Mission Delhi - Surya Lal Maurya, Azadpur

Mission Delhi – Surya Lal Maurya, Azadpur

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Walk along the Azadpur back lanes in north Delhi at night and you’re bound to run across weary day labourers settling in for some shut-eye….

Mission Delhi - Reshma, Inside a Ghaziabad Apartment

Mission Delhi – Reshma, Inside a Ghaziabad Apartment

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Young folks have dreams. Dreaming that someday, somewhere, some sort of career awaits. But at age 18, Reshma is already making a living, working in…

Mission Delhi – Momo, Hazrat Nizamuddin East

Mission Delhi – Momo, Hazrat Nizamuddin East

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] A moonbeam lent too briefly. Momo, who was born just a few months ago, died recently. The Delhi Walla first saw the kitten in an…

Mission Delhi - Dev Kumar, Near Malai Mandir

Mission Delhi – Dev Kumar, Near Malai Mandir

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] One hot and humid evening The Delhi Walla bumps into him near Malai Mandir, in South Delhi. He is lying sprawled on the grass. His…

Mission Delhi – Shri Om Dhama, Connaught Place

Mission Delhi – Shri Om Dhama, Connaught Place

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Three hours ago Mummy made him paratha served with dahi and a glass of milk. He never drinks tea or any other adult drink. Now…

Mission Delhi - Deepak Kumar, Outside Vidha Sabha Metro Station

Mission Delhi – Deepak Kumar, Outside Vidha Sabha Metro Station

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The Delhi Walla can’t cycle more than 30 minutes on an exercise bike, but rickshaw pullers somehow manage constant pedalling day in, day out. What’s…

Mission Delhi - Salma Sultan, Jangpura

Mission Delhi – Salma Sultan, Jangpura

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Salma Sultan hasn’t changed at all, down to the famous red rose tucked gloriously in her bun. The famous Doordarshan newsreader stopped reading TV news…

Mission Delhi – Meer Chand, Munirika

Mission Delhi – Meer Chand, Munirika

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] He looks a bit like Derek Walcott. He has the same white hair, the same moustache, the same face cut as the Nobel-Prize winning Caribbean…

Mission Delhi - Soumya Singh, Auto Rickshaw

Mission Delhi – Soumya Singh, Auto Rickshaw

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Soumya Singh has big black eyes and a sunny smile. She doesn’t seem to be weighed down by life. It could be because she is…

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…