Home Sweet Home - Study Room, Rose Garden, Gurgaon

Study spaces. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Children go to public parks to play. But these three boys are picnicking over school books. There are dreams to chase after all and “no time to waste,” cautions the poker-faced…

City Hangout - Shatabdi Watching, New Delhi Railway Station

The thrill of travel. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] That powerful sense of “going somewhere” is probably more palpable in a railway station than at an airport terminal. So many of us harassed Delhiites dream of escaping this…

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Conservation Architect Ratish Nanda, Near Humayun's Tomb

The parlour confession. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The Proust Questionnaire represents a confessional game that owes its structure to answers given by celebrated French writer Marcel Proust in two parties that he attended at ages 13 and…

Mission Delhi - Bhawani, Sector 15, Gurgaon

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] For years Bhawani’s life stayed the same. Earning a living as a “maid” in a score of middle-class households in Gurgaon in the Greater Delhi…

City Monument - Mirza Ghalib's Statue, Jamia Millia Islamia University

Poet’s spot. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Consider this. Although he’s one of the world’s great poets, spending most of his life in Delhi, there’s nary a statue of him in the Capital. How is it that Mirza…

City Life - Haji Fayazuddin's Hand-Knitted Cap, Old Delhi

A souvenir of love and care. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] He takes off the topi from his head, holds it carefully, the fingers moving slowly over the woolly texture as if they want to take in the…

City Walk - Around the Lake, Lodhi Garden

Finding truth. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Perhaps, just perhaps, some sort of Ultimate Truth can be discovered by simply walking around a lake. So suggested a great American poet. Who wouldn’t resist putting Wallace Steven’s hypothesis to…

City Hangout - Graveyard Watching, Jamia Millia Islamia Metro Station

The view of the dead. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] So much hustle bustle but for what when we all have to end up dead? One can’t avoid struggling with such a feeling while going up the escalators…

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Dawood, Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya's Dargah

The parlour confession. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The Proust Questionnaire represents a confessional game that owes its structure to answers given by celebrated French writer Marcel Proust in two parties that he attended at ages 13 and…

City Life - A Working Family, Naya Bazar, Gurgaon

All together. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It’s a freezing afternoon and they have just finished with the first half of their day’s work in Gurgaon’s Naya Bazar in the Greater Delhi Region—collecting the “kabad (scrap)”, from the…