She looks up at the evening sky, stays still for a moment before starting to pace again. The Delhi Walla met Rakhshanda Jalil, 47, in Gandhi-King Plaza, a little pool garden in the members-only India International Center (IIC), a cultural institution near Khan Market. Read more
My address has changed. I’m now the Shah of the Jahan, the king of the world. I’ve moved from the wrong side of the Yamuna to the right side. From Lower East Side to the heart of upper crust Delhi. Such a long journey: from Anand Vihar to Defence Colony. Read more
6.35 pm: Peak hour. Noise. Chaos. Screams of ‘hi’s and hello’s.
7.05 pm: People spotting exercise in full steam. Farukh Abdullah, the former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, inside Dayal Opticals. Read more
So many people in this vast, sprawling, awful, remarkable city. So many crowds, so much pushing. You can never find any space, any quiet. Who are all these people, these housewives, these labourers, these office workers, these shop-owners. Where do they all come from? What’s their story? Read more
“Where’s the doorman?” Outside the entrance of Sidewok, a dimly lit Chinese eatery in Delhi’s upscale Khan Market, Sumanta Roy refuses to go in till the guard appears and opens the door for him. A man of style, he is a brand-sensitive consumer of classy dressing and fine taste who expects good service when paying for it. Read more
The Delhi Walla discovered this grainy image in the archives of LIFE magazine. Nothing is known about the year when this picture was taken. But the life seen in this frame is proof enough that much has changed in this city down the decades. Read more
On the Sunday that preceded Republic Day, there were no booksellers in Daryajanj’s weekly book bazaar.
“It’s closed for security reasons,” a paanwalla told me. I stood on the empty pavement and laughed. Trains were still chugging in Old Delhi station, chaatwallas were still frying tikkis in Chandni Chowk but this booklovers’ den was a security threat. Read more
A few hours after Bombay came under terrorist attack in December, 2008, a 70-year-old Pakistani artist, sitting thousands of nautical miles away in Karachi, started e-mailing friends in Delhi. She had plans to visit the Indian capital but the Bombay outrage made her pause.
Would it be wise for a Pakistani to travel to India in these tense times? She feared what if somebody spat on her face? Finally, after “considering all options” she landed in Delhi just before the Republic Day. Read more
Evening. Khan Market. With books. Without a lover.
Inside the Bahrisons Booksellers. I was here 24 hours ago and had got Steve McCurry’s Portraits for Rs 950. Now the itching to get a new book has started. But no new stock here. Read more