Mission Delhi - Raju, Bapu Niwas

Mission Delhi – Raju, Bapu Niwas

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] This small house is all he knows of MK Gandhi. “That takhat,” says Raju, pointing to a wooden bed, “is Gandhiji’s vishram-asan on which he…

Mission Delhi - Kishen Pal, Central Delhi

Mission Delhi – Kishen Pal, Central Delhi

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Kishen Pal is a determined citizen. Losing his arm in a 1990 accident, he was no longer able to work as a truck driver. Instead…

Mission Delhi - Dharmaraj, Kamala Nehru Park, Gurgaon

Mission Delhi – Dharmaraj, Kamala Nehru Park, Gurgaon

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Daily wage labourer Dharmaraj is lying flat on the grassy ground of Gurgaon’s Kamala Nehru Park in the Greater Delhi Region, his feet bare, his…

Mission Delhi - Shiv Nath, Usmanpur

Mission Delhi – Shiv Nath, Usmanpur

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] This rickshaw puller regularly clips his fingernails with great care. But the nail on his right index finger is unusually long—and for understandable reason. “I…

Mission Delhi - Bhumani, Connaught Place

Mission Delhi – Bhumani, Connaught Place

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Her name is rather unusual. Bhumani. “I don’t even know its meaning,” she confesses. The fruit seller, 60, has been a familiar face of this…

Mission Delhi - Rathore, Sector 15, Gurgaon

Mission Delhi – Rathore, Sector 15, Gurgaon

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Dark, cool, silent and shaded, it has become his refuge. Every afternoon, he migrates inside this little space and forgets the world. This is one…

Mission Delhi - Sakeena, Central Delhi

Mission Delhi – Sakeena, Central Delhi

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Sakeena regards herself as a modern woman with specific reasons to back her claim. “I earn my own money,” says the lady, asserting that she…

Mission Delhi - Shahji, Fatehpuri Mosque

Mission Delhi – Shahji, Fatehpuri Mosque

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] As an ascetic, Shahji—as he introduced himself—has but one main mission in life: meditating alone in an Old Delhi mosque, hours on end. The 80-year-old,…

Mission Delhi - Ram Lal, Gurgaon

Mission Delhi – Ram Lal, Gurgaon

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It sure is not his most precious possession. It certainly is the most eye-catching. “It’s my guthi,” says Ram Lal, taking out the pouch from…

Mission Delhi - Ram Jeevan, Near Red Fort

Mission Delhi – Ram Jeevan, Near Red Fort

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Paan vendor Ram Jeevan is sitting on a pavement near the Red Fort patiently waiting for customers while recalling his long years in Delhi. “I…