Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Booksellers Swati Roy & M Venkatesh, Greater Kailash II

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Booksellers Swati Roy & M Venkatesh, Greater Kailash II

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Booksellers Swati Roy & M Venkatesh, Greater Kailash II

The parlour confession.

[By Mayank Austen Soofi]

Their business is something rare. Swati Roy, a former marketing manager, and M Venkatesh, a former journalist, co-run a bookstore specialising in children’s books. They opened Eureka in 2003 in B Block, CR Park, where they would “pay a fine every other week for running a commercial enterprise in a residential area.” They did move to a local shopping complex but the fairy tale ended when the high rent forced them to shut the store in 2014. Years later, the CMYK bookstore in GK II offered them a part of its space to share. The two reopened their beloved enterprise in March 2020, just in time for the coronavirus to lock down our world. Anyhow, life is returning to normal, and this afternoon both the booksellers, perched next to a Tintin shelf, agreed to be jointly a part of the Proust Questionnaire series in which citizens are nudged to make “Parisian parlour confessions”, all to explore our distinct experiences. Swati (S) and Venkatesh (V) gave separate replies wherever they thought differently.

Your favorite virtue or the principal aspect of your personality
S – giving.
V – seeing the bright side of everything

Your favorite qualities in a man
S – not try too hard to fit a certain image
V – quiet confidence

Your favorite qualities in a woman
S&V – not use the weaknesses associated with a woman in any sphere of life

Your chief characteristic
S – pleasant disposition
V – humour

What do you appreciate the most in your friends?
S&V – fun-loving

Your main fault
S – anxious about not doing enough
V – impatience

Your favorite occupation
S – reading about politics
V – reading and re-reading

Your idea of happiness
S – being in good health and have a little money saved for old age
V – being healthy and stress-free

Your idea of misery or what would be your greatest misfortune?
S – to be friendless
V – losing my sense of humour

If not yourself, who would you be?
S – a pilot
V – a sportsman

Where would you like to live?
S – somewhere close to a river or the sea
V – somewhere quiet and peaceful

Your favourite colour and flower
S – black and jasmine
V – Red and Rose

Your favorite bird
S – sparrow
V – eagle

Your favorite prose authors
S&V – Agatha Christie

Your favorite poets
S – Shel Silverstein
V – Not a great fan of poetry

Your favorite heroes in fiction
S – Atticus Finch, Dr Doolittle, Tintin
V – Tintin, Col. Nicholson, Poirot

Your favorite heroines in fiction
S&V – Miss Marple

Your favorite composers
S – SD Burman
V – R D Burman

Your favorite painters
S – none in particular
V – Husain

Your heroes/heroines in real life
S – Gandhi and Mahasweta Devi
V – Bose & Florence Nightingale

What characters in history do you most dislike?
S – Churchill
V – Hitler

Your heroines in World history
S – Sarojini Naidu
V – Indira Gandhi

Your favorite food and drink
S – Chicken Fried Rice and Fanta
V – Any food with potato, Rum

Your favorite names
S – Mili
V – Jawaharlal

What do you hate the most?
S&V– two-facedness

The military event you admire the most
S – Bangladesh 1971
V – Axis powers surrender

The reform you admire the most
V – Banning child marriage

The natural talent you’d like to be gifted with
S – singing
V – mimicry

How do you wish to die?
S – suddenly
V – in my sleep

What is your present state of mind?
S&V- contented

Faults for which you have the most tolerance
S – pretentiousness
V – genuine mistakes

Your motto in life
S&V– live and let live