City Nature - Homeward-Bound Birds, Central Delhi

City Nature – Homeward-Bound Birds, Central Delhi

Bird watching. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Gazing upon thousands of birds returning to their evening nests sounds like a fine countryside experience. But in fact, it happens right here in Delhi. Our smoggy metropolis is probably home…

City Faith - Nane Mian's Sufi Shrine, Mandi House Traffic Circle

City Faith – Nane Mian’s Sufi Shrine, Mandi House Traffic Circle

The charms of a roadside shrine. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It’s easier than you think to experience genuine peace amid urban chaos. Just pausing at a Sufi shrine in Central Delhi does its magic. Pedestrians at the…

City Hangout - Live Music Hotspots, Paharganj

City Hangout – Live Music Hotspots, Paharganj

A world inside a world. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] So this is Delhi’s hidden Europe. That is, if you believe in the title of a recent Bollywood thriller, Paharganj—The Little Amsterdam of India. The central Delhi district—especially…

City Hangout - Bird Feeding Pilgrimage, Hamdard Chowk

City Hangout – Bird Feeding Pilgrimage, Hamdard Chowk

To the communion. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It’s a hot muggy morning and these three supplicants are devoutly praying. Not in a temple but at a Central Delhi traffic island teeming with pigeons. The devotees now open…

City Food - Unusual Tikki, Gupta Chaat Corner

City Food – Unusual Tikki, Gupta Chaat Corner

A popular snack’s strange adaptation. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Nobody can object to the fact that deep-fried aloo patties soused in a cold gravy of dahi and chutneys make up the essentials of a respectable plate of…

Mission Delhi - Chhaya, Construction Site, Gurgaon

Mission Delhi – Chhaya, Construction Site, Gurgaon

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Her name is supremely ironical, at this moment in the day at least. The young woman is working as a labourer under the searing noon…

City Landmark - Paakar Tree, Constitution Club of India, Central Delhi

City Landmark – Paakar Tree, Constitution Club of India, Central Delhi

A most luxuriant nobility. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] If trees like this didn’t exist, they would have been hard to imagine. Consider, if you will, this luxurious Paakar tree providing more-than-welcome shade. Here at a side garden…

Mission Delhi - Bhoora the Goat, Old Delhi

Mission Delhi – Bhoora the Goat, Old Delhi

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Downing a cold drink is Bhoora’s own way of dealing with the scorching heat in this Old Delhi alley. As a goat, he’s certainly gotten…

Home Sweet Home - Ruined House, Jacobpura, Gurgaon

Home Sweet Home – Ruined House, Jacobpura, Gurgaon

The bungalow’s story. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] There it stands. Like a half-remembered dream. This hauntingly beautiful house. Its roof has caved in. Its walls are damaged. The underlying bricks emerging out of the peeling paint look…

City Food - Chuski, Around Town

City Food – Chuski, Around Town

Season’s ice candy. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Of course, there are more sophisticated options to beat this horrible Delhi heat— smoothies, gelatos, cold-pressed juices and coconut water. But sucking on chuski, perhaps, is the rawest way of…