Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire - Zaheeruddin, Central Delhi

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Zaheeruddin, Central Delhi

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire - Zaheeruddin, Central Delhi

Into a newsstand person’s soul.

[Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi]

He is one of those rare Delhiwale administering a kind of establishment that is fast disappearing from market paves—- a newsstand stocked with the day’s edition of very many newspapers. In his 50s, Zaheeruddin opens his central Delhi stall every morning at 6.30, and closes it at 10.30 in the night. In between, he doesn’t take any break, even in these afternoons of extreme heat. Tonight after winding down his stall, 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 qualities in a person.
They should always honour their commitments, including the ones related to finance.

Your main fault.
Sometimes I get very angry, and then I have this impulse to throw my mobile phone on the wall. Its rare but it does happen, I have ended up breaking many of my handsets. But never ever of others.

Your idea of happiness.
Holiday travels with wife Khurshida, daughter Ayesha and son Sameer.

What would be your greatest misfortune?
It has already happened. The death of my mother. Faruqi Begum passed away 20 years ago.

Where would you like to live?
When I feel fed up of life, I go for a few days to relax in my village in zila Pilibhit.

Your favourite bird.
It is a very small chhoti-chhoti bird. I don’t know its name but I used to frequently see it in my childhood. It seems to have vanished.

Your heroes/heroines in real life.
My daughter Ayesha. I always have her backing, and she encourages me in all my endeavours. She is completing her MBA from Jamia (Millia Islamia University).

Your favourite food and drink.
Rajma chawal with dahi, any soft drink.

How do you wish to die?
While manning my newsstand.

Faults for which you have the most tolerance.
I can only say that If I fight with someone in the morning for whatever reason, I go back to that person the same evening and ask for forgiveness.

Your motto in life
Work during the day and sleep at night—this has been my usool for 33 years.