City Landmark - Rachna Book House, SDA Market

City Landmark – Rachna Book House, SDA Market

Mom-and-pop. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The small stationery shop is noticeable because it also sells magazines, an increasingly endangered sight in these days of online reading. Then, you notice shelves decked with greeting cards, an increasingly endangered…

City Landmark - Ordinary Village Well, Chirag Dehli

City Landmark – Ordinary Village Well, Chirag Dehli

An ordinary wonder. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The city has a village. The village has a square. The square has a well. Delhi is well-known for its centuries old step-wells, or baolis. But in the Capital it…

City Landmark - The So-Called "Mayank Austen Soofi's Attic", Hauz Khas Village

City Landmark – The So-Called “Mayank Austen Soofi’s Attic”, Hauz Khas Village

A new AirBnB destination. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It was a small room, just enough for one person to co-habit with some books—ok, many books. Its window enjoyed a direct view of Emperor Feroze Shah Tughlak’s Tomb….

City Landmark - Jagat Cinema, Old Delhi

City Landmark – Jagat Cinema, Old Delhi

A single-screen. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The grilles are shuttered, but the lobby can be seen through them: the ticket window, the board displaying the show timings and the ticket rates—32 rupees for Box. Some things become…

City Landmark - Blue Wall, Sheikh Kaleemullah Jehanabadi's Sufi Shrine

City Landmark – Blue Wall, Sheikh Kaleemullah Jehanabadi’s Sufi Shrine

Beautiful blues. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] There is something gracefully fragile about the blue colour — especially in Delhi, where blue skies are more of a myth. In our city, every bit of blue, whatever its shade,…

City Landmark - Railway Station, Gurgaon

City Landmark – Railway Station, Gurgaon

Small and beautiful. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Here’s a little survey of the entire Delhi region and its immediate surroundings — for one city, it turns out to be particularly embarrassing. New Delhi railway station has 16…

City Obituary - Hotel Broadway, Asaf Ali Road

City Obituary – Hotel Broadway, Asaf Ali Road

On the death of a landmark. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The friendly doorman is nowhere to be seen. A printed notice slapped on the glass door says that Hotel Broadway is closed —“Since the running of… is…

City Landmark - Premier Shoe Factory, Sadar Bazar, Gurgaon

City Landmark – Premier Shoe Factory, Sadar Bazar, Gurgaon

The lockdown survivor. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] This is how it was before the coronavirus. The walls had seen so many shifts of seasons that it would have been impossible to determine their original color. The wood…

City Landmark - Semal Tree, Connaught Place

City Landmark – Semal Tree, Connaught Place

An urban sanctuary. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] One of the most beautiful things in Connaught Place, Delhi’s Colonial-era shopping district, cannot be purchased. It’s a tree in E-block: semal, or bombax ceiba. The towering deciduous tree clashes…

City Obituary - Shabrati Nihari, Shop, Haveli Azam Khan

City Obituary – Shabrati Nihari, Shop, Haveli Azam Khan

Death of a landmark. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Bloggers have blogged about it. Instagrammers have instagrammed about it. Heritage-minded walking tours too would stop by for quick feasts and photo opportunities. And now it is gone. Hazi…