City Landmark - The Ashok Hotel, Central Delhi

City Landmark – The Ashok Hotel, Central Delhi

The power and the glory. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It is exactly what a sprightly 60-year-old should be—a blend of gravitas and energy. The Ashok hotel in New Delhi’s Chanakyapuri area, which celebrates its 60th anniversary in…

City Landmark - Arundhati Roy's Hotel, Cochin

City Landmark – Arundhati Roy’s Hotel, Cochin

The hotel of The God of Small Things. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] “Room numbers 313 and 327,” The man at the reception desk said. “Non-air-conditioned. Twin beds. Lift is closed for repair.” This is not true. Lift…

City Landmark - Faqir Chand and Sons, Khan Market

City Landmark – Faqir Chand and Sons, Khan Market

Not just another bookshop. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Historian Romila Thapar has visited this old family run bookshop in Khan Market. Author Gita Mehta talked of it in her book Snakes And Ladders: Glimpses Of Modern India….

City Landmark - Librairie Galignani, Rue de Rivoli

City Landmark – Librairie Galignani, Rue de Rivoli

Better than Shakespeare & Company. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] No, not Shakespeare & Company. The best bookstore in Paris for readers in English is actually Librairie Galignani. Founded in 1801, it is the oldest English-language bookstore in…

City Landmark - Berkeley Books of Paris, Near San Francisco Book Company

City Landmark – Berkeley Books of Paris, Near San Francisco Book Company

The real Berkeley. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The silence is so intense that one’s own thoughts feel like noise. The Delhi Walla is at the Berkeley Books of Paris, one of the best secondhand English language bookstores…

City Landmark - Libreria Alef, Bookshop, Venice Ghetto

City Landmark – Libreria Alef, Bookshop, Venice Ghetto

Italy’s unique bookshop. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It was very curious. The other day the Italian Jewish newspaper Pagine Ebraiche ran a special issue on the 500th anniversary of Venice’s ancient Jewish district, the world’s first ghetto….

City Landmark -- Emilio Piacentini's Wood Carving Shop, Venice Ghetto

City Landmark — Emilio Piacentini’s Wood Carving Shop, Venice Ghetto

The last man standing. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] This frail white-haired man is among the last of his kind in Venice. Emilio Piacentini is a wood-carver in the city’s ancient Jewish ghetto, which is observing its 500th…

City Landmark - Lodhi Colony Art Installation, Mehar Chand Market

City Landmark – Lodhi Colony Art Installation, Mehar Chand Market

Public reviews of a public display. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Public art, so common in world cities, has been slowly finding its space in Delhi, a huge metropolis that swallows up all puny efforts. Nonetheless, any art…

City Landmark -- Hem Raj Jain Clinic, Paharganj

City Landmark — Hem Raj Jain Clinic, Paharganj

The dream palace of a doctor. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] An elderly man is patiently looking out into the street through a curtained glass window. He is dressed in a three-piece suit, complete with a tie. The…

City Landmark - Chor Bizarre, Asaf Ali Road

City Landmark – Chor Bizarre, Asaf Ali Road

A trip to Kashmir. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] If you throw a few stones standing somewhere south of Khan Market, you might not hit many Delhiwallas under a certain age, but you are likely to hit many…