Mission Delhi - Shamshad Khan, Bhalswa Dairy

Mission Delhi – Shamshad Khan, Bhalswa Dairy

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] This afternoon, “bawarchi” Shamshad Khan is sitting alongside his cauldron filled with fragrant yellow pulao and modestly declares himself a professional success. “I’m all I…

Mission Delhi - Ramesh Giri, North Delhi

Mission Delhi – Ramesh Giri, North Delhi

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] This 64-year-old says he lives alone on city pavements, and that’s perfectly true except for one thing. Ramesh Giri cohabits with his artificial jewellery. “I…

Mission Delhi - Benjamin Haswell, Central Delhi

Mission Delhi – Benjamin Haswell, Central Delhi

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Fanciful tattoos abound, don’t they? Some folks have gods embedded into their arms, or even the names of their parents. These days hipsters often show…

Mission Delhi - Neelesh Kumar, Gurgaon

Mission Delhi – Neelesh Kumar, Gurgaon

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Whether alone or in company, everyone is looking stressed in this Gurgaon public garden in the Greater Delhi Region. But not gardener Neelesh Kumar. Standing…

Mission Delhi - Chanda, N Block, Outer Circle, Connaught Place

Mission Delhi – Chanda, N Block, Outer Circle, Connaught Place

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Delhi literally teems with scores of very important people (VIPs). Meeting even 1% of them would be the achievement of a lifetime. Far easier, but…

Mission Delhi - Shyam Lal, Paharganj

Mission Delhi – Shyam Lal, Paharganj

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It’s only noontime, but even so. Construction labourer Shyam Lal has dozed off by the pavement. How he can sleep at all is anyone’s guess,…

Mission Delhi - Monica Bizira, Sector 5, Gurgaon

Mission Delhi – Monica Bizira, Sector 5, Gurgaon

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] She is a woman with decided views. “This Indian culture!” exclaims Monica Bizira in an exasperated tone. “It’s a punishment to be a woman in…

Mission Delhi - Bhawani, Sector 15, Gurgaon

Mission Delhi – Bhawani, Sector 15, Gurgaon

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] For years Bhawani’s life stayed the same. Earning a living as a “maid” in a score of middle-class households in Gurgaon in the Greater Delhi…

Mission Delhi - Uday Sharma, Galleria Market

Mission Delhi – Uday Sharma, Galleria Market

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Some read for leisure. Others have more specific reasons. Like Uday Sharma. A cake shop assistant in Gurgaon’s Galleria Market in the Greater Delhi Region,…

Mission Delhi - Reshma Khan, Kala Mahal

Mission Delhi – Reshma Khan, Kala Mahal

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Reshma Khan is enjoying chai this morning in an Old Delhi tea house where she seems to know everybody—all of them men. She’s the only…