From the Press – On The Delhi Walla Books
They are loving it.
[By Mayank Austen Soofi]
The Delhi Walla books are being talked about and not just by The Delhi Walla. The weekend edition of Mint, India’s leading business daily, said:
“The Delhi Walla blog’s mix of gentle exploration and candid street photography finds a perfect alternate home in this new set of three guidebooks to Delhi. Mayank Austen Soofi’s writing is peppered with wry observation and amusing historical nuggets (an example: When Pakistan dictator Zia-ul-Haq visited St Stephen’s College, his alma mater, he first looked for a cart selling “Banta” lemon), and the books cover the length and breadth of the National Capital Region, from the amusement parks in Rohini to the temples in Chhattarpur. The three guides cover “Hangouts” (which include routes for tranquil walks through Delhi’s quieter neighbourhoods), “Food+Drink” (which includes recipes sourced from long-time Delhi denizens) and “Monuments”.
The photography, also by the author, is consistently excellent, and the text always interesting, even if some of the descriptions seem to end rather abruptly. [The Delhi Walla‘s note: I don’t agree.] It’s an unavoidable problem with the form—the blog seemed to allow for a much more languid and focused exploration, while the guidebooks need to rush through every possible sight and sound. Another sticking point is the price — Rs 199 for each book in the set, which is a little steep for a modest 110-page volume. [The Delhi Walla‘s note: Sorry, that’s not steep at all!]“
The newspaper website’s podcast includes a chat with me. Click here and scroll down the page to find the link.
If I were a newspaper man, however, I would have written:
There is nothing like it. The Delhi Walla series is the best set of books on Delhi. Nobody before ventured to capture the city’s essence in such easy language and such lovely photographs. And the volumes are so handy. And the design is so sleek, so international. And the books are priced so cheap. And we are just loving it. What delightfully moody prose. Every person who feels for Delhi must have this book in her or his library.
Dear reader, please forgive my indulgence. These are my life’s first books. And I’m just trying to be what a Delhiwalla should be: showy. One more thing: After going thorough the volumes, book-lover Aakar Patel, a friend in Bombay whose opinion I value the most, texted me, saying, “You are a writer. You should now walk proud.”
Somewhere in a Delhi bookstore
Somewhere in Delhi