City Landmark - The Book Shop, Jor Bagh & Khan Market

City Landmark – The Book Shop, Jor Bagh & Khan Market

The death and life of a bookstore. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] In my dream, I find myself outside Khan Market’s The Book Shop. I was told it had shut down in 2006 and that there’s a Swarovski…

City Landmark – My Bar, Paharganj

Cheap but with character. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] They are a rare sight. Roshni Kapoor, a post-grad student of international relations, and Priya Bhattacharji, an advertising professional, are the only two Indian girls in My Bar. It…

City Landmark – Rajiv Gandhi Setu, Ring Road

An urban refuge. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] A smoggy traffic square that was once dreaded by commuters for its long jams has become an unlikely urban haven. On one grassy slope, a group of women is playing…

City Landmark – Chanakya Cinema, 1970-2007

1970-2007 [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] Last night, at 9:45 pm, I dreamt I went to Chanakya again. It seemed to me I stood by the box office that sells Rs. 30 front stall tickets, and for a…

City Monument – Birla Temple, Mandir Marg

The land of Vishnu. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] Spread over seven acres, Shri Lakshmi Narain temple, popularly called Birla Mandir, is a dense neighbourhood of gods. A world in itself, it is a land of plenty. It…

City Secret – Razia Sultana’s Tomb, Pahari Bhojla

India’s first woman ruler is sleeping here. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] Razia Sultana’s tomb chamber in Old Delhi. No dome, no crowd here. This is no place for a queen. As the first woman ruler of the…

City Cinemas – SRS, JAM, BIG, MMX, G3S

The PVRisation of film halls. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] DU, DUSU, CP, SN, DDLJ, GK1, RTI, SRK, SEZ, HC, SC, PMO, K3G… intimidated by acronyms and abbreviations? Try reading the schedule of city’s cinema halls in the…

City Landmark – Timeless Art Book Studio, Kotla Mubarakpur

Delhi’s best coffee-table bookshop gets a second life. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] While the world is reeling under the global economic meltdown, a new bookshop in Kotla Mubarakpur village is hoping that slump-hit Delhiwallas will come to…

City Landmark – Chabad House, Paharganj

A home for travelling Jews. [Photos and text by Mayank Austen Soofi] Jewish skullcaps. Hebrew graffiti. Rabbi’s hat tucked on the wall. Welcome to Jerusalem. Now come back to Delhi. We never left. It’s just Paharganj and we are in…

City Landmarks – A. Godin & Co.

Delhi’s legendary piano shop. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] The high ceiling of this charming piano shop seems overwhelmed with the weight of history. Situated at the desolate end of the Regal Cinema building, A. Godin & Co….