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…

City Landmark - Cinema Excelsior, Lal Kuan

City Landmark – Cinema Excelsior, Lal Kuan

A single-screen tomb. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Old Delhi is all Urdu, Hindi and Punjabi. No argument about that. But it has at least one link to Latin, too. Here’s a landmark named after the Latin for…

City Landmark - A Light Blue Mansion, Pahari Rajaan

City Landmark – A Light Blue Mansion, Pahari Rajaan

A piece of beauty. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The mansion looks like an aristocratic lady dressed in sun rays, fussily re-arranging them about her from time to time. The afternoon light—and its shifting shadows—have ignited a gentle…

City Obituary - A Leafless Tree, Lodhi Road

City Obituary – A Leafless Tree, Lodhi Road

On the death of a dead tree. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The tree was dead and yet full of life. For years it stood like a giant on Lodhi Road’s divider. In the evening, birds would settle…

City Landmark - Ram Bagh Mukti Dham, Khandsa Village, Gurgaon

City Landmark – Ram Bagh Mukti Dham, Khandsa Village, Gurgaon

A cremation ground in an unusual setting. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] A soft warm breeze is blowing with a sai-sai sound through the tree leaves. The golden sunflowers are blooming radiantly in the hedges. The ground is…