Mission Delhi - Bhumani, Connaught Place

Mission Delhi – Bhumani, Connaught Place

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Her name is rather unusual. Bhumani. “I don’t even know its meaning,” she confesses. The fruit seller, 60, has been a familiar face of this…

Mission Delhi - Rathore, Sector 15, Gurgaon

Mission Delhi – Rathore, Sector 15, Gurgaon

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Dark, cool, silent and shaded, it has become his refuge. Every afternoon, he migrates inside this little space and forgets the world. This is one…

Mission Delhi - Sakeena, Central Delhi

Mission Delhi – Sakeena, Central Delhi

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Sakeena regards herself as a modern woman with specific reasons to back her claim. “I earn my own money,” says the lady, asserting that she…

Mission Delhi - Shahji, Fatehpuri Mosque

Mission Delhi – Shahji, Fatehpuri Mosque

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] As an ascetic, Shahji—as he introduced himself—has but one main mission in life: meditating alone in an Old Delhi mosque, hours on end. The 80-year-old,…

Mission Delhi - Ram Lal, Gurgaon

Mission Delhi – Ram Lal, Gurgaon

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It sure is not his most precious possession. It certainly is the most eye-catching. “It’s my guthi,” says Ram Lal, taking out the pouch from…

Mission Delhi - Ram Jeevan, Near Red Fort

Mission Delhi – Ram Jeevan, Near Red Fort

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Paan vendor Ram Jeevan is sitting on a pavement near the Red Fort patiently waiting for customers while recalling his long years in Delhi. “I…

Mission Delhi - Rameshwar Thakur, Near Ramlila Maidan

Mission Delhi – Rameshwar Thakur, Near Ramlila Maidan

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] If there’s one thing this footpath barber truly prizes, it’s his torn umbrella. On this drizzly summer day, it’s keeping Rameshwar Thakur relatively dry while…

Mission Delhi - Ram Krishen Das, Central Delhi

Mission Delhi – Ram Krishen Das, Central Delhi

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] His is the simple life. This sage survives on fruit and rotis—and has been living in a bamboo scaffolding within a temple for more than…

Mission Delhi - Geeta Rani, Sadar Bazaar, Gurgaon

Mission Delhi – Geeta Rani, Sadar Bazaar, Gurgaon

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It is so simple to sell household appliances in the bazaar. But it hasn’t been all that easy for Geeta Rani. The 50-year-old stall owner…

Mission Delhi - Muhammed Shamim, Central Delhi

Mission Delhi – Muhammed Shamim, Central Delhi

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The life of paan seller Muhammed Shamim has been touched by a very long and beautiful friendship. “I’m talking about Shahid,” with whom he grew…