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Mayank Austen Soofi

Mayank Austen Soofi is a writer-snapper trying to capture Delhi by heart.

Articles by Mayank Austen Soofi

Delhiwale: Working in extreme heat

Delhi's auto rickshaw drivers combat the scorching summer heat with creative solutions like wet cloths and cardboard roofs, taking breaks to escape the sun.

Shiv Kumar halts his autorickshaw to drink water. (HT Photo)
Updated on May 27, 2024 06:32 AM IST

Delhiwale: Into a bookseller’s soul

Delhi's Paharganj once had many bookstores, now only Jacksons Books remains with a rich selection of books in various languages. Deepak Dialani shares his preferences and experiences.

Deepak Dialani, who founded the Jacksons Books shop in Paharga in 1996 (HT Photo)
Updated on May 24, 2024 07:34 AM IST

Delhiwale: This way to Pahari Imli

In the heart of Pahari Imli, the legacy of Muhammed Rafi lives on through tailors at Bhai Majid's karkhana. Naseem Mirza's rich history is now carried by his descendants.

The serpentine walkways of Pahari Imli, the tamarind hill, occasionally punctuates with brief flights of staircases, chipped and broken in places. (HT Photo)
Updated on May 23, 2024 04:20 PM IST

Delhiwale: Voices from 40 plus degrees

Despite the scorching heatwave, many citizens continue working outdoors, finding ways to cope, from drinking sherbet to seeking shade.

A street vendor and his customer converse during the punishing heat. (HT photo)
Updated on May 23, 2024 04:12 PM IST

Delhiwale: Maximum Millennium City

Nobel prize winner Alice Munro's words on complexity apply to Gurugram, where old structures like "makaan" and "bangla" reveal layers of history and modernity.

The derelict house in Sadar Bazar area is so damaged that today it is but an assortment of fragments (HT Photo)
Updated on May 23, 2024 03:58 PM IST

Delhiwale: Ice, in long form

Artistic souls find beauty in ordinary experiences. Delhi's shikanji vendors turn a simple drink into an art form with their ice-cold concoctions.

A summertime shikanji wale in Old Delhi. (HT Photo)
Updated on May 23, 2024 06:50 AM IST

Delhiwale: Ruskin Bond’s unchanging Dilli

Celebrating Ruskin Bond's 90th birthday! From his childhood in Delhi to his beloved hill station, his life is a tapestry of memories and stories.

Ruskin Bond at his home in Landour in Mussoorie. (HT Photo)
Updated on May 21, 2024 05:44 AM IST

Delhiwale: The unseen side of Sunday Book Bazar

Delhi's Sunday Book Bazar is a treasure trove for booklovers. Bookseller Manish Kapoor's home is filled with valuable first editions, cared for by the whole family.

Manish Kapoor with Rashmi, and daughter Nandini, a school student. (HT Photo)
Updated on May 17, 2024 05:44 AM IST

Delhiwale: Man with the accordion

Accordion man statue in South Extension I plaza attracts thoughtful citizens amidst lazy dogs and discarded items. Guard complains of vandalism. Other statues from G20 Summit missing.

Tulsi Ram next to the accordion man in South Extension I. (HT Photo)
Updated on May 16, 2024 06:06 AM IST

Delhiwale: The Kalan Mahal saudade

The Kalan Mahal in Old Delhi holds hidden beauty in its derelict balconies, evoking a sense of saudade. A poignant reminder of a bygone era.

A balcony fenced with a metal jaali in Chandni Chowk. (HT Photo)
Updated on May 15, 2024 05:58 AM IST

Delhiwale: Two peepal

In central Delhi, amidst a jungle of 252 tree species, two peepal trees stand regal, serving as a bus terminus and a refuge for city dwellers and travelers alike.

An upcoming hospital building is seen through foliage of two roadside peepal trees on Asaf Ali Marg. (HT Photo)
Updated on May 14, 2024 05:36 AM IST

Delhiwale: Rajpur Road and environs

A dilapidated bungalow on Rajpur Road in North Delhi's Civil Lines stands uninhabited, surrounded by affluent serenity and curious glimpses of local life.

Rajpur Road and its nearby avenues are swathed in affluent serenity. (HT Photo)
Updated on May 13, 2024 04:10 PM IST

Delhiwale: This way to Netaji Subhas Marg

Netaji Subhas Marg, from Dilli Gate to Lothian Road, is a historic road in Delhi with eateries like Moti Mahal and Mehta’s known for their iconic dishes.

Netaji Subhas Marg is named after freedom fighter Subhas Chandra Bose. (HT Photo)
Updated on May 13, 2024 04:07 PM IST

Delhiwale: ‘Room boy’ and his world

Sunny Guest House in Connaught Place, a lasting institution, has Murari Lal as its longtime "room boy" since 1985. It continues to survive amid changing times.

The Sunny Guest House is more than fifty years old. The upper-floor lodge is a lesser-known but lasting CP institution. (HT Photo)
Updated on May 13, 2024 04:04 PM IST

Delhiwale: The zila Ghaziabad Amaltas

Zila Ghaziabad holds a rare oasis with two trees, including an amaltas in bloom. The empty lot faces real estate development, symbolizing disappearing green spaces in Delhi.

Zila Ghaziabad is no desert. It is full of trees and a river. (HT photo)
Updated on May 09, 2024 06:40 AM IST

Delhiwale: Fakeer gets frank

Masti Anna Zaman, a barefoot ascetic living in Delhi, calls himself a fakeer. He collects ornaments during pilgrimages and values companionship, football, and punctuality.

Masti Anna Zaman is originally from Tripura. (HT Photo)
Updated on May 08, 2024 05:14 AM IST

Delhiwale: New time for timeless Turkman

In Old Delhi's Turkman Gate Bazar, a new wall clock overlooks a mysterious grave, as the chai man Moinuddin watches over the area.

The lush banyan tree stands by the old marble grave. (HT Photo)
Updated on May 07, 2024 04:40 PM IST

Delhiwale: A ‘risala’ walla

Frail Abu Noman sustains heritage literature with Rehnuma-e-Taleem Jadeed. Walking to meet contributors, he personally manages the monthly Urdu journal's production and distribution.

Abu Noman is the editor-publisher of the literary minded Rehnuma-e-Taleem Jadeed. (HT Photo)
Updated on May 07, 2024 04:36 PM IST

Delhiwale: The Imperial pink

In Paharganj, the closed Imperial Cinema stands as a fading relic of the past, amidst Covid closures. The building's history and decay reflect the changing times.

The Imperial Cinema in Paharganj closed in 2015. (HT Photo)
Updated on May 07, 2024 04:32 PM IST

Delhiwale: This way to Gali Manihar Wali

Glimpse into the past of Lahore's Walled City reveals how time has transformed its streets, like Gali Choori Walan, now home to a paper bag maker.

Delhiwale: This way to Gali Manihar Wali
Updated on May 04, 2024 05:22 AM IST

Delhiwale: Amaltas alert

Golden-yellow Amaltas trees in full bloom across Delhi mark the onset of summer. From Hailey Road to Hauz Khas, experience the beauty of these vibrant flowers.

An Amaltas tree in bloom beside a signboard on Mathura Road. (HT Photo)
Updated on May 02, 2024 05:52 AM IST

Delhiwale: Neera’s ‘babies’

Neera Chopra, a proud alumnus of Lucknow’s Loreto Convent, finds joy in her collection of adenium flowers that bring pink to her life in Delhi.

Neera Chopra feels most possessive about her collection of adeniums. (HT Photo)
Updated on Apr 30, 2024 11:56 PM IST

Delhiwale: ‘Jagat mummy’

Shree Kumari Pandey, a woman who lived a rich and full life, passed away at 97. Survived by her children, she was a cherished figure known as "mummy" to many.

Shree Kumari Pandey died on Thursday, aged 97. (HT Photo)
Updated on Apr 30, 2024 06:10 AM IST

Delhiwale: Summer’s rare treat

Rare roller wali ice-cream cart in Delhi serves fresh fruity treats. Brothers Shahrukh and Aamir create mouth-watering ice-cream with fruit pulp and chunks.

Delhiwale: Summer’s rare treat
Updated on Apr 29, 2024 05:01 PM IST

Delhiwale: Tiles in a subway

Taak, a disappearing element of Delhi’s architecture, is recreated in a two-dimensional representation of tiles in an underground tunnel.

The subway connecting SDA Market to IIT Delhi. (HT Photo)
Updated on Apr 25, 2024 06:00 AM IST

Delhiwale: Remembrance of phones past

Exorcist Syed Nabi Ahmed's transition from a black rotary dial to a modern landline phone symbolizes a shift in traditions in Old Delhi.

Nabi Ahmad’s modern phone is placed exactly where the old phone was—beside his late brother’s black-and-white portrait. (HT Photo)
Updated on Apr 23, 2024 06:46 AM IST

Delhiwale: Sadar’s 5-star tour

Discover the hidden gems of Old Gurugram's food scene in Sadar Bazar! From crispy jalebis to flavorful chhole kulche, these five spots are a must-visit.

The Sardar Jalebi shop in old Gurugram has been selling jalebis for more than 70 years. (HT Photo)
Updated on Apr 22, 2024 07:44 AM IST

Delhiwale: Learning to see a new landmark

New landmark Sahibabad station enriches Ghaziabad's architecture. Part of Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut RRTS, it stands out with futuristic design and nearby colonial-era bridge.

Opened late last year, the gigantic Sahibabad station is part of the under-construction Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System, which for the time connects Sahibabad to Modinagar North. (HT photo)
Updated on Apr 19, 2024 06:38 AM IST

Delhiwale: Into Reshma’s heart

Reshma, a transgender singer and dancer, shares her thoughts on life and happiness while getting her hair done in a barbershop in the Walled City.

Reshma, attired in a green salwar suit and an unmatching dupatta, in a Walled City barbershop. (HT Photo)
Updated on Apr 18, 2024 05:50 AM IST

Delhiwale: Chicken Corner and a bookstore

Iconic bookstores in Delhi like Maktaba Jamia Limited are being replaced by other businesses, like Chicken Corner, triggering nostalgia for a bygone era of literary culture.

The Maktaba Jamia Limited bookstore in Old Delhi’s Urdu Bazar has been closed for more than a month, since the beginning of Ramzan. (HT Photo)
Updated on Apr 17, 2024 05:52 AM IST
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