Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Michelle Sanya Tirkey, Not in West Delhi
The parlour confession.
[By Mayank Austen Soofi]
She lives in west Delhi’s Janakpuri and admits of having a problem with west Delhi. “It has to do with the way this part of the city is laid out. I cannot just walk around here. I’ll have to enter a mall or a cafe to feel safe, and I find that absolutely depressing.” This evening Michelle Sanya Tirkey, a gender studies student in B. R. Ambedkar University, is hanging out by a used bookstall, which isn’t in west Delhi. She agrees to be a part of the Proust Questionnaire series in which citizens are nudged to make “Parisian parlour confessions”, all to explore our distinct experiences.
Your favorite virtue or the principal aspect of your personality
Your favorite qualities in a man
Spontaneity, Good humour
Your favorite qualities in a woman
Spontaneity, good humour
Your chief characteristic
A strange balance of patience and impatience
What do you appreciate the most in your friends?
Genuine and upfront.
Your main fault
Too accommodating sometimes. Working on it.
Your favorite occupation
Being outdoors in good weather, doing whatever I desire on that particular day
Your idea of happiness
Absolute, unfettered, happiness. Something I only feel when I’m around people I love, when the wind blows, in small escapes from the absolute trash reality is.
Your idea of misery or what would be your greatest misfortune?
To be told one day that this is all there is.
If not yourself, who would you be?
Where would you like to live?
Your favourite colour and flower
I say I find it stupid when people say either black or white. But I do love white. Favorite flower is mogra.
Your favorite bird
Ducks. They’re silly.
Your favorite prose authors
Virginia Woolf, Oscar Wilde, Jane Austen and several more.
Your favorite poets
My late friend Sam, Edgar Allan Poe, Amrita Pritam, Manto
Your favorite heroes in fiction
Nick Blaine from the handmaid’s tale,
Your favorite heroines in fiction
Jo March, Offred from the handmaid’s tale, Celie from The Color Purple.
Your favorite composers
Joji, Frida Khanum, Bart Howard, SZA
Your favorite painters
Frida Kahlo, Tsuchiya Koitsu
Your heroes/heroines in real life
Savitribai Phule, Babasaheb Ambedkar, Nangeli, Birsa Munda, Hidme Markam, Jangal Santhal
What characters in history do you most dislike?
Savarkar, Hitler, Gandhi
Your heroines in World history
Mary Wollstonecraft, Rosa Parks, Zitkala Sa
Your favorite food and drink
Biryani and a good cold coffee
Your favorite names
Artemis, Samandriel, Nur, June
What do you hate the most?
State of the world
The military event you admire the most
Military events uproots innocent lives. So none
The reform you admire the most
Right to education for women in the country
The natural talent you’d like to be gifted with
How do you wish to die?
Not too old. Hopefully while looking up at the sun from below the sea or a shallow stream. Since that is unlikely, I’d like to die in a cool, sunlit room surrounded by people I love.
What is your present state of mind?
Faults for which you have the most tolerance
Indecisiveness, people attaching their entire worth and purpose to their career
Your motto in life
To keep moving