.
Now the glass door opens and a customer enters. Closing the book, the shop assistant cheerily walks towards the pastry counter. Once done with the customer, he reopens the book, saying, “My dream is to one day become a motivational speaker.”
[This is the 270th portrait of Mission Delhi project]
The cake shop reader