City Hangout - Sunset Bench, Lodhi Gardens

City Hangout – Sunset Bench, Lodhi Gardens

A twilight experience. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It’s just a bench. But right now it is hewn out of the sun’s very soul. This is one of the most thaumaturgic sights in Delhi. The setting is Lodhi…

City Hangout - AIIMS Flyover, South Delhi

City Hangout – AIIMS Flyover, South Delhi

An unlikely haven. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Consisting of sloped mounds, parts of the landscape resemble the sandy Chambal valley ravines that were infamous for sheltering dacoits. But here the crests and troughs of earth are carpeted…

City Hangout - Masjid Udayan, Gurgaon

City Hangout – Masjid Udayan, Gurgaon

A cold-weather friend. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] A man is lying on a bench, wide awake. Some steps away, a chhole-bhature eatery staffer is hurriedly finishing his homemade dal-roti. While a cotton candy hawker, armed with plastic-wrapped…

City Hangout - A Lane in Jatwada, Old Delhi

City Hangout – A Lane in Jatwada, Old Delhi

The Walled City’s essence. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The wall’s blue colour has faded unevenly. In some places, the patches look like a clear blue sky. In other places, they look as if the sky were shrouded…

City Hangout - Rail Track Twilight, Barakhamba Flyover

City Hangout – Rail Track Twilight, Barakhamba Flyover

Sky-filled evening. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The rail tracks seem to extend to the point where the earth touches the sky. Though the earth is pitch dark at this moment in the evening. The sky however has…

City Hangout - District Park, Jasola

City Hangout – District Park, Jasola

By a hospital. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The mere sight of a hospital stirs up our deepest fears. The world around it suddenly seems too carefree, its concerns flimsy. That’s what makes Jasola District Park in south…

City Hangout - Jaiveer Singh’s Covid-Era Chai Stall, Roshanpura

City Hangout – Jaiveer Singh’s Covid-Era Chai Stall, Roshanpura

Hard times. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] His world has reduced. Stacked against a showroom’s glass wall, Jaiveer Singh’s pavement kiosk in Gurgaon’s Roshanpura has lost its joy. This afternoon, the stall seems barely alive. A man is…

City Hangout - BRICS Rose Garden, Chanakyapuri

City Hangout – BRICS Rose Garden, Chanakyapuri

The sky above the park. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] A sea surface dotted with clouds—this is what the blue sky looks like these days. But this view can be experienced only in certain spaces of Delhi, open…

City Hangout - Muhammed Irfan's Chai Stall, Outside Jama Masjid

City Hangout – Muhammed Irfan’s Chai Stall, Outside Jama Masjid

Chai with a view. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The sun is rising behind the distant Red Fort. Its grainy golden shine is falling softly on the centuries-old stone steps of Jama Masjid (gate no. 3). Oblivious to…

City Hangout - 7 pm Monsoon Sky, Barakhamba Traffic Light

City Hangout – 7 pm Monsoon Sky, Barakhamba Traffic Light

Season in the city. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The evening sky is stained in pale but pellucid pink. Such a gauzy shade materialises only by the chance entwining of the monsoon clouds with the setting sun. Meanwhile,…