City Landmark – Walled City Museum, Lahore Gate Chowk

City Landmark – Walled City Museum, Lahore Gate Chowk

Delhi’s saddest museum. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] Opened in 2004, the Walled City museum in Lahore Gate smells of urine. Housed in the Shri Narayan haveli, circa 1929, the windowpanes are broken, the door is unlocked, the…

City Landmark – People’s Publishing House, Connaught Place

City Landmark – People’s Publishing House, Connaught Place

Marxism, Leninism, Stalinism, Maoism. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] Vladimir Ilyich Lenin has an arresting stare. Meet the Marxist revolutionary at a bookstore in the capitalistic Connaught Place, central Delhi’s premium shopping district. His portrait hangs close to…

City Landmark – Delhi Photo Company, Janpath

City Landmark – Delhi Photo Company, Janpath

1937-2010. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] The other afternoon The Delhi Walla was walking in Janpath, Connaught Place. Reaching in front of an old landmark, I stood with amazement and then I laughed. What used to be Delhi…

City Secret - LPs & Album Covers, Meena Bazaar

City Secret – LPs & Album Covers, Meena Bazaar

The old world melodies. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] Overshadowed by Old Delhi’s Jama Masjid, amidst scampering goats and the air redolent with the smell of milky chai and mutton curry, stands a nondescript shop. The unimpressive exterior…

City Landmark - Kake Da Hotel is History

City Landmark – Kake Da Hotel is History

The legendary eatery downs shutters. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] Opened in 1931, the legendary Kake Da Hotel in Municipal Market, Connaught Place, shut down on July 12, 2010. The next day the window face of the eatery,…

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…