City Hangout - Kohli Lal Yadav's Lungi-Gamcha Stall, Chawri Bazar

City Hangout – Kohli Lal Yadav’s Lungi-Gamcha Stall, Chawri Bazar

The showroom of many shades. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] This particular pavement stall stands out at Old Delhi’s Chawri Bazar despite all its other engaging distractions. It looks like an ersatz wardrobe fit for a poet. The…

City Hangout - Winter Midnight Ice-Creams, India Gate

City Hangout – Winter Midnight Ice-Creams, India Gate

A midwinter night’s dream. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Delhi’s winter is extreme but fleeting. It will no longer do to postpone one of the most memorable ways to cherish the season. Bitter chill is needed for the…

City Hangout - Sun Watching, Hailey Road

City Hangout – Sun Watching, Hailey Road

Winter-time magic realism. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Human lives are crammed with clichés, mainly because they serve some useful purpose… don’t they? Clichés may point to something that’s important. And also, point to a truism such as:…

City Hangout - Small Town Tibet, Gurgaon

City Hangout – Small Town Tibet, Gurgaon

The flavour of Tibet. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Pop singer Sonam Gonpo’s soothing voice, smeared with lighthearted longing, is softly streaming through the bazar. Elsewhere, the compulsive Instagrammer Jhumpa Dolma is gleefully flaunting her little braids tied…

City Hangout - The Heart-Break Destination, Buddha Gardens

City Hangout – The Heart-Break Destination, Buddha Gardens

After falling out of love. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Here is a place for those who have just broken up with their lovers, whose hearts are heavy with sorrow, and who want to pamper that mood. It…

City Hangout - Sharma Tea Stall, Satyam Plaza, Gurgaon

City Hangout – Sharma Tea Stall, Satyam Plaza, Gurgaon

The perfect ‘café’. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] You’ll be surprised to know that many people prefer coffee shops with noisy customers and deafening music so that they don’t have to be obliged into holding a demanding conversation…

City Hangout - Swirly Staircase, Satyam Plaza, Gurgaon

City Hangout – Swirly Staircase, Satyam Plaza, Gurgaon

More than just a fire exit. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] There was a time when the staircase was not reduced to the status of a mere fire exit. Although it is difficult to believe this truth in…

City Hangout - Emu Sighting, Vasant Vihar

City Hangout – Emu Sighting, Vasant Vihar

Somewhere in Australia. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Silent leafy lanes and shiny chauffeur-driven cars. Gracious bungalows and embassies of remote-seeming countries like Eritrea and Gabon. And lots and lots of trees — in parks and in private…

City Hangout - A Railway Station Book Stall, Gurgaon

City Hangout – A Railway Station Book Stall, Gurgaon

The consolation of a bookshop. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] There is no shortage of folks who look down upon Delhi’s satellite city of Gurgaon. You just have to spend time with those snobbish Delhiites. One of the…

City Hangout - Vishnu's 16th Century Statue, National Museum

City Hangout – Vishnu’s 16th Century Statue, National Museum

God’s view. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] What does a god look like when supposed to be sleeping? One answer is found at the National Museum in Delhi where an ancient sculpture of Vishnu is tucked away in…