City Home - Saira Bano & Family, Gali Chandi Wali

Home sweet home [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] An entire household is contained in this room. This household contains a life that has largely disappeared. The second floor apartment in Old Delhi’s Gali Chandi Wali houses a family…

City Season - Sky Watching, Gurgaon

Season’s scenes [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The sleek Rapid Metro train is sliding noiselessly along the elevated tracks. The glass windows of the high-rises are gleaming under the noonday sun. And tufts of greying clouds are wafting…

City Hangout - The Book Hub, Batla House

Shop of used books [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The tiny basement room is crammed with just too many writers. A perfect place for bookworms to burrow into the delicious smells of musty well-thumbed pages. The Book Hub…

City Walk - Kucha Neelkanth, Old Delhi

The place of the blue-throated [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] At the time of the churning of the Ocean of Milk, the giant serpent Vasuki — who was being used as a rope, the mountain Mandara being the…

City Food - Kulhar Chai, Juhi's Tea

Tea while lounging. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Poor Paris. That city has many sidewalk cafés, with awnings sheltering the patrons from rain and sunshine. But not one serving chai in earthen kulhar. Delhi, be proud. Here’s a…

Mission Delhi - Rashmi Gautam, South Delhi

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] She approaches the passerby with cool composed confidence. He looks hassled. Her face all smiles, she shows him a pamphlet-like thing she is holding in…

City Food - Kallan Bawarchi, Matia Mahal

Landmark kitchen. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The potbellied cauldrons. The long metal ladles. The platters with chopped green chillies. The smoke-blackened walls. Air smelling of elaichi, laung, mirchi, pyaz, adrak, lehsun. Here is the timeless world of…

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Labourer Salman Abbas, Around Town

The parlour confession. [By Mayank Austen Soofi] Salman Abbas’s day is full of physically exhausting work. In between assignments, the young labourer lies down on the long wooden bench of his employer’s warehouse in central Delhi, and instantly falls into…

City Food - Hello to the Queen, Paharganj

Homage to the Queen. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The queen died. Nobody can say with certainty if Hello to the Queen was named after her. Even so, treating yourself to this unusual dessert would have been one…

City Food - Panditji Doodhwale, Near Galli Sooiwallan Street

Milky way. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The peepal tree in Old Delhi’s Tiraha Behram Khan oozes out vibes of steadfast reassurance. So much is changing so furiously, but it continues to stand at its appointed place, like…