City Style – The Classy Delhiwalla, Bulbuli Khana
Searching for the stylish.
[Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi]
The Delhi Walla saw this young man in the Walled City’s Bulbuli Khana mohalla. He was standing alone in a shaded alley. Goats were scampering across the lane. Flies were buzzing around a tea stall. The air was stinky. In such a grim atmosphere, he was the sunshine. No one else in the overcrowded mohalla was dressed like him.
The elegance came from his quiet smile and his clothes: a clean white pajama, a cream-peach sheer muslin kurta and a white topi. Wearing dark-brown leather slip-ons, his right-hand’s forefinger had a plain silver ring. His stubble was more than a day old; a few strands of his chest hairs were peeping out from the kurta’s lapel.
While most boys in Old Delhi have taken to fake denim and Manchester United Tees, this man in his muslin finery was a symbol of the Walled City’s mythical past. I’m talking about a time when people were politer, spoke in prose, had their finger foods cooked in elaborate kitchen ceremonies and dressed in hand-made kurtas. The new world, however, is pressing down on this man. To keep off the filth of the ground, he has his pajama rolled up a few folds. The dirt will get him in the end. But it’s this fragility that adds to his sad charm.
His delicate charm
His quiet smile
Cool and classy