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City Food – The Final Link of Delhi’s Best Bakery, Wenger’s Cake Shop

The cake’s end. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It is a truth universally acknowledged that a starving Delhi man in want of sugar will always head to Wenger’s Cake Shop in Connaught Place. The capital’s best patisserie is loved by Delhiwallas across the generations. A true Wenger’s aficionado should ideally be able to…

City Monument – Roshanara’s Tomb, Near Ghantaghar

A woman’s place. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Roshanara Begum lies buried in the ruins of this 17th century pavilion. Her own brother—Mughal emperor Aurangzeb—sentenced her to death after she was discovered with eight men at her apartment in the Red Fort harem. The irony is that the princess had sided with this…

Netherfield Ball – Martyr Writer Perumal Murugan Ends Exile With a Courageous Poem on Cowards, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library

The party secrets. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The ear whisperers are nowhere to be seen. Perhaps this is not their world. One evening The Delhi Walla attends a gathering at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. The solemn-faced people have assembled to mark the end of the brief self-imposed exile of Perumal…

City landmark – The Abbey Bookshop, Rue de la Parcheminerie, Paris

The English abroad. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It is a walking distance from Shakespeare and Company and refreshingly different from that touristy bookstore manned by cold attendants. The Abbey Bookshop in Paris’s Latin Quarter is crammed with lovely new and used books. Many paperbacks are also piled up outside the door. The…

City Food – The Germany Bakery Is Not Shutting Down, Appetite, Paharganj

The new life of a sweet landmark. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Can a hyperlocal blog change the world? Hah. Such a blogsite—umm, website, actually—can at least stop the approaching closure of a beloved bakery. The Delhi Walla website will complete 10th anniversary next year in 2017 with the happy satisfaction of being…

City Moment – The Pleasures of the Massage Parlor, Mathura Road

The memorable instant. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Lounging barefoot on the pavement, the man is dressed in the bedroom uniform–a white undershirt and a flowery underwear. His white trousers are rumpled around a street post. He is having a massage. The masseur, an elderly man, is wearing a red cap. The Delhi…

City Monument – Masjid Rukn ud Daula, Chawri Bazaar

A dream in the market. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Everything beautiful in this secretive city seems to be concealed ‘up a flight of steep dark stairs’. This Mughal-era mosque, too, is such a revelation. Lost in the clutter of Old Delhi’s Chawri Bazaar, it lies atop small shops selling aluminum and copper…

City Food – Milk Cake, Kucha Ghasi Ram

Sweeten the senses. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Some mysteries should never be solved. Why ask how the sticky, gooey, toffee-like milk cake is made? Why ruin the romance by disclosing that this luscious sweetmeat, which looks like the surface of a beehive and tastes of ambrosia, is made of nothing but milk…

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