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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: 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

Delhiwale: Stories of stones

Delhi's monuments tell tales of power and tragedy: three tombs, linked by a single story of betrayal and revenge, offer a glimpse into Mughal history and architecture.

A stone screen at Atgah Khan’s tomb in Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti. (HT Photo)
Updated on Apr 16, 2024 05:56 AM IST

Delhiwale: This way to Pratap Street

Old Delhi's eerie Pratap Street, deserted on Eid, reveals suburban hints and forgotten stories. Former ironing lady Malti Devi is now a myth.

Pratap Street, behind the Golcha Cinema building in Daryaganj. (HT Photo)
Updated on Apr 13, 2024 06:02 AM IST

Delhiwale: Long live game wali kulfi

Meet Nizam, a humble kulfi vendor in Delhi, carrying on the tradition of game wali kulfi. His cart offers a chance to win kulfi sticks by playing a simple game.

Among the last flag-bearers of an almost vanished summertime tradition. (HT Photo)
Updated on Apr 12, 2024 06:10 AM IST

Delhiwale: For the record

Shah Music Centre had hundreds of LPs. The founder’s grandson Syed Zafar Shah quietly moved the heritage shop from Meena Bazar to Netaji Subhash Marg in Daryaganj

This is a more comfortable space to browse the shop’s vast archive of music records, continually replenished from cities across the country. (HT Photo)
Updated on Apr 10, 2024 06:02 AM IST

Delhiwale: Shani’s peepal

Once upon a time, very long ago, a Walled City gali was home to a community of citizens called dakot. They workshopped Shani Dev

All across Delhi traffic lights, any commuter who has to be out on a Saturday, or Shaniwar. (HT photo)
Updated on Apr 09, 2024 07:52 AM IST

Delhiwale: This way to Gali Gudaryan

Gali Gudaryan in Walled City is a mix of silent corners and bustling workshops. Once a hub for mattress stuffing, now home to envelope makers and more.

Six men working at a cramped envelope-making workshop in Gali Gudaryan. (HT Photo)
Updated on Apr 06, 2024 04:37 PM IST

Delhiwale: Summertime sensations

Thanda paani trolleys, street hawkers, shikanji kiosks, and early mango stalls are back. A sugarcane juice stall in Gurugram and a unique ice-cream vendor mark the shift to summer.

Sugarcane juice in Gurugram. (HT Photo)
Updated on Apr 05, 2024 06:12 AM IST

Delhiwale: Summer’s underground clubs

Boys jump into a baoli in Delhi, recalling summers past. Baolis, ancient stepwells, offer cool refuge in the city's scorching heat.

Celebrating the monuments to water. (HT Photo)
Updated on Apr 04, 2024 06:22 AM IST

Delhiwale: In cold red

Delhi's red sandstone monuments contrast with the red sherbet of Rooh Afza, a soul enhancer rooted in Purani Dilli's history. A refreshing drink with a rich past.

The sherbet was prepared from the extracts of spinach, watermelon, endive, khas-khas grass, coriander seed, damask rose, etc (HT photo)
Updated on Apr 03, 2024 07:08 AM IST

Delhiwale: Midnight’s lane

Discover the hidden beauty in the ordinary streets of Delhi's Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti at midnight, where light and shadows create a mystical ambiance.

The congested enclave of Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti is a warren of lanes where unusual panoramas pop up in the most common locales. (HT Photo)
Updated on Apr 02, 2024 01:29 PM IST

Delhiwale: Fasting with khajla

During Ramadan, the sweet flaky khajla resembles a deep-fried moon, a popular delicacy in Delhi's eateries during sehri.

Rustled out of maida and ghee, the sweet flaky khajla pops up briefly each year, during ramzan, when Muslims fast from dawn to dusk. (HT Photo)
Updated on Apr 02, 2024 01:23 PM IST

Delhiwale: This way to Gali Mandir Wali

The Walled City dictionary: As part of our ‘Walled City dictionary’ series, that is chronicling every Old Delhi street

The temple of Gali Mandir Wali, in Kucha Chelan, opens only in mornings and evenings. (HT Photo)
Published on Apr 02, 2024 01:16 PM IST

Delhiwale: 12 notes on two bougainvilleas

Observations in a Delhi park: Two bougainvillea trees in full bloom, friends celebrating a birthday, and other bougainvillea sightings in the city.

Two side-by-side bougainvillea trees in Lodhi Garden, close to the duck pond. (HT Photo)
Updated on Mar 29, 2024 03:57 PM IST

Delhiwale: Into a rafoogar’s heart

Inam Khan, a rafoogar from Khureji, specializes in darning torn clothes in Old Delhi. He dreams of bringing his life back to its former glory in Najibabad.

Inam Khan outside a dry cleaning establishment on Sir Syed Road in Old Delhi. (HT photo)
Updated on Mar 28, 2024 05:36 AM IST

Delhiwale: Citizen Shabana

Shabana, a mother of three, navigates Delhi's streets collecting discards with her children in tow. Her husband's injury has made her the sole breadwinner.

Shabana is on a road with her children following her. (HT Photo)
Updated on Mar 27, 2024 06:12 AM IST

Delhiwale: Talking of colours

Delhi's District Park in Hauz Khas Village is about to be adorned with striking shades of red as pilkhan trees dress up in new leaves, resembling a Holi celebration.

Pilkhans typically start shedding in February. The most extravagant pilkhan spectacle unfolds in the District Park, Hauz Khas village. (HT Photo)
Updated on Mar 26, 2024 02:17 PM IST

Delhiwale: This way to Haveli Azam Khan

The Walled City dictionary — As part of our ‘Walled City dictionary’ series, that is chronicling every Old Delhi locality

Haveli Azam Khan is said to have been the site of the haveli of a Mughal-era noble called Azam Khan. (HT Photo)
Updated on Mar 23, 2024 05:15 PM IST

Delhiwale: The seller of diaries

Nitin Kumar sells diaries near R.K. Ashram metro station to fund his studies and pursue his dream of becoming a police officer, breaking a family tradition.

Nitin Kumar got the idea of such a stall way back in 2014 when he first arrived in Delhi and spotted a pavement establishment stocked with diaries in Mukherjee Nagar. (Mayank Austen Soofi)
Updated on Mar 22, 2024 03:21 PM IST

Delhiwale: Chronicling the march of time

Purani Dilli's historic quarter is undergoing profound changes, from new buildings to personal transitions, altering the fabric of daily life.

A wall on Shah Abul Khair street has been painted over with drawings of old-style doorways and arches. (HT Photo)
Updated on Mar 21, 2024 05:22 AM IST

Delhiwale: Farewell to Sona

The mysterious disappearance and tragic fate of the handsome dog Sona, who was a beloved resident of a Ghaziabad apartment complex, leaves his human friends in sorrow.

Sona was looked after by the residents of Vasundhara Valley Apartments. (HT Photo)
Updated on Mar 20, 2024 05:48 AM IST

Delhiwale: Gearing up for Holi

Spring in Delhi brings a burst of colors with flowers like kachnar, Caribbean Trumpet, and bougainvillea. Even the city's public spaces are painted in vibrant hues ahead of the late Holi festival on March 25.

A woman drives past a tree with yellow flowers, likely to be the Caribbean Trumpet, which is believed to have been brought to Delhi in the 1970s. Its peak flowering shall arrive next month. (HT Photo)
Updated on Mar 19, 2024 05:42 AM IST

Delhiwale: New in HKV

Delhi's newest bookstore, Promenade Books in Hauz Khas village, revives the spirit of the area's rich literary past with rare and forgotten titles, events, and a vibrant atmosphere.

Delhi’s newest bookstore opened ten days ago. (HT Photo)
Updated on Mar 18, 2024 05:50 AM IST

Delhiwale: This way to Gali Mazar Wali

The 'Walled City dictionary' series explores Old Delhi streets. Gali Mazar Wali features a mysterious grave, surrounded by legends and colorful signages.

A grave with a chessboard pattern of green and white tiles flanks the entrance of Gali Mazar Wali. The identity of who is buried in this grave has been lost to time. (HT Photo)
Updated on Mar 16, 2024 06:16 AM IST

Delhiwale: Peepal watching

Delhi's peepal trees are shedding leaves in a unique pattern, signaling the onset of dry months. Some are bare, some are sprouting new leaves, creating a moody yet surreal landscape in the city.

Outside Kamla Market clock tower (the clock doesn’t work), a completely leafy peepal stands beside a completely leafless peepal. (HT Photo)
Updated on Mar 15, 2024 05:55 PM IST

Delhiwale: Two Paharganj shots

Paharganj's Madan Café and Café Festa offer a serene escape from the hustle, serving delicious vegetarian dishes with a touch of nostalgia and artistic flair.

A diner in Café Festa sportingly invited café staffer Anand for a video chat with a friend. (HT photo)
Updated on Mar 14, 2024 02:31 PM IST

Delhiwale: His story in history

Cab driver Taran Pal Singh's routine drive is interrupted by a call about his family's pre-partition roots, revealing a hidden connection to Rawalpindi.

Cab driver Taran Pal Singh’s both sets of grandparents were from pre-Partition Rawalpindi. (HT Photo)
Updated on Mar 13, 2024 02:48 PM IST

Delhiwale: The hajamat arbour

Anwar's serene pavement stall under a luscious banyan tree in central Delhi offers haircuts and shaves. A unique haven amidst the bustling city life.

Anwar’s pavement stall beside central Delhi’s Gole Market is austere. (HT Photo)
Updated on Mar 12, 2024 06:04 AM IST
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