City Library - Shalini Bahadur's Books, Gurgaon

City Library – Shalini Bahadur’s Books, Gurgaon

Life with books. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] She woke up very early in her Gurgaon condo the morning after prime minister’s first speech on janta curfew, the one that preempted the much-longer coronavirus-ridden lockdown. By 6.15 am,…

City Library - Sikander Aaquil’s Lockdown Reading, New Palam Vihar

City Library – Sikander Aaquil’s Lockdown Reading, New Palam Vihar

Finding Geeta. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Sikander Aaquil’s work has come to a grinding halt. A building contractor, he can no longer oversee the construction of private houses — though he does spend some time every day…

City Library - Shakespearean Jonathan Gil Harris's Books, Hauz Khas

City Library – Shakespearean Jonathan Gil Harris’s Books, Hauz Khas

A vanishing world. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Yes, finally discovered! A Delhi library with arguably the best collection dealing with Shakespeare. Not at the British Council. Nor even the ample library of Karol Bagh’s Rupin Walter Desai…

City Library – Krishna Prasad Jain’s Books, Vasant Vihar

City Library – Krishna Prasad Jain’s Books, Vasant Vihar

A vanishing world. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Here you shall find Milan Kundera’s classic novel personally inscribed by him. Also the first edition of Midnight Children, duly signed by Salman Rushdie. Krishna Prasad Jain, 80, owns this…

City Library - Information Center Library, Connaught Place

City Library – Information Center Library, Connaught Place

A city secret. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Many of the shelves are simply empty, but occasional visitors do turn up anyway at the Information Center Library tucked away in the city’s busy Outer Circle in the colonial-era…

City Library - British Council, Kasturba Gandhi Road

City Library – British Council, Kasturba Gandhi Road

A vanishing world. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Here’s just the right place to while away a long horrible summer afternoon—for free. But, to be fair, the books at British Council also tempt, with a pleasing collection of…

City Library - A Rare Family Bible in Urdu, Pahari Imli

City Library – A Rare Family Bible in Urdu, Pahari Imli

A vanishing world. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Some books are like family heirlooms passed down from one generation to another. And then they get lost and are washed ashore on some other coast. Such is the case…

City Library - Retired Diplomat TCA Raghavan's Books, CR Park

City Library – Retired Diplomat TCA Raghavan’s Books, CR Park

A vanishing world. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The Delhi Walla kinda knows what diplomats do for a living. But what happens after they retire? In the case of TCA Raghavan, he’s managed to write two books so…

City Library - Jane Austenite Manisha Saluja's Library, Inderpuri

City Library – Jane Austenite Manisha Saluja’s Library, Inderpuri

A vanishing world. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Happy disorder. Viable anarchy. Enticing mishmash. Call it what you want, but the fact remains that finding a book in her private library is like looking for a needle in…

City Library - Late Leila Seth's Private Study, Noida Sector 15A

City Library – Late Leila Seth’s Private Study, Noida Sector 15A

A vanishing world. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The Delhi Walla is in the private study of Justice Leila Seth, who died four months ago (5 May 2017). This quiet room, redolent with memory, “was her heart and…