City Landmark - Choudhary Kishan Lal Jutti Shop, Jacobpura, Gurgaon

Shoes of a different kind. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] You won’t spot such a place in the fanciest of malls. Nor is it easy to find it elsewhere. A shoe shop in Gurgaon’s Jacobpura in the Greater…

City Library – Krishna Prasad Jain’s Books, Vasant Vihar

A vanishing world. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Here you shall find Milan Kundera’s classic novel personally inscribed by him. Also the first edition of Midnight Children, duly signed by Salman Rushdie. Krishna Prasad Jain, 80, owns this…

Mission Delhi - Chanda, N Block, Outer Circle, Connaught Place

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Delhi literally teems with scores of very important people (VIPs). Meeting even 1% of them would be the achievement of a lifetime. Far easier, but…

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Artist Gauri Gill, Hazrat Nizamuddin East and Surroundings

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 - Shyam Lal, Paharganj

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It’s only noontime, but even so. Construction labourer Shyam Lal has dozed off by the pavement. How he can sleep at all is anyone’s guess,…

Mission Delhi - Monica Bizira, Sector 5, Gurgaon

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] She is a woman with decided views. “This Indian culture!” exclaims Monica Bizira in an exasperated tone. “It’s a punishment to be a woman in…

City Moment - Offering a Rose to Villy Sorabji, Parsi Cemetery

Remembering a loved one. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The graves are arranged neatly about a red brick structure here in the small Parsi Cemetery in Central Delhi. No other visitors at the moment. Gardner Manoj Mishra is…

City Hangout - Poetry Reading Benches, Mirza Ghalib's Tomb

Place for poems. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Those good souls who love reading poems will sit down with a poetry anthology just about anywhere. Even while standing in a jam-packed Metro train. But where can one find…

City Region - Slum and 'Society', Sector 15, Gurgaon

Our disparate lives. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The neighbours are loitering outside their homes, making small talk about the cold weather. Soon enough, the conversation veers towards a “multi-storey society”, or as they would like to call…

City Moment - Kitchen Couple, Mathura Road

Family values. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] On this chilly night Mathura Road has emptied of traffic. But a flame flickers on this Central Delhi pavement—home sweet home for a family of five living under an orange tarpaulin….