City Landmark - Chicken Corner & Maktaba Bookstore, Urdu Bazar

City Landmark – Chicken Corner & Maktaba Bookstore, Urdu Bazar

Story of bookstores. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Chicken Corner. Is that what the great bookstore has become? No disrespect to the pavement eatery, but it is right outside the bookstore, blocking the access to the shuttered front…

City Landmark - Shah Music Centre, Netaji Subhash Road

City Landmark – Shah Music Centre, Netaji Subhash Road

For the record. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Gone. Shah Music Centre had hundreds of LPs. Those ‘Long Play’ discs storing half hour of music, before needing to be turned over, have long been out of use, but…

City Landmark - Promenade Books, Hauz Khas Village

City Landmark – Promenade Books, Hauz Khas Village

Life in the village. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Outside, Jack Kerouac’s poster is staring from the glass wall. Inside, black shelves are stacked with Nietzsche, Hunter S. Thompson, William S. Burroughs, etc. Delhi’s newest bookstore opened ten…

City Landmark - Anwar’s Shaving Salon, Near Gole Market

City Landmark – Anwar’s Shaving Salon, Near Gole Market

Hajamat arbour. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Found. A serene impressionistic haven to get a haircut—or a hajamat (shave) if you will. Anwar’s pavement stall beside central Delhi’s Gole Market is austere. Some might though label it among…

City Landmark - Vikram Seth’s Florist, Hazrat Nizamuddin East

City Landmark – Vikram Seth’s Florist, Hazrat Nizamuddin East

A hyperlocal business . [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] One icy noon, two winters ago, a tiny red car halted by a pavement florist. The driver’s door flapped open, a chap emerged. He walked up to the florist,…

City Landmark - Bedil’s Tomb & Bharat Mandapam, Mathura Road

City Landmark – Bedil’s Tomb & Bharat Mandapam, Mathura Road

Long-ago poet these times. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Delhi is changing so fast. Just across the road are the sleek edifices of Pragati Maidan’s Bharat Mandapam. They came up last year, replacing the decades-old Hall of Nations….

City Landmark - Art Gallery, Ghalib Academy

City Landmark – Art Gallery, Ghalib Academy

Poetry intersecting with painting. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] He seems so far from the world of today, but Mirza Asadullah Beg Khan Ghalib died only 155 years ago, aged 72. This being the great poet’s death anniversary,…

City Landmark - Bani Temple, Gurgaon

City Landmark – Bani Temple, Gurgaon

A shrine with a view. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] So surreal. These gigantic stalagmites stranded in the polluted air. They are actually far-off business towers, their view diffused in the winter fog. The scene shifts with a…

City Landmark - Abdul Sattar's Stairway, Pahari Imli

City Landmark – Abdul Sattar’s Stairway, Pahari Imli

Scholar’s book. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Forty stairs of stone link the second-storey house to the lane below, down the hilly slopes of Pahari Imli. That lane comes out on a busy main street, onto which also…

City Landmark - Old Bungalows, Patel Nagar

City Landmark – Old Bungalows, Patel Nagar

Fading ghosts. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] The faded yellow paint of the exteriors have peeled off in many places—is probably peeling off at this moment too, while you read these words. The old paint underneath the yellow,…