City Event - Indian Languages Festival, India Habitat Centre

City Event – Indian Languages Festival, India Habitat Centre

Meeting of voices. [Text and photo of India Habitat Centre by Mayank Austen Soofi] Three days, 10 sessions, 13 Indian languages, 60 writers. The first Samanvay festival of Indian languages will be hosted in Delhi by the India Habitat Centre…

City Culture - De Bhasar, Connaught Place

City Culture – De Bhasar, Connaught Place

The philosophy of nonsense. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] ‘Fuckass.’ The Delhi Walla saw this calligraphy in the middle circle of N-Block, Connaught Place, Delhi’s colonial-era commercial district. It is depicted on a white paan-stained wall, whose paint…

City Culture - De Bhasar, Connaught Place

City Culture – De Bhasar, Connaught Place

The philosophy of nonsense. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] ‘Sangita, I fuck you.’ ‘Your mother’s cunt’. ‘Book a cock.’ The Delhi Walla saw this calligraphy in Connaught Place, Delhi’s colonial-era commercial district. They are depicted in the dusty…

City Culture - Delhi's Emerging Lingo

City Culture – Delhi’s Emerging Lingo

Signs of our times. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] News flash on a website: 2G:BJP demands probe against PM, PC. The meaning of the cuss word Chutium Sulphate, explained in an online dictionary: “Complete moron, as in, That…

City Culture – B-boying, Connaught Place Subway

City Culture – B-boying, Connaught Place Subway

Hips and hops. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] Twisting the hip. Spinning on the floor. Standing on the head. Freezing into a pose. Legs leaping up. Suddenly, the entire body falling flat with a thud. “Yo, yo.” One…

City Culture - Chittaprosad's Retrospective, Delhi Art Gallery

City Culture – Chittaprosad’s Retrospective, Delhi Art Gallery

The artist as ideologue. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] Artist Chittaprosad Bhattacharya (1915-78), whose retrospective opened in Delhi on July 11th 2011 was most memorably the illustrator of the Bengal Famine of 1943 in which more than three…

City Culture - Trash the Flags, American Center

City Culture – Trash the Flags, American Center

An exhibition. [By Mayank Austen Soofi] Flags, according to a Delhi-based novelist, are bits of coloured cloth that governments use to first shrink-wrap people’s brains and then as ceremonial shrouds to bury the dead. In an exhibition at the American…

City Culture – Arundhati Roy's Concert, India Habitat Center

City Culture – Arundhati Roy’s Concert, India Habitat Center

A musical evening with the essayist. [Pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] While launching Broken Republic – Three Essays at the India Habitat Center in May 2011, Arundhati Roy read the book’s introduction that touches upon the lives of Delhi’s street…

City Obituary – Raza Remembers Husain

City Obituary – Raza Remembers Husain

On Maqbool Fida Husain’s death. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] On June 9, 2011, a few hours after the death of painter Maqbool Fida Husain in London, The Delhi Walla sat down with Syed Haider Raza at his…

City Culture – The Sufi Music Crisis, Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah

City Culture – The Sufi Music Crisis, Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah

The struggle for the soul of qawwali. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] Dama dam mast qalandar. Qawwali, Islam’s sacred Sufi music offered in the shrines of the Indian subcontinent, is facing a moment of unease. It is best…