City Hangout - Pandemic-Era Paharganj, Central Delhi

City Hangout – Pandemic-Era Paharganj, Central Delhi

A place without its soul. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Sapna means dream and now, indeed, it seems just like a dream. It is Monday noon and the shutters of the Sapna Travel are down. Some steps ahead…

City Hangout - Garden of Spring, Vasant Vihar

City Hangout – Garden of Spring, Vasant Vihar

The park of poets. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The carefree man in blue track suit is sprawled on the grass, his eyes closed in deep sleep, and his bare feet entangled amid dry leaves and white frangipanis…

City Hangout - Pandemic-Era Symbols, Chatta Sheikh Mangloo

City Hangout – Pandemic-Era Symbols, Chatta Sheikh Mangloo

Signs of the times. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] In one famous scene of the Arabian Nights, a thief paints a mark on Ali Baba’s door so that his companions can later come and put him to death….

City Hangout - Stranded Boat, Hauz Khas Lake

City Hangout – Stranded Boat, Hauz Khas Lake

A melancholy setting. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] One way to experience a beautiful poem is to find it in some book. Another way is to encounter it in a tangible material form in this three dimensional world….

City Hangout - Love Song Crooners, Lodhi Garden

City Hangout – Love Song Crooners, Lodhi Garden

Music in twilight. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Can you hear? Here comes one of these songs again. The ones about love and heartbreak. The singer’s voice is tinged with ache and is getting shriller with the heightened…

City Hangout - Shidipura Graveyard, Near Filmistan Cinema

City Hangout – Shidipura Graveyard, Near Filmistan Cinema

A lonely planet. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The world is so much at turbulence. But here, all is at peace. Which isn’t surprising for this is a graveyard. Shidipura Qabristan, near Filmistan Cinema in central Delhi, isn’t…

City Hangout - Atik Rehman's "Antique Shop", Galli Chooriwallan

City Hangout – Atik Rehman’s “Antique Shop”, Galli Chooriwallan

Place of recent collectibles. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Until a year ago, this place was a professional bawarchi’s (cook’s) kitchen. You would see tubs full of onion rings. On some evenings, the street outside would be lined…

City Hangout - Hanuman Mandir Plaza, Connaught Place

City Hangout – Hanuman Mandir Plaza, Connaught Place

The pandemic-era bustle. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The small room of Future Point Computer Horoscope is open for business. And so is Kakoo Kachori Wale, the snack shop beside it. The other establishments here are more makeshift…

City Hangout - Monsoon Stroll, Hauz Khas Lake

City Hangout – Monsoon Stroll, Hauz Khas Lake

Rainy season pilgrimage. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] On one recent evening, after a heavy downpour, one of the Lodhi Garden lawns filled up with water like a reservoir. To stand by it was like being in that…

City Hangout - DDA Park, Mathura Road

City Hangout – DDA Park, Mathura Road

A discreet enclosure. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] These days, it is difficult to recommend a place outside home that offers physical distancing possibilities. One comes close. But there are many buts about this place. It is thick…