City Hangout - W-Block Park, Greater Kailash-I

City Hangout – W-Block Park, Greater Kailash-I

City escape. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The appeal of this place rests on a paradox. Parts of W-Block Park are a dusty terrain, so very bleak that it somehow conveys a kind of surreal beauty. Or so…

City Hangout - The Monsoon Bucket List, Around Town

City Hangout – The Monsoon Bucket List, Around Town

Season’s getaways. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] As Delhi prepares to welcome another monsoon, here are places in the city where you can feel the season most intensely. Happy rains. History spot Carry along a thermos of piping-hot…

City Hangout - Plant's Shade, Palika Bazaar Park

City Hangout – Plant’s Shade, Palika Bazaar Park

Summer escape. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] One of the very best places to cool off in Delhi isn’t an air-conditioned mall. Nor some lovely monument in a park offering shade. It’s not even a tree. But instead,…

City Hangout - Live Music Hotspots, Paharganj

City Hangout – Live Music Hotspots, Paharganj

A world inside a world. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] So this is Delhi’s hidden Europe. That is, if you believe in the title of a recent Bollywood thriller, Paharganj—The Little Amsterdam of India. The central Delhi district—especially…

City Hangout - Bird Feeding Pilgrimage, Hamdard Chowk

City Hangout – Bird Feeding Pilgrimage, Hamdard Chowk

To the communion. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It’s a hot muggy morning and these three supplicants are devoutly praying. Not in a temple but at a Central Delhi traffic island teeming with pigeons. The devotees now open…

City Hangout - Public Park, Greater Kailash Enclave-I

City Hangout – Public Park, Greater Kailash Enclave-I

Shakespeare’s garden. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Any number of public parks in our fair city can look downright dreamy in early evening. Stepping into south Delhi’s Greater Kailash Enclave-I around 8pm is, however, rather like entering a…

City Hangout - Ram Vilas's Chai Shop, Civil Lines, Gurgaon

City Hangout – Ram Vilas’s Chai Shop, Civil Lines, Gurgaon

Summer refuge. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Some creatures survive a season’s extremity by escaping its soul-sucking fangs. Like the opportunistic Siberian cranes who dump their icy winter-time Siberia for the sunnier climes of our India. And you…

City Hangout - Accessible-to-All Garden, Members-Only IIC

City Hangout – Accessible-to-All Garden, Members-Only IIC

Space for all. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The vibes can be foreboding at the India International Center (IIC). All those security guards. All those spaces you’re not permitted to enter unless you’re a member (or in this…

City Neighbourhood - Empress Razia Sultan's Locality, Bulbuli Khana

City Neighbourhood – Empress Razia Sultan’s Locality, Bulbuli Khana

Razia’s area. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Such narrow streets. Such broken rutty paths. And this happens to be a queen’s address. Who was the only female ruler of the Delhi Sultanate. The way to Razia Sultan’s grave…

City Hangout - Ramzan Nights, Zakir Nagar

City Hangout – Ramzan Nights, Zakir Nagar

Fasting, shopping, feasting. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Ramzan 2019 starts this week. This is a month in which the Muslims believe that the Quran was sent down from heaven. To purify their inner and outer selves, followers…