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…

City Hangout - The Book Hub, Batla House

City Hangout – The Book Hub, Batla House

Shop of used books [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The tiny basement room is crammed with just too many writers. A perfect place for bookworms to burrow into the delicious smells of musty well-thumbed pages. The Book Hub…

City Hangout - Pond-Side Trees, Redeveloped Central Vista

City Hangout – Pond-Side Trees, Redeveloped Central Vista

First day in the new Central Vista. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] These don’t look like happy trees. Sad and despairing, they in fact remind one of Ophelia, the grief-stricken heroine in Shakespeare’s Hamlet who dies by drowning….

City Hangout - Underpass, Redeveloped Central Vista

City Hangout – Underpass, Redeveloped Central Vista

First day in the new Central Vista. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Gentleman in a white mundu, pulled up to his waist, like Shah Rulh Khan’s lungi in the movie Chennai Express. The hat on his head is…

City Hangout - The Lawns, Redeveloped Central Vista

City Hangout – The Lawns, Redeveloped Central Vista

First day in the new Central Vista. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The grass is thick, green and humid. The air is steamy with late afternoon heat. The lawns fall between Man Singh Road and Janpath Road: trees…

City Hangout - Public Park, Greater Kailash 2

City Hangout – Public Park, Greater Kailash 2

A lesser known oasis. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Some poet wrote that a true garden is simply made of lights. If so, then this park in Greater Kailash 2 has to be Delhi’s truest garden, at least…

City Hangout - The Mid-August Sun, Defence Colony Flyover

City Hangout – The Mid-August Sun, Defence Colony Flyover

An evening to memorialise. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] The people who commanded the stage on 15 August, 1947, seem so far away in time and history — almost like myths. While in contrast this red disk, our…

City Hangout - Gwal Pahari, Near Golf Course Road

City Hangout – Gwal Pahari, Near Golf Course Road

City escape. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] I love Rashi—the declaration on the rock is scrawled in white. The ‘love’ is depicted with a heart. The same declaration covers the surface of the adjacent rock. The rock next…

City Hangout - Asaf Ali's Statue, Near Dilli Gate

City Hangout – Asaf Ali’s Statue, Near Dilli Gate

A place like no other. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] This day, last year: hundreds of pigeons around freedom fighter Asaf Ali’s statue. This day, this year: hundreds of pigeons still around the same statue. Yet, the place…