City Landmark – People’s Publishing House, Connaught Place

City Landmark – People’s Publishing House, Connaught Place

Marxism, Leninism, Stalinism, Maoism. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] Vladimir Ilyich Lenin has an arresting stare. Meet the Marxist revolutionary at a bookstore in the capitalistic Connaught Place, central Delhi’s premium shopping district. His portrait hangs close to…

City Landmark – Delhi Photo Company, Janpath

City Landmark – Delhi Photo Company, Janpath

1937-2010. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] The other afternoon The Delhi Walla was walking in Janpath, Connaught Place. Reaching in front of an old landmark, I stood with amazement and then I laughed. What used to be Delhi…

City Secret - LPs & Album Covers, Meena Bazaar

City Secret – LPs & Album Covers, Meena Bazaar

The old world melodies. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] Overshadowed by Old Delhi’s Jama Masjid, amidst scampering goats and the air redolent with the smell of milky chai and mutton curry, stands a nondescript shop. The unimpressive exterior…

City Landmark - Kake Da Hotel is History

City Landmark – Kake Da Hotel is History

The legendary eatery downs shutters. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] Opened in 1931, the legendary Kake Da Hotel in Municipal Market, Connaught Place, shut down on July 12, 2010. The next day the window face of the eatery,…

City Landmark - The Book Shop, Jor Bagh & Khan Market

City Landmark – The Book Shop, Jor Bagh & Khan Market

The death and life of a bookstore. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] In my dream, I find myself outside Khan Market’s The Book Shop. I was told it had shut down in 2006 and that there’s a Swarovski…

City Landmark – My Bar, Paharganj

Cheap but with character. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] They are a rare sight. Roshni Kapoor, a post-grad student of international relations, and Priya Bhattacharji, an advertising professional, are the only two Indian girls in My Bar. It…

City Landmark – Rajiv Gandhi Setu, Ring Road

An urban refuge. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] A smoggy traffic square that was once dreaded by commuters for its long jams has become an unlikely urban haven. On one grassy slope, a group of women is playing…

City Landmark – Chanakya Cinema, 1970-2007

1970-2007 [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] Last night, at 9:45 pm, I dreamt I went to Chanakya again. It seemed to me I stood by the box office that sells Rs. 30 front stall tickets, and for a…

City Monument – Birla Temple, Mandir Marg

The land of Vishnu. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] Spread over seven acres, Shri Lakshmi Narain temple, popularly called Birla Mandir, is a dense neighbourhood of gods. A world in itself, it is a land of plenty. It…

City Secret – Razia Sultana’s Tomb, Pahari Bhojla

India’s first woman ruler is sleeping here. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] Razia Sultana’s tomb chamber in Old Delhi. No dome, no crowd here. This is no place for a queen. As the first woman ruler of the…