City Life - Mirza Ghalib's Love Signs, Ghalib Academy

City Life – Mirza Ghalib’s Love Signs, Ghalib Academy

Chairs of heart. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It is evening and ghazal singer Athar Hussain Khan is rendering ‘Chupke Chupke’ to a packed audience. The Delhi Walla is at Ghalib Academy in Delhi’s Nizamuddin Basti. The front…

Photo Essay - Cooling Fan in Literature, Around Town

Photo Essay – Cooling Fan in Literature, Around Town

Fan stories. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Before the AC, before the cooler, there was the fan. It is probably still hanging there in your room — look up and check. Or maybe you have a pedestal fan…

City Library – The New York Times's Ellen Barry’s Books, Jor Bagh

City Library – The New York Times’s Ellen Barry’s Books, Jor Bagh

A vanishing world. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Never befriend a foreign correspondent. They always leave. Take Ellen Barry, the South Asia bureau chief of The New York Times. She arrived in our city four years ago and…

City Hangout - Ramzan Nights, Old Delhi

City Hangout – Ramzan Nights, Old Delhi

The season’s destination. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] No secret is being leaked if The Delhi Walla tells you to head to Old Delhi’s Jama Masjid area one of these Ramzan nights. I go there every year in…

Netherfield Ball – Spotting Laila Tyabji, Salma Sultan and Other Divas in Sadia Dehlvi's Birthday Celebrations, Central Delhi

Netherfield Ball – Spotting Laila Tyabji, Salma Sultan and Other Divas in Sadia Dehlvi’s Birthday Celebrations, Central Delhi

The party secrets. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Society women never accumulate years. The solidity of this universal truth stands severely strained this evening. Author Sadia Dehlvi is celebrating her birthday. She claims she is turning sixty. The…

City Hangout - Rose Garden of England, Lodhi Gardens

City Hangout – Rose Garden of England, Lodhi Gardens

Celebrating the English rose. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It is possible to feel romantic about Delhi summer. Just hang out at the Rose Garden in Lodhi Gardens. This central Delhi park is famous for its tombs and…

Atget’s Corner – 1031-1035, Delhi Photos

Atget’s Corner – 1031-1035, Delhi Photos

The visible city. [By Mayank Austen Soofi] Delhi is a voyeur’s paradise and The Delhi Walla also makes pictures. I take photos of people, streets, flowers, eateries, drawing rooms, tombs, landscapes, buses, colleges, Sufi shrines, trees, animals, autos, libraries, birds,…

Julia Child in Delhi – Author Rakshanda Jalil's Marvellous Cook Bishen Singh Cooks His Famous Homely Poha, Central Delhi

Julia Child in Delhi – Author Rakshanda Jalil’s Marvellous Cook Bishen Singh Cooks His Famous Homely Poha, Central Delhi

The great chef’s life in Delhi. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] Author Rakhshanda Jalil is famous for translating classic Urdu novels into English and for her writings on Delhi’s monuments. Even so, it is gross injustice to this…

Netherfield Ball – Arundhati Roy's Book Launch, Union Chapel's Bar, London

Netherfield Ball – Arundhati Roy’s Book Launch, Union Chapel’s Bar, London

The party secrets. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] She is in white. One rainy evening The Delhi Walla is at Union Chapel’s bar attending the launch of Arundhati Roy’s novel The Ministry of Utmost Happiness. The bar is…

City Monument - Finding Agatha Christie's Grave, Cholsey, England

City Monument – Finding Agatha Christie’s Grave, Cholsey, England

A quiet home. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The air is cold even though this is summer. Lichens are growing on the gravestones. It is evening and The Delhi Walla is walking through the old cemetery of St…