City Monument - Maham Begam's Tomb, Mathura Road

City Monument – Maham Begam’s Tomb, Mathura Road

A Mughal landmark. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Looming tall on a traffic circle, outside the Humayun Tomb complex, it is one of Delhi’s most overlooked monuments. The Mathura Road landmark is colloquially known as Neela Gumbad —…

City Monument - Rain-Soaked Ruins, Hauz Khas Village

City Monument – Rain-Soaked Ruins, Hauz Khas Village

Stones of monsoon. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] A little tap on the window-pane, as though something had struck it, followed by a plentiful light falling sound, as of grains of sand being sprinkled from a window overhead,…

City Monument - Three Gateways, Fasil Road

City Monument – Three Gateways, Fasil Road

Of the Walled City. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] The season’s first rain puddle has momentarily transformed into a receptacle for Delhi’s history. The dirty water is reflecting the centuries-old Dilli Gate, one of the 14 gateways punctuating…

City Monument - Bloomsday 2024, Martello Tower

City Monument – Bloomsday 2024, Martello Tower

Bloomdsday Mubarak. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] One evening, two nattily suited men climb a steep cobbled slope to reach a lesser-known Delhi monument. Each of them has a copy of James Joyce’s 1922 novel Ulysses, a classic…

City Monument - Christian Cemetery, Prithviraj Road

City Monument – Christian Cemetery, Prithviraj Road

For loved ones, from loved ones. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The gravestones are burning hot, this June afternoon. Strolling in a city graveyard and gazing at the inscriptions on graves is like browsing through a book of…

City Monument - Old Doorway, Bulbuli Khana

City Monument – Old Doorway, Bulbuli Khana

Remnant of a place. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The doorway’s ledge is arrayed out into carved ripples of multifarious designs. An arch adorns the top. The wall is of old-fashioned lakhori bricks, arranged in a slanting pattern,…

City Monument - Magical Balconies, Kalan Mahal

City Monument – Magical Balconies, Kalan Mahal

The upper floor saudade. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] The bazar is cinematic in a flamboyant Old Delhi way. A jumble of bakeries and bone-setting clinics, groceries and pharmacies, meat shops and chai shops, appended with residential side-alleys….

City Monument - Three Edifices, Around Town

City Monument – Three Edifices, Around Town

Stories of stones. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Monuments are made of stones and stories. Sometimes a series of monuments are threaded together by a single story, such as these three. Once upon a time there was a…

City Monument - Urdu Typewriter, Ghalib Academy

City Monument – Urdu Typewriter, Ghalib Academy

Language’s heritage. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Attention, heritage lovers, look at this Urdu typewriter. It is a most suitable sight for Delhi, a sheher of many writers, which is also a sheher where Urdu—a cosmopolitan khichdi of…

City Monument - Baolis, Around Town

City Monument – Baolis, Around Town

Monuments to water. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] He raises his arms, lowers his head, stands motionless, seeming to take a deep breathe, and—oh look—he is jumping down from his high altitude! Splash. He crash-lands into the water….