Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Susana Zarco, Rajokri
The parlour confession.
[By Mayank Austen Soofi]
She reads poetry and makes her own dresses. The Lisbon-born Susana Zarco walks into her drawing room, looking like a woman in a Vermeer painting. She designed this white-and-blue gown from a cotton sari acquired during a trip to Kerala. “I only design for myself and for a few friends… I restrain from massification and quantity,” she murmurs, her headdress anointing her in a halo of the same colours as the rest of her dress. A former journalist who served for eight years as a press advisor to the Portuguese President, Ms Zarco, 57, has been in Delhi for three years. She is married to Portuguese Ambassador, Carlos Pereira Marques; they live in a sun-filled house in Rajokri designed by architect Satish Gujaral. Sitting for a portrait with dog, Egas, she gamely becomes a part of the Proust Questionnaire series in which folks are nudged to make “Parisian parlour confessions”, all to explore citizens’ distinct experiences.
Your favorite virtue or the principal aspect of your personality
Straight forwardness, sense of justice, generosity
Your favorite qualities in a man
Open mindness, insightfulness, accuracy, irreverence, generosity, elegance
Your favorite qualities in a woman
Your chief characteristic
Being a perfectionist
What do you appreciate the most in your friends?
Loyalty and sense of humor
Your main fault
Your favorite occupation
To look for/at all kind of beautiful things
Your idea of happiness
Being barefoot by the sea picking up beautiful shells with my mother when I was a little girl, as I do now with my husband and son
Your idea of misery or what would be your greatest misfortune?
Being a prisoner inside yourself
If not yourself, who would you be?
Myself in a better version
Where would you like to live?
In a (comfortable) shack by the seaside
Your favourite colour and flower
Your favorite bird
Your favorite prose authors
Fernando Pessoa, Jorge de Sena, Franz Kafka…
Your favorite poets
Fernando Pessoa, Sophia de Mello Breyner, Herberto Helder…
Your favorite heroes in fiction
Lots of them accordingly with the different stages of my life
Your favorite heroines in fiction
Your favorite composers
Rachmaninoff, Caetano Veloso, Tom Jobim…
Your favorite painters
Amadeu de Souza Cardoso, Almada Negreiros, Nicolas de Staël…
Your heroes/heroines in real life
Those who do not give up fighting against all kind of oppression and those who still have to fight every day to survive
What characters in history do you most dislike?
Those who persist to ignore and despise tolerance
Your heroes/heroines in World history
Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Madre Teresa… not only for what they did but also for what they left us to accomplish… still a long walk ahead
Your favorite food and drink
Seafood, cheese; water
Your favorite names
What do you hate the most?
Being trapped and stupidity
The military event you admire the most
D-Day (6 June 1944)
The reform you admire the most
The one that is still to come: reverse our way of living and save the Planet
The natural talent you’d like to be gifted with
How do you wish to die?
Living! In the twink of an eye: no regrets, no fears. Near the sea, if possible.l
What is your present state of mind?
Faults for which you have the most tolerance
Lack of punctuality
Your motto in life
Never give up