City Obituary - The Death of Prince Book Stall, Paharganj

City Obituary – The Death of Prince Book Stall, Paharganj

The passing of a bookshop. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Sad news. Prince Book Stall has become history. One of the only two surviving secondhand bookshops in the backpackers’ district of Paharganj, it was opposite Khanna Cinema (which…

City Landmark - The Extinct Regal Cinema, Connaught Place

City Landmark – The Extinct Regal Cinema, Connaught Place

Of the golden age of movies. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Nobody was surprised. Regal’s closure was widely expected. Delhi’s colonial-era single-screen theatre that faces the park above Palika Bazaar Parking in Connaught Place finally shut down in…

City Landmark - The Walled City Café & Lounge, Chhatta Sheikh Mangloo

City Landmark – The Walled City Café & Lounge, Chhatta Sheikh Mangloo

Radicalised getaway. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] This has to be the most liberal place in the Muslim quarter of Old Delhi. Period. The Delhi Walla has not discovered a new Sufi shrine but a new coffee place….

City Landmark - Proust's Bed & the Grand Hotel, Cabourg, France

City Landmark – Proust’s Bed & the Grand Hotel, Cabourg, France

Marcel’s host. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] This is the same bed on which Marcel Proust slept and the same window through which he would watch the sea outside. It is a cold and quiet day. The Delhi…

City Landmark - Victor Bros, Connaught Place

City Landmark – Victor Bros, Connaught Place

A quieter world. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Don’t cry for poor dear CP (Connaught Place). The colonial-era commercial district, that world of stately white columns and louvred windows, is now a 21st century muddle of uniformly similar…

City Landmark - The Oriental Fruit Mart, Connaught Place

City Landmark – The Oriental Fruit Mart, Connaught Place

The souvenir of the old CP. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Everything—except the fruits, the cookies, the protein chocolates and the wasabi peas—looks straight out of a time warp. The wood panelling, the display cabinets, even the floor,…

City Landmark - H&M Takes Over New Book Depot and ED Galgotia & Sons Booksellers, Connaught Place

City Landmark – H&M Takes Over New Book Depot and ED Galgotia & Sons Booksellers, Connaught Place

The new boss. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Hennes and Mauritz have moved into New Book Depot and ED Galgotia & Sons Booksellers. On August 25 2016, the Swedish clothing multinational H&M opened its largest gleaming outlet in…

City Landmark - Loke Nath & Co. Tailors & Drapers, Connaught Place

City Landmark – Loke Nath & Co. Tailors & Drapers, Connaught Place

The last days. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The window displays are empty. Loke Nath & Co., once a humming tailoring establishment, is one of the most haunting places in the colonial-era district of Connaught Place. When you…

City landmark - The Abbey Bookshop, Rue de la Parcheminerie, Paris

City landmark – The Abbey Bookshop, Rue de la Parcheminerie, Paris

The English abroad. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It is a walking distance from Shakespeare and Company and refreshingly different from that touristy bookstore manned by cold attendants. The Abbey Bookshop in Paris’s Latin Quarter is crammed with…

City Landmark - The Ashok Hotel, Central Delhi

City Landmark – The Ashok Hotel, Central Delhi

The power and the glory. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It is exactly what a sprightly 60-year-old should be—a blend of gravitas and energy. The Ashok hotel in New Delhi’s Chanakyapuri area, which celebrates its 60th anniversary in…