City Hangout - National Science Center, Pragati Maidan

City Hangout – National Science Center, Pragati Maidan

Believe it or not. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] A ball floating in air with no regard for gravity; a seat of nails actually comfortable to sit on. Discovering science at the National Science Center is fun. The…

City Hangout – National Zoological Park, Mathura Road

City Hangout – National Zoological Park, Mathura Road

Into the wild. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Situated between Purana Qila and Mathura Road, National Zoological Park has 75 species of animals, birds and reptiles. The area is wooded. Squirrels hop across trees with slanting branches. Tired…

City Hangout - Everest Café, Paharganj

City Hangout – Everest Café, Paharganj

Cramped and cool. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] At an altitude of 239 metres, Everest Café cannot fit more than a dozen people at any given time. Tucked in a shaded lane, it is off the main street…

City Hangout - Sarojini Nagar Market, South Delhi

City Hangout – Sarojini Nagar Market, South Delhi

Everything and more. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Think of Sarojini Nagar, or SN, as the setting of a trashy fairy tale. It is fit for a beautiful princess, robbed off her principality and left with little to…

City Hangout - Khwaja Mir Dard Basti, Central Delhi

City Hangout – Khwaja Mir Dard Basti, Central Delhi

The poet’s ghetto. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Khwaja Mir Dard Basti, or Shakur ki Dandi, is crude and poorly constructed. Yet it has poetry, music and handmade art. It is sandwiched between the city’s tallest high-rise and…

City Hangout - Basant Lok Market, South Delhi

City Hangout – Basant Lok Market, South Delhi

Once it was happening. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Dry fountain, broken benches, shoe shine boys, doped beggars, stray cows, and palmists making suspicious predictions. Don’t judge Basant Lok Market by its rundown look. In the heart of…

City Hangout – Maulana Aagan Chaikhana, Mohalla Kabristan

City Hangout – Maulana Aagan Chaikhana, Mohalla Kabristan

Lovely and sad. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Two blackened kettles, two ceiling fans, some wooden benches, a few plastic chairs and a roughly carved pillar makes it one of Old Delhi’s most charming chaikhanas, or tea houses….

City Hangout - Spell & Bound, SDA Market

City Hangout – Spell & Bound, SDA Market

Kafka with kebabs. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] Those who love their mutton rolls and masala milk may like Spell & Bound at the SDA Market in south Delhi. Opened in May 2011, the bookshop and café has…

City Landmark - Mohan Singh Place Shopping Cum Office Complex, Baba Kharak Singh Marg

City Landmark – Mohan Singh Place Shopping Cum Office Complex, Baba Kharak Singh Marg

A New Delhi oddity. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] In a colonial-era commercial district that is getting colonized by multiplex chains and fast food joints, the Mohan Singh Place ‘shopping cum office complex’ in Connaught Place has no…

City Hangout - Delhi Forests, Around Town

City Hangout – Delhi Forests, Around Town

Delhi’s wild side. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] Secretive and silent. Intertwined trees, twisted trunks, thorny twigs, rocky slopes, and clumps of grass. The nearest McDonald’s is two miles away. The Delhi Walla is on Delhi’s Central Ridge,…