Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Naman Govil, The Book Shop
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 early 2013, The Delhi Proustians started taking Les confidences de salon (Drawing room confessions) around the city to explore people’s lives, thoughts, values and experiences. The series involves interviews across Delhi and is conducted by writers Manika Dhama and Mayank Austen Soofi.
For the twentieth installment of Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire, Naman Govil — co-founder and director of I Share to Care — made confessions to Mayank at The Book Shop in Jor Bagh.
Your favorite virtue or the principal aspect of your personality
Understanding rather than judging
Your favorite qualities in a man
intelligence, wit, tolerance
Your favorite qualities in a woman
Intelligence, wit, tolerance
Your chief characteristic
What do you appreciate the most in your friends?
Your main fault
I am fickle
Your favorite occupation
Traveling, reading and daydreaming
Your idea of happiness
Traveling, solitude/good company, books
Your idea of misery or what would be your greatest misfortune?
Losing the ability to see
If not yourself, who would you be?
Where would you like to live?
South of France, Argentina, Berlin, Himachal/Ladakh
Your favourite colour and flower
Green and magnolia
Your favorite bird
Your favorite prose authors
Oscar Wilde, Ernest Hemingway, Milan Kundera, Albert Camus
Your favorite poets
Elliot, Frost, Plath
Your favorite heroes in fiction
I’ll mention my favorite characters, might not necessarily be heroes – Dorian Gray, Lord Henry Wotton, Atticus Finch, Boo Radley, Theo Decker, Boris, Raskalnikov, Tomas, harry Potter, Severus Snape (there are many more, but these are the ones which come to mind right now)
Your favorite heroines in fiction
I’ll mention my favorite characters, might not necessarily be heroines – Scout Finch, Teresa, Sabina, Liesel Meminger (there are many more, but these are the ones which come to mind right now)
Your favorite composers
Mozart, Chopin, Tchaikovsky
Your favorite painters
Van Gogh, Picasso, Monet
Your heroes/heroines in real life
There are people who influence and affect me in the most positive way, but making hero/heroines in real life can be a dangerous business
What characters in history do you most dislike?
Human history is littered with dislikable characters. Can’t possibly list them all here
Your heroines in World history
Your favorite food and drink
Italian, Japanese, thai, Indian/tea, beer, wine, single malt
Your favorite names
Zoya, Sarah, Jehangir
What do you hate the most?
Cruelty towards animals
The military event you admire the most
The reform you admire the most
Thomas Cromwell’s idea of reformation in 16th Century England. There have always been admirable ideas, but execution is where we have failed as a race
The natural talent you’d like to be gifted with
Playing the piano
How do you wish to die?
What is your present state of mind?
Faults for which you have the most tolerance
Faults which are a part of who you are as a person, ones which cannot be helped
Your motto in life
Live and let live