City Monument - Jahaz Mahal after Sunset, Mehrauli

City Monument – Jahaz Mahal after Sunset, Mehrauli

Of stones and shadows [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The cottony clouds are almost touching the jagged tops of the stone walls. A bunch of boys and girls are playfully loitering about the stone arches. The elderly man…

City Monument - Phatak Teliyan, Old Delhi

City Monument – Phatak Teliyan, Old Delhi

Its oily past. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Cobwebbed by loopy power cables, its old lakhori bricks peer out of the peeling plaster in uneven fragments. Small shops cling to its walls like a limpet. Women, men, children,…

City Monument - Unnamed Mosque, Lodhi Garden

City Monument – Unnamed Mosque, Lodhi Garden

Ruin’s shade. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Let us go then to Lodhi Garden, you and I, when the evening is spread out against the sky. Here, you may watch the sun slowly dunk down behind the grass-topped…

City Monument - Shahjahani Masjid, Pataudi House

City Monument – Shahjahani Masjid, Pataudi House

White mosque. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It looks so soft, as if frosted with cream cheese. The domes, the minarets and the walls are dusted in white, like icing on a cake. This fragility is deceptive. Shahjahani…

City Monument - Unknown Grave, Mehrauli

City Monument – Unknown Grave, Mehrauli

Grave beauty. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It is like somebody’s dense handwritten journal lying open on the table, with a twig of leaves serving as bookmark. This sculpted piece of marble, adorned with a tiny neem fragment…

City Monument - Naubat Khana, Red Fort

City Monument – Naubat Khana, Red Fort

A lesser-known monument. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The Red Fort is like a poetry anthology, and its scattered, damaged monuments are like poems. Naubat Khana is one of the most tender ones. Its walls are sculpted with…

City Monument - Ghamandi Sarai, Gurgaon

City Monument – Ghamandi Sarai, Gurgaon

Gateway lives. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The gateway is bathed in the evening light with a beauty so tender you fear it might vaporise with the next heatwave. The time is altering the place in other ways…

City Monument - Jami Masjid, Feroze Shah Kotla

City Monument – Jami Masjid, Feroze Shah Kotla

All the Delhis. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] In Delhi, several centuries live together — and here’s a rare place where you get to see all those centuries in a single eye sweep. The Jami Masjid at Feroze…

City Monument - Memorial Benches, Sunder Nursery

City Monument – Memorial Benches, Sunder Nursery

Ode to loves. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] KD Singh was an iconic Delhi bookseller who passed away in 2014. The inscription reads: “Husband, Father, Grandfather & Bookman Extraordinaire.” Beneath runs a verse by poet Pablo Neruda: “When…

City Monument - James Joyce Tower, Ansari Road

City Monument – James Joyce Tower, Ansari Road

Landmark of literature. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] 8am, Thursday, 16 June, 1904. Place is Martello Tower. City is Dublin, in Ireland. This is the opening scene of James Joyce’s Ulysses. This year the modernist novel is celebrating…