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…

City Hangout - Night Time Bus Shelters, Around Town

City Hangout – Night Time Bus Shelters, Around Town

The other side of bus stands. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Post-midnight, the bus shelters in Delhi lose their daytime ordinariness, and are infused with unearthly splendour. Gleaming with electrical lights and publicity panels, each shelter transmutes into…

City Hangout - Golf Course Road, Gurgaon

City Hangout – Golf Course Road, Gurgaon

The new life. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It’s raining. The muddy lane outside the glassy South Point Mall quickly goes under water. The conscientious guards improvise a bridge of bricks for the high-heeled shoppers to hop their…

City Neighbourhood - Sarai Kale Khan, Across Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station

City Neighbourhood – Sarai Kale Khan, Across Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station

The sarai beyond the station. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] For many Delhiwallas, Hazrat Nizamuddin station is the place to go to when they have to board the Bombay-bound August Kranti Rajdhani Express. Or, when midnight hunger pangs…

City Hangout - Chapter 101 Bookshop, South Point Mall, Gurgaon

City Hangout – Chapter 101 Bookshop, South Point Mall, Gurgaon

The first edition paradise. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Next time some snob dismisses the world beyond Kapashera border as an all-mall-no-mind destination, tell that fellow to get lost in Gurgaon’s South Point Mall. The glass-walled shopping complex…

City Hangout - The Sheetla Mata Temple Grounds, Old Gurgaon

City Hangout – The Sheetla Mata Temple Grounds, Old Gurgaon

The soothing secretive corner. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Some places are like a laidback piece of music that initially leaves you indifferent but soon enough, even before you realize it, you are humming its tunes in the…