City Style – The Classy Delhiwalla, Turkman Gate
Searching for the stylish.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
The Delhi Walla saw this man one morning at Turkman Gate, one of the five surviving gateways built to protect the Mughal-era Shahjahanabad. He was in a white shirt, white pants, white topi, black waistcoat and black strapped sandals. His beard was white. The hair on his head was dyed with henna. There was no one dressed like him.
Established by Emperor Shahjahan, the Walled City has seen better days. Chickens are slaughtered beside roadside drains. People spit on walls. Beggars lie doped. Flies buzz on street food. Electric cables dangle dangerously. Chaos rules. This man has disturbed the disorder.
The white of his dress is without a spot. His sandals are polished black. His nails are clipped. His waistcoat is partially unbuttoned. His sartorial sense, however, has something deeper to say.
The man’s skull cap, long beard and the absence of mustache loudly proclaims his Islam. His western-style shirt and trousers announces his modernity. A living counterpoint to Samuel P. Huntington’s The Clash of Civilizations, he shows us another world is possible.
The marriage of civilizations
Steal my attitude
The beard and the style