Mission Delhi - Bhawani, Sector 15, Gurgaon

Mission Delhi – Bhawani, Sector 15, Gurgaon

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] For years Bhawani’s life stayed the same. Earning a living as a “maid” in a score of middle-class households in Gurgaon in the Greater Delhi…

City Monument - Mirza Ghalib's Statue, Jamia Millia Islamia University

City Monument – Mirza Ghalib’s Statue, Jamia Millia Islamia University

Poet’s spot. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Consider this. Although he’s one of the world’s great poets, spending most of his life in Delhi, there’s nary a statue of him in the Capital. How is it that Mirza…

City Life - Haji Fayazuddin's Hand-Knitted Cap, Old Delhi

City Life – Haji Fayazuddin’s Hand-Knitted Cap, Old Delhi

A souvenir of love and care. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] He takes off the topi from his head, holds it carefully, the fingers moving slowly over the woolly texture as if they want to take in the…

City Walk - Around the Lake, Lodhi Garden

City Walk – Around the Lake, Lodhi Garden

Finding truth. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Perhaps, just perhaps, some sort of Ultimate Truth can be discovered by simply walking around a lake. So suggested a great American poet. Who wouldn’t resist putting Wallace Steven’s hypothesis to…

City Hangout - Graveyard Watching, Jamia Millia Islamia Metro Station

City Hangout – Graveyard Watching, Jamia Millia Islamia Metro Station

The view of the dead. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] So much hustle bustle but for what when we all have to end up dead? One can’t avoid struggling with such a feeling while going up the escalators…

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Dawood, Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya's Dargah

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Dawood, Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya’s Dargah

The parlour confession. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The Proust Questionnaire represents a confessional game that owes its structure to answers given by celebrated French writer Marcel Proust in two parties that he attended at ages 13 and…

City Life - A Working Family, Naya Bazar, Gurgaon

City Life – A Working Family, Naya Bazar, Gurgaon

All together. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It’s a freezing afternoon and they have just finished with the first half of their day’s work in Gurgaon’s Naya Bazar in the Greater Delhi Region—collecting the “kabad (scrap)”, from the…

City Food - White Carrot Halwa, Shereen Bhawan

City Food – White Carrot Halwa, Shereen Bhawan

Beyond red. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Many citizens regard carrot halwa as the No. 1 winter dessert. No debate on that. But not everybody knows that carrot halwa is not only available in red—thanks to red carrots—but…

City Life - Two Dogs, Zamrudpur Community Center

City Life – Two Dogs, Zamrudpur Community Center

Day-time friends. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Let’s be clear about this. One is not suggesting that dogs lead better lives than humans. Even so. Raja and Pushpa have a wonderful life in a commercial complex in south…

Mission Delhi - Uday Sharma, Galleria Market

Mission Delhi – Uday Sharma, Galleria Market

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Some read for leisure. Others have more specific reasons. Like Uday Sharma. A cake shop assistant in Gurgaon’s Galleria Market in the Greater Delhi Region,…