Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Divya Babu, Sector 54, Gurgaon

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Divya Babu, Sector 54, Gurgaon

The parlour confession. [By Mayank Austen Soofi] The rain has stopped and the evening sky is looking like an inverted golden bowl. Divya Babu is enjoying this magical sight perched far above the wet earth mired in flooded underpasses and…

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Ram Swaroop, Sadar Bazar

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Ram Swaroop, Sadar Bazar

The parlour confession. [By Mayank Austen Soofi] Rickshaw puller Ram Swaroop arrived in the Delhi region from his native Fatehpur in UP around 15 years ago, his family still lives there. In his early 40s, he sleeps on his rickshaw…

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Henri Cole, Boston

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Henri Cole, Boston

The parlour confession. [By Mayank Austen Soofi; photo courtesy (unless specified otherwise)–Henri Cole] One of the great living poets working today, Henri Cole is the author of many poetry collections. His most recent book, Blizzard: Poems, was published in 2020….

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – SM Shafi, New Friends Colony

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – SM Shafi, New Friends Colony

The parlour confession. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Literature student SM Shafi eats poetry — poetically speaking. He reads poems, he writes poems. In his 20s, he is currently preparing to start his PhD on poet Fakir Mohan…

Mission Delhi - Gauri Mohan Gupta, Sushant Lok

Mission Delhi – Gauri Mohan Gupta, Sushant Lok

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Many book-loving Delhi homes have Shakespeare, Tagore, Tolstoy and Ghalib. French author Marcel Proust is more difficult to spot, though his novel is counted among…

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Namit Arora, DLF Phase 3

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Namit Arora, DLF Phase 3

The parlour confession. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Namit Arora is into reading, writing, travelling—so much so that he and his partner gave up their corporate career in California to travel and write about India, where they took…

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Dhruv Sangari-Bilal Chishty, Jangpura

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Dhruv Sangari-Bilal Chishty, Jangpura

The parlour confession. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] He is special. Not only for being an acclaimed Sufi musician but because he is our living link to the great Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Dhruv Sangari-Bilal Chishty trained under…

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Arjun Sagar Gupta, Vasant Vihar

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Arjun Sagar Gupta, Vasant Vihar

The parlour confession. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] His bedroom’s Yamaha Electone is clamouring for attention, even on Zoom. The statelier Steinway is in the drawing room, out of sight. An accomplished pianist, the enterprising Arjun Sagar Gupta,…

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Sushma Seth, New Friends Colony

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Sushma Seth, New Friends Colony

The parlour confession. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] She’s 85 and so elegant, stately, regal and her white hair is so beautiful—even on the phone screen. Actor Sushma Seth is chatting on WhatsApp video from the home in…

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Iffat Zarrin, Galli Hakimji Wali

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Iffat Zarrin, Galli Hakimji Wali

The parlour confession. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The works of poets may linger in some high unattainable altitude but they themselves live in ordinary unremarkable streets. Such as Iffat Zarrin. This muggy afternoon the verse writer is…