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…

City Life - The Paris Bound Rooster, Near Pahari Rajaan

City Life – The Paris Bound Rooster, Near Pahari Rajaan

A meat shop immortal. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Every day Muhammed Aijaz runs his knife through some 50 chickens at hisOld Delhi meat shop. But one of them refuses to die. The pride-of-place wooden rooster, beautifully carved,…

City Life - Shaheena's Lockdown Quietude, Old Delhi

City Life – Shaheena’s Lockdown Quietude, Old Delhi

The silence of the pandemic. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It was never so quiet. So quiet that one could clearly hear the chirping of birds at noon time, as if this were a bird-filled orchard. For more…

City Life - Sound of Silence, Chitli Qabar Chowk

City Life – Sound of Silence, Chitli Qabar Chowk

In times of corona. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] If you listen, you can hear it. The silence. An absence of sounds has descended over the Chitli Qabar Chowk like a shroud upon the body of the dead….

City Life - Three Masked Mistris, South Delhi

City Life – Three Masked Mistris, South Delhi

Life in corona. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Just a few cars are passing by, the faces of the drivers hidden behind masks. A Mother Dairy milk booth is lying half-shuttered. The yellow circles in front of the…

City Life - Leela Kanuga's Mango Tree, Mayfair Gardens

City Life – Leela Kanuga’s Mango Tree, Mayfair Gardens

Life with a tree. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] In these days of lockdown, people can easily spend waking hours absorbed by the changing patterns of sunlight on their drawing room’s walls. But Leela Kanuga recently gazed upon…

City Life - A Bunch of Labourers, South Delhi

City Life – A Bunch of Labourers, South Delhi

Stranded at site. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Attired in a lungi and banian, he could be any Delhi man at home. But Vinod Kumar is a security guard. It is morning and he is standing atop a…