Mission Delhi - Insaf, Hazrat Nizamuddin East

Mission Delhi – Insaf, Hazrat Nizamuddin East

Mission Delhi - Insaf, Hazrat Nizamuddin East

One of the one percent in 13 million.

[Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi]

His hand is on his heart. “People have dreams… I also have dreams.” The young man says this with a friendliness so palpable it seems to drip out of his eyes.

It is late evening, and Insaf is about to complete his day shift. He is stationed by the gates of this elegant bungalow, here in upscale Hazrat Nizamuddin East. At 19, he has already lived through a disappointment, Insaf says, explaining that his ardent dream is refusing to become real: “I so much want to join the army.” Back home in Assam, he was on the verge of being recruited as a soldier but was disqualified during a physical examination, he says.

The next best option to be “something in life” was to leave home and come to Delhi. The decision wasn’t easy. “I’m my parents’ youngest child, I have four sisters. My mother was scared of letting me go, especially because my two older brothers passed away… a long time ago.” While a guard in Delhi, Insaf is toying with other career options. “One day I went to Gurgaon and visited a company godaam (warehouse), hoping to get work there.” He couldn’t. No big deal, he remarks, saying that these days he is wanting to be a driver, and is waiting to get his driving license.

Being his parents’ “iklauta beta (only son),” “mummy papa call me at least 50 times a day, wanting to know if I had breakfast, if I had lunch, if my health is fine…” Even though he sometimes yearn to be with parents, he has many relatives in the city, so much so that “it feels that Delhi too is my village.”

But Insaf hasn’t given up on joining the army. “I’m making my body fitter…. I run about 3-4 kilometers every morning.”

Soon, a man and woman approach the bungalow’s gate. Insaf quickly rushes to open it. Moments later, he comes back, emphasising, “Oh, I also want to be a YouTuber!”

[This is the 537th portrait of Mission Delhi project]