Mission Delhi – Deepak Kumar, Connaught Place
One of the one percent in 13 million.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
There are various ways of dealing with living alone, and with grief.
This evening, Deepak Kumar made a rare purchase, buying a sacred book for 150 rupees from outside Hanuman Temple in Connaught Place.
“I thought it would be a good idea to read Bhagwad Geeta in the evening to keep my thoughts occupied,” says the AC mechanic lying on the grassy grounds above Palika Bazar, like other tired shoppers.
His wife, Kumari Shakuntala, died of typhoid only one month ago. Their four young children are being looked after by his parents-in-law in their home village in Bihar; while Mr Kumar supports the family in faraway Delhi. “I have to earn money for myself and my children.”
In his early 30s, he lives by himself in a rented room in Nehru Bazar, “spending my evenings with friends. I get back to my lodgings only late at night when I’m totally exhausted.” He is uncertain if he would be able to read the Geeta from start to end but reading late at night “maybe can keep my mind distracted.” Every morning he calls his children on the phone. “The youngest two still miss their mother intensely and cry often.”
Now he flips through the opening pages of the book, perusing for a few minutes before ultimately deciding to close his eyes for a while. “I need some rest.”
[This is the 266th portrait of Mission Delhi project]
In Geeta’s refuge