City Life - Scholar Abdul Sattar in Quarantine, Pahari Imli

City Life – Scholar Abdul Sattar in Quarantine, Pahari Imli

His isolated life. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It’s nothing less than magic. So quiet, when it used to be so noisy. The Matia Mahal bazar in Old Delhi is usually always crowded. The streets perpetually milling with…

City Life - Vinti's Upset Routine, Pataudi Chowk, Gurgaon

City Life – Vinti’s Upset Routine, Pataudi Chowk, Gurgaon

Life with corona. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Life has turned upside down for Vinti. Her three children are confined inside the home. So is her husband, auto rickshaw driver Raju. It’s late morning and this is feeling…

City Life - Fleeing from Nightmares, Jacobpura

City Life – Fleeing from Nightmares, Jacobpura

On “unsolvable mind problems”. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] They can do nothing but wait. The “Baba” will return to his home here in Gurgaon’s Jacobpura—in the Greater Delhi Region—only in another hour or so. He is away…

City Life - Haji Fayazuddin's Hand-Knitted Cap, Old Delhi

City Life – Haji Fayazuddin’s Hand-Knitted Cap, Old Delhi

A souvenir of love and care. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] He takes off the topi from his head, holds it carefully, the fingers moving slowly over the woolly texture as if they want to take in the…

City Life - A Working Family, Naya Bazar, Gurgaon

City Life – A Working Family, Naya Bazar, Gurgaon

All together. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It’s a freezing afternoon and they have just finished with the first half of their day’s work in Gurgaon’s Naya Bazar in the Greater Delhi Region—collecting the “kabad (scrap)”, from the…

City Life - Two Dogs, Zamrudpur Community Center

City Life – Two Dogs, Zamrudpur Community Center

Day-time friends. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Let’s be clear about this. One is not suggesting that dogs lead better lives than humans. Even so. Raja and Pushpa have a wonderful life in a commercial complex in south…

City Life - Wooden 'Takhat' Bed, Outside Jama Masjid, Gurgaon

City Life – Wooden ‘Takhat’ Bed, Outside Jama Masjid, Gurgaon

Our common bed. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It is a single wooden bed, but quite broad. It is without a mattress or a bedsheet. No pillow, either. And this bed is for everyone. The cot—known as takhat—lies…

City Obituary - Sufi the Cat, Mehrauli

City Obituary – Sufi the Cat, Mehrauli

The passing away of a beloved. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Sufi died on 13 October, 2019, at her apartment in south Delhi’s Mehrauli that she shared with thumri singer Vidya Rao. “She went peacefully as I was…

City Life - Mohan Nagar Flyover Art, Ghaziabad

City Life – Mohan Nagar Flyover Art, Ghaziabad

City’s ironies. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] These cheerful murals beneath the new Mohan Nagar flyover relieve an otherwise bleak, dusty landscape. The suggestive sky on these panels is so brilliantly blue that it must surely glow at…

City Life - Five Comrades, Gurgaon Railway Station

City Life – Five Comrades, Gurgaon Railway Station

Band of brothers. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It’s a miserably humid afternoon and all the five guys are drenched in sweat. Pradeep, Sonu, Pintu, Naveen, and Parveen are lounging in an airy and less-crowded corner of Gurugram…