City Faith - Reading Ram, Ghaziabad

City Faith – Reading Ram, Ghaziabad

Life with the epic. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Pushpa Singh’s drawing room in a Ghaziabad apartment has been temporarily turned into a makeshift temple. She and her husband are hosting a Ramayan Paath, the continuous reading of…

City Faith - Mother Mary in Sari, Khan Market

City Faith – Mother Mary in Sari, Khan Market

Mother’s style. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Virgin Mary statues are normally seen dressed in white robes. But there’s a little-known church in central Delhi where she’s aglimmer in blue Kanjeevaram silk sari–draped especially around Easter. At this…

City Faith - Rickshaw Puller's Ram Temple, East Delhi

City Faith – Rickshaw Puller’s Ram Temple, East Delhi

His private shrine. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Rickshaw puller Sooraj lives alone in this city of millions but doesn’t feel lonely. Not at all. “I have Ramji with me,” he says haltingly this late evening in east…

City Faith - Hazrat Qutub Shah Chishti's Sufi Shrine, Outside the Election Commission of India Headquarters

City Faith – Hazrat Qutub Shah Chishti’s Sufi Shrine, Outside the Election Commission of India Headquarters

A pilgrimage by an office block. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] No one’s here. It’s all as quiet as a graveyard. The very air is suffused with a profound essence of utmost peacefulness. This can be the tip…

City Faith - Thursday Djinns, Feroze Shah Kotla Ruins

City Faith – Thursday Djinns, Feroze Shah Kotla Ruins

The supernatural encounters. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It looks like a festive place to be. Groups of women are dressed in shararas of various shades. Auto-rickshaws are packed with children holding on to orange and green ice-cream…

City Faith - Hazrat Shah Turkman Bayabani's Sufi Shrine, Old Delhi

City Faith – Hazrat Shah Turkman Bayabani’s Sufi Shrine, Old Delhi

A hidden landmark. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] This is the whole of it. This small room with pink walls and a white marble grave. The shrine of Sufi saint Hazrat Shah Turkman Bayabani stands unobtrusively beside the…

City Faith - Poet Kabir's Temple, Gurgaon

City Faith – Poet Kabir’s Temple, Gurgaon

Shrine to a verse-writer. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The gate is latched from inside, but you can open it by sliding your hands through the grill. And over the far end of the courtyard sits the bearded…

City Faith - An Unknown Mystic's Roadside Grave, Zakir Hussain Marg

City Faith – An Unknown Mystic’s Roadside Grave, Zakir Hussain Marg

The essence of an anonymous grave. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Most of central Delhi used to be a jungle. It is said that dacoits roamed between Mehrauli in the south and Shahjahanabad (aka the old Delhi) in…

City Life - Moorti Devi's Prayers, Bhimgarh Kheri, Gurgaon

City Life – Moorti Devi’s Prayers, Bhimgarh Kheri, Gurgaon

The family of a woman. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Even in times of distress, when talking about her situation, Moorti Devi makes it a point to present a pleasant disposition to whoever cares enough to listen. These…

City Faith - Bibi Fatima Sam's Sufi Dargah, Kaka Nagar

City Faith – Bibi Fatima Sam’s Sufi Dargah, Kaka Nagar

The world of a woman Sufi. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Women are allowed to enter here. The entry to the shrines of many sufi saints in Delhi are unjustly barred to women. So it is liberating to…