City Landmark - Muhammad Ateek Chawbiwale, Tiraha Behram Khan

City Landmark – Muhammad Ateek Chawbiwale, Tiraha Behram Khan

The key man. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It’s like discovering all the passwords of your online existence copy-pasted into a stranger’s laptop. Such is the alarm one feels on coming face-to-face with hundreds of keys hanging in…

City Landmark - Old Doorway, Sadar Bazar, Gurgaon

City Landmark – Old Doorway, Sadar Bazar, Gurgaon

A leftover beauty. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Eighteen little squares are sculpted into each of the door’s two kiwaars, the shutters. A metallic chain is attached at the top. The side jambs—the chaukhat—are carved with intricate patterns….

City Landmark - Siri Fort Auditorium, South Delhi

City Landmark – Siri Fort Auditorium, South Delhi

Out of time. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] When icons fall out of use, what shall we turn them into? Named after a centuries-old ruin, the iconic Siri Fort Auditorium is lying in ruins, metaphorically speaking. This afternoon,…

City Landmark - Joseph Stein's Tomb, India International Centre

City Landmark – Joseph Stein’s Tomb, India International Centre

On New Delhi’s iconic architect’s 20th death anniversary. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It’s a sunny evening, here in the members-only India International Centre (IIC). The Lounge by the poolside is teeming with softly-chatting tea-drinking ladies in handloom…

City Landmark - Vandana Book Shop, Aurobindo Market

City Landmark – Vandana Book Shop, Aurobindo Market

Labour of love. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It’s a bookshop run by a family. It’s also a bookshop run by a family. Its staffers are very polite, very attentive. Its staffers are also very polite, very attentive….

City Landmark - The Ashok, Chanakyapuri

City Landmark – The Ashok, Chanakyapuri

The 5-star hotel at 65. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The red sandstone edifice is regal. The sweep of the driveway is as majestic. Just walking on it makes you feel like a head of State on way…

City Landmark - Ghantaghar Clock Tower, Hari Nagar

City Landmark – Ghantaghar Clock Tower, Hari Nagar

The circle of time. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] This place is like a sheet of paper that has been folded many times over. So that the original page gets balkanised into many little sheets, with each fold…

City Landmark - Notary Clerks' Cubicles, Asaf Ali Marg

City Landmark – Notary Clerks’ Cubicles, Asaf Ali Marg

A Chekhovian world. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] 7 am. Tables are being put out, chairs are being unfolded. Along the corridor where the pedestrians walk. And also along the roadside. It is like a pavement cafe opening…

City Landmark - Lonely Planet Afghanistan, Delhi's Book Bazar and Bhogal

City Landmark – Lonely Planet Afghanistan, Delhi’s Book Bazar and Bhogal

Book and land. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] You are so wrong if you believe that Delhi’s Sunday book bazaar is dispensable. That place is like a gigantic public library whose used books are oftentimes precious souvenirs of…

City Landmark - Face of Stoicism, Anand Vihar

City Landmark – Face of Stoicism, Anand Vihar

A portrait in acceptance. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] To be emotionally resilient to misfortune. To accept the moment as it presents itself. If you can be this, then you’re a stoic person. You may dig deeper by…