City Street - Gali Surkh Poshan, Old Delhi

City Street – Gali Surkh Poshan, Old Delhi

Red lane. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] The fakeer’s deep-throated singing voice is wafting probingly along the weathered walls of the narrow cul-de-sac. The other much younger fakeer is silent, holding a small polythene thaila filled with surkh-red…

City Neighbourhood - Brijmohan Marg, Old Delhi

City Neighbourhood – Brijmohan Marg, Old Delhi

A lane in the Walled City. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Buildings evoke eras. With its arched doorway and carved balcony, a mansion of lakhori bricks in Gali Chooriwallan instantly transports the gazer to the late Mughal times….

City Neighbourhood - Pahari Imli, Old Delhi

City Neighbourhood – Pahari Imli, Old Delhi

The tamarind hill. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] The love song from our grandfathers’ time is streaming out from a window atop the grocery of “Shadab ki dukan.” Up there is Bhai Majid’s “embroidery ka karkhana.” The hard-at-work…

City Neighbourhood- Gali Manihar Wali, Old Delhi

City Neighbourhood- Gali Manihar Wali, Old Delhi

A Walled City Lane. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] When the Walled City nostalgists muse about its early days, they refer to that long-ago time as “badshahi ke daur mein.” Indeed, it was “during the era of emperors”…

City Walk - Rajpur Road & Environs, Civil Lines

City Walk – Rajpur Road & Environs, Civil Lines

Into serene avenues. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] The gate is locked. The tree-speckled compound is strewn with dry crackling leaves. The lone man in the stately porch, a guard maybe, makes no answer. Peering over the rusted…

City Walk - Gail Choori Walan, Old Delhi

City Walk – Gail Choori Walan, Old Delhi

Street of the bangle folks [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Did you know that Snow White and the seven dwarves isn’t just a fairy tale? True, those eight folks used to live in Old Delhi, here in Gali…

City Neighbourhood - Pratap Street, Old Delhi

City Neighbourhood – Pratap Street, Old Delhi

Backstreet world. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Deserted alleys, defaced walls, cobwebby windows, rusting doors, loopy cables, dead rats and unexpected dead-ends. Strolling through certain Old Delhi passageways is like being abandoned inside some spooky documentary on municipal…

City Walk - Gali Gudaryan, Old Delhi

City Walk – Gali Gudaryan, Old Delhi

A welcoming street. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Some parts so silent and deserted, others full of bustle and sounds.   Most of Gali Gudaryan is like a baggy wide megapolis where people come from all corners of…

City Walk - An Alley, Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti

City Walk – An Alley, Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti

Midnight’s street. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] The groceries, the veggie stalls, the lazy dogs, the cats, the rats, and us people. Everything’s ordinary along the street. Until it isn’t. The dull spell is broken on spotting a…

City Walk - Haveli Azam Khan, Old Delhi

City Walk – Haveli Azam Khan, Old Delhi

A Walled City street [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] The door’s tatty curtain was to hide the once-affluent family’s wretched poverty, its threadbare predicament instead exposed its decline. Yashpal’s iconic short story Purdah immediately comes to mind on…