City Life - Syed Nabi Ahmed‘s Telephone, Old Delhi

City Life – Syed Nabi Ahmed‘s Telephone, Old Delhi

Life with a device. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Time passes. Call tunes change. For a long time a black rotary dial telephone graced exorcist Syed Nabi Ahmed’s chamber, here in in Old Delhi. He then replaced it…

City Food - Five Spots, Gurugram’s Sadar Bazar

City Food – Five Spots, Gurugram’s Sadar Bazar

5-star culinary tour. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Food tours in Old Delhi—nice, but now such a cliche! Do a food tour in old Gurugram, for a change, especially in Sadar Bazar. And be sure to stop by…

City Landmark - Sahibabad RRTS Station, Ghaziabad

City Landmark – Sahibabad RRTS Station, Ghaziabad

Learning to see a new landmark. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] It looks like an ocean liner stranded in plain land, far from the sea it belongs to. This is a fairly new landmark in zila Ghaziabad, that…

Proust Questionnaire - Reshma, Old Delhi

Proust Questionnaire – Reshma, Old Delhi

Into a citizen’s heart. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] She earns by singing and dancing and offering blessings in household celebrations such as weddings, childbirths and grih-pravesh. This afternoon, combing her long oiled hair in a Walled City…

City Landmark - Chicken Corner & Maktaba Bookstore, Urdu Bazar

City Landmark – Chicken Corner & Maktaba Bookstore, Urdu Bazar

Story of bookstores. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Chicken Corner. Is that what the great bookstore has become? No disrespect to the pavement eatery, but it is right outside the bookstore, blocking the access to the shuttered front…

City Monument - Three Edifices, Around Town

City Monument – Three Edifices, Around Town

Stories of stones. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Monuments are made of stones and stories. Sometimes a series of monuments are threaded together by a single story, such as these three. Once upon a time there was a…

City Season - Jacaranda Blooms, Around Town

City Season – Jacaranda Blooms, Around Town

Happy blues. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] On Saturday morning, Lithuanian ambassador Diana Mickevičienė was strolling in the little park close to her residence in Vasant Vihar, and found the trees clothed in purple flowers. The lanes too…

City Neighbourhood - Pratap Street, Old Delhi

City Neighbourhood – Pratap Street, Old Delhi

Backstreet world. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Deserted alleys, defaced walls, cobwebby windows, rusting doors, loopy cables, dead rats and unexpected dead-ends. Strolling through certain Old Delhi passageways is like being abandoned inside some spooky documentary on municipal…

City Food - Game Wali Kulfi, Turkman Gate

City Food – Game Wali Kulfi, Turkman Gate

Summertime heritage. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Citizen Nizam doesn’t think much of himself. “What is special about me?”—he asks, genuinely perplexed on being photographed. Well, good sir, you happen to be among the last flag-bearers of an…

City Home - Bird Nest, Connaught Place

City Home – Bird Nest, Connaught Place

High-altitude living. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] This is a tree. This tree has a nest. This nest has a bird. It is the very heart of our smoggy megapolis—a small plaza in commercial Connaught Place, right outside…