Memo from Nizamuddin Dargah - Meeting the Other Sex

Memo from Nizamuddin Dargah – Meeting the Other Sex

The world of the hijras. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] In November 2010, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi extended its pension scheme for deprived sections to the city’s eunuchs. They will now get a monthly pension of Rs…

City Food - Julia Child Makes Chai in Turkman Gate

City Food – Julia Child Makes Chai in Turkman Gate

The great chef’s life in Delhi. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] Meet the Julia Child of Turkman Gate, a congested neighbourhood in the Walled City. Quiet and gentle, Child is not sure of his age but he looks…

Mission Delhi - Vijay Kumar, Paharganj

Mission Delhi – Vijay Kumar, Paharganj

One of the one per cent in 13 million. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] For the last 10 minutes, his grey eyes haven’t blinked; his posture on the green plastic chair hasn’t changed. Vijay Kumar, 56, is selling…

The Delhi Walla Books - They Are Not Enough

The Delhi Walla Books – They Are Not Enough

Reflections at the Midland bookstore, South Extension-I. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] The other day I met a friend in Lodhi Garden. She remarked on my unkempt hair. I said, “Who cares! I’m a bloody author of four…

City Hangouts – Carom Clubs, Around Town

City Hangouts – Carom Clubs, Around Town

Your entry into the city’s underbelly. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] In the famous short story, Shatranj ke Khiladi, by Hindi writer Premchand, the chess players continued playing chess and lost the city of Lucknow to the British….

City Style - The Classy Delhiwalla, Barakhamba

City Style – The Classy Delhiwalla, Barakhamba

Searching for the stylish. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] The Delhi Walla saw this man coming out of Barakhamba Metro station, gate no. 6, in Connaught Place, Delhi’s premier commercial district. It was 9 am, the rush hour….

The Biographical Dictionary of Delhi – Shanky, b. Chandni Chowk, Delhi, 1968

The Biographical Dictionary of Delhi – Shanky, b. Chandni Chowk, Delhi, 1968

The definitive directory of famous Delhiites. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] Shanky’s is one of the more curious careers in Indian cinema. This son of a factory supervisor is as unknown as any acclaimed art house film. A…

City Season – Cold Weather Forecasting

City Season – Cold Weather Forecasting

Delhi ceases to be Delhi. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] Evening. Early November. Very soon, the doors leading to the tomb of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya will close not at 10 pm, the usual time, but half an hour…

City Season - Signs of Winter, Connaught Place

City Season – Signs of Winter, Connaught Place

Delhi’s cold wardrobe. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] The Delhi Walla is looking for signs of winter in Delhi’s colonial-era shopping district, Connaught Place. It is the second week of November. The city gets chilly, but only in…

City Moment – Bird Catcher, Bulbuli Khana

City Moment – Bird Catcher, Bulbuli Khana

The beautiful Delhi instant. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] The Delhi Walla was one afternoon taking a stroll in a by-lane in Bulbuli Khana, a cramped neighbourhood in Old Delhi. The only public spaces that are wide and…