Mission Delhi - Lalu, Mandi House

Mission Delhi – Lalu, Mandi House

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The houses are vacant. An earthen chulha (stove) is dusted with ashes—somebody must have cooked here not long ago. But the lane is silent. It…

Mission Delhi - Rashidni, Near Golf Course Road

Mission Delhi – Rashidni, Near Golf Course Road

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] From this distance, she is looking like a slow-moving blur. A blur flashy and multi-coloured, for she is in a green-and-blue sari, with a large…

Mission Delhi - Aryan Khan, Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti

Mission Delhi – Aryan Khan, Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] No second thoughts, no doubt, absolutely no dilemma. Aryan Khan, 18, arrived in Delhi a week ago, and is as clear as a glassy stream…

Mission Delhi - Kavita Joshi Rai, Lodhi Garden

Mission Delhi – Kavita Joshi Rai, Lodhi Garden

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] This mobile phone snapper has perhaps the most beautifully named instagram handle in Delhi. Please shake paws with Kavita Joshi Rai, the founder of @dogs_of_lodhi,…

Mission Delhi - Arvind, Adhchini

Mission Delhi – Arvind, Adhchini

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The houses are withdrawn into shut doors and lidded windows. The lane is utterly silent, here in south Delhi’s Adhchini village. The pathway is empty…

Mission Delhi - Sona, Vasundhara

Mission Delhi – Sona, Vasundhara

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] He is looking at a face. The face is looking back at him. Does he realise it is his own reflection in the rain puddle?…

Mission Delhi - Razi Zahoor Qureshi, Haji Hotel

Mission Delhi – Razi Zahoor Qureshi, Haji Hotel

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] He is silently taking turns. Razi Zahoor Qureshi is exercising his routine walk, here on Haji Hotel’s balcony with a panoramic view of the Mughal-era…

Mission Delhi - Masooban, Chelmsford Road

Mission Delhi – Masooban, Chelmsford Road

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] A turbaned artist is beating the nagada. Another is playing the shehnai. Both performers are directing their music straight into Masooban’s ear. Their solo audience…

Mission Delhi - Rukhsana, Central Delhi

Mission Delhi – Rukhsana, Central Delhi

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The road is teeming with afternoon traffic. The pavement, here in central Delhi, has a small plastic mat sprawled along it. A child is sitting…

Mission Delhi - Balvindra, Gurgaon

Mission Delhi – Balvindra, Gurgaon

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It does resemble something familiar, something that is occasionally featured as a curiosity piece in travel magazines. Oh yes, it looks like one of those…