Mission Delhi - Vaseem Ansari, Ghaziabad

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] These hands. His hands. They have shouldered a legacy. But they have also put an end to that legacy. Vaseem Ansari is a weaver of…

City Landmark - Ukrainian Embassy, Vasant Vihar

The other diplomatic enclave. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] “September 23, 2022: 212nd day of full-scaled Russian aggression.” So says the flier pinned on the board. While the gate has a framed map of Ukraine. An adjacent poster…

Mission Delhi - Isak Ali, Basant Lok Market

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] See the top photo, clicked a decade ago. See the photo below. Snapped this week, same place. Then there was a bookstore, Fact & Fiction….

City Food - Pandit Vaishno Dhaba, Sadar Bazar, Gurgaon

A veggie affair. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] A passerby on the crowded market street abruptly freezes in mid-motion. The head turns, the nose sniffs the air aggressively. Can that be desi ghee? Where’s the smell coming from?…

City Landmark - People’s Publishing House, Connaught Place

Gorbachev’s tomb. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Russia is fighting with Ukraine. Kyrgyzstan is fighting with Tajikistan. Armenia and Azerbaijan too have clashed, yet again, with each other. It all is in this month’s news (September 2022). Mikhail…

City Hangout - Art District, Mandi House

A new-look much-loved zone. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Here you are, sitting on the steps, in easy intimacy with green grass and smoggy sky. Submerged in solitary thoughts. Or, perhaps arguing with a friend whether Godard really…

City Walk - Paharai Rajaan, Old Delhi

The hill of the workers [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Who made Taj Mahal? Shah Jahan. No, who actually raised the Taj, stone by stone? Nobody knows. History is mute on the labourers who built the monument. Ditto…

City Walk - Doors of Vakil Lane, Central Delhi

The lane of doors [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The cracked door has so many long cracks running along so many places that the door is looking like an unironed shirt with creases. The polish on the wood…

City Home - Saira Bano & Family, Gali Chandi Wali

Home sweet home [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] An entire household is contained in this room. This household contains a life that has largely disappeared. The second floor apartment in Old Delhi’s Gali Chandi Wali houses a family…

City Season - Sky Watching, Gurgaon

Season’s scenes [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The sleek Rapid Metro train is sliding noiselessly along the elevated tracks. The glass windows of the high-rises are gleaming under the noonday sun. And tufts of greying clouds are wafting…