City Food - Butter Chhole Kulche, Outside Humayun's Tomb

City Food – Butter Chhole Kulche, Outside Humayun’s Tomb

Delhi’s best chhole kulche. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The whole world comes to see Humayun’s Tomb. The monument must be beautiful. You ought to head to Humayun’s Tomb for another beautiful reason, too. Just outside the gate…

City Life - Theatre Stage, Mandi House Roundabout

City Life – Theatre Stage, Mandi House Roundabout

A play ground. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] They all are speaking at the same time, speaking over each other, and so uninhibitedly and loudly that you will fear their lungs might explode any moment. Actually, these six…

Mission Delhi - Sikander Nath, New Railway Road

Mission Delhi – Sikander Nath, New Railway Road

One of the one percent in 13 million. [By Mayank Austen Soofi] The man in the black hat is walking silently along the roadside, and yet he is attracting a great amount of notice. Heads are turning towards him almost…

City Food - Mohammed Moinuddin’s Butter Coffee, Chitli Qabar Chowk

City Food – Mohammed Moinuddin’s Butter Coffee, Chitli Qabar Chowk

It was all acacia. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Some cities never sleep. Like New York. Like Old Delhi. Any person living in, say, the Walled City’s Chitli Qabar Chowk will tell you that the sounds of their…

City Hangout - Three Wild Malls, Nelson Mandela Marg

City Hangout – Three Wild Malls, Nelson Mandela Marg

It was all acacia. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The outdoor sound system is playing soft, moody music. It could be Kenny G. Who could have thought that this desolate wilderness in south Delhi would one day be…

City Faith - Pracheen Shiv Mandir, Daryaganj

City Faith – Pracheen Shiv Mandir, Daryaganj

A barely known temple. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The scenes outside are passing in a blur. All you can see are lights flashing on the glass window. It’s like sitting in a super-fast Shatabdi. But this isn’t…

City Home - Homeless Shelter, Central Delhi

City Home – Homeless Shelter, Central Delhi

A home for the houseless. [By Mayank Austen Soofi] The floor is of plywood. The roof appears to be of white tarpaulin. The walls, too, are of the same white material. There are no windows. This is a home to…

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Mirza Ghalib, Ghalib Academy

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Mirza Ghalib, Ghalib Academy

The parlour confession. [By Mayank Austen Soofi] Mirza Ghalib is eternal. The Agra-born poet lived in Old Delhi’s Ballimaran; his sasural was in modern-day Haryana (Loharu). While lying long buried in our city, Ghalib still gamely agreed to become a…

City Hangout - Pavement Art, Mandi House

City Hangout – Pavement Art, Mandi House

Mystery patterns. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Circles and squares rippling with wavelets. A sphere with a labyrinth. The word ‘Aah’ drawn in calligraphic style. And many other shapes. All of these are made with white chalk on…

City Library - American Center Library, Kasturba Gandhi Marg

City Library – American Center Library, Kasturba Gandhi Marg

Sounds from silences. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] If you listen, the steady hum of a machine can be heard. Maybe it’s the air conditioner. Or rather a radiator, for this is the cold season. The sound is…