Mission Delhi - Bhure Khan, Sheetla Colony

Mission Delhi – Bhure Khan, Sheetla Colony

[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The plastic banner clings to the roadside fence. Bhure Khan Baraf Depot supplies ice in great quantity for wedding banquets — though any customer could also buy individual ice slabs directly from the…

Mission Delhi - Sanjay, Central Delhi

Mission Delhi – Sanjay, Central Delhi

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] From a distance, he looks like a dot in the world. The sprawling ground has only this man. He is sitting quietly on the edge…

Mission Delhi - Simran, Janakpuri

Mission Delhi – Simran, Janakpuri

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] This is how it is. Simran feels most alive when she’s walking on the streets, perhaps somewhere around the historic Jama Masjid in Old Delhi,…

Mission Delhi - Pankaj Kumar, Central Delhi

Mission Delhi – Pankaj Kumar, Central Delhi

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] He is sitting on his rickshaw saddle, by the arcades of a central Delhi avenue. It is late in the evening, and Pankaj Kumar is…

Mission Delhi - Pavan, Sadar Bazar, Gurgaon

Mission Delhi – Pavan, Sadar Bazar, Gurgaon

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Each day is like the other, and nothing seems to change. Pavan’s life remains static. He feels contended with the arrangement, he declares. He doesn’t…

Mission Delhi - Jasbir Chatterjee, Vikaspuri

Mission Delhi – Jasbir Chatterjee, Vikaspuri

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Jasbir Chatterjee, 54, was working as a customer relations manager in a car dealership until recently — until the day before Diwali, actually, when she…

Mission Delhi - Kalicharan, Central Delhi

Mission Delhi – Kalicharan, Central Delhi

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] One of his feet is wrapped in plastic — the kind of bag in which the fruit sellers might keep your apples. “It has patti…

Mission Delhi - Jagdamba Prasad, Connaught Place

Mission Delhi – Jagdamba Prasad, Connaught Place

[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] He’s looking like an emissary from a different world — partly because of his dress. Sitting on a sidewalk in central Delhi’s Connaught Place, the white-haired Jagdamba Prasad is attired in a cotton…

Mission Delhi - Dharmendra Partap Singh, City Roads

Mission Delhi – Dharmendra Partap Singh, City Roads

[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] He is all cloistered within plastic, as if in an echo chamber of his own. This sight perfectly encapsulates the surreality of the age of coronavirus. Cab driver Dharmendra Partap Singh is sitting…

Mission Delhi - Raj Kumar, Sadar Bazar

Mission Delhi – Raj Kumar, Sadar Bazar

[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] One feels a nip in the air. There is a shift in the season, and soon it will be time to take out the warm woollens from the trunk. Raj Kumar, too, will…