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…

Mission Delhi - Ranjit Rai, Jacobpura

Mission Delhi – Ranjit Rai, Jacobpura

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Curious about the world, rickshaw puller Ranjit Rai is fond of seeing new places. In his late 20s, he has already lived in faraway cities…

City Walk - 5 am Stroll, Baba Kharak Singh Marg

City Walk – 5 am Stroll, Baba Kharak Singh Marg

Early morn world. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] There’s something surreal about cold season mornings when the dark light feels like midnight. The clock just struck about five. The November air is veiled in mistiness. Or is that…

Mission Delhi - Devapreeta Jena, Paharganj

Mission Delhi – Devapreeta Jena, Paharganj

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Many of us jot down in our diaries some favourite lines or phrases we run across in novels and poetry. You never know when they…

Home Sweet Home - The Hyperlocal Architecture of Taak, Around Town

Home Sweet Home – The Hyperlocal Architecture of Taak, Around Town

A disappearing element. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Consisting of an arch-shaped niche built into the wall, taak is an element of old architecture, now lost to history. Fortunately, a few can still be seen around Delhi, and…

City Food - Chhole Cart, Outside Ambience Mall, Gurgaon

City Food – Chhole Cart, Outside Ambience Mall, Gurgaon

Roadside gourmet. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] There’s an eatery in Paharganj, a heritage restaurant in Connaught Place, a mithai shop in South Extension I, and a roadside shack in Amar Colony. All these spots in Delhi are…

Mission Delhi - Khalil Ahmed, Matia Mahal

Mission Delhi – Khalil Ahmed, Matia Mahal

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Thanks to the invention of chairs, many of us have forgotten how to sit cross-legged. Or sit with our legs properly postured. Unless, of course,…

City Monument - Barhi Mata Temple, Paharganj

City Monument – Barhi Mata Temple, Paharganj

A broken shrine. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] This temple feels like a welcome aberration in central Delhi’s Paharganj—a district avoidable for its crowds and chaos. The small spire is dilapidated, washed of all colours, but looks gorgeously…

Mission Delhi - Sooraj, Central Delhi

Mission Delhi – Sooraj, Central Delhi

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Sooraj is only a child, but the street dogs are nonetheless ganging up on him, snarling menacingly this early morn. He’s not at all scared;…

City Season - The Floss-Silk Bloom, Outside Ambience Mall Driveway

City Season – The Floss-Silk Bloom, Outside Ambience Mall Driveway

Season’s gift. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] So consoling to the eyes. It’s as if some secret Santa finally took pity on us hapless citizens slow-dying through smog, smoke and dust. And one late night he quietly descended…