Mission Delhi – Rashika, Redeveloped Central Vista
One of the one percent in 13 million.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
So frustrating. Little Rashika is always ready to break into a dance, she has her own YouTube channel, after all. But here, she is as frozen as a statue.
“Come on Rashika, do one step please beside India Gate,” urges mom Manju Gautam, a “tuition teacher” teach who gives lessons in political science to graduate students. Rashika refuses to budge. Snuggled in the baby stroller, her younger brother Viraat, in extraordinarily spunky blue-rimmed glasses, sees this as an opportunity to gather all the limelight.
The family has been in the spanking new Central Vista for an hour, and is not minding the afternoon heat. “We are primarily here to see the Netaji’s statue,” says Manju. The Mayur Vihar resident came with her kids by the metro. Her husband is at work at Lodhi Road. The family was excited since the morning and Manju had cooked chhole chawal for their “new India Gate picnic” But “the guards stopped us from eating on the ghaas (grass),” she says, laughing. They then went to the car parking, sat on a bench and had their special meal. “Now we are looking for ice cream, and can’t spot any ice cream walla.”
Meanwhile, little Rashika overcomes her shyness and boldly breaks into a brief ballet-like jiggle. Her mom quickly records a video with India Gate as backdrop.
[This is the 509th portrait of Mission Delhi project]