Mission Delhi – Sumit Tokas, Connaught Place
One of the one percent in 13 million.
[Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi]
He is holding a book-sized power pack battery charger, but he isn’t busy with his mobile phone. He is writing—employing the endangered duo of pen-and-paper. A blue journal is lying opened on his lap. Broken phrases from the page jump out towards a passerby’s accidental glance: “why do we”, “you can achieve it,” “feel alone.”
Sumit Tokas isn’t in some expensive café speckled with writers showing off their cardboard cover moleskines and skinny pumpkin frappés. He is sitting discreetly on the subway stairs in the Outer Circle of Connaught Place. It is one of those subways rarely used by pedestrians. “So much shanti here,” mutters the young man. “I’m able to write without distractions.”
Living in Gurugram, Sumit wanted “alone time” today. So he boarded the yellow line Metro, got off at the shopping district in Delhi’s heart, made rounds of the Inner Circle corridor, and finally settled down on discovering this secluded space. Too many emotions were bottled up in him; he needed to vent them out. “I have been feeling jealous about something…. so I decided to write about it.”
Building a career in finance, Sumit is preparing for CA exams and haven’t thought of wanting to be a published writer (yet!). But writing is gradually embroidering its way into the fabric of his daily life. “I encountered a series of events in the past two years,” he explains haltingly, as if assessing his thoughts before shaping them into spoken words. “At that time those events seemed negative, but now I realise they helped me grow.” That mainly happened once he started to jot down those events in his diary.
It started three months ago while interning in a chartered accountant’s firm in Gurugram (he is presently on a study leave). That fateful
day “I was suddenly feeling bad about a thing.” He spotted a register on his desk and began to write about what he was feeling bad about, and why. As he wrote, he felt lighter. Gradually, he got into the habit of making a written record of his feelings. “Through writing, I am able to see the other side of things, to delve deep into myself.”
This evening, jotting down about whatever is making him jealous has calmed him, he says. As the evening rush hour intensifies, the man continues to write, while the rest of the harried megapolis continues to swell with repressed feelings.
[This is the 522nd portrait of Mission Delhi project]