City Hangout - Braid Shopping, Chitli Qabar Bazar

City Hangout – Braid Shopping, Chitli Qabar Bazar

The hanging parandas. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Bangles, rusks (they are Delhi’s best rusks!), malai wali chai, flower sehras for brides and grooms, carrot halwa (including the rare white carrot halwa), wall clocks, bullet coffee (only in…

City Hangout - Book Adda, Daryaganj

City Hangout – Book Adda, Daryaganj

Alibaba’s cave. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The Oscar for Delhi’s most exciting bookstore goes to… why tell others, why share the booty? Book Adda, since 2014, is among a handful of used bookstores lining a stretch of…

City Neighbourhood - Anjuman Chowk, Old Delhi

City Neighbourhood – Anjuman Chowk, Old Delhi

Heart of the world. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Anjuman Chowk is the center of the world. This belief is firmly instilled into the sensibilities of the Anjuman Chowk gentry. After all, almost all the galis that matter…

City Landmark - Nizamuddin's Curio Corner, Metropole Market

City Landmark – Nizamuddin’s Curio Corner, Metropole Market

Alibaba’s cave. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] A painted portrait of King “George Pancham” at the Delhi durbar. A Romeo y Julieta cigar box from pre-revolution Cuba. A helicopter model from some unspecified country. A metallic telephone with…

City Hangout - 32 Parks, Hazrat Nizamuddin East

City Hangout – 32 Parks, Hazrat Nizamuddin East

Neighbourhood of gardens. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Found, a bench bearing a most unusual dedication. Found, a huge cat. Found, a serene Buddha. Each of these is in a different park. But all three parks are in…

City Hangout - Lodhi Garden in White Light, Central Delhi

City Hangout – Lodhi Garden in White Light, Central Delhi

Lodhi’s light ages. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The green of the green hedges is coated in a semi-transparent film of white. So is the grass on the baldy lawn. Tonight’s moon is super-generous, liberally bestowing its white…

City Neighbourhood - Katra Baan Wale, Old Delhi

City Neighbourhood – Katra Baan Wale, Old Delhi

A place-name in the Walled City. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] In the old days in Old Delhi, Purani Dilli wale would have beds of baan, strings made of “munj” or “kans” plants. These beds were called charpai,…

City Landmark - Anil Book Corner, Connaught Place

City Landmark – Anil Book Corner, Connaught Place

The friend around the corner. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Volga river is in Russia. Connaught Place (CP) too had its Volga, the restaurant. A denim showroom exists on the site. Also a part of CP’s history: Gaylord…

City Hangout - India Habitat Center Architecture, Lodhi Road

City Hangout – India Habitat Center Architecture, Lodhi Road

So Stein. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Head to the tranquil atrium at the India Habitat Centre (IHC). Enter through gate 2. Make sure you reach around 10.15am, when the morning shift staffers are sprucing up the courtyard…

City Hangout - Blue Chai, Kale Tea Stall

City Hangout – Blue Chai, Kale Tea Stall

The street of the tailor’s needle. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Winter in, blue out. Neela aasman kho gaya—the blue sky is lost. Soon the air above Delhi will be all grey, dusty, smoggy, cold. Indeed, in our…