I still found myself coming to the kotha, fascinated by the ordinary aspects of the lives of people who, I think, have been shepherded by circumstances into living extraordinary lives. It was in an attempt to seek signs of normalcy in an ‘abnormal’ world that I started to work on this book.” Mayank Austen Soofi is well known in the Delhi circuit for his guidebooks to the city and his blog. But the opening lines of this piece, borrowed from his latest offering, Nobody Can Love You More: Life in Delhi’s Red Light District, provide a pretext to his three years of following closely the lives of women who call GB Road home, well almost. The white-collared gentry is not unaware of this red light area, which to many represents a glaring eyesore in the heart of the capital. Usually, out in the so-called civilised part of Delhi, either people feign ignorance of GB Road’s existence, or talk in hushed tones about it. It’s not fashionable, and it’s filthy. That makes it easily forgettable. Notwithstanding, it still exists.
But Soofi knows there are people there. And where there are people, there are stories. In GB Road, like anywhere else, some stories are to be told, some are to be hidden and, of course, some are to be faked, to be imagined. Through his observational, simple, sensitive and humanistic style of narrative, Soofi attempts to get into the skin of Delhi’s sin street, telling stories of the sinners and the saints,