City Hangout - Secretive Garden, Outer Ring Road

City Hangout – Secretive Garden, Outer Ring Road

A place for the invisibles. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Quietness is the reigning monarch here. Greenery is entwined with solitude. Squirrels are frolicking about. Marooned in isolation, this secretive tree-filled place feels detached from all the news…

City Hangout - Happy Bench, Friendship Park

City Hangout – Happy Bench, Friendship Park

The cheery spot. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] One of the most hauntingly beautiful park benches in Delhi is in Lodhi Garden. This is the one under a dead tree, its back picturesquely turned towards the Sheesh Gumbad…

City Hangout - Bat Island, Deer Park

City Hangout – Bat Island, Deer Park

The evening show. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The sun is gone, the sky is dark. Bats are flying over the lake, letting out shrill chee-chee cries. They are spilling out in all directions, as chaotically and in…

City Hangout - Peer Baba's Courtyard, Mohalla Qabristan

City Hangout – Peer Baba’s Courtyard, Mohalla Qabristan

Green oasis. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Some birds, some cats, a few trees, a few graves, and absolute quietude. Spending five minutes here is enough to secede from the life of everyday. Duties, concerns, plans, worries, prospects,…

City Hangout - Morning Market, Chitli Qabar

City Hangout – Morning Market, Chitli Qabar

Dream bazar. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] All sorts of colors and curiosities spring up along the street, with shoppers and sellers engaging in a most comely harmony. This has to be Delhi’s dreamiest and most eclectic pavement…

City Hangout - Matkaman's Water Point, Panchsheel Park

City Hangout – Matkaman’s Water Point, Panchsheel Park

Art for water’s sake. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Here’s a place to briefly escape from all the negativity. This refuge is by a busy road, on a pavement in south Delhi’s Panchsheel Park. The seat is… an…

City Hangout - Ebony Cafe, Pai Walan, Jama Masjid

City Hangout – Ebony Cafe, Pai Walan, Jama Masjid

Paris in Purani Dilli. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] In Paris, you have your cappuccino in front of Notre-Dame. In Delhi, it has recently become possible to enjoy a cappuccino — and not just sweet milky chai —…

City Hangout - Vasudev's Tea Stall, Hauz Khas Village

City Hangout – Vasudev’s Tea Stall, Hauz Khas Village

Chai with kindness. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The night is cold. Vasudev has rustled out a small fire from wooden twigs he picked up from the pavement. Dressed in cap and woollen overcoat, he is fortifying himself…

City Hangout - Hyperlocal Notepads, Daryaganj

City Hangout – Hyperlocal Notepads, Daryaganj

Being elegantly pretentious. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Spending the afternoon in a cool cafe and being seen with a sleek laptop, or better still, with one of those elegant writing pads, is certainly the most sophisticated kind…

City Hangout - Cafe Karvaan, Abul Fazal Part 1

City Hangout – Cafe Karvaan, Abul Fazal Part 1

The river-side haven. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Is it Volga or Thames, Nile or Seine? What is this watery world? With bits of dry land jutting out here and there, the landscape looks like a vast archipelago….