City Life - Street Dogs of H. Nizamuddin East, Central Delhi

City Life – Street Dogs of H. Nizamuddin East, Central Delhi

A home for the houseless. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Who wouldn’t want to live in Nizamuddin East? This outrageously wealthy enclave in central Delhi is nestled amid gardens and monuments, including the grand Humayun Tomb. Calling Niz…

City Life - A Room in the Red Light, GB Road

City Life – A Room in the Red Light, GB Road

The world of a sex worker. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The room is smaller than the kitchen of an average DDA (Delhi Development Authority) flat. The walls are painted pale purple. A small ceiling fan hangs down…

City Life - Mirza Ghalib's Love Signs, Ghalib Academy

City Life – Mirza Ghalib’s Love Signs, Ghalib Academy

Chairs of heart. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It is evening and ghazal singer Athar Hussain Khan is rendering ‘Chupke Chupke’ to a packed audience. The Delhi Walla is at Ghalib Academy in Delhi’s Nizamuddin Basti. The front…

City Life - 'Friends Forever' of Arab Sarai General Store, H. Nizamuddin Basti

City Life – ‘Friends Forever’ of Arab Sarai General Store, H. Nizamuddin Basti

Real world friends. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] To outsiders, Nizamuddin Basti in central Delhi is most famous for the Sufi shrine of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya. The more knowing among us may also point to the tomb of…

City Life - Amir Dehlavi's Radio Ritual, Haji Hotel

City Life – Amir Dehlavi’s Radio Ritual, Haji Hotel

The ultimate radio star. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Over the years many of us have established a deep bond with our smart phones. Many of us have an emotional connection with our TV too, and some of…

City Life - La La Land of The NDMC, VIP Delhi

City Life – La La Land of The NDMC, VIP Delhi

The great gap. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] This is no place for the aam aadmi, or common man. A sign near the Supreme Court declares the limits of the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) zone, which has…

City Life - The Marvelous Sighting of The Bride's Palki, Galli Chooriwallan

City Life – The Marvelous Sighting of The Bride’s Palki, Galli Chooriwallan

The long life of the past. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It was draped in silk, or so it seemed. One cold night The Delhi Walla comes across a silver-plated palki (aka doli), the palanquin traditionally used to…

City News - The Magnificent and Much-Loved 'Tribal Tree' of Alliance Française is No More, Lodhi Estate

City News – The Magnificent and Much-Loved ‘Tribal Tree’ of Alliance Française is No More, Lodhi Estate

The passing of an era. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] In a world that appears to be striving for a race to the bottom, it was the epitome of stateliness and dignity. Now, it has left this world….

City Life - The Mystery of the Burning Egg Crates, Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti

City Life – The Mystery of the Burning Egg Crates, Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti

Secrets of the night. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The white-haired man is shrouded in smoke. An empty egg crate is smoldering dangerously close to his bare feet. But he is fast asleep; his sandals are parked under…

City Life - The Book Shop Walks With Bahrisons Booksellers, Jor Bagh

City Life – The Book Shop Walks With Bahrisons Booksellers, Jor Bagh

Two landmarks. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] They are walking together. One evening The Delhi Walla sees Nini KD Singh and Aanchal Malhotra at a public park in the quiet Jor Bagh. The two women are intimately connected…