City Hangout - Shri Shakti Raj Park, Lajpat Nagar

City Hangout – Shri Shakti Raj Park, Lajpat Nagar

The Lajpat nobody knows. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Begin, Muse, this poem to commerce. Sing it aloud, the way Homer chanted the names of ships and warriors of the Achaean army: Keshika Creations, Lucy Beauty Parlour, Apna…

City Landmark - Central News Agency, Connaught Place

City Landmark – Central News Agency, Connaught Place

Passing of an era. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] There would be many, many (print) dailies, in many languages and editions, trooping in daily from across India and abroad. Where have they gone? The shelves and racks are…

City Hangout - Exercise Trail, Deer Park

City Hangout – Exercise Trail, Deer Park

The language of health. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] It’s not rocket science. Try deciphering the directives painted on the board: • Stand erect • Feet together • Jump stride • Bringing arms to shoulder level Follow these,…

City Hangout - Extinct & Existing Bookstores, Urdu Bazar

City Hangout – Extinct & Existing Bookstores, Urdu Bazar

The Lajpat nobody knows. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Urdu Bazar is a terrifyingly congested block of human cacophony and traffic tumult. Tolerated only because it hosts a picturesque part of the Walled City (Jama Masjid gate no….

City Hangout - February Light, Around Town

City Hangout – February Light, Around Town

Bergman’s light. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Before finalising the locale for the movie Winter Light, in 1961, filmmaker Ingram Bergman journeyed through a series of churches in north Sweden, sitting for hours on the pews of each…

City Hangout - Madras Coffee House, Connaught Place

City Hangout – Madras Coffee House, Connaught Place

A lounge to be with yourself. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The chandelier is burning faintly. Its slight light is shining up an elderly man’s bald pate. Elsewhere, a woman is sitting alone, wiping her eyes occasionally with…

City Hangout - Winter Light, Deer Park

City Hangout – Winter Light, Deer Park

Season’s passage. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] The sunbeams spill apart as soon as they crash on the tree leaves. The dispersed bits of beams then drizzle down through the dense foliage, and fall on the dusty lane,…

City Hangout - Little Amphitheatre, DLF CuberHub, Gurgaon

City Hangout – Little Amphitheatre, DLF CuberHub, Gurgaon

A passage in the Walled City. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Not that the coronavirus has been forgotten but we citizens have started to re-mingle. And old places to mingle are again desirable. One feels homesick for those…

City Hangout - F Block, Connaught Place

City Hangout – F Block, Connaught Place

The CP spirit. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] The benches are stained with bird droppings. The muddy ground behind is littered with rat holes. The neem tree isn’t particularly shady. And yet, this place gives you a shat-pratishat…

City Hangout - Art District, Mandi House

City Hangout – Art District, Mandi House

A new-look much-loved zone. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Here you are, sitting on the steps, in easy intimacy with green grass and smoggy sky. Submerged in solitary thoughts. Or, perhaps arguing with a friend whether Godard really…