The Biographical Dictionary Of Delhi – Naseem Mirza Changezi , B. Old Delhi, 1910

The Biographical Dictionary Of Delhi – Naseem Mirza Changezi , B. Old Delhi, 1910

The definitive directory of great Delhiwallas. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] The Old Delhi’s living encyclopedia, he knows the stories of its every street and alley, and he is probably more important to the well-being of this city…

The Biographical Dictionary of Delhi – Gravedigger Allah Hu, b. Piplauti Village, 1930-2016

The Biographical Dictionary of Delhi – Gravedigger Allah Hu, b. Piplauti Village, 1930-2016

The definitive directory of great Delhiites. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] He was always seen in a green kurta, this lean man with deep-set eyes and a long beard. Allah Hu was a gravedigger at the Batla House…

The Biographical Dictionary of Delhi – Mark Tully, b. Calcutta, 1935

The Biographical Dictionary of Delhi – Mark Tully, b. Calcutta, 1935

Our foreign correspondent. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It is noon, yet the drawing room is washed in a cool darkness. The gentleman is seated on a sofa. The November sunlight pierces the window and falls on his…

The Biographical Dictionary of Delhi – Raghu Rai, b. Jhang, Pre-Partition Punjab, 1942

The Biographical Dictionary of Delhi – Raghu Rai, b. Jhang, Pre-Partition Punjab, 1942

India’s great photographer.[ Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] This year, Raghu Rai completed 50 years of photography. In December, Aleph India will publish his book Picturing Time: The Greatest Photographs of Raghu Rai. Born in Jhang village in…

The Biographical Dictionary of Delhi – Chandan Singh, b. Tehri, Uttarakhand, 1930

The Biographical Dictionary of Delhi – Chandan Singh, b. Tehri, Uttarakhand, 1930

Author Khushwant Singh’s longtime cook. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Chandan Singh, 85, has a kind of sculpted face that won’t look out of place in a room filled with death masks of Roman emperors who had lived…

The Biographical Dictionary of Delhi – Bhim Sen Puri, b. Garhdiwala, Punjab, 22 March, 1922

The Biographical Dictionary of Delhi – Bhim Sen Puri, b. Garhdiwala, Punjab, 22 March, 1922

The face of Delhi’s fifth estate. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Extra, extra, read all about it. Is there a more pleasurable morning ritual than the ceremony of unveiling a crisp, unread newspaper? Bhim Sen Puri’s daily beat…

The Biographical Dictionary of Delhi – Ajit Vikram Singh, b. Delhi, 26 November, 1955

The Biographical Dictionary of Delhi – Ajit Vikram Singh, b. Delhi, 26 November, 1955

The bookish bookseller. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Ajit Vikram Singh is the founder of the cramped Fact and Fiction Booksellers, the capital’s most eclectic bookstore. No other place in Delhi offers such rich selections of books in…

The Biographical Dictionary of Delhi – Mrs Bahri, b. Dera Ismail Khan, 16 January, 1932

The Biographical Dictionary of Delhi – Mrs Bahri, b. Dera Ismail Khan, 16 January, 1932

The face behind the landmark. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi; the black & white photo belong to Bahrsions Booksellers] Most booklovers in Delhi know of the landmark Bahrisons Booksellers in Khan Market. Many of them are probably familiar…

The Biographical Dictionary of Delhi – Balraj Bahri Malhotra, b. Malakwal, 9 October, 1928

The Biographical Dictionary of Delhi – Balraj Bahri Malhotra, b. Malakwal, 9 October, 1928

A Khan Market icon. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi; the black & white photos belong to Bahrsions Booksellers] Born to a bank manager in Malakwal in today’s Pakistan, Balraj Bahri Malhotra received his college education in Rawalpindi. He…

The Biographical Dictionary of Delhi – Meraj Ahmed Nizami, b. Nizamuddin Basti, 1927

The Biographical Dictionary of Delhi – Meraj Ahmed Nizami, b. Nizamuddin Basti, 1927

The last great living qawwal. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] In his eighties, Meraj Ahmed Nizami, the patriarch of Nizami Khusro Bandhu family, is one of the few classical qawwals left in India. He is one of Delhi’s…