Photo Essay – The Wandering Woman, Old Delhi
An evening in Shahjahanabad.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
The other evening The Delhi Walla followed a woman in Old Delhi. It was humid. The woman was walking in Matia Mahal Bazaar. She was wearing a long green skirt and a red-and-orange kurta.
The woman looked around in wonder as if she were in a dream. She stopped by a food stall and stared at the fried pieces of chicken that were decorated with red roses.
She moved on, stopping by another stall to observe a man deep-frying a paratha.
A vendor of children’s toys soon diverted her attention. She took one from him and discreetly passed a hundred-rupee note into his hands.
The woman walked further down the street, turned into an alley, climbed a set of steep stairs, and stepped into a book-lined apartment. She leafed through yellowed books, smelled the musty pages of a leather hardbound, and unrolled an old map of Old Delhi.
She came out to the terrace and tried to fly a fallen kite.
Afterwards, the woman climbed another set of steep stairs and entered a room. It was airless and hot. There was a window on the other end. It was closed. The woman opened it. Cool air rushed in. The window faced a well-lit mosque. The woman stood by the window for a long time.
Tourist in her own city