Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire - Masti Anna Zaman, Somewhere in Delhi

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Masti Anna Zaman, Somewhere in Delhi

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire - Masti Anna Zaman, Somewhere in Delhi

Fakeer gets frank.

[Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi]

He doesn’t have a mobile phone, he doesn’t have a bank account, he doesn’t have an ID card, he doesn’t have much cash either, he says. Even so, he is materialistic after his own worldly fashion—his daily wear includes many necklaces, many finger ornaments. The other principal possession is a knotted cloth bundle containing a couple of chaadars and a food bowl. A native of Kumula village in distant Tripura, Masti Anna Zaman calls himself a fakeer. A barefoot ascetic living in Delhi, he says he has no house. He frequently travels to other cities, performing pilgrimages in mandirs and dargahs, he says. In fact, he collected all his ornaments during visits to various holy destinations. He agrees to become a part of our Proust Questionnaire series, in which citizens are nudged to make “Parisian parlour confessions”, all to explore our distinct experiences.

Your favourite virtue.
I’m good at football.

Your favourite qualities in a person.
Keeping away from cigarette and chai, having meals on time.

What do you appreciate the most in your friends?
Their ability to be travel companions.

Your main fault.
I’m not able to stand by my words all the time.

Your favourite occupation.
Bathing in river.

Your idea of happiness.
Har time masti (constant fun).

If not yourself, who would you be?
A fishing net maker.

Where would you like to live?
Where my mummy-daddy are buried.

Your favourite colour.
Pink; mummy looked beautiful when wearing clothes of this colour.

Your favourite bird.
Baaz. Once it landed on my shoulder and stayed with me for a few days.

Your favourite drink.
Water is tasty.

Your favourite names.

What do you hate the most?
When people start talking to me without first exchanging dua-salam (greetings).

The natural talent you’d like to be gifted with.
The ability to reach my dead mummy-daddy.

What is your present state of mind?
I’m thinking of my brothers and sisters. Haven’t seen them for a very long time. Left my village the day my beard grew long enough for me to tie a knot in it.

Faults for which you have the most tolerance.
Befikri (carefree attitude).