City Monument - Bloomsday 2024, Martello Tower

Bloomdsday Mubarak. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] One evening, two nattily suited men climb a steep cobbled slope to reach a lesser-known Delhi monument. Each of them has a copy of James Joyce’s 1922 novel Ulysses, a classic…

City Street - Gali Surkh Poshan, Old Delhi

Red lane. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] The fakeer’s deep-throated singing voice is wafting probingly along the weathered walls of the narrow cul-de-sac. The other much younger fakeer is silent, holding a small polythene thaila filled with surkh-red…

Mission Delhi - Mukul, Jumna Paar

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Can fiction save a life? It did for a young “jumna paar” poet and music student in east Delhi’s Mayur Vihar Phase 3. Mukul is…

City Monument - Christian Cemetery, Prithviraj Road

For loved ones, from loved ones. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The gravestones are burning hot, this June afternoon. Strolling in a city graveyard and gazing at the inscriptions on graves is like browsing through a book of…

City Landmark - Hafizji ki Clock Shop, Gali Choori Wallan

Funeral blues, and resurrections. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Stop all the clocks, silence the street sounds, and bring out the janaza, let the mourners come. We thought that it would last forever, we were wrong. For a…

City Neighbourhood - Brijmohan Marg, Old Delhi

A lane in the Walled City. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Buildings evoke eras. With its arched doorway and carved balcony, a mansion of lakhori bricks in Gali Chooriwallan instantly transports the gazer to the late Mughal times….

City Hangout - Friendly Faces, New Friends Colony

Different perspectives. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Are folks in New Friends Colony (NFC) friendlier? Seems so—at least in the market. The NFC Community Centre is an archipelago of interconnected plazas dense with mehendi stalls, cake shops, chai…

City Hangout - Khan Market Updates, Central Delhi

Last houses. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] The Khan Market sunset is seldom noticed. The sightings of the famous and the fashionable, strolling along the lanes, take away attention from the twilight sky. Then there is the market’s…

City Landmark - Neem Tree, Old Delhi

A Walled City sight. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] The night air is growing less hot, almost spring-like pleasant. The sky is pitch black, not a single star to be seen. The dozens of street stalls are lying…

City Neighbourhood - Gali Andheri, Old Delhi

The darkened street. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] No darkness tonight in Gali Andheri, not even a spot of it—though the name translates to ‘darkened street.’ The twisty long-winded Old Delhi lane is momentarily landscaped with unwieldily patches…