Delhiwale: Did Snow White live in this aged Delhi mansion?
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Delhiwale: Did Snow White live in this aged Delhi mansion?

An empty mansion in the Walled City intensely evokes a fairy tale heroine and her seven brothers.

delhi Updated: Jul 12, 2018 14:01 IST
Mayank Austen Soofi
Mayank Austen Soofi
Hindustan Times
delhiwale,gali churiwallan,old delhi
Nobody lives in this crumbling mansion in old Delhi’s Gali Churiwallan now. (HT Photo )

It’s as clear as a smog-free daylight that Snow White and her seven brothers lived in old Delhi, more specifically here in Gali Churiwallan.

This aged mansion could have been built only for them.

Count yourself. Seven doors.

Count the balconies, too. Eight—the extra one must be for our heroine.

Truth be told, nobody lives in this picturesquely crumbling house today. The locals indifferently walk past these deliciously discolored weather-bruised doors. They are beautiful but even more beautiful—however objectionable it may sound—are the extraordinarily-elaborate cobwebs clinging to the edges of these doors. Surely a work of several seasons, one can spend a long time in gazing upon the labyrinthine patterns of these dense netting, the translucent strands seeming to have been spun out of invisible air.

A local says an elderly couple who lived in the mansion died a few years ago. (HT Photo )

All these doors are locked, as if the family left for vacations and never returned. Muhammed Bilal, a local scrap dealer, talks of “an elderly couple living in the big house who died a few years ago.”

Before its last dwellers, the mansion sheltered scores of “working-class” families—informs Gopal Bhai, a bookbinder. He says that the mansion originally belonged to a wealthy businessman who moved to Pakistan after the Partition.

One of the doors has a white skull cap casually tucked into its latch. Fruit vendor Saleem says, “It’s been here for many, many years.”

If you gaze upon the house from across the street, it doesn’t appear to be deserted. You feel one of the doors may open any moment, with or without the Snow White.

First Published: Jul 12, 2018 14:00 IST