Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Namit Arora, DLF Phase 3

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Namit Arora, DLF Phase 3

The parlour confession. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Namit Arora is into reading, writing, travelling—so much so that he and his partner gave up their corporate career in California to travel and write about India, where they took…

City Hangout - Vasudev's Tea Stall, Hauz Khas Village

City Hangout – Vasudev’s Tea Stall, Hauz Khas Village

Chai with kindness. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The night is cold. Vasudev has rustled out a small fire from wooden twigs he picked up from the pavement. Dressed in cap and woollen overcoat, he is fortifying himself…

Home Sweet Home - Madame Bovary's Windows, Golf Course Extension

Home Sweet Home – Madame Bovary’s Windows, Golf Course Extension

A house of windows. [By Mayank Austen Soofi] It’s midnight. Her fourth-floor house is quiet. Her daughter, husband and ma-in-law are sleeping. She settles down on the durrie by the window, lights a diya, pours herself a glass of red…

City Monument - Delhi's Most Beautiful Door, Gali Badliyan

City Monument – Delhi’s Most Beautiful Door, Gali Badliyan

A heritage nobody knows. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Found. At long last, Delhi’s arguably most beautiful door has been discovered. It doesn’t have a doorbell. It’s not in any of the forts or palaces, or museums. Surely…

City Life - Two Painters, Kamala Nehru Park

City Life – Two Painters, Kamala Nehru Park

On life and its disappointments. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It is late morning and Manoj and Ravi are sitting in a city garden. The Kamala Nehru Park, tucked next to Gurgaon’s Roshanpura in the Greater Delhi Region,…

City Food - Raj Kumar's Jal Jeera Drink, Sadar Bazar

City Food – Raj Kumar’s Jal Jeera Drink, Sadar Bazar

Season’s flavour. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Everything changes. Winter too is changing to summer. But “the dukh (grief) inside you doesn’t dim, even though you start smiling again,” observes aloo tikki vendor Raj Kumar. His eldest son,…

City Landmark - Rachna Book House, SDA Market

City Landmark – Rachna Book House, SDA Market

Mom-and-pop. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The small stationery shop is noticeable because it also sells magazines, an increasingly endangered sight in these days of online reading. Then, you notice shelves decked with greeting cards, an increasingly endangered…

City Hangout - Hyperlocal Notepads, Daryaganj

City Hangout – Hyperlocal Notepads, Daryaganj

Being elegantly pretentious. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Spending the afternoon in a cool cafe and being seen with a sleek laptop, or better still, with one of those elegant writing pads, is certainly the most sophisticated kind…

City Walk - Taak Sightings, Roshanpura, Gurgaon

City Walk – Taak Sightings, Roshanpura, Gurgaon

Finding old souvenirs. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] If you look closely, you can find taaks in at least some houses of New Delhi villages—these disappearing arch-shaped niches built into walls. Traditionally meant as alcoves to keep sacred…

City Landmark - Ordinary Village Well, Chirag Dehli

City Landmark – Ordinary Village Well, Chirag Dehli

An ordinary wonder. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The city has a village. The village has a square. The square has a well. Delhi is well-known for its centuries old step-wells, or baolis. But in the Capital it…