City Hangout - Winter Evening's Lodhi Garden, Central Delhi

Beauty in the smog. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Catch a glimpse of red lava smouldering atop a distant volcano. Well, it’s just a reflection of the evening sky on a pond. This breathtaking view, as seen from…

City Hangout - Jama Masjid Courtyard, Gurgaon

The soothing winter space. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] When one hears the words “Jama Masjid”, one instinctively thinks of Old Delhi’s Mughal-era mosque. That red sandstone monolith by Emperor Shahjahan is among the world’s greatest monuments. The…

City Hangout - Lonely Planet Store, Jackson Books, Paharganj

Travellers’ stop. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] “As well as Indian staples, you’ll find everything, from banana pancakes to pizzas, Mexican wraps and Israeli falafel… all of which can taste remarkably similar to the Indian staples. Come here…

City Monument - Masjid Mubarak Begum, Chawri Bazar

Like a wounded fairy tale. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It is among Delhi’s most melancholic souvenirs. One of the domes no longer exists. The missing portion is wrapped in a blue tarpaulin, like a makeshift bandage on…

Mission Delhi - Sudhira Devi, Subhash Chander Bose Park

One of the one percent in 13 million. [By Mayank Austen Soofi] It’s late winter afternoon, but the midday is already feeling like evening. Sunlight is washing her face in gold here in Gurgaon’s Subhash Chander Bose Park in the…

City Hangout - Sheesh Mahal Tea House, Farash Khana

Glasses of chai. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The imperial evening in the Palace of Mirrors is already strained to begin with. And then the rebel-courtesan gets more and more mutinous in her dance. She even picks up…

City Food - Randeep's Carrot Halwa, Civil Lines

A farmer’s cold season offering. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] December arrives this week. The chill is set to intensify. To a certain generation, the winter would be invested with sun-drenched courtyards. In these smoggy times, one hardly…

City Landmark - Sonu Kalai Wale, Lambi Walli Gali

Coppersmith’s world. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The empty haveli has lost its grandeur. A part of its wall collapsed some months ago during a night of lightning, here in Lambi Walli Gali, a few steps away from…

City Hangout - Paharganj Magic Realism, Main Bazar

Odd architecture. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Two tiny shops, clinging tightly to each other. Atop lies what must had once been a house—now reduced to its skeletal frame. Wild brown grass has claimed the vanished roof’s still…

City Hangout - Aurobindo Market, South Delhi

The other sides of the market. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Nobody is denying the slow, subtle charm of Aurobindo Market. Its neighbourly vibes, where everyone seems to know everyone, are soothing. There is a certain old-fashioned politeness…