Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Rekha Massey, Paharganj

The parlour confession. [By Mayank Austen Soofi] Each time she flashes a smile, its sunshine radiance lights up her Bubbles, the boutique she has been running inside a Paharganj cafè for 15 years. Delhi’s backpackers’ district is yet to recover…

City Food - Mukhtar's Cold Season Tea, Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti

The sip of winter. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Here are some of the sure signs of the arrival of winter season in Delhi, besides the obvious one of a nip in the air: opening of Lodhi Gardens…

City Monument - Winter-Time Ghamand Sarai, Gurgaon

Stones of November. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Without fail, the malleable winter light always softens the jagged stones, lying on the top, into a texture that appears only partially solid. As if a mere touch of the…

City Nature - Floss-Silk Trees in Blossom, Kamani Auditorium & Elsewhere

Consolation of winter [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The pink of the flower is as boldly surkh (ruddy) as the jama (coat) that Shahjahan is depicted wearing in a famous portrait he commissioned to artist Chitarman. As Delhi-NCR…

City Life - Mirza Brothers' Picnic Memories, Old Delhi & Mehrauli

Their tik tok days. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] The yellow line Delhi metro connects historic Old Delhi to historic (and far older) Mehrauli. Long ago, horse-driven tongas routinely rattled between these two distant places. A tradition among…

City Landmark - Foot-Over Bridge, Ashram Crossing

A world from a bridge [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The white-haired woman in blue sari is beating the clothes on the hard floor. A tub of water is placed beside her. She could as well be washing…

City Life - Winter Pollution, Everywhere in Delhi

Mother, daughter and smog. [By Mayank Austen Soofi] This smoggy morning, the throat is wheezy, the eyes are burning, and the head is throbbing to a very mild mysterious ache. Engineering graduate Paridhi Narayan Singh (left) is standing with her…

City Nature - Bougainvillea Trees, Lodhi Garden

Life outside the season [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Where have the pinks gone? This pair of much-instagrammed bougainvilleas in Lodhi Gardens are so large that they are as imposing as a tree. In season, which is at…

City Monument - Sunheri Masjid, Near Red Fort

A lesser known monument [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Three domes, two minars. That’s the Jama Masjid, the Old Delhi centrepiece. Three domes, two minars. This is the Sunheri Masjid. It is similar to the famous mosque, but…

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Indrajit Ghoshal, Cyberhub

The parlour confession. [By Mayank Austen Soofi] Say salam-namaste to this very special data analyst. Indrajit Ghoshal works in a Gurgaon MNC; he also leads Poetry Darbaar, an initiative for poetically minded muggles he co-founded in 2016. This evening, while…