City Life - The Marvelous Sighting of The Bride's Palki, Galli Chooriwallan

City Life – The Marvelous Sighting of The Bride’s Palki, Galli Chooriwallan

The long life of the past. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It was draped in silk, or so it seemed. One cold night The Delhi Walla comes across a silver-plated palki (aka doli), the palanquin traditionally used to…

City Life - Winter Couture for the Goats, Walled City

City Life – Winter Couture for the Goats, Walled City

Cold days, warm goats. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] When Old Delhi’s abundant goats start appearing with garlands around their neck, we know we are nearing Eid ul Zuha, the Muslim festival in which the animals are offered…

City News - The Magnificent and Much-Loved 'Tribal Tree' of Alliance Française is No More, Lodhi Estate

City News – The Magnificent and Much-Loved ‘Tribal Tree’ of Alliance Française is No More, Lodhi Estate

The passing of an era. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] In a world that appears to be striving for a race to the bottom, it was the epitome of stateliness and dignity. Now, it has left this world….

City Life - The Mystery of the Burning Egg Crates, Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti

City Life – The Mystery of the Burning Egg Crates, Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti

Secrets of the night. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The white-haired man is shrouded in smoke. An empty egg crate is smoldering dangerously close to his bare feet. But he is fast asleep; his sandals are parked under…

City Life - The Book Shop Walks With Bahrisons Booksellers, Jor Bagh

City Life – The Book Shop Walks With Bahrisons Booksellers, Jor Bagh

Two landmarks. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] They are walking together. One evening The Delhi Walla sees Nini KD Singh and Aanchal Malhotra at a public park in the quiet Jor Bagh. The two women are intimately connected…

City Life - Gilli Danda Players, Mehrauli

City Life – Gilli Danda Players, Mehrauli

The forgotten game. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It looks like cricket but it isn’t cricket. It is gilli danda, a game not commonly seen on Delhi’s streets. Even so, one winter afternoon The Delhi Walla sees a…

City Life - Refugee Status, Majnu ka Tila

City Life – Refugee Status, Majnu ka Tila

Live from Lhasa. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The way home may not be the way back. Tenzin Kunchok, 34, has never set foot in her homeland. “Maybe someday,” says Ms Kunchok, who co-runs a travel agency in…

City Life - Muhammed Sabir's Dengue, Hazrat Nizamuddin East

City Life – Muhammed Sabir’s Dengue, Hazrat Nizamuddin East

A face in the fever. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The thinkable has happened. Muhammed Sabir, too, has got dengue. Mr Sabir is one of the thousands of Delhiwallas who have been hit by this fever in the…

City Life – The Descent of Men, Turkman Gate

City Life – The Descent of Men, Turkman Gate

The Delhi reality. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] One morning The Delhi Walla saw a grey-haired man asleep on the pavement just outside the Mughal-era monument of Turkman Gate. The man was covered with a sack. Flies buzzed…

City Life - Love Letters, Scrap Dealer's Home, Old Delhi

City Life – Love Letters, Scrap Dealer’s Home, Old Delhi

Life in mails. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] One afternoon, in a raddiwala’s (scrap dealer’s) home in Old Delhi, The Delhi Walla discovered a polythene bag filled with letters and picture postcards. The envelopes had the addresses of…