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…

City Landmark - Jamun Tree, Connaught Place

City Landmark – Jamun Tree, Connaught Place

Season’s sight. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The ground looks like a fresh battlefield, splattered with blood stains, slippery with hundreds of used bullets. The blood isn’t red, but purple. And the bullets are actually jamuns. They have…

City Landmark - Backpackers' Hostel, Paharganj

City Landmark – Backpackers’ Hostel, Paharganj

The pre-pandemic scrawls. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The white walls are covered with handwritten scrawls in Russian, Japanese, Spanish, Dutch, French, German, Arabic, Portuguese, Thai, Italian, and English. There are drawings too — a woman’s face, a…

City Obituary - Appetite German Bakery, Paharganj

City Obituary – Appetite German Bakery, Paharganj

Death of an icon. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The tables and chairs are gone. The cake counter is gone. The kitchen at the back is gone. One of Delhi’s quirkiest hang-outs has become history. Appetite German Bakery,…

City Landmark - Blue Wall, Roshan Pura

City Landmark – Blue Wall, Roshan Pura

The Roshan Pura blues. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] This blue can never be perfectly rendered in a photograph. The shade is that fragile. This afternoon, as you stand in front of it, the colour seems to be…

City Landmark - Udhmi Ram's Shoe Repair Stall, Green Park

City Landmark – Udhmi Ram’s Shoe Repair Stall, Green Park

A longtime destination. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] He is back. As the lockdown eases, shoe repairman Udhmi Ram has returned to his pavement stall in Green Park Market. “I’m opening after one whole month,” he says, sitting…

City Landmark - Unknown Grave, Near Humayun's Tomb

City Landmark – Unknown Grave, Near Humayun’s Tomb

A roadside resting place. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It lies by the roadside, looking abandoned, ringed by weedy bushes and by hints of all sorts of litter and hidden lives crawling within. This striking-looking stone grave, in…

City Landmark - Shama Building & Shama Family, Asaf Ali Marg & DLF Phase 1

City Landmark – Shama Building & Shama Family, Asaf Ali Marg & DLF Phase 1

A literary icon. [Archival photos belongs to Ali Ahmed Dehlvi and Vaseem Ahmed Dehlvi, text and other photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The building has lost its colour. A tree is growing out of the balcony. What rescues it from…

City Landmark - PCO aka Phone Booth, Meena Bazar

City Landmark – PCO aka Phone Booth, Meena Bazar

Relic from the living past. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It’s like coming face-to-face with the indecipherable relics of a lost civilisation. The pale pink wall, here in Old Delhi’s Meena Bazar, is defaced with two acronyms: STD…