City Moment - Prayer Witnessed, Outside Jama Masjid Gate No. 2

City Moment – Prayer Witnessed, Outside Jama Masjid Gate No. 2

A Delhi instant. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It is morning and the newspaper vendor, passing on his bicycle, is carrying front pages filled with dreadful news on Covid-19. The narrow lane is otherwise empty of people more…

Mission Delhi - Om Kumar, Sector 14, Gurgaon

Mission Delhi – Om Kumar, Sector 14, Gurgaon

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] He is 13, old enough to realise that “eating my favourite veg pizza is not wise these days”. A typical pizza is expensive, Om Kumar…

City Food - Deepak Namkeen and Papad Store, Subzi Mandi, Gurgaon

City Food – Deepak Namkeen and Papad Store, Subzi Mandi, Gurgaon

The world of salty savouries. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] You might never know the names of all the birds, or all the flowers, or all the trees, or all the constellations in the sky. But to learn…

City Life - Veeru Bhai's Self-Made Cart, Central Delhi

City Life – Veeru Bhai’s Self-Made Cart, Central Delhi

Life of the cart. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Carts are regular sights in this city of street hawkers. Usually they are but a broad plank of wood plonked over four wheels. But Veeru Bhai’s fruit cart—or thela,…

City Landmark - Unknown Grave, Near Humayun's Tomb

City Landmark – Unknown Grave, Near Humayun’s Tomb

A roadside resting place. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It lies by the roadside, looking abandoned, ringed by weedy bushes and by hints of all sorts of litter and hidden lives crawling within. This striking-looking stone grave, in…

City Walk - Main Avenue, CR Park

City Walk – Main Avenue, CR Park

The Bengal country. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The men look carefree, playing cards by the pavement. The vegetable seller is napping by his cart. A balloon hawker is slowly dragging his bicycle and the helium balloons, tied…

City Monument - Chor Minar, Hauz Khas Enclave

City Monument – Chor Minar, Hauz Khas Enclave

Life of a ruin. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] History is intrusive, and always finds its way into our today. Sometimes that intrusion is barely perceptible, as the touch of a gentle breeze on the skin. Like the…

City Landmark - Shama Building & Shama Family, Asaf Ali Marg & DLF Phase 1

City Landmark – Shama Building & Shama Family, Asaf Ali Marg & DLF Phase 1

A literary icon. [Archival photos belongs to Ali Ahmed Dehlvi and Vaseem Ahmed Dehlvi, text and other photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The building has lost its colour. A tree is growing out of the balcony. What rescues it from…

City Landmark - PCO aka Phone Booth, Meena Bazar

City Landmark – PCO aka Phone Booth, Meena Bazar

Relic from the living past. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It’s like coming face-to-face with the indecipherable relics of a lost civilisation. The pale pink wall, here in Old Delhi’s Meena Bazar, is defaced with two acronyms: STD…

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – SM Shafi, New Friends Colony

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – SM Shafi, New Friends Colony

The parlour confession. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Literature student SM Shafi eats poetry — poetically speaking. He reads poems, he writes poems. In his 20s, he is currently preparing to start his PhD on poet Fakir Mohan…