Mission Delhi - Namita Gokhale, South Delhi

Mission Delhi – Namita Gokhale, South Delhi

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] She is an acclaimed author and lit-fest director, with successful daughters, a frank disposition and a comfortable book-filled home in south Delhi—seemingly uniting some of…

City Monument - Sabz Burj, Mathura Road

City Monument – Sabz Burj, Mathura Road

A ruin restored. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It is not just blue, it’s not turquoise, it’s not lapis, it’s not even cerulean. It actually is somewhere between turquoise and lapis. These tiles on the dome of the…

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Henri Cole, Boston

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Henri Cole, Boston

The parlour confession. [By Mayank Austen Soofi; photo courtesy (unless specified otherwise)–Henri Cole] One of the great living poets working today, Henri Cole is the author of many poetry collections. His most recent book, Blizzard: Poems, was published in 2020….

Mission Delhi - Shailesh Kumar, Central Delhi

Mission Delhi – Shailesh Kumar, Central Delhi

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] He is sitting beside his packets of masks. His masked face is plopped on his knees, as if he were trying to escape from the…

City Hangout - Secretive Garden, Outer Ring Road

City Hangout – Secretive Garden, Outer Ring Road

A place for the invisibles. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Quietness is the reigning monarch here. Greenery is entwined with solitude. Squirrels are frolicking about. Marooned in isolation, this secretive tree-filled place feels detached from all the news…

Delhi's Bandaged Heart - Isha Ahuja's Poem on Post-Recovery, Janak Puri

Delhi’s Bandaged Heart – Isha Ahuja’s Poem on Post-Recovery, Janak Puri

Poetry in the city. [By Mayank Austen Soofi] Her life is returning to some sort of normalcy, but the recent days were a nightmare. In April her “Nanaji” was lying terminally ill with cancer. The whole extended family was attending…

Mission Delhi - Sant Ram, Jangpura

Mission Delhi – Sant Ram, Jangpura

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Seasons dominate his life. This is in the nature of his occupation, which depends on the month of the year. It’s early June and hawker…

City Monument - Shadow Corridors, Fatehpuri Masjid

City Monument – Shadow Corridors, Fatehpuri Masjid

Dark side. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] These dark, shifting shapes are falling upon the walls and floor like arabesques. Every day they expand, contract, grow blurry and eventually disappear with the progress of hours. This interplay of…

Mission Delhi - Dr Shivani Rawat Adhikari, Noida

Mission Delhi – Dr Shivani Rawat Adhikari, Noida

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] She’s always been a writer, maintaining a private diary. But after losing her husband to Covid about a month ago, Dr Shivani Rawat Adhikari, 37,…

City Life - Somebody's Photo Album, Sunday Book Bazar

City Life – Somebody’s Photo Album, Sunday Book Bazar

Life’s souvenir. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The cover is black. The album’s hundreds of photos are in black and white. The back label says—Made in England. This photo album is discovered by The Delhi Walla one afternoon…