Mission Delhi – Arshad Ali, Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya's Dargah

Mission Delhi – Arshad Ali, Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya’s Dargah

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Sometimes the stuff you see in song-and-dance movies repeats itself in real life. In 2011, Hindi film Rockstar depicted its hero — a young Delhi…

Mission Delhi – Mirza Yaseen Beg, Midland Bookstore, Aurobindo Market

Mission Delhi – Mirza Yaseen Beg, Midland Bookstore, Aurobindo Market

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] They all have died. Almost all the legendary founders of Delhi’s great independent bookstores have left us. Anil Arora of now-extinct The Bookworm passed away…

Mission Delhi - Simona Anedda, Old Delhi

Mission Delhi – Simona Anedda, Old Delhi

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Most foreign tourists experience their fleeting glimpse of Old Delhi from behind the dust-free glass of their air-conditioned bus windows, with the bus circling the…

Mission Delhi – Elena Tommaseo, Lajpat Nagar

Mission Delhi – Elena Tommaseo, Lajpat Nagar

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] She is a white European woman in South Delhi. Her home, however, is not in places such as Jangpura, Hauz Khas Village, Defence Colony, Greater…

Mission Delhi - Salma, Lodhi Road

Mission Delhi – Salma, Lodhi Road

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] She cuts quite a figure. A woman riding a cart all by herself — very often a little child is seen sitting on the cart…

Mission Delhi - Arjun Sagar Gupta, The Piano Man, Safdarjung Enclave Market

Mission Delhi – Arjun Sagar Gupta, The Piano Man, Safdarjung Enclave Market

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] He is a pianist. Tall and slim. His fingers are slender and long; his hair a forest of ringlet curls; his wrists as delicate as…

Mission Delhi – Ibrar Ahmad, Hazrat Nizamuddin's Sufi Shrine

Mission Delhi – Ibrar Ahmad, Hazrat Nizamuddin’s Sufi Shrine

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Huddled within the folds of a white shawl, he is sitting as still as a rock. One cold night The Delhi Walla walks upto a…

Mission Delhi – Sooraj Mal, IFFCO Chowk

Mission Delhi – Sooraj Mal, IFFCO Chowk

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] His mustache is so large and dense and it twirls so royally like that of a Maharaja that he perfectly fits the stereotype of a…

Mission Delhi – Miss Suhana, Lodhi Road

Mission Delhi – Miss Suhana, Lodhi Road

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] She is glittering under the black sky. On a closer look, she turns out to be a white-haired woman on the roadside. One late night…

Mission Delhi – Monet Lalparvul, Café Turtle, Khan Market

Mission Delhi – Monet Lalparvul, Café Turtle, Khan Market

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] This is that brief lull before the storm. It is Saturday morning and Café Turtle in Khan Market is empty. Except for her. She is…