City Monument - A Perspective of Jama Masjid, Old Delhi

The Dilli style. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Typical Delhi aesthetics, some might say. Two eras co-existing side by side. One belongs to the 17th century. One belongs to our time. One is of red sandstone, other of…

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire - Gulam Muhammed Malik, Public Library

Waiting for Godot. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] The same handsome gaunt face, the same lean figure. The hawk-like eyes glinting in immersive thoughts, the meditative lines on the forehead, and the smart short-cropped grey hair. He is…

City Nature - Songs of Semal, Around Town

Red season. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Late-February afternoon. Auto rickshaw carting the commuter along one of the loopy highways of the circuitous AIIMS flyover. Sky is pitch blue. Other sights totally unremarkable. Suddenly, a tree dotted with…

City Neighbourhood - Gali School Wali, Old Delhi

Lane of doorways. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Standing outside an archaic blue doorway, a man in blue (see photo) is singing a tragically worded lullaby, pleading for alms. He pauses, stands silently for some time, and walks…

City Walk - Civil Lines, Gurugram

A walk for a civil season. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] The fog is gone. The smog isn’t so visible. The sky is of a rare blue, at least on certain days. It is that magical time of…

City Monument - Kalan Masjid, Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti

A souvenir around the corner. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Shut your eyes. Walk carefully, lest you stumble. Pockmarked with a pothole, the rutty claustrophobic alley is very narrow, very dark, flanked by grim faded walls. Now, open…

Mission Delhi - Imran, Central Delhi

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Four rotis and masoor dal—that is Imran’s lunch this afternoon. He cooked it in the morning. He always does. Tasked for the loading and unloading…

City Life - Disappeared Citizens, Around Town

Seeing the ‘missing’. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] “ Rafiq, son of Ismail, aged 62, is missing. He was last seen in Saket.”—This flier is spotted on a wall in Jangpura. ‘Missing people’ are found across Delhi. Their…

City Landmark - Bedil’s Tomb & Bharat Mandapam, Mathura Road

Long-ago poet these times. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Delhi is changing so fast. Just across the road are the sleek edifices of Pragati Maidan’s Bharat Mandapam. They came up last year, replacing the decades-old Hall of Nations….

City Walk - Gali Mochiyan, Old Delhi

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] If it were faithful to its name, Gali Mochiyan this afternoon would be full of shoe makers at work. Instead, the gali is resonating with…