City Life - Downton Abbey Civilisation, Sunder Nursery

City Life – Downton Abbey Civilisation, Sunder Nursery

The world of the super-rich. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Seen Downton Abbey, the series on an aristocratic family and their servants, in 19th century England? Who would have imagined that it would take a historical necropolis to…

City Life - Bhag Bahri Malhotra's Nehru Park Connection, Safdarjang Enclave

City Life – Bhag Bahri Malhotra’s Nehru Park Connection, Safdarjang Enclave

A routine of 40 years. [By Mayank Austen Soofi] Pathways go up and down the many slopes. Distractions include flowers and fountains, lovers and joggers, chai wallas and chips sellers. Nehru Park runs along a tiny patch of the Aravali…

City Life - Tailor Nathuram Ahuja, Ram Nagar

City Life – Tailor Nathuram Ahuja, Ram Nagar

Life in the pandemic. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] His routine stayed the same for more than 50 years. Every day he would be in his tailoring shop, working with the fabrics, the sewing machine, the inch tape…

City Life - Samina, the Single Parent, Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti

City Life – Samina, the Single Parent, Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti

Solo living. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It was not easy to live alone, so Samina got back with her former partner, a fellow beggar and a one-time cleaner in a hotel. He is also the father of…

City Life - Sonam's Musician, Vaishali

City Life – Sonam’s Musician, Vaishali

Recreating known strangers. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] In your life too, there must be people you don’t personally know but whom you would often spot in the BC (before corona) era. An ATM guard. A fruit seller….

City Life - Line of Control, Matia Mahal

City Life – Line of Control, Matia Mahal

Dividing line. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Old Delhi gets something new. It wasn’t here until yesterday. And now, a glossy white line is running along the Matia Mahal Bazar, slicing its main street in equal halves. “It…

City Life - Lockdown's Abandoned Phone Numbers, Around Town

City Life – Lockdown’s Abandoned Phone Numbers, Around Town

The sights of the pandemic. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] When the markets shut down, when the metro stopped running, when those who had the luxury of a house exiled themselves within the walls of those houses, when…

City Life - Raju's Pandemic Days, Gandhi Nagar

City Life – Raju’s Pandemic Days, Gandhi Nagar

The corona-era life. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] As the worries for everyday struggles seem to recede for him, auto rickshaw driver Raju has started to think again of a dream he had before the coronavirus shook his…

City Obituary - Author Sadia Dehlvi, 1957-2020

City Obituary – Author Sadia Dehlvi, 1957-2020

An author’s life. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] “I want to be buried here,” said Sadia Dehlvi, the author of Sufism: The Heart of Islam, The Sufi Courtyard: Dargahs of Delhi and Jasmine & Jinns: Memories and Recipes…

City Obituary - Kaloo, Jorbagh, South Delhi, & Cholsey, England

City Obituary – Kaloo, Jorbagh, South Delhi, & Cholsey, England

The passing away of an extraordinary life. [By Mayank Austen Soofi] He was born and grew up on the rough Delhi streets. Later in life, when it would rain, he began sleeping on the verandah of a bungalow in Jorbagh…