Mission Delhi – Rames Kumar, SP Mukherjee Marg

Mission Delhi – Rames Kumar, SP Mukherjee Marg

One of the one percent in 13 million.

[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]

He is writing.

“I’m Rames Kumar,” the young man says. “I’m a lekhak (author).”

Mr Kumar is sitting on the pavement on SP Mukherjee Marg, the road that goes towards the (old) Delhi railway station.

“I started a new chapter today.”

It is early afternoon. Hurried pedestrians are walking past.

“My novel is in Nepali,” says Mr Kumar. He agrees to read a few lines to The Delhi Walla.

It’s a strange passage that consists of what appears to be written in a single sentence. Here’s the translation:

“School one class first two class first name Rames Nepali Bahadur my Nepali book my Maths book my Sociology book my climate my culture my health my Science book my dance my English class Tees Hazari book toffee packet two schools name Rosan class eight Sonam Rames Kumar Company Garden Labour Chowk.”

Mr Kumar’s grey trousers are rolled up to his knees. He is barefoot.

“I have more clothes here,” he says, pointing to the red carry bag on his lap.

“Writing books do not give me money,” he says. “So, I work in a hotel in Punjabi Bagh.”

Mr Kumar’s ancestral home is in a mountainous village in Nepal. He arrived in Delhi four years ago.

Why did he leave his country?

Mr Kumar simply shrugs.

Looking anxious to go back to his writing, he says, “I will wash myself tomorrow and go back to work in the hotel.”

He then again starts to write.

[This is the 94th portrait of Mission Delhi project]

The write at home