City Hangout - Weeping Trees, India Gate

City Hangout – Weeping Trees, India Gate

A scene by the canal. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] These don’t look like happy trees, do they? Sad and despairing, they perhaps remind one of Ophelia, the grief-stricken heroine in Shakespeare’s Hamlet who dies by drowning. Indeed,…

Delhi's Bandaged Heart - Jaideep Warya , Aurobindo Marg

Delhi’s Bandaged Heart – Jaideep Warya , Aurobindo Marg

Poetry in the city. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Most people listen to songs on the FM during their commutes. But one late evening in south Delhi’s Aurobindo Marg, landscape architect Jaideep Warya was spotted reading a poetry…

Mission Delhi - Manoj, Rose Garden, Gurgaon

Mission Delhi – Manoj, Rose Garden, Gurgaon

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Silently he unrolls the plastic mat along the leaf-strewn grass. Next, he takes off his shoes and socks, and plops down on the improvised bed,…

City Nature - Sky Watching, New Moti Bagh

City Nature – Sky Watching, New Moti Bagh

Into the heaven. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Delhi always presents some difficulties. Such as capturing an unhindered perspective of the sky. Apartment blocks and bazars partly block any view, while in public gardens the abundance of trees…

Mission Delhi - Farida Begum, Central Delhi

Mission Delhi – Farida Begum, Central Delhi

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Farida Begum is the first to agree with the famous poet who suggested that loneliness is a horror not to be surveyed. “I do feel…

City Hangout - Buddhist Art Gallery, National Museum

City Hangout – Buddhist Art Gallery, National Museum

A journey into Buddhism. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] So meditative and so very calm. That’s how one imagines how Lord Buddha was. It is also the state of mind one encounters at the gallery devoted to Buddhist…

City Obituary - Sufi the Cat, Mehrauli

City Obituary – Sufi the Cat, Mehrauli

The passing away of a beloved. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Sufi died on 13 October, 2019, at her apartment in south Delhi’s Mehrauli that she shared with thumri singer Vidya Rao. “She went peacefully as I was…

City Hangout - Best English Language Poetry Shelf, The Book Shop, Jor Bagh Market

City Hangout – Best English Language Poetry Shelf, The Book Shop, Jor Bagh Market

Besides prose. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Many good folk beat their chests lamenting the death of poetry. Which simply isn’t true. What are film songs but poems? How about all those Delhiites who can recite Ghalib and…

Mission Delhi - Munna Bhai, Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti

Mission Delhi – Munna Bhai, Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] What’s that one thing in the world that’s closest to your heart? “Mummy’s photo,” declares Munna Bhai, a tea stall owner in central Delhi’s Hazrat…

City Food - Netra-Geeta's Stuffed Paratha, Sadar Bazar, Gurgaon

City Food – Netra-Geeta’s Stuffed Paratha, Sadar Bazar, Gurgaon

A couple’s offering. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The temptation is irresistible. This entire lane in Gurgaon’s Sadar Bazar in the Greater Delhi Region is infused with the scent of steaming parathas. And not just any paratha, but…