ABSTRACT

When I moved to Delhi for the rst time in the year 2000 and began getting to know the city, I was as yet unaware of its social layout. Although most of my family had migrated to Pakistan or the United States in the decades following Partition, I still had many relatives in India, some living in Delhi. At that time, my mother’s sister was residing in the Turkman Gate area of Old Delhi near Jama Masjid; I had an uncle living in Noida (a city located southeast of New Delhi, in Uttar Pradesh) in Abul Fazal apartments; some of my cousins were residing in the Zakir Bagh complex of ats in New Friends Colony (in South Delhi), and I had an aunt in Zakir Nagar. All these areas are spread around the city and its outskirts. ey are largely middle class in composition, and yet all of them are almost entirely comprised of Muslims. It was during this year that I, like other Delhi residents, subconsciously began to form a ‘mental map’ of the city.