City Hangout - Sidewalk Cafés, Lado Sarai

City Hangout – Sidewalk Cafés, Lado Sarai

New wave in the village. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Three coffee drinkers perched on street-side chairs, on the pave. Their arms are swaying up and down with the passions of an animated chatter. This could be a…

City Hangout - 9pm at Sunder Nursery, Central Delhi

City Hangout – 9pm at Sunder Nursery, Central Delhi

Night revellers. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The smoggy sky is pitch black. Amid the trees, a procession is standing silently with flaming torches. No, these are lamps lining a pathway. This is Sunder Nursery at 9 pm….

Mission Delhi - Masooban, Chelmsford Road

Mission Delhi – Masooban, Chelmsford Road

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] A turbaned artist is beating the nagada. Another is playing the shehnai. Both performers are directing their music straight into Masooban’s ear. Their solo audience…

City Hangout - Jama Masjid in Twilight, Gurgaon

City Hangout – Jama Masjid in Twilight, Gurgaon

The magic of changing light. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It is possible to travel by staying still. One way to do this is by lingering long at the Jama Masjid in Gurgaon’s Sadar Bazar. The small edifice…

City Landmark - Pari Selfie Point, Mathura Road

City Landmark – Pari Selfie Point, Mathura Road

A new landmark. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Is it a flapping of wings? Or are these the limbs of a friendly octopus? This metallic installation is the latest landmark of the capital, here on Mathura Road. A…

Mission Delhi - Rukhsana, Central Delhi

Mission Delhi – Rukhsana, Central Delhi

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The road is teeming with afternoon traffic. The pavement, here in central Delhi, has a small plastic mat sprawled along it. A child is sitting…

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Nameer Alvi, Pahari Rajaan

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Nameer Alvi, Pahari Rajaan

The parlour confession. [By Mayank Austen Soofi] He is 21 and his mother calls him “mera achha wala beta,” my good son. Youngest of three brothers and a sister, he is the only one to go out of his way…

City Hangout - India Gate & Central Vista, Central Delhi

City Hangout – India Gate & Central Vista, Central Delhi

A new era. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The hat-wearing lady in sari poses with her family for photographer Vijay Babu (150 rupees for a single print in two minutes). The background is India Gate. This will be…

Mission Delhi - Balvindra, Gurgaon

Mission Delhi – Balvindra, Gurgaon

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It does resemble something familiar, something that is occasionally featured as a curiosity piece in travel magazines. Oh yes, it looks like one of those…

City Home - Ruined Bungalow, Somewhere in Delhi

City Home – Ruined Bungalow, Somewhere in Delhi

A deserted home. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The metal gate is splotched with red dots of rust. The pane-less windows on the first floor stare out like open wounds. Cobwebs are hanging from window grills. It is…