City Hangout - Aurobindo Market, South Delhi

The other sides of the market. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Nobody is denying the slow, subtle charm of Aurobindo Market. Its neighbourly vibes, where everyone seems to know everyone, are soothing. There is a certain old-fashioned politeness…

City Hangout - Batla House Qabristan, Near Jamia Millia Islamia University

Midnight in the graveyard. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It is midnight. People here are sleeping. They have been asleep for a long time, though some have closed their eyes more recently than others. You can tell that…

Mission Delhi - Syed Areeb, Walled City Wall

One of the one percent in 13 million. [By Mayank Austen Soofi] The life of an Instagram influencer isn’t easy. “I’ll have to continuously update my personality in what I wear and how I look. I’ll always have to convey…

Mission Delhi - Nem Singh, Kucha Lalman

One of the one percent in 13 million. [By Mayank Austen Soofi] Birds withdraw from their tree in the morning, and fly back to that same shelter by night. This bird leaves its tree in the sundown instead, and returns…

City Food - Deepak Kumar's Rasgulla-Bread, Nehru Place

Double treat. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] He is standing motionless, like a statue – his arm resting on his cycle’s handlebar, his face exuding calmness. Every now and then, he glances about, as if to signal to…

City Hangout - Pandemic-Era Madan Café, Paharganj

A place for backpackers. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The cafés are once again crowded with backpackers. The paves are full of the blab of Israelis. The touts too have surfaced. Paharganj is back in business. If only….

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Susana Zarco, Rajokri

The parlour confession. [By Mayank Austen Soofi] She reads poetry and makes her own dresses. The Lisbon-born Susana Zarco walks into her drawing room, looking like a woman in a Vermeer painting. She designed this white-and-blue gown from a cotton…

City Landmark - Dharmender Kumar Soni's Goldsmith Workshop, Nai Basti

Of slow time. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] So tiny, so pretty—these objects, piled up on the mantlepiece. While a large wooden board adorned with an array of rings and pendants invite a second look for their delicate…

Mission Delhi - Arman, Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti

One of the one percent in 13 million. [By Mayank Austen Soofi] The mask hawker isn’t pushy at all. He quietly follows a passerby, and upon catching the attention, politely asks if the person would be interested in buying a…

City Life - Migrants Going Home, Gurgaon Railway Station

Big city disappointment. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Blue denim jeans, small enough to be of a child. A pair of white pajamas. A red lehenga with golden border. A blue sari with white polka dots. These are…