City Hangout - Basant Lok Market, South Delhi

City Hangout – Basant Lok Market, South Delhi

Missing the old landmarks. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It’s a small space but it doesn’t matter. You are stepping inside Delhi’s most eclectic bookstore. Here’s the owner poring over The New York Review of Books. Walk straight,…

City Hangout - Indian Christian Cemetery, Paharganj

City Hangout – Indian Christian Cemetery, Paharganj

Silence in noise. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] No breeze, immense stillness. Fallen leaves litter the ground like a worn carpet. All around, hundreds, perhaps thousands of graves. Some extremely well taken care of, others in disrepair—as if…

City Hangout - Upstairs View, Khan Market

City Hangout – Upstairs View, Khan Market

The market innards. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Chimneys painted in funky yellow and red. Long AC ducts of varying lengths, spreading out like the pipes of a plumbing system. Black water tanks perched like giant insects. The…

City Hangout - Post-Second Surge Lodhi Garden, Central Delhi

City Hangout – Post-Second Surge Lodhi Garden, Central Delhi

In the light of a tragedy. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] A masked man on a bench. Behind, a centuries-old stone tomb. All around, grass and trees. No other human to be seen. Wandering in Lodhi Garden, a…

City Hangout - Bench by the Tree, Shivaji Bus Terminus

City Hangout – Bench by the Tree, Shivaji Bus Terminus

Back to the bench. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The sun’s glare is blinding, but here it feels like an unconfirmed rumour. The leafy tree is doubling up as an ample parasol. Make the bench on this cool…

City Hangout - Daylight Magic, Hazrat Chirag Delhi

City Hangout – Daylight Magic, Hazrat Chirag Delhi

A light touch. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Daylight’s so common—it is everywhere. One ends up taking it for granted. And in Delhi’s dreadful summer, daylight can be downright hostile. But there’s one place in the city where…

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,…