Mission Delhi - Dharmendera Diwakar, Sector 49

Mission Delhi – Dharmendera Diwakar, Sector 49

[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] He is the ironing man, and generally addressed by his profession rather than by his name. “Many people call me press wale bhayya,” says Dharmendera Diwakar. His profession is not taking good care…

Home Sweet Home - Ehmad Ridwan's Pad, East of Kailash

Home Sweet Home – Ehmad Ridwan’s Pad, East of Kailash

In a musician’s world. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It’s late night. He picks up his guitar, strums the strings and starts to croon Feeling Good. The Nina Simone classic instantly catches Rumi’s attention. He leaps up to…

City Food - Late Sadia Dehlvi's Cook, Sabir Bhai, is Ready for a New Home

City Food – Late Sadia Dehlvi’s Cook, Sabir Bhai, is Ready for a New Home

A legendary cook’s home cook. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Muhammed Sabir, aka Sabir Bhai, has worked as a cook for more than 25 years in the Delhi house of author and cookbook writer Sadia Dehlvi, who died…

Delhi’s Bandaged Heart – Jonaki Ray's Ode to Ordinary, Kailash Colony Market

Delhi’s Bandaged Heart – Jonaki Ray’s Ode to Ordinary, Kailash Colony Market

Poetry in the city. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] She is in purple palazzos and pink kurti. Her brown sling bag has her wallet, a mobile, a “chhotu” cash purse, keys to her south Delhi flat, and a…

Mission Delhi - Kaunen, Sadar Bazar, Gurgaon

Mission Delhi – Kaunen, Sadar Bazar, Gurgaon

[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] He had never encountered the word “entrepreneur” until February last year. “I first heard it in a computer class,” says Kaunen. “I then joined a two week free class on how to start…

City Hangout - Love Song Crooners, Lodhi Garden

City Hangout – Love Song Crooners, Lodhi Garden

Music in twilight. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Can you hear? Here comes one of these songs again. The ones about love and heartbreak. The singer’s voice is tinged with ache and is getting shriller with the heightened…

Mission Delhi - Pramod Kumar Padhy, Sector 121, Noida

Mission Delhi – Pramod Kumar Padhy, Sector 121, Noida

[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The year is 1985. Place: Departure terminal, Rome airport. They knew they would not meet ever again. Moghul was flying to his home in Lahore, Pakistan, and Pramod Kumar Padhy was returning to…

Home Sweet Home - Houseless Men's Wardrobe, Chawri Bazar

Home Sweet Home – Houseless Men’s Wardrobe, Chawri Bazar

Private is public. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] A blue lungi is hanging in front of a shuttered shop, folded within a mishmash of power cables. Nearby, a baniyan and underwear are on a similar exhibit. Across the…

Mission Delhi - Saurabh, Sohna Road

Mission Delhi – Saurabh, Sohna Road

[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] There was no window in his single-bed ward at the Covid-designated ICU. But there was a large one in the adjacent ward, connected to his by an open door, and he could see…

City Hangout - Shidipura Graveyard, Near Filmistan Cinema

City Hangout – Shidipura Graveyard, Near Filmistan Cinema

A lonely planet. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The world is so much at turbulence. But here, all is at peace. Which isn’t surprising for this is a graveyard. Shidipura Qabristan, near Filmistan Cinema in central Delhi, isn’t…