Proust Questionnaire - Reshma, Old Delhi

Proust Questionnaire – Reshma, Old Delhi

Into a citizen’s heart.

[Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi]

She earns by singing and dancing and offering blessings in household celebrations such as weddings, childbirths and grih-pravesh. This afternoon, combing her long oiled hair in a Walled City barbershop, Reshma, attired in a green salwar suit and an unmatching dupatta, 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.

The principal aspect of your personality.
I’m patli-dubli (slim-thin).

If not yourself, who would you be?
I’m a transgender—we call ourselves kinnar. I don’t want to be anybody else.

Your favourite qualities in a man.
He must earn honestly, he must daily pray to God, he must help the garib (poor).

Your favourite qualities in a woman.
She should consider her home her entire world.

What do you appreciate the most in your friends?
I usually don’t make friends, I talk back nicely to those who talk nicely to me. But I do have one friend; we freely share our troubles with each other without any fear of misunderstanding.

Your main fault.
I have no fault—seedhi aati hoon, seedhi jaati hoon (I come straight, I go straight, implying “I mind my own business”).

Your favourite occupation.

Your idea of happiness.
To own a kothi (bungalow).

Where would you like to live?
In high society.

Your favourite colour and flower.
Halka (light) purple, halka firozi. Rose in rani colour and yellow colour.

Your favourite bird.
Rang-birange tote (dyed parrots), and also any bird that is red.

Your favourite food and drink.
Fish curry, Bisleri ka pani.

What do you hate the most?
When people make mazak (mock) of others.

The natural talent you’d like to be gifted with.
To have hair that are forever black.

How do you wish to die?
What! I’m too involved in living, I never think about dying.

What is your present state of mind?
I’m thinking of having a quick afternoon nap.

Your motto in life.
Find happiness in yourself.