Mission Delhi - Ramesh Kumar, Chitli Qabar Chowk

Mission Delhi – Ramesh Kumar, Chitli Qabar Chowk

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Mobile phone has become as necessary as oxygen. Everybody seems to need it. Not Ramesh Kumar. Even though, he says, he earns enough money as…

Mission Delhi - Anand, Near Gurgaon Bus Stand

Mission Delhi – Anand, Near Gurgaon Bus Stand

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Anand is carrying a huge gunny sack on his back. “It looks heavy but is actually light,” he says. This evening, near Gurgaon’s bus stand…

Mission Delhi - Devki, Hazrat Nizamuddin East

Mission Delhi – Devki, Hazrat Nizamuddin East

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] This role, to her, is both familiar and strange. Familiar, because being a working woman is by no means a novel experience. She has been…

Mission Delhi - Kamal Kishor, South Delhi

Mission Delhi – Kamal Kishor, South Delhi

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] He doesn’t know what water chestnuts are. Neither has he ever tasted any Thai dish, he says. But he has brought coriander dimsums with water…

Mission Delhi - Praveen Lal, Connaught Place

Mission Delhi – Praveen Lal, Connaught Place

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Many of us in this city can trace our roots to a village. Praveen Lal is no different. The shoeshine man lives with his wife…

Mission Delhi - Liyakat Ali, Central Delhi

Mission Delhi – Liyakat Ali, Central Delhi

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] These days you rarely see hand fans. Most of them, anyway, tend to be of plastic. But this hand fan is so distinct that you…

Mission Delhi - Muhammed Saif, Central Delhi

Mission Delhi – Muhammed Saif, Central Delhi

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] I’m resting—the thought has taken over Muhammed Saif. At this time of the afternoon, he would be hauling large amounts of construction material on the…

Mission Delhi - Shivnath Verma, Daryaganj

Mission Delhi – Shivnath Verma, Daryaganj

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Young people get restless in villages as soon as they realise life is elsewhere. They leave their homes, move to big cities full of rumoured…

Mission Delhi - Ompal, Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti

Mission Delhi – Ompal, Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] He’s one of our city’s most uncommon men. This afternoon, he is sitting on the pavement, giving the final touches to what seems to be…

Mission Delhi - Kailash, Sector 6, Gurgaon

Mission Delhi – Kailash, Sector 6, Gurgaon

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Our material possessions aren’t everything, but they are something. Labourer Kailash agrees to the assessment. He feels their importance, he says, because he has so…