City Hangout - Shidipura Graveyard, Near Filmistan Cinema

City Hangout – Shidipura Graveyard, Near Filmistan Cinema

A lonely planet. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The world is so much at turbulence. But here, all is at peace. Which isn’t surprising for this is a graveyard. Shidipura Qabristan, near Filmistan Cinema in central Delhi, isn’t…

City Hangout - Atik Rehman's "Antique Shop", Galli Chooriwallan

City Hangout – Atik Rehman’s “Antique Shop”, Galli Chooriwallan

Place of recent collectibles. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Until a year ago, this place was a professional bawarchi’s (cook’s) kitchen. You would see tubs full of onion rings. On some evenings, the street outside would be lined…

City Hangout - Hanuman Mandir Plaza, Connaught Place

City Hangout – Hanuman Mandir Plaza, Connaught Place

The pandemic-era bustle. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The small room of Future Point Computer Horoscope is open for business. And so is Kakoo Kachori Wale, the snack shop beside it. The other establishments here are more makeshift…

City Hangout - Monsoon Stroll, Hauz Khas Lake

City Hangout – Monsoon Stroll, Hauz Khas Lake

Rainy season pilgrimage. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] On one recent evening, after a heavy downpour, one of the Lodhi Garden lawns filled up with water like a reservoir. To stand by it was like being in that…

City Hangout - DDA Park, Mathura Road

City Hangout – DDA Park, Mathura Road

A discreet enclosure. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] These days, it is difficult to recommend a place outside home that offers physical distancing possibilities. One comes close. But there are many buts about this place. It is thick…

City Hangout - Brijendra Jain's Mask Stall, Chawri Bazar

City Hangout – Brijendra Jain’s Mask Stall, Chawri Bazar

New faces in town. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] You probably won’t spot such a wide range of quirky and cheap masks in online shopping sites. Neither in the upscale Khan Market, where a Front Lane store has…

City Hangout - Unnamed Lake, Sunder Nursery

City Hangout – Unnamed Lake, Sunder Nursery

Reflected beauty. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Some places evoke ethereal poems that have never been written, but which you’ve always been looking for in poetry anthologies. One of them is just here, in your own city, an…

City Hangout - Chacha Chaiwale, Haveli Bakhtavar Street

City Hangout – Chacha Chaiwale, Haveli Bakhtavar Street

A hyperlocal tea house. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] He can easily pass off as a barista serving the poetic world of ghazals and nazms. Seated beside his coffee machine, the gracious-seeming man in long beard is wearing…

City Hangout - Peepal Tree & Sant Lal's Tea Stall, East of Kailash Enclave

City Hangout – Peepal Tree & Sant Lal’s Tea Stall, East of Kailash Enclave

Landmarks in corona. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The lockdown has eased. One has to get used to stepping out of the house carefully (gloves and mask) and to get acquainted again with the city’s little nooks and…

City Hangout - The Missing Ramzan 2020, Hazrat Nizamuddin's Dargah & Old Delhi

City Hangout – The Missing Ramzan 2020, Hazrat Nizamuddin’s Dargah & Old Delhi

Landmarks in corona. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Ramzan 2020 is ending this week. Yesterday was Alwida (farewell) Jumma, the last Friday of a sacred month in which the Muslims believe that the Quran was sent down from…