City Walk - Main Avenue, CR Park

The Bengal country. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The men look carefree, playing cards by the pavement. The vegetable seller is napping by his cart. A balloon hawker is slowly dragging his bicycle and the helium balloons, tied…

City Monument - Chor Minar, Hauz Khas Enclave

Life of a ruin. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] History is intrusive, and always finds its way into our today. Sometimes that intrusion is barely perceptible, as the touch of a gentle breeze on the skin. Like the…

City Landmark - Shama Building & Shama Family, Asaf Ali Marg & DLF Phase 1

A literary icon. [Archival photos belongs to Ali Ahmed Dehlvi and Vaseem Ahmed Dehlvi, text and other photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The building has lost its colour. A tree is growing out of the balcony. What rescues it from…

City Landmark - PCO aka Phone Booth, Meena Bazar

Relic from the living past. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It’s like coming face-to-face with the indecipherable relics of a lost civilisation. The pale pink wall, here in Old Delhi’s Meena Bazar, is defaced with two acronyms: STD…

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – SM Shafi, New Friends Colony

The parlour confession. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Literature student SM Shafi eats poetry — poetically speaking. He reads poems, he writes poems. In his 20s, he is currently preparing to start his PhD on poet Fakir Mohan…

City Faith - Hazrat Madni Shah Baba, Near Jama Masjid

A shrine’s best-kept secret. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It’s one of the lesser known shrines of the capital and it is tucked within… oh well, another lesser known shrine. The historic graves of Hazrat Sarmad Shahid and…

City Nature - Olive Trees, Italian Embassy

A bit of the Mediterranean. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It might be dry, dusty and polluted, but Delhi is home to 252 species of trees. (New York has 130.) Right now, the bloom of the semal’s red…

City Hangout - Bat Island, Deer Park

The evening show. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The sun is gone, the sky is dark. Bats are flying over the lake, letting out shrill chee-chee cries. They are spilling out in all directions, as chaotically and in…

Mission Delhi - Gauri Mohan Gupta, Sushant Lok

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Many book-loving Delhi homes have Shakespeare, Tagore, Tolstoy and Ghalib. French author Marcel Proust is more difficult to spot, though his novel is counted among…

City Hangout - Northeast Grocery Shop, Chirag Delhi

Taste of home. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It’s called Northeast Grocery Shop but it is not in north-east Delhi. It is, in fact, in the southern part of the city, in Chirag Delhi village. And yet the…