City Hangout - Weeping Trees, India Gate

City Hangout – Weeping Trees, India Gate

A scene by the canal. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] These don’t look like happy trees, do they? Sad and despairing, they perhaps remind one of Ophelia, the grief-stricken heroine in Shakespeare’s Hamlet who dies by drowning. Indeed,…

City Hangout - Buddhist Art Gallery, National Museum

City Hangout – Buddhist Art Gallery, National Museum

A journey into Buddhism. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] So meditative and so very calm. That’s how one imagines how Lord Buddha was. It is also the state of mind one encounters at the gallery devoted to Buddhist…

City Hangout - Best English Language Poetry Shelf, The Book Shop, Jor Bagh Market

City Hangout – Best English Language Poetry Shelf, The Book Shop, Jor Bagh Market

Besides prose. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Many good folk beat their chests lamenting the death of poetry. Which simply isn’t true. What are film songs but poems? How about all those Delhiites who can recite Ghalib and…

City Hangout - Flyover Sunset, Bhishma Pitamah Setu

City Hangout – Flyover Sunset, Bhishma Pitamah Setu

Twilight over the rush hour. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] One more evening at the Bhishma Pitamah Setu where a handful of folks have flocked from near and far to view an amazing sunset. It is one of…

City Hangout - Valley of Flowers, Central Delhi

City Hangout – Valley of Flowers, Central Delhi

A surprise beauty. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] At first glance, it looks like a huge patch of snow that didn’t melt for some reason. But it soon becomes clear that one is gazing upon a field of…

City Hangout - Muhammad Akhtar's Book Stall, Near Aggarwal Sweets, Vaishali

City Hangout – Muhammad Akhtar’s Book Stall, Near Aggarwal Sweets, Vaishali

Rare wonder. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It’s got almost everything a human being would need. This particular suburban zone in Vaishali in Ghaziabad suburb in the Greater Delhi Region is chock-full of malls, multiplexes, mithai shops and…

City Hangout - Lily Pond, Lodhi Gardens

City Hangout – Lily Pond, Lodhi Gardens

Hideaway spot. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] A few flowers stand erect, fresh and alive, with not a speck of dust on their wet petals. Others, half-drowned in water, look like broken dreams. For some reason very few…

City Hangout - Surinder Tea Stall, Gurgaon

City Hangout – Surinder Tea Stall, Gurgaon

Stall’s saga. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The pavement chai stalls are often a storehouse of hard-luck stories. Some are suffused with the life of their customers. Others are permeated with the hopes and disappointments of their owners….

City Hangout - Ashok Kumar's Onion-Scented Tea Stall, Gurgaon

City Hangout – Ashok Kumar’s Onion-Scented Tea Stall, Gurgaon

House of tea. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The idea of an onion-scented chai might not appeal to all, but it really is delicious. And, for the record, the chai doesn’t taste of onion. The unnamed tea stall…

City Hangout - Anupama Sweets, Kailash Colony

City Hangout – Anupama Sweets, Kailash Colony

Homely eatery. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Visitors to Delhi who hang around for a few days can’t help noticing all those exotic restaurants in fancy markets and malls offering specialty dishes from around the world, and also…