City Landmark - Nehru Archives, Teen Murti Bhawan

It goes online. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] Until August 2011, anyone with the ambition of understanding Jawaharlal Nehru had to fly to Delhi and spend hours at the members-only library in Teen Murti Bhavan, Nehru’s British-built residence…

City Library – Vidya Rao’s Books, Mehrauli

A vanishing world. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] One humid afternoon The Delhi Walla knocked at the door of thumri singer Vidya Rao. In her 50s, Ms Rao shares her second-floor apartment in Mehrauli, south Delhi, with her…

City Series – A House in the Village, Hauz Khas

Life in Delhi’s prettiest neighbourhood. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] The Delhi Walla lives in Hauz Khas Village. The one-room apartment has a window that looks to graceful ruins and a placid lake. The view ahead is of…

City Nature – Pomegranate Tree, Nizamuddin Chilla

The nature’s gift. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] One evening The Delhi Walla saw a small pomegranate tree in the courtyard of the sufi retreat of Nizamuddin Chilla, behind Humayun’s Tomb in central Delhi. The tree’s thin branches…

Mission Delhi – Ramlal Thakur, Mirza Ghalib Street

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] Switching it off, he tucks it inside his white plastic sack. “Radio is my life,” says Ramlal Thakur. In his 40s, Mr Thakur is living…

The Delhi Walla Books – An Online Chat with Rediff Readers

Chatting on books, blogging and life in Delhi. [Excerpts from the chat section of rediff.com] The Delhi Walla-Portraits is the fourth and final volume in a series of books that brings together the best of writer-photographer Mayank Austen Soofi’s website…

City Landmark - Mohan Singh Place Shopping Cum Office Complex, Baba Kharak Singh Marg

A New Delhi oddity. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] In a colonial-era commercial district that is getting colonized by multiplex chains and fast food joints, the Mohan Singh Place ‘shopping cum office complex’ in Connaught Place has no…

City Hangout - Delhi Forests, Around Town

Delhi’s wild side. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] Secretive and silent. Intertwined trees, twisted trunks, thorny twigs, rocky slopes, and clumps of grass. The nearest McDonald’s is two miles away. The Delhi Walla is on Delhi’s Central Ridge,…

City Culture - Chittaprosad's Retrospective, Delhi Art Gallery

The artist as ideologue. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] Artist Chittaprosad Bhattacharya (1915-78), whose retrospective opened in Delhi on July 11th 2011 was most memorably the illustrator of the Bengal Famine of 1943 in which more than three…

City Food - Gol Gappa, Around Town

Taste explosion. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] It is more felt than tasted. The shell cracks open, the cold, intense spiciness washes around your mouth. Before you know what is happening it is gone. Made of whole-wheat or…