City Life - Three Chair Makers, Central Delhi

City Life – Three Chair Makers, Central Delhi

A fading profession. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] They are sitting on the floor, not on chairs, even though they are professional chair makers. The three gents are weaving cane chairs this icy afternoon in a central Delhi…

City Life - Theatre Stage, Mandi House Roundabout

City Life – Theatre Stage, Mandi House Roundabout

A play ground. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] They all are speaking at the same time, speaking over each other, and so uninhibitedly and loudly that you will fear their lungs might explode any moment. Actually, these six…

City Life - Ms Kashmiro & Harish Chander, Sadar Bazar

City Life – Ms Kashmiro & Harish Chander, Sadar Bazar

Two lives. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] She sits down on the pavement, as people pass to and fro, here in Gurgaon’s Sadar Bazar in the Greater Delhi Region. Ms Kashmiro has a large bundle of raw papads…

City Life - Abdul Sattar's Scholarly Pursuits, Pahari Imli

City Life – Abdul Sattar’s Scholarly Pursuits, Pahari Imli

A scholar’s life. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The bookish pursuits of Old Delhi scholar Abdul Sattar are as steadfast as the coronavirus pandemic. Just this morning, the venerable gentleman put on his beret cap and N95 face…

City Life - Migrants Going Home, Gurgaon Railway Station

City Life – Migrants Going Home, Gurgaon Railway Station

Big city disappointment. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Blue denim jeans, small enough to be of a child. A pair of white pajamas. A red lehenga with golden border. A blue sari with white polka dots. These are…

City Life - Four Labourers, Tiraha Behram Khan

City Life – Four Labourers, Tiraha Behram Khan

Waiting for work. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] They are sitting on their haunches, waiting for work. House painters Madan Lal, Gopal, Jagdish and Malik are stationed with their paint brushes in Old Delhi’s Tiraha Behram Khan. This…

City Life - Three Friends, Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti

City Life – Three Friends, Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti

Bonds they share. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] A great amount of uninhibited giggling is going on among the three friends, here in this lane in central Delhi’s Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya. A quick investigation reveals that Saddam (in…

City Obituary - Pianist Mahesh Agrawal, The Ashoka

City Obituary – Pianist Mahesh Agrawal, The Ashoka

The Steinway man. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] He was the man who had been regaling audiences on Delhi’s sole Steinway on public view—at The Ashok—for more than 30 years. He died during the second surge of the…

City Obituary - Film Poster Seller Shanky, Old Delhi

City Obituary – Film Poster Seller Shanky, Old Delhi

A life in cinema. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Lean and boyish, Old Delhi’s Shanky wasn’t famous like a Bollywood star, but was well known among the collectors of Bollywood memorabilia. He traded treasures for a bargain—once he…

City Life - Bamiyan Boys, Sunder Nursery

City Life – Bamiyan Boys, Sunder Nursery

The dreams of some Afghans. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] When you hear the word Bamiyan, what do you see in your mind’s eye? May be, the Buddhas of Bamiyan. These were two monumental statues of Gautama Buddha,…