City Food - Shekhar Chai, Anand Vihar

City Food – Shekhar Chai, Anand Vihar

The 24/7 tea stall. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Here’s a persuasive reason to patronise a pavement chai place. The owner is so committed to his stall that he has its name tattooed on his arm. Shekhar Chai…

Mission Delhi - Unnamed Monkey, Hazrat Chirag Dehlavi's Sufi Shrine

Mission Delhi – Unnamed Monkey, Hazrat Chirag Dehlavi’s Sufi Shrine

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] He has no known friends or relatives. Utterly alone, he seems to prefer his own company. This unnamed monkey lives in the dargah of Hazrat…

Mission Delhi - Rupkesh Kumar, Central Delhi

Mission Delhi – Rupkesh Kumar, Central Delhi

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It was a brief sleep, and a deep sleep. And a rare occurrence, for Rupkesh Kumar, 53, never sleeps during the day. But this late…

City Landmark - Old Doorway, Sadar Bazar, Gurgaon

City Landmark – Old Doorway, Sadar Bazar, Gurgaon

A leftover beauty. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Eighteen little squares are sculpted into each of the door’s two kiwaars, the shutters. A metallic chain is attached at the top. The side jambs—the chaukhat—are carved with intricate patterns….

Mission Delhi - Mangey Ram, Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti

Mission Delhi – Mangey Ram, Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Mark the scene carefully. You rarely see it these days. Here’s the low table. It’s covered with a mat. Six small glass bottles are arranged…

City Walk - Red Fort's Backside, Ring Road

City Walk – Red Fort’s Backside, Ring Road

A different perspective. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Great stories, they say, can also be told backwards, or sideways. Like the Red Fort. You must have seen the Mughal-era monument in all its red glory—the sandstone ramparts spread…

City Landmark - Siri Fort Auditorium, South Delhi

City Landmark – Siri Fort Auditorium, South Delhi

Out of time. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] When icons fall out of use, what shall we turn them into? Named after a centuries-old ruin, the iconic Siri Fort Auditorium is lying in ruins, metaphorically speaking. This afternoon,…

Home Sweet Home - Muhammed Mintullah, Hazrat Nizamuddin East

Home Sweet Home – Muhammed Mintullah, Hazrat Nizamuddin East

Dwellers in a posh neighbourhood. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] The daughter of the last nawab of Rampur resides in this neighbourhood. Author Vikram Seth has an apartment here. A neighbouring flat belongs to former Jammu & Kashmir…

City Landmark - Joseph Stein's Tomb, India International Centre

City Landmark – Joseph Stein’s Tomb, India International Centre

On New Delhi’s iconic architect’s 20th death anniversary. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It’s a sunny evening, here in the members-only India International Centre (IIC). The Lounge by the poolside is teeming with softly-chatting tea-drinking ladies in handloom…

Mission Delhi - Meharchand, Sadar Bazar

Mission Delhi – Meharchand, Sadar Bazar

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Jeweller Meharchand’s shop is in the Millennium City of Gurgaon. But the vibes of this small cozy establishment in the town’s Sadar Bazar goes far…