Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Proust Scholar William C. Carter, On Marcel Proust's 100th Death Anniversary

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Proust Scholar William C. Carter, On Marcel Proust’s 100th Death Anniversary

The parlour confession. [By Mayank Austen Soofi] How many people do you know who have actually read In Search of Lost Time in its entirety? Marcel Proust’s French novel, À La Recherche Du Temps Perdu, has seven volumes and more…

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Rekha Massey, Paharganj

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Rekha Massey, Paharganj

The parlour confession. [By Mayank Austen Soofi] Each time she flashes a smile, its sunshine radiance lights up her Bubbles, the boutique she has been running inside a Paharganj cafè for 15 years. Delhi’s backpackers’ district is yet to recover…

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Indrajit Ghoshal, Cyberhub

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Indrajit Ghoshal, Cyberhub

The parlour confession. [By Mayank Austen Soofi] Say salam-namaste to this very special data analyst. Indrajit Ghoshal works in a Gurgaon MNC; he also leads Poetry Darbaar, an initiative for poetically minded muggles he co-founded in 2016. This evening, while…

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Mehreen Shah, H Nizamuddin West

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Mehreen Shah, H Nizamuddin West

The parlour confession. [By Mayank Austen Soofi] Her “mom,” her “bhayya,” her sister-in-law—they all are offering evening namaz. While Mehreen Shah is reading a Salman Rushdie novel. Ensconced in her room at their Hazrat Nizamuddin West house, Mehreen, a street…

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Money Changer Sunil Chawla, Connaught Place

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Money Changer Sunil Chawla, Connaught Place

The parlour confession. [By Mayank Austen Soofi] A dollar, a yen, a euro or a pound, or a rupee, is all that makes the world go around. It is in this spirit that foreign money changer Sunil Chawla agrees to…

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Labourer Salman Abbas, Around Town

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Labourer Salman Abbas, Around Town

The parlour confession. [By Mayank Austen Soofi] Salman Abbas’s day is full of physically exhausting work. In between assignments, the young labourer lies down on the long wooden bench of his employer’s warehouse in central Delhi, and instantly falls into…

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Flute Seller Qurban Ansari, Around Town

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Flute Seller Qurban Ansari, Around Town

The parlour confession. [By Mayank Austen Soofi] All day long he saunters along the streets selling flutes. Qurban Ansari, 19, lives in Gurugram’s Madipur Chowk in Sector 19 with parents, who are retired labourers, and wife, Noorsaba Khatoon, whom he…

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…

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Michelle Sanya Tirkey, Not in West Delhi

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…

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Nameer Alvi, Pahari Rajaan

Delhi’s Proust Questionnaire – Nameer Alvi, Pahari Rajaan

The parlour confession. [By Mayank Austen Soofi] He is 21 and his mother calls him “mera achha wala beta,” my good son. Youngest of three brothers and a sister, he is the only one to go out of his way…