City Food - Anoj's Ram Laddu, Naya Bazar, Gurgaon

City Food – Anoj’s Ram Laddu, Naya Bazar, Gurgaon

A winter tale. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The snack vendor walks along a pavement, carrying a wicker basket of ram laddus on the head and a bamboo stand under the arm. This is a common sight in…

Mission Delhi - Ashok Kumar Pachauri, Around Town

Mission Delhi – Ashok Kumar Pachauri, Around Town

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] A pleasant winter day, no doubt about it, but the auto-rickshaw driver is distressed. “I’m tensed about my youngest son,” confesses Ashok Kumar Pachauri. Yesterday,…

Home Sweet Home - A Room with a Window, Hauz Khas Village

Home Sweet Home – A Room with a Window, Hauz Khas Village

A house in the village. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] His tiny balcony faces the 14th century ruins of Hauz Khas. The tenant, who describes himself as an “artist” and wishes to remain anonymous, feels lucky to be…

Mission Delhi - Manu Chopra, Starbucks, N-Block, Connaught Place

Mission Delhi – Manu Chopra, Starbucks, N-Block, Connaught Place

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] There’s a reason Manu Chopra is so often seen spending her entire day in the Starbucks at N Block in Central Delhi’s Connaught Place. It’s…

City Walk - Window Watching, Old Delhi

City Walk – Window Watching, Old Delhi

Up views. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The truth is this: Historic Old Delhi can be frustrating for outsiders. Amid all the monuments and bazaars, how do you go about detecting the domestic world of locals getting on…

Mission Delhi - Anita Sen, Gurgaon

Mission Delhi – Anita Sen, Gurgaon

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Anita Sen is a working woman. A gardener in a public park in Gurgaon in the Greater Delhi Region, she lives with her husband and…

City Faith - A Secretive Sufi Shrine, Connaught Place

City Faith – A Secretive Sufi Shrine, Connaught Place

Peace in the chaos. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] One has seen the whole of Connaught Place (CP), isn’t it? It’s one beloved destination in the capital familiar to almost every Delhiite. Each of us has our own…

Mission Delhi - Raju Pandey, Amrit Book Company

Mission Delhi – Raju Pandey, Amrit Book Company

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] In some ways most good bookshops seem to be alike—stocking the same best-sellers and whatnot. But of course their staffers do make a difference. Celebrity…

City Faith - Private Temple, East Delhi

City Faith – Private Temple, East Delhi

Relationship with gods. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] In the course of her lifetime, Vimla Rani has accumulated all manner of precious possessions. Dozens of saris, hundreds of bangles and—a miniature temple, and a very simple one at…

City Food - Zina Tea Stall, Chitli Qabar Bazar

City Food – Zina Tea Stall, Chitli Qabar Bazar

An unusual chai stall. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The staircase is not always only an architectural utility. Sometimes it can be a tea stall. That’s true for one place in Old Delhi. Indeed, the little establishment in…