City Walk - Kucha Saad Ullah Khan, Old Delhi

City Walk – Kucha Saad Ullah Khan, Old Delhi

A lane of beauty [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The dusty iron door is padlocked with a crude made-in-China lock. Yet looking so pretty with floral motifs. Even so, no passerby is caring for this poor beauty. Neither…

City Walk - Kucha Lal Man, Old Delhi

City Walk – Kucha Lal Man, Old Delhi

A cozy refuge [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] A packed bus finds itself unable to move; a cab is blowing a brain-splitting horn; a bike suddenly shoots through the narrow gap between two cars. Only a daredevil will…

City Walk - Phatak Ram Kishan Dass, Old Delhi

City Walk – Phatak Ram Kishan Dass, Old Delhi

A cold alley [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The air is stale and damp, like bathroom towel during the monsoon. Phatak Ram Kishan Dass comprises of a dimly lit lane with no existing phatak, or gateway. The alley…

City Walk - Paharai Rajaan, Old Delhi

City Walk – Paharai Rajaan, Old Delhi

The hill of the workers [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Who made Taj Mahal? Shah Jahan. No, who actually raised the Taj, stone by stone? Nobody knows. History is mute on the labourers who built the monument. Ditto…

City Walk - Doors of Vakil Lane, Central Delhi

City Walk – Doors of Vakil Lane, Central Delhi

The lane of doors [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The cracked door has so many long cracks running along so many places that the door is looking like an unironed shirt with creases. The polish on the wood…

City Walk - Kucha Neelkanth, Old Delhi

City Walk – Kucha Neelkanth, Old Delhi

The place of the blue-throated [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] At the time of the churning of the Ocean of Milk, the giant serpent Vasuki — who was being used as a rope, the mountain Mandara being the…

City Walk - Tolstoy's Country, Connaught Place

City Walk – Tolstoy’s Country, Connaught Place

Stroll in lit world. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] No Natasha. No Pierre. No Vronsky. No Anna Karenina. Not one of them is here. Some might suggest to rather look for them in the pages of Leo Tolstoy’s…

City Walk - Gali Wazir Beg, Old Delhi

City Walk – Gali Wazir Beg, Old Delhi

The Old Delhi dictionary. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] So tough to dig into the backstories of Walled City gallis and kuchas. Take Kucha Bulaki Begum—who was this begum? Or take Galli Wazir Beg—who was he? Oh well,…

City Walk - Defence Colony Flyover, South Delhi

City Walk – Defence Colony Flyover, South Delhi

Greenland. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The window panes are broken. Inside, the room is as dark as moonless midnight. The other windows on the wall are similarly dilapidated. Nobody lives in the building. It is deserted. So…

City Walk - Kucha Rohilla Khan, Old Delhi

City Walk – Kucha Rohilla Khan, Old Delhi

The Old Delhi dictionary. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] In these ever shifting times, rare are the people who gain years on the very street in which they were born. Retired “nikhar polisher” Muhammed Haneef is standing (see…