Delhi's Proust Questionnaire - Rekha Gupta, Ghaziabad

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Rekha Gupta, Ghaziabad

The parlour confession. [By Mayank Austen Soofi] This afternoon for lunch she made the winter season’s first sarson ka saag, along with makke ki roti. Rekha Gupta lives with her husband Mahabir Prasad, a retired officer, in a first-floor apartment….

Delhi's Proust Questionnaire - Nora Swenson, Lodhi Garden

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Nora Swenson, Lodhi Garden

The parlour confession. [By Mayank Austen Soofi] Over the past few months she has been spotted at Lodhi Garden almost daily, always sitting on the same spot, behind a floss silk tree, across the walking track that goes past Sheesh…

Delhi's Proust Questionnaire - Rupin Walter Desai, East Patel Nagar

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Rupin Walter Desai, East Patel Nagar

The parlour confession. [By Mayank Austen Soofi] This retired English Literature professor is India’s greatest living Shakespeare scholar (he is also an authority on Yeats!). Rupin Walter Desai founded the legendary Hamlet Studies, “an international journal of research on The…

Delhi's Proust Questionnaire - Aarti Talwar, Somewhere in Delhi

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Aarti Talwar, Somewhere in Delhi

The parlour confession. [By Mayank Austen Soofi] Besides having a day-job in the corporate world, Aarti Talwar is the co-founder of The Dandelion Collective, a book club that completes a year this October. She agreed to become a part of…

Delhi's Proust Questionnaire - Zahid Ali Khan, Somewhere in Delhi

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Zahid Ali Khan, Somewhere in Delhi

The parlour confession. [By Mayank Austen Soofi] He joined the All India Radio as an Urdu news reader in March, 1965. He retired in April, 1999. He hasn’t retired from hyperactive life. At 86, he flits around the city everyday…

Delhi's Proust Questionnaire - Muhammed Saleem, Connaught Lane

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Muhammed Saleem, Connaught Lane

The parlour confession. [By Mayank Austen Soofi] A glass cabinet containing dozens of keys forms the backdrop of his pavement kiosk. Key maker Muhammed Saleem have been manning this modest Connaught Lane landmark for decades. A while ago, this afternoon,…

Delhi's Proust Questionnaire - Geetanjali Shree, Lodhi Garden

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Geetanjali Shree, Lodhi Garden

The parlour confession. [By Mayank Austen Soofi] It is easy to bump into her. Hint: she is often sighted in Lodhi Garden (see photos). Geetanjali Shree, the author of five short story collections and five novels—Mai, Hamara Shahar Us Baras,…

Delhi's Proust Questionnaire - Ritu Ahuja, Somewhere in Delhi

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Ritu Ahuja, Somewhere in Delhi

The parlour confession. [By Mayank Austen Soofi] This muggy evening in a public park, she is immersed in a Jonas Jonasson novel. A climate policy professional, Ritu Ahuja agrees to become a part of our Proust Questionnaire series in which…

City Food - Proust's Paape, Diamond Bakery

City Food – Proust’s Paape, Diamond Bakery

Proust for Old Delhi. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Seven volumes, 3,000 pages, 1.5 million words. Naturally nobody has time for In Search of Lost Time. Why read the novel anyways when you can live it, and so…

Delhi's Proust Questionnaire - Umama Khan, Pahari Imli

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Umama Khan, Pahari Imli

The parlour confession. [By Mayank Austen Soofi] She gets up at 6. She goes to sleep at 11. Despite her day in her Pahari Imli home being so hectic—looking after husband, Shahnawaz, daughters Aaima and Rizah, and month-old son Mustafa—homemaker…