City Monument - Sabz Burj, Mathura Road

City Monument – Sabz Burj, Mathura Road

A ruin restored. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It is not just blue, it’s not turquoise, it’s not lapis, it’s not even cerulean. It actually is somewhere between turquoise and lapis. These tiles on the dome of the…

City Monument - Shadow Corridors, Fatehpuri Masjid

City Monument – Shadow Corridors, Fatehpuri Masjid

Dark side. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] These dark, shifting shapes are falling upon the walls and floor like arabesques. Every day they expand, contract, grow blurry and eventually disappear with the progress of hours. This interplay of…

City Monument - Sultanate Souvenirs, Around Town

City Monument – Sultanate Souvenirs, Around Town

Before the Mughals. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It is baking in the hot sun — Ghiyas-ud-din Balban’s tomb in Mehrauli Archaeological Park. The roof has collapsed, so have parts of the stone wall. Like many Delhi monuments,…

City Monument - Chor Minar, Hauz Khas Enclave

City Monument – Chor Minar, Hauz Khas Enclave

Life of a ruin. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] History is intrusive, and always finds its way into our today. Sometimes that intrusion is barely perceptible, as the touch of a gentle breeze on the skin. Like the…

City Monument - Old Connaught Place Staircase, A Block, Inner Circle

City Monument – Old Connaught Place Staircase, A Block, Inner Circle

Finding lost time. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] A creaking wooden staircase going up one side of the hall, opening into a narrow attic, or the mezzanine floor. In the earlier landmarks of the colonial-era Connaught Place (CP)…

City Monument - Delhi's Most Beautiful Door, Gali Badliyan

City Monument – Delhi’s Most Beautiful Door, Gali Badliyan

A heritage nobody knows. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Found. At long last, Delhi’s arguably most beautiful door has been discovered. It doesn’t have a doorbell. It’s not in any of the forts or palaces, or museums. Surely…

City Monument - General Shah Nawaz Khan's Grave, Old Delhi

City Monument – General Shah Nawaz Khan’s Grave, Old Delhi

Hero resting here. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Among those who care for graves of historical people, it is common knowledge that the shrine of Sufi saint Hazrat Sarmad Shahid lies between the Jama Masjid and the Red…

City Monument - Ruined Graves, Lodhi Garden

City Monument – Ruined Graves, Lodhi Garden

Links to past. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Squirrels, a great many of them, are prancing about the dusty stone slabs. Water pitchers—probably kept for birds—are reflecting the cold cloudy sky. Dry leaves litter the ground. And there’s…

City Monument - Hijron ka Khanqah, Mehrauli

City Monument – Hijron ka Khanqah, Mehrauli

The retreat. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] A word like ‘freedom’ acquires its true meaning only to those denied it. And so do words like “quarantine’ and ‘self-isolation’, gradually getting more real to us as we experience either…

City Monument - Poet Rahim's Underground Crypt and the Restored Tomb, Hazrat Nizamuddin East

City Monument – Poet Rahim’s Underground Crypt and the Restored Tomb, Hazrat Nizamuddin East

This lies beneath. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Nothing here but silence. And the two graves at the center. This is the windowless crypt of Rahim’s tomb, in central Delhi’s Nizamuddin East. What the visitors see up there…