Photo Essay – Raavan Spotting, Tagore Garden

Photo Essay – Raavan Spotting, Tagore Garden

The making of the devil. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] He will die. Again. On the evening of October 17, 2010, the effigy of Raavan, the 10-headed demon king of Lanka, will burn down with much cheer and…

City Culture - Ramlila, August 15 Ground

City Culture – Ramlila, August 15 Ground

The annual multi-starrer Hindu blockbuster. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] Totally Shakespearean. It has love, jealousy, greed, lies, betrayal, revenge, war, death and redemption. Ramlila, the 10-day play on the exploits of Bhagwan Ram, which takes place every…

City Secret - LPs & Album Covers, Meena Bazaar

City Secret – LPs & Album Covers, Meena Bazaar

The old world melodies. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] Overshadowed by Old Delhi’s Jama Masjid, amidst scampering goats and the air redolent with the smell of milky chai and mutton curry, stands a nondescript shop. The unimpressive exterior…

City Life - Emma Spotting in Delhi

City Life – Emma Spotting in Delhi

Searching for a Jane Austen’s heroine. [Text and picture by Mayank Austen Soofi] In 1815, she was handsome, clever and rich in Highbury, England. In 2010, she is bitchy, sexy and rich somewhere in upmarket South Delhi. The English novelist…

City Life - Jane Austen's Guide to Delhi

City Life – Jane Austen’s Guide to Delhi

The Delhi of her novels. [By Mayank Austen Soofi] The Bollywood film Aisha, an adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel Emma, will be released in August, 2010. It is set in Delhi. Looking forward to seeing the movie, The Delhi Walla…

City Life – One Year of Legalised Gay Sex

City Life – One Year of Legalised Gay Sex

Celebrations in Jantar Mantar. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] This is the new Delhi. It happened in public. Men kissed men. Women hugged women. And cops just watched. On the evening of July 2, 2010, a year after…

City Culture – The Band of Brothers, Hauz Khas Ruins

City Culture – The Band of Brothers, Hauz Khas Ruins

The 7 idiots. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] Their shoulders are swinging softly, their feet are tapping on the stone floor and some of them are shutting their eyes in intense passion. This is a group of seven…

City Culture – How I Got Drunk and Lost My Virginity in Nizamuddin Dargah

Trance music in Delhi’s most famous sufi shrine. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] Every Thursday evening music lovers gather at Nizamuddin dargah, the shrine of Delhi’s 14th century sufi saint Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya. They wait for the Nizami…

City Music – The Real Sufi Stars

The qawwals of Hazrat Nizamuddin. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] It is amusing to see Delhiwallas scramble for pricey tickets each time a ‘big’ sufi music star such as Abida Parveen or Kailash Kher lands in the town…

Mission Delhi – Syed Haider Raza, Hauz Khas Enclave

One of the one per cent in 13 million. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] On February 22nd, 2009, a few hours before his 88th birthday celebration, to be held in The Lalit hotel, Syed Haider Raza is struggling…