Mission Delhi - Manoj, Rose Garden, Gurgaon

Mission Delhi – Manoj, Rose Garden, Gurgaon

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Silently he unrolls the plastic mat along the leaf-strewn grass. Next, he takes off his shoes and socks, and plops down on the improvised bed,…

Mission Delhi - Farida Begum, Central Delhi

Mission Delhi – Farida Begum, Central Delhi

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Farida Begum is the first to agree with the famous poet who suggested that loneliness is a horror not to be surveyed. “I do feel…

Mission Delhi - Munna Bhai, Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti

Mission Delhi – Munna Bhai, Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] What’s that one thing in the world that’s closest to your heart? “Mummy’s photo,” declares Munna Bhai, a tea stall owner in central Delhi’s Hazrat…

Mission Delhi - Mohammed Jamal, New Seemapuri

Mission Delhi – Mohammed Jamal, New Seemapuri

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] His smile is so radiant that it almost seems tangible. As though you could hold that smile in your hands like a flower. Upon hearing…

Mission Delhi - Vijay Kumar, Kamla Nehru Park, Gurgaon

Mission Delhi – Vijay Kumar, Kamla Nehru Park, Gurgaon

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] An amazing sight this afternoon. He is the only person in the public garden without a mobile in his hand. Otherwise every single person in…

Mission Delhi - Ashiq Jama, Lodhi Gardens

Mission Delhi – Ashiq Jama, Lodhi Gardens

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It seemed like a logical question. As a professional gardener, Ashiq Jama must have lots of flowers in his own home. Or? Mr Jama laughs….

Mission Delhi - Anil Kumar, Gurgaon

Mission Delhi – Anil Kumar, Gurgaon

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Delhi is full of migrant men who leave their villages to make a better life in the big city. Here they live in accommodations, shared…

Mission Delhi - Bishen Das Sharma, Embassy Restaurant, Connaught Place

Mission Delhi – Bishen Das Sharma, Embassy Restaurant, Connaught Place

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] This morning the restaurant at the colonial-era Connaught Place is practically empty except for some elderly gentlemen drinking coffee, or may be some fancy tea….

Mission Delhi - Munazir, Central Delhi

Mission Delhi – Munazir, Central Delhi

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Most Delhiites are familiar with the deep-throated cry of “kabadi walla kabadi walla!” (scrap collector, scrap collector!) as he walks along residential lanes. His cry…

Mission Delhi - Sush Pal, Vaishali

Mission Delhi – Sush Pal, Vaishali

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] At first glance, this auto-rickshaw driver in Vaishali in the Greater Delhi Region looks like somebody out of the post-gender age—where it’s politically incorrect to…