Mission Delhi – Prem Buddha, Paharganj
One of the one percent in 13 million.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Virtually every day of the year, hundreds of souls migrate to Delhi, seeking a better life.
Perhaps many do find it, but “the important aspect is a burning ambition,” says Prem Buddha. A native of Nepal, he turned up in Delhi some years ago and now works at the cash counter in a coffee shop in central Delhi’s Paharganj.
At some point he sincerely hopes to settle down in his native country “and open a grocery store in my foothill town in the terai.”
Now in his late 20s, Mr Buddha did have other high expectations earlier in life. “I was recruited into the Nepalese army, but soon realised it wasn’t for me.” He had also thought about launching an eatery with his father, “but running a restaurant is stressful.”
For now, the café job suffices, but someday “I’ll find peace in my own business with no boss giving me orders.
“But right now I’m in Delhi and have no idea when I’ll make that big move.”
Mr Buddha now smiles, as though holding on to a lovely secret. He opens his wallet to show the passport-sized photo of a young woman—carefully wrapped in a plastic folder. “She’s Binita, and we married last year. She’s waiting for me back home in Nepal.”
[This is the 268th portrait of Mission Delhi project]