City Landmark - Bedil’s Tomb & Bharat Mandapam, Mathura Road

City Landmark – Bedil’s Tomb & Bharat Mandapam, Mathura Road

Long-ago poet these times. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Delhi is changing so fast. Just across the road are the sleek edifices of Pragati Maidan’s Bharat Mandapam. They came up last year, replacing the decades-old Hall of Nations….

City Landmark - Art Gallery, Ghalib Academy

City Landmark – Art Gallery, Ghalib Academy

Poetry intersecting with painting. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] He seems so far from the world of today, but Mirza Asadullah Beg Khan Ghalib died only 155 years ago, aged 72. This being the great poet’s death anniversary,…

City Landmark - Bani Temple, Gurgaon

City Landmark – Bani Temple, Gurgaon

A shrine with a view. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] So surreal. These gigantic stalagmites stranded in the polluted air. They are actually far-off business towers, their view diffused in the winter fog. The scene shifts with a…

City Landmark - Abdul Sattar's Stairway, Pahari Imli

City Landmark – Abdul Sattar’s Stairway, Pahari Imli

Scholar’s book. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Forty stairs of stone link the second-storey house to the lane below, down the hilly slopes of Pahari Imli. That lane comes out on a busy main street, onto which also…

City Landmark - Old Bungalows, Patel Nagar

City Landmark – Old Bungalows, Patel Nagar

Fading ghosts. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] The faded yellow paint of the exteriors have peeled off in many places—is probably peeling off at this moment too, while you read these words. The old paint underneath the yellow,…

City Landmark - Turkman Gate, Old Delhi

City Landmark – Turkman Gate, Old Delhi

The world of a living monument. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Some beautiful places don’t have true beauty. Old Delhi’s Turkman Gate is that kind of a place. It is suffused with sadness. Take this chilly evening. A…

City Obituary - Dr. Prem Bhuttan, Old Delhi

City Obituary – Dr. Prem Bhuttan, Old Delhi

Death of a living landmark. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] The notices in Hindi, Urdu and English are taped on the shutters: “Dr. Prem Bhuttan has died. Shop closed.” The shop refers to the clinic. A living landmark…

City Landmark - Hazrat Chirag Dehli Shrine in Winter,  South Delhi

City Landmark – Hazrat Chirag Dehli Shrine in Winter, South Delhi

Cold courtyard. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The air is windier than elsewhere in the city. The cold too is colder. With its vast courtyard, and its many trees, the sufi shrine of Hazrat Chirag Dehli is one…

City Landmark - Nizamuddin's Curio Corner, Metropole Market

City Landmark – Nizamuddin’s Curio Corner, Metropole Market

Alibaba’s cave. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] A painted portrait of King “George Pancham” at the Delhi durbar. A Romeo y Julieta cigar box from pre-revolution Cuba. A helicopter model from some unspecified country. A metallic telephone with…

City Landmark - Sachdeva Book Shelf, Patel Nagar

City Landmark – Sachdeva Book Shelf, Patel Nagar

Small wonder. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] So simple, the name of this bookstore. Here in Patel Nagar, by the stairs of the area’s gigantic metro station. Sachdeva Book Shelf have been occupying this tiny spot for 36…