Mission Delhi - Vijay Kumar, Central Delhi

Mission Delhi – Vijay Kumar, Central Delhi

[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] He doesn’t have a house, he says. But he does have possessions. “I carry them all the time with me,” says Vijay Kumar. This morning he is sitting on the steps of a…

Mission Delhi - Ved Kumari Pahwa, Sector 52

Mission Delhi – Ved Kumari Pahwa, Sector 52

[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The coronavirus pandemic has temporarily put on hold the hyperactive lives of many folks, including of Ved Kumari Pahwa. “I was feeling especially frustrated during the lockdown… I was, and am still, very…

Mission Delhi - Munaf Alam, Chitli Qabar Chowk

Mission Delhi – Munaf Alam, Chitli Qabar Chowk

[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] You’ll always find him alone. Always silent. And he is seen every evening at Old Delhi’s Chitli Qabar Chowk, which is otherwise so noisy, and so hyperactive, teeming with shoppers, idlers, hawkers, florists,…

Mission Delhi - Sunita Kushwaha, Wazirabad

Mission Delhi – Sunita Kushwaha, Wazirabad

[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Her days are so hectic that she hasn’t really found the time to look back and trace the arc of her life. Therefore Sunita Kushwaha has never thought of herself as a feminist….

Mission Delhi - Muhammed Gulzar, Sunder Nursery

Mission Delhi – Muhammed Gulzar, Sunder Nursery

[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It’s evening. He’s lying sprawled along a grassy slope, against a background of yellow flowers. The sky is pitch blue. The air is breezy. His head is resting against his hand. He is…

Mission Delhi - Ashu Prashar, IP Extension & South Point Mall

Mission Delhi – Ashu Prashar, IP Extension & South Point Mall

[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] He is in his early 50s and wishes to write a book. He has already started preliminary work. “It will be a book on housekeeping ethics and style,” says Ashu Prashar, an assistant…

Mission Delhi - Raju, Near Yamuna Bazar

Mission Delhi – Raju, Near Yamuna Bazar

Homecoming dress. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Waste collector Raju’s bulging sack is huge. “It has all the trash I have collected today,” he says. Though it is only early morning in this market lane, it is already…

Mission Delhi - Devendra Kumar, Jacobpura

Mission Delhi – Devendra Kumar, Jacobpura

[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The family is cutting costs wherever it can. Devendra Kumar no longer “drinks a peg or two” and his school-going sons have stopped demanding treats of samosas and burgers. “As for my Mrs,…

Mission Delhi - Shah Hasan, Bhalswa Dairy

Mission Delhi – Shah Hasan, Bhalswa Dairy

Homecoming dress. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] So much has changed in just a few months. Auto rickshaw driver Shah Hasan barely manages to register the individuality of his customers anymore. “They’re always in masks…. a series of…

Mission Delhi - Veena Mathur, Sector 51

Mission Delhi – Veena Mathur, Sector 51

Homecoming dress. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Wow, she speaks such free-flowing Hindi! Now, this might sound like an awkward compliment in the Hindi-speaking Delhi region. But then Hindi is not Veena’s first language. “Main Tamil Nadu ki…