A tale of two cities.

[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]

This is just like the Old Quarter of Shahjahanabad.

This one has many churches; that one has many mosques. Both are rich in pigeons.

The Delhi Walla is in Venice. The Italian town has the same sort of narrow and self-contained streets that you find in Old Delhi, the ones which curve at soft angles and show new vistas on each turn.

But there are a few differences between these two cities. In Old Delhi, we take pride in our masculine culture of spitting out saliva in public; we have also succeeded in establishing an irreverent attitude towards the bourgeois concepts of cleanliness and manners. Venice is not a radical place – nobody spits here; bikes and cars are not allowed on streets; and people don’t greet by shouting cusswords.

And the most noticeable difference: Old Delhi’s streets are ruled by obese meat-eating cats and the calles of Venice are lorded over by piccolo dogs.

Two places far apart – so similar, and dissimilar.

Venetian streets

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8a.

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16a.

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