Photo Essay – Street Vendors, Around Town

Photo Essay – Street Vendors, Around Town

Threatened by Foreign Direct Investment. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] ‘Every Little Helps,’ Tesco tells us. ‘Save money. Live better,’ promises Walmart. So, the Indian government has announced foreign direct investment in the multi-brand retail sector. Will Khari…

Mission Delhi – Hitting the 50th Delhiwalla

Mission Delhi – Hitting the 50th Delhiwalla

Profiling one percent of Delhi’s population. [Photos by Solveig Marina Bang; text by Mayank Austen Soofi] One November afternoon in 2011, The Delhi Walla’s attempt to profile one percent of Delhi’s population reached a significant milestone. The Mission Delhi project…

City Moment – Heart to Heart, Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah

City Moment – Heart to Heart, Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah

The beautiful Delhi instant. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] One winter morning The Delhi Walla accompanied thumri singer Vidya Rao to the shrine of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya, the 14th century sufi saint. Ms Rao was carrying a copy…

City Hangout - Khwaja Mir Dard Basti, Central Delhi

City Hangout – Khwaja Mir Dard Basti, Central Delhi

The poet’s ghetto. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Khwaja Mir Dard Basti, or Shakur ki Dandi, is crude and poorly constructed. Yet it has poetry, music and handmade art. It is sandwiched between the city’s tallest high-rise and…

City Culture - De Bhasar, Connaught Place

City Culture – De Bhasar, Connaught Place

The philosophy of nonsense. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] ‘Sangita, I fuck you.’ ‘Your mother’s cunt’. ‘Book a cock.’ The Delhi Walla saw this calligraphy in Connaught Place, Delhi’s colonial-era commercial district. They are depicted in the dusty…

City Faith - Agha Shahid Ali's Poetry, Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah

City Faith – Agha Shahid Ali’s Poetry, Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah

Qawwali at Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia’s Dargah. [Poem by Agha Shahid Ali; photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] I Between two saints, he shares the earth, Mohommad Shah “Rangeele,” (evoked in Paluskar’s khayal) The beggar-woman kisses the marble lattice, sobs on Khusro’s…

City Style - The Classy Delhiwalla, New Delhi Railway Station

City Style – The Classy Delhiwalla, New Delhi Railway Station

Searching for the stylish. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The Delhi Walla saw this man in New Delhi railway station. He was wearing a white lungi, white vest, steel-grey blazer and a necklace of white plastic beads. He…

Hauz Khas Series - A House in the Village, Chapter 4

Hauz Khas Series – A House in the Village, Chapter 4

Life in Delhi’s prettiest neighborhood. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Hauz Khas Village has become a ‘hang out’. Artist types still come but the ageless rich have infiltrated in large numbers. These people look successful, cocky and aggressively…

City Culture - Delhi's Emerging Lingo

City Culture – Delhi’s Emerging Lingo

Signs of our times. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] News flash on a website: 2G:BJP demands probe against PM, PC. The meaning of the cuss word Chutium Sulphate, explained in an online dictionary: “Complete moron, as in, That…

Mission Delhi - Dr Ubaidul Aleem, Chiniot Basti

Mission Delhi – Dr Ubaidul Aleem, Chiniot Basti

One of the one per cent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] As the lungi-wearing young man complaining of a sore throat leaves with medicines, Dr Ubaidul Aleem turns to the small TV placed beside his…