City Library - Late Leila Seth's Private Study, Noida Sector 15A

City Library – Late Leila Seth’s Private Study, Noida Sector 15A

A vanishing world. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The Delhi Walla is in the private study of Justice Leila Seth, who died four months ago (5 May 2017). This quiet room, redolent with memory, “was her heart and…

City Library – The New York Times's Ellen Barry’s Books, Jor Bagh

City Library – The New York Times’s Ellen Barry’s Books, Jor Bagh

A vanishing world. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Never befriend a foreign correspondent. They always leave. Take Ellen Barry, the South Asia bureau chief of The New York Times. She arrived in our city four years ago and…

City Library – William Dalrymple's Books, Mira Singh Farm, South Delhi

City Library – William Dalrymple’s Books, Mira Singh Farm, South Delhi

A vanishing world. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] His empire at Mira Singh Farm, on the outskirts of Delhi, teems with Polish chickens and Scottish bantams. He also rules over a large population of goats, including Petunia, who…

City Library - Rakhshanda Jalil's Urdu Books + Her Forthcoming Urdu Festival, Central Delhi

City Library – Rakhshanda Jalil’s Urdu Books + Her Forthcoming Urdu Festival, Central Delhi

A vanishing world. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Can you dream of touching with your own hand Ghalib’s handwritten poem? Well, just visit author Rakhshanda Jalil’s private library. One freezing evening, Ms Jalil unfolds this priceless object on…

City Library – Aanchal Malhotra’s Books, Safdarjung Enclave

City Library – Aanchal Malhotra’s Books, Safdarjung Enclave

A vanishing world. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Love books? Then envy Aanchal Malhotra. Her parents run Bahrisons Booksellers, India’s most successful independently owned bookstore. One morning The Delhi Walla enters Ms Malhotra’s book-lined home in Safdarjang Enclave….

City Library – Namita Gokhale’s Books, Safdarjung Development Area

City Library – Namita Gokhale’s Books, Safdarjung Development Area

A vanishing world. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The books are everywhere, including under her bed. One afternoon The Delhi Walla visits Namita Gokhale at her home in South Delhi’s poetically named neighborhood of Safdarjung Development Area. “I…

City Library - Yunus Jaffery's Books, Ganj Mir Khan

City Library – Yunus Jaffery’s Books, Ganj Mir Khan

A vanishing world. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] One morning The Delhi Walla enters the library of the city’s great Persian scholar S.M. Yunus Jaffery at his home in the congested Walled City neighborhood of Ganj Mir Khan….

City Library – Bhaskar Ghose’s Books, Mayur Vihar I

City Library – Bhaskar Ghose’s Books, Mayur Vihar I

A vanishing world. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] He is the stuff dreams are made on. Bhaskar Ghose has read the entire Shakespeare—all the plays, all the sonnets. He has even read Cymbeline (who reads Cymbeline?)! One afternoon…

City Library – Dayanita Singh’s Books, Vasant Vihar

City Library – Dayanita Singh’s Books, Vasant Vihar

A vanishing world. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] There are bookshelves even outside her apartment—beside the entrance door. One afternoon The Delhi Walla enters Dayanita Singh’s library. The author-photographer lives in South Delhi’s Vasant Vihar. Her home is…

City Library – Barbara Del Mercato’s Books, Venice

City Library – Barbara Del Mercato’s Books, Venice

A vanishing world. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Perhaps the truth depends on a walk around the lake, wrote poet Wallace Stevens. And if the lake is too far, step into the poetic world of Steven’s ardent devotee…