Mission Delhi – Suresh, Sector 14, Gurgaon
One of the one percent in 13 million.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
He walks to the black dog here on a pavement in Gurgaon’s sector 14. The dog turns his head towards him, and wags his tail. The man takes out a packet of biscuits from his pocket, unhurriedly tears it open and lays down the biscuits on the ground, in front of the dog.
The dog briefly looks into the man’s eyes and then starts eating one of the biscuits in the pile, without any hurry.
Calling himself an “ordinary worker”, Suresh says that the unnamed “dog is like me, we both live in this pardes (foreign city) without our family.”
Suresh described himself as the citizen of “a faraway district” who has been in the so-called Millennium City in Delhi’s outskirts for some years. He doesn’t feel any sense of belonging to Gurgaonm, explaining that he considers the city strictly as a place to earn a living and has no friend here. He doesn’t consider the dog a friend. Gesturing towards him, Suresh informs that the animal surfaced in the area only some months ago.
A modest person, Suresh insists he is not the only person in the vicinity to feed the dog. “There are many others too.” He points out to the adjacent chai shop whose owner too feeds the dog. Suresh, however, frequently buys biscuits for the dog, and sometimes even rotis, which he serves to the dog in a bowl of milk—he borrows the bowl from the aforementioned chai shop. He tears the rotis into small pieces so that it is easier for the dog to eat.
Each biscuit packet costs five rupees. So does each roti, and there’s extra cost for milk. What does Suresh get in return? The man shows the holes on his shirt and flashes a smile that almost veers to a chuckle. He says nothing, but gradually grows sombre and points his finger at the sky. “He is watching me.” Suresh is referring to God. “If I give love to this dog, then parmatma (God) might send me love.”
He now starts to pat the dog, who turns to gaze at him. Moments later the dog walks away.
[This is the 490th portrait of Mission Delhi project]