City Obituary - Haji Faiyazuddin, Old Delhi

Life of a gentleman. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] If you were to visit him after a prolonged period, he would frown at you with stern eyes, but his face would instantly dissolve into a welcoming smile. Haji…

Mission Delhi - Saumya Mallika Mathur, Noida

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] She lives with Hayati, her cat. This is her parents’ house in Noida’s Sector 19. Both passed away last year. Sitting in the bedroom, Saumya…

City Neighbourhood - Pandemic Postcard, Hauz Khas Village

Juxtaposition of beauty and tragedy. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] The evening breeze is cool. The blue sky is darkening. A pale moon has already surfaced. The air is filled with the incessant sound of ambulance sirens. The…

Mission Delhi - Nazm Kaur, New Colony, Sector 7

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] If this doesn’t work out, then maybe she can do something else — but no. Nazm Kaur has no plan B. Neither do her parents,…

City Moment - Prayer Witnessed, Outside Jama Masjid Gate No. 2

A Delhi instant. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It is morning and the newspaper vendor, passing on his bicycle, is carrying front pages filled with dreadful news on Covid-19. The narrow lane is otherwise empty of people more…

Mission Delhi - Om Kumar, Sector 14, Gurgaon

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] He is 13, old enough to realise that “eating my favourite veg pizza is not wise these days”. A typical pizza is expensive, Om Kumar…

City Food - Deepak Namkeen and Papad Store, Subzi Mandi, Gurgaon

The world of salty savouries. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] You might never know the names of all the birds, or all the flowers, or all the trees, or all the constellations in the sky. But to learn…

City Life - Veeru Bhai's Self-Made Cart, Central Delhi

Life of the cart. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Carts are regular sights in this city of street hawkers. Usually they are but a broad plank of wood plonked over four wheels. But Veeru Bhai’s fruit cart—or thela,…

City Landmark - Unknown Grave, Near Humayun's Tomb

A roadside resting place. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It lies by the roadside, looking abandoned, ringed by weedy bushes and by hints of all sorts of litter and hidden lives crawling within. This striking-looking stone grave, in…

City Walk - Main Avenue, CR Park

The Bengal country. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The men look carefree, playing cards by the pavement. The vegetable seller is napping by his cart. A balloon hawker is slowly dragging his bicycle and the helium balloons, tied…