Mission Delhi - Muhammed Israil, Jacobpura, Gurgaon

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Furiously transforming cities like Gurgaon in the Greater Delhi Region are full of promises and draw hopefuls from across the country who want to build…

City Monument - Isa Khan's Mausoleum, Humayun's Tomb Complex

Little gem. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Poor Isa Khan! Such a beautiful tomb the little-known nobleman built for himself long before his death and so miraculously it has survived the passage of centuries. But, he had the…

City Life - Five Comrades, Gurgaon Railway Station

Band of brothers. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It’s a miserably humid afternoon and all the five guys are drenched in sweat. Pradeep, Sonu, Pintu, Naveen, and Parveen are lounging in an airy and less-crowded corner of Gurugram…

City Hangout - Best Reading Spot, Agrasen ki Baoli

Book lover’s space. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] One can’t run short of words in praise of Agrasen ki Baoli—a stone step well so beautiful that it has often appeared even in Bollywood movies. The well’s 14th century…

Mission Delhi - Manohar Fakir, Central Delhi

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] This junk collector intensely feels the impact of climate change. Every day, for instance, the homeless man has to figure out where to get fresh…

City Food - Alam Tea House, Kucha Chelan

Tea oasis. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Musty smelling. Pink walls. Toasted rusks generously smeared with Amul butter. And sweet milky chai. Alam Tea House feels like one of those Walled City chai khanas that must be a…

City Hangout - Frangipani Island, Niti Marg

White stars. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Traffic islands seldom distinguish themselves as works of beauty. But then there’s that traffic island in Central Delhi that contains a grove of fulgent frangipani trees, laden with white flowers resembling…

Mission Delhi - Dilip Singh, Connaught Place

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Evening shoppers are gathering around this suited, hatted figure… in silver! Everyone’s looking puzzled. Is it a statue? Can’t be, the head is moving slightly….

City Season - Monet's High-Rises, Golf Course Road, Gurgaon

Sky views. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The sky is swathed in light pink. Some bits are purple, and others are washed in shades of red and misty blue. This is Gurgaon on a rainy evening. A timely…

Mission Delhi - Ram Sewak, Near Turkman Gate

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Ram Sewak’s shoeshine establishment is so small that he can lay out all his tools on the footpath, carefully arrange them in order, and then…