City Home - Fareed Mirza, Bazar Shah Abul Khair Marg

Old home glossary. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Suburb-like flats are taking over Old Delhi’s traditional makaan, or houses. Here’s a glossary of domestic spaces soon to be lost to legends. This afternoon, building material merchant Fareed Mirza…

Mission Delhi - Gayatri Devi, Near Gandhi Market

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] One jar is filled with mouth freshners. Another has cigarettes. A red pack has tobacco powder. Another packet is full with beedis. These are neatly…

Mission Delhi - Mannu, Chelmsford Road

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Is that TGV? It exactly resembles that iconic high-speed intercity French train, the equivalent of our iconic Shatabdi Express. This likeness of the European super-fast…

City Food - Basti Bakeries, Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti

Taste of a place. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The air in the galli embraces you with an aroma of fresh badam cakes, butter kaju paape, cream rolls and the crispy toasted suji rusks. The unnamed street is…

City Monument - Unnamed Mosque, Lodhi Garden

Ruin’s shade. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Let us go then to Lodhi Garden, you and I, when the evening is spread out against the sky. Here, you may watch the sun slowly dunk down behind the grass-topped…

City Walk - Gali Wazir Beg, Old Delhi

The Old Delhi dictionary. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] So tough to dig into the backstories of Walled City gallis and kuchas. Take Kucha Bulaki Begum—who was this begum? Or take Galli Wazir Beg—who was he? Oh well,…

City Food - Upender Tea Stall, Shyam Bhawan

In silence and shade. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] On the tall slab: a stove, a (gigantic) kettle, a few jars filled with sugar, chai patti and other tea things. And there is a low table too, topped…

City Landmark - Muhammed Sabir's Dupatta Shop, Sir Syyed Ahmad Street

A rare stall. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Purple, green, brown, blue, red, black, grey, mustard green, cream, white… the colours are lying in folded heaps. Some are hanging from hooks. These colours are accumulated here in multitudinous…

Mission Delhi - Pankaj Kumar Manji, Lodhi Road

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Perhaps the most picturesque walking track in the entire Delhi region is the tree-lined Lodhi Road. The walk begins from Safdarjung’s Tomb, goes past the…

City Walk - Defence Colony Flyover, South Delhi

Greenland. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The window panes are broken. Inside, the room is as dark as moonless midnight. The other windows on the wall are similarly dilapidated. Nobody lives in the building. It is deserted. So…