Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Banil Singh Panwar, KG Marg
The Proustian self-introspection.
[By The Delhi Proustians]
The Proust Questionnaire represents a form of interview that owes its structure to answers given by French novelist Marcel Proust, the author of In Search of Lost Time, at two birthday parties that he attended at ages 13 and 20 in the late 19th century.
In 2013, The Delhi Proustians takes Les confidences de salon (Drawing room confessions) around the city to explore people’s lives, thoughts, values and experiences. This series involves interviews across Delhi and is conducted by writers Manika Dhama and Mayank Austen Soofi.
For the sixth instalment in the series Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire, security guard and office receptionist Banil Singh Panwar made confessions to Mayank. We met at his work place, a highrise on Central Delhi’s Kasturba Gandhi Marg.
Your favorite virtue or the principal aspect of your personality
Good conversation skills
Your favorite qualities in a man
Your favorite qualities in a woman
Clean heart and beautiful eyes
Your chief characteristic
Clean heart and clean talk
What do you appreciate the most in your friends?
They should show interest when I share my feelings with them
Your main fault
I’m very emotional. I cannot see poverty without being deeply affected
Your favorite occupation
Your idea of happiness
Being with my mummy-papa, my wife and my brother and my sister
Your idea of misery or what would be your greatest misfortune?
A world without my mummy-papa
If not yourself, who would you be?
Where would you like to live?
Any hill station in my home state Uttarakhand, preferably Mussoorie
Your favourite colour and flower
Your favorite bird
Parrot, because it is green
Your favorite prose authors
Your favorite poets
Harivansh Rai Bachchan; he uses less Urdu words in his poems and so they are more understandable
Your favorite heroes in fiction
Aamir Khan’s character in the movie Akele Hum Akele Tum in which he single-handedly raised his son after his wife suddenly left the house
Your favorite heroines in fiction
Nargis Dutt’s character in the movie Mother India in which she single-handedly brought up her sons after her husband suddenly left the house
Your favorite composers
Your favorite painters
Your heroes/heroines in real life
My papa and Narendra Modi
What characters in history do you most dislike?
Your heroines in World history
Your favorite food and drink
Rajma-rice, coconut water
Your favorite names
What do you hate the most?
The military event you admire the most
The reform you admire the most
The construction of Tehri Dam because of which we hill people have electricity in our villages
The natural talent you’d like to be gifted with
How do you wish to die?
In my sleep
What is your present state of mind?
I’m thinking what if I become rich
Faults for which you have the most tolerance
Your motto in life
Follow the truth
Diving deep within, like Marcel