Searching for the stylish.
[Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi]
The Delhi Walla saw this young man in the Walled Cityâ€™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-handâ€™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 kurtaâ€™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 Cityâ€™s mythical past. Iâ€™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 itâ€™s this fragility that adds to his sad charm.
His delicate charm
His quiet smile
Cool and classy