Mission Delhi - Shyam Lal, Paharganj

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It’s only noontime, but even so. Construction labourer Shyam Lal has dozed off by the pavement. How he can sleep at all is anyone’s guess,…

Mission Delhi - Monica Bizira, Sector 5, Gurgaon

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] She is a woman with decided views. “This Indian culture!” exclaims Monica Bizira in an exasperated tone. “It’s a punishment to be a woman in…

City Moment - Offering a Rose to Villy Sorabji, Parsi Cemetery

Remembering a loved one. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The graves are arranged neatly about a red brick structure here in the small Parsi Cemetery in Central Delhi. No other visitors at the moment. Gardner Manoj Mishra is…

City Hangout - Poetry Reading Benches, Mirza Ghalib's Tomb

Place for poems. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Those good souls who love reading poems will sit down with a poetry anthology just about anywhere. Even while standing in a jam-packed Metro train. But where can one find…

City Region - Slum and 'Society', Sector 15, Gurgaon

Our disparate lives. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The neighbours are loitering outside their homes, making small talk about the cold weather. Soon enough, the conversation veers towards a “multi-storey society”, or as they would like to call…

City Moment - Kitchen Couple, Mathura Road

Family values. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] On this chilly night Mathura Road has emptied of traffic. But a flame flickers on this Central Delhi pavement—home sweet home for a family of five living under an orange tarpaulin….

City Walk, Barakhamba, Central Delhi

The 5 am stroll. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] This early morning stroll is as illusory as a morning dream. At 5am the walk along central Delhi’s Barakhamba Road seems unreal. Stretching from Pushkin’s statue in Mandi House…

Home Sweet Home - Study Room, Rose Garden, Gurgaon

Study spaces. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Children go to public parks to play. But these three boys are picnicking over school books. There are dreams to chase after all and “no time to waste,” cautions the poker-faced…

City Hangout - Shatabdi Watching, New Delhi Railway Station

The thrill of travel. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] That powerful sense of “going somewhere” is probably more palpable in a railway station than at an airport terminal. So many of us harassed Delhiites dream of escaping this…

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Conservation Architect Ratish Nanda, Near Humayun's Tomb

The parlour confession. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The Proust Questionnaire represents a confessional game that owes its structure to answers given by celebrated French writer Marcel Proust in two parties that he attended at ages 13 and…