City Hangout - Matia Mahal Bazar, Old Delhi

market in the pandemic. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Ramzan is gone, not its raunaq. The peppy bunting is hanging upon the street like an expired blessing (see photo). This weekday afternoon Old Delhi’s Matia Mahal Bazar is…

City Life - Family Closet, Sadar Bazar

A souvenir of memories. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Loved ones go, the objects of their daily life stay. And some trace of the departed, tidbit of a particular memory perhaps, is evoked by those objects. Like in…

City Landmark - The Book Mark, South Extension I

A survivor. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Let’s talk about Delhi’s extinct bookshops. The Bookworm in Connaught Place had a spiral staircase, that went up to the Capital’s best collection of books on cinema. The Fact & Fiction…

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Nadira Khan, Central Delhi

The parlour confession. [By Mayank Austen Soofi] Nadia Khan is leaving Delhi. After six years as a research fellow in Jamia Millia Islamia university where she finished her PhD on “expats assigned to India,” the Srinagar native is herself to…

City Life - Three Labourers, Pragati Maidan

Builders of a new city. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The air is laden with dust. The temperature is so high that the body seems to be on a slow roast. In such a setting, a new world…

Mission Delhi - Noorjehan, Lodhi Road

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] It is midnight. The pavement on Lodhi Road is immersed in darkness, but you can see figures slumped along it, presumably asleep. One spot on…

City Monument - Jami Masjid, Feroze Shah Kotla

All the Delhis. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] In Delhi, several centuries live together — and here’s a rare place where you get to see all those centuries in a single eye sweep. The Jami Masjid at Feroze…

City Season - Amaltas in Blossom, Lajpat Nagar

Summer’s gift. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The park has no grass. Tailor “master” Mehmood Alam enters this dull brown earth, lays out a mat towards the west and starts to offer his evening prayers. The scene is…

Mission Delhi - Om Prakash, Opposite Civil Hospital

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] No customers are coming to Pandit Om Prakash. The astrologer’s pavement stall is very modest, but a longtime landmark in the area, here in Gurgaon,…

Delhi's Bandaged Heart - Asmaul Husna's Poem City of Djinns I, Chanakyapuri

Poetry in the city. [By Mayank Austen Soofi] Her Dhaka is full of rickshaws. She often took late night rides in them to the old city, for a quick seekh at Bismillah hotel, or for a sherbet at Royal. It…