Mission Delhi - Rashmi Gautam, South Delhi

Mission Delhi – Rashmi Gautam, South Delhi

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] She approaches the passerby with cool composed confidence. He looks hassled. Her face all smiles, she shows him a pamphlet-like thing she is holding in…

Mission Delhi - Rashika, Redeveloped Central Vista

Mission Delhi – Rashika, Redeveloped Central Vista

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] So frustrating. Little Rashika is always ready to break into a dance, she has her own YouTube channel, after all. But here, she is as…

Mission Delhi - Ram Bhajan, Redeveloped Central Vista

Mission Delhi – Ram Bhajan, Redeveloped Central Vista

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Ram Bhajan is a lucky person. Unlike most of us Delhiites, who have been allowed to wander about the new Central Vista only since today,…

Mission Delhi - Dileep and Suresh, Mehrauli

Mission Delhi – Dileep and Suresh, Mehrauli

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] The two men are wading their way through a congested bazar in south Delhi’s Mehrauli, singing a devotional bhajan in robust melodic voices. Occasionally, shoppers…

Mission Delhi - Gayatri Devi, Near Gandhi Market

Mission Delhi – Gayatri Devi, Near Gandhi Market

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] One jar is filled with mouth freshners. Another has cigarettes. A red pack has tobacco powder. Another packet is full with beedis. These are neatly…

Mission Delhi - Mannu, Chelmsford Road

Mission Delhi – Mannu, Chelmsford Road

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Is that TGV? It exactly resembles that iconic high-speed intercity French train, the equivalent of our iconic Shatabdi Express. This likeness of the European super-fast…

Mission Delhi - Pankaj Kumar Manji, Lodhi Road

Mission Delhi – Pankaj Kumar Manji, Lodhi Road

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Perhaps the most picturesque walking track in the entire Delhi region is the tree-lined Lodhi Road. The walk begins from Safdarjung’s Tomb, goes past the…

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…