Photos: Stories told in photographs from a capital in lockdown

Stories told in photographs by Mayank Austen Soofi capture Delhi’s pulse during the Covid-19 pandemic. A couple holds a religious reading without community for the first time in decades; mobile phone numbers on the walls tell the story of small businesses hit the hardest; part of the Old City prepares to open up after the lockdown is lifted; a poet finds the sublime in the ordinary; an autorickshaw driver and a domestic help grapple with the fallout of the lockdown, as their incomes take a hit.

UPDATED ON SEP 06, 2020 03:08 PM IST 10 Photos
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Two rickshaw pullers enjoying a tête-à-tête in Old Delhi’s Chatta Sheikh Mangloo against a backdrop of shuttered store fronts marked with O and E, indicating the opening of shops in markets on an odd-even basis during the waning days of the full lockdown in the capital during the month of May. (Mayank Austen Soofi / HT)

Two rickshaw pullers enjoying a tête-à-tête in Old Delhi’s Chatta Sheikh Mangloo against a backdrop of shuttered store fronts marked with O and E, indicating the opening of shops in markets on an odd-even basis during the waning days of the full lockdown in the capital during the month of May. (Mayank Austen Soofi / HT)

UPDATED ON SEP 06, 2020 03:08 PM IST
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The phone numbers on the wall of a south Delhi market, etched by service providers such as neighbourhood electricians and carpenters. These otherwise unremarkable displays stood out starkly during the lockdown when everything lay closed. (Mayank Austen Soofi / HT)

The phone numbers on the wall of a south Delhi market, etched by service providers such as neighbourhood electricians and carpenters. These otherwise unremarkable displays stood out starkly during the lockdown when everything lay closed. (Mayank Austen Soofi / HT)

UPDATED ON SEP 06, 2020 03:08 PM IST
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The banner of “Tiwari Rickshawwalla” on a south Delhi pavement. A resident of Sangam Vihar, he didn’t return to his village in Bihar during the lockdown. (Mayank Austen Soofi / HT)

The banner of “Tiwari Rickshawwalla” on a south Delhi pavement. A resident of Sangam Vihar, he didn’t return to his village in Bihar during the lockdown. (Mayank Austen Soofi / HT)

UPDATED ON SEP 06, 2020 03:08 PM IST
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A shuttered shop front in Old Delhi’s Chatta Sheikh Mangloo marked E, indicating the opening of shops in markets on an odd-even basis during the waning days of the full lockdown in the capital during the month of May. (Mayank Austen Soofi / HT)

A shuttered shop front in Old Delhi’s Chatta Sheikh Mangloo marked E, indicating the opening of shops in markets on an odd-even basis during the waning days of the full lockdown in the capital during the month of May. (Mayank Austen Soofi / HT)

UPDATED ON SEP 06, 2020 03:08 PM IST
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A sacrificial goat tethered against a shuttered store front in Old Delhi’s Chatta Sheikh Mangloo marked E, indicating the opening of shops in markets on an odd-even basis during the waning days of the full lockdown in the capital during the month of May. (Mayank Austen Soofi / HT)

A sacrificial goat tethered against a shuttered store front in Old Delhi’s Chatta Sheikh Mangloo marked E, indicating the opening of shops in markets on an odd-even basis during the waning days of the full lockdown in the capital during the month of May. (Mayank Austen Soofi / HT)

UPDATED ON SEP 06, 2020 03:08 PM IST
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Auto rickshaw driver Sunil Kumar regrets the state of his life in these times of pandemic but confirms that his condition this time last year too was no different. (Mayank Austen Soofi / HT)

Auto rickshaw driver Sunil Kumar regrets the state of his life in these times of pandemic but confirms that his condition this time last year too was no different. (Mayank Austen Soofi / HT)

UPDATED ON SEP 06, 2020 03:08 PM IST
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Longtime couple Pushpa and Kshetrapal carried on their decades-old annual tradition of reading the entire epic of Ramchaitnanas, but this time they performed it without their friends and relatives. (Mayank Austen Soofi / HT)

Longtime couple Pushpa and Kshetrapal carried on their decades-old annual tradition of reading the entire epic of Ramchaitnanas, but this time they performed it without their friends and relatives. (Mayank Austen Soofi / HT)

UPDATED ON SEP 06, 2020 03:08 PM IST
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Two friends sitting on what many consider to be the most picturesque bench in Lodhi Garden, each in a mask. (Mayank Austen Soofi / HT)

Two friends sitting on what many consider to be the most picturesque bench in Lodhi Garden, each in a mask. (Mayank Austen Soofi / HT)

UPDATED ON SEP 06, 2020 03:08 PM IST
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Poet Jonaki Ray picks up a fallen frangipani while walking in a city park. A technical editor in a Noida-based IT company, she is working from home during these pandemic days. (Mayank Austen Soofi / HT)

Poet Jonaki Ray picks up a fallen frangipani while walking in a city park. A technical editor in a Noida-based IT company, she is working from home during these pandemic days. (Mayank Austen Soofi / HT)

UPDATED ON SEP 06, 2020 03:08 PM IST
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Housekeeper Kamni in Delhi’s Hauz Khas Village hasn’t enjoyed home-made chicken curry since the start of the pandemic due to a dip in her monthly earnings. (Mayank Austen Soofi / HT)

Housekeeper Kamni in Delhi’s Hauz Khas Village hasn’t enjoyed home-made chicken curry since the start of the pandemic due to a dip in her monthly earnings. (Mayank Austen Soofi / HT)

UPDATED ON SEP 06, 2020 03:08 PM IST
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