Mission Delhi - Parvati, Civil Lines, Gurgaon

Mission Delhi – Parvati, Civil Lines, Gurgaon

[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] At 55, Parvati’s life is as hectic as it was 16 years ago, when she and her husband set up her tea stall, here by the roadside in Gurgaon’s Civil Lines in the…

Mission Delhi - Shakir Husain, Central Delhi

Mission Delhi – Shakir Husain, Central Delhi

[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Like many jobs, being a waste collector is hectic. One has to walk along one’s assigned streets, go through piles of garbage to pick up the viable trash, put it in a sack…

Mission Delhi - Poonam Yadav, Sector 11

Mission Delhi – Poonam Yadav, Sector 11

[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It’s late night and Poonam Yadav is sitting by the desk, with her laptop and scores of bulky books on Corporate Tax, Strategic Management and other subjects of the kind. “I have my…

Mission Delhi - Sooraj Pal, South Delhi

Mission Delhi – Sooraj Pal, South Delhi

[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] No crowd on the street. No hope of getting a customer. Golgappa vendor Sooraj Pal’s face is hidden behind a blue mask. “I will wait,” he says. This evening, he was walking by…

Mission Delhi - Dharmendera Diwakar, Sector 49

Mission Delhi – Dharmendera Diwakar, Sector 49

[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] He is the ironing man, and generally addressed by his profession rather than by his name. “Many people call me press wale bhayya,” says Dharmendera Diwakar. His profession is not taking good care…

Mission Delhi - Kaunen, Sadar Bazar, Gurgaon

Mission Delhi – Kaunen, Sadar Bazar, Gurgaon

[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] He had never encountered the word “entrepreneur” until February last year. “I first heard it in a computer class,” says Kaunen. “I then joined a two week free class on how to start…

Mission Delhi - Pramod Kumar Padhy, Sector 121, Noida

Mission Delhi – Pramod Kumar Padhy, Sector 121, Noida

[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The year is 1985. Place: Departure terminal, Rome airport. They knew they would not meet ever again. Moghul was flying to his home in Lahore, Pakistan, and Pramod Kumar Padhy was returning to…

Mission Delhi - Saurabh, Sohna Road

Mission Delhi – Saurabh, Sohna Road

[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] There was no window in his single-bed ward at the Covid-designated ICU. But there was a large one in the adjacent ward, connected to his by an open door, and he could see…

Mission Delhi - Kamni, Hauz Khas Village

Mission Delhi – Kamni, Hauz Khas Village

[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Her husband makes yummy chicken curry. “But we haven’t had it for a long time,” says Kamni. Her reason is simple enough. “I no longer earn as much as I used to before…

Mission Delhi - Meera Sachdeva, Tagore Garden

Mission Delhi – Meera Sachdeva, Tagore Garden

[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] She has lived through the Second World War, and through many other profound historical shifts. Including the Partition. Actually, she came of age in what is now Pakistan. She is 93. “No (public)…