Home Sweet Home – A Window View, Opposite Jama Masjid
A prized window.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
At first glance this room seems a bit the worse for wear. Creaky door. Fading paintwork on the walls.
So what? The glass window in this room looks straight out onto the iconic Jama Masjid mosque, making it one of Delhi’s most prized private views.
Now, of course, there are prized windows elsewhere in Delhi. Those expensive Nizamuddin East apartments, for instance, offer breathtaking views of Humayun’s Tomb.
But this window is somehow more appealing, with extremely close proximity to the grand Mughal-era mosque where you can spot sightseers sitting on its stone stairs.
Tenants of prized rooms like this tend to have every aspect of the space focused toward that view.
Not so in the case of the poet who keeps his private belongings here (poetry diaries, old family photos, topis, lungis included). Ameer Dehlavi doesn’t make a big deal out of it. His room is crammed with a narrow bed, while over there you spot a table laden with books and notepads. One of the hooks on the wall has a tauliya hanging from it.
“My mind is usually focused on other matters, rather than simply gazing on the monument,” he mutters dismissively but without betraying any hint of fake modesty.
The poet now prepares for an afternoon snooze. He closes the window, its pane has a misty texture. The mosque now looks blurred, surreal, like a painting art dealers can’t put a price on.
A view of his own