16.7.09

What are you like?

A friend had put up this Proust Questionnaire from Vanity Fair. I found it fun and thought I'd share my humble offerings here to my humble cross-connectors...

What is your most marked characteristic?
Indecisiveness and over-sensitivity

What is the quality you most like in a man?
The ability to take risks (that would be me!), can cook, politically and socially observant and pro-active. A good voice will help make me listen a bit more…

What is the quality you most like in a woman?
The ability to take risks, feminity, tenacity, politically and socially observant and pro-active. And a great sense of aesthetics.

What do you most value in your friends?
Their friendship.

What is your principle defect?
A short temper and blind trust.

What is your favorite occupation?
Doodling, humming, taking pictures, sitting in the dark and meditating…

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
I’d be too afraid if it were perfect, but watching the sunset by the sea and not wanting anything more would be close.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
The misery of those who do not have basic essentials and the dignity of a decent life and livelihood

What would you like to be?
Ambitious!

In what country would you like to live?
Where I am, but would love to take temporary residence anywhere near the sea or a tea estate.

What is your favorite color?
Blue

What is your favorite flower?
Magnolia

What is your favorite bird?
The crow

Who are your favorite prose writers?
Shakespeare, Virginia Woolf, Anais Nin, Henry Miller, Tennessee Williams, Harold Pinter, Norman Mailer, Chekhov, Saadat Hassan Manto, Ismat Chugtai

Who are your favorite poets?
Ahmed Faraz, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Bahadurshah Zafar, Neruda, Shelley, Sylvia Plath

Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
Meursault in Camus’ ‘The Outsider’

Who are your favorite heroines of fiction?
Madame Bovary, Blanche DuBois

Who are your favorite composers?
More into Indian music, so… Salil Chaudhary, Anil Biswas, Madan Mohan, S.D. Burman…

Who are your favorite painters?
Jamini Roy, Amrita Shergil, Picasso, Modigliani, Degas, Frida Kahlo, Dali, Titian

Who are your heroes in real life?
My mother is and her mother was, and people who make every obstacle into an opportunity and transform every sorrow into resolve

What are your favorite names?
Anything that sounds musical

What is it you most dislike?
High society parties, double standards and people flashing brands, back-biting, back-stabbing, turncoats…

What historical figures do you most despise?
They are history, so I won’t waste my hate on them

What event in military history do you most admire?
I do not like wars

What reform do you most admire?
On paper, in India it was widow remarriage.

What natural gift would you most like to possess?
To fly and keep my mouth shut

How would you like to die?
Don’t get me going on this…

What is your present state of mind?
Confused

To what faults do you feel most indulgent?
The inability to be able to say the good things I feel about people…I am always so held back and now I have resigned myself to it

What is your motto?
All illusions are real

10 comments:

  1. all illusions are real....thats an original....and very impressive thought.
    you donot like wars....hmmm...but they are a fundamental truth...so studying wars is not a bad idea....wars..conflict...testosterone induced aggression and need to overpower or suppress...are the primary vehicle used by nature...or god to bring growth.
    like givingbirth...so bloodied and painful ...still bringing new order.
    ps: will try and be more coherent when i write about it..:)
    regards
    manoj

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  2. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm....Got It :)

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  3. Thanks for sharing.You are confused??Very focused I think so.Enjoyed reading and doing it also!

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  4. Manoj:

    Giving birth is baccha paida karna, I don't think anyone is thinking of a new order. I understand what you sat about war and analysing it is fine. But this was a specific query which is why I replied the way I did.

    Now may we have your replies? Coherence is not of primary importance; spoantaneity is. Should come without thinking too much. And I do believe illusions are real. Anything to escape reality!

    Manish:

    Hmmm....me too:) Now your turn.

    KB:

    I am focussed about issues but confused in areas of my life and emotions.

    Why don't you share as well?

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  5. Hi Farzana,

    As a rule -- and though they are of some use in an examined life, as well as kill time in doctors' waiting rooms -- I don't do surveys. However, since I've started to think of myself as one of your "cross-connectors," certainly exceptions to such rules can be made (and maybe kb will follow suit) . . .

    My most marked characteristic is a kind of pacific imperturbability. Folks ask, doesn't anything bug you? Others have made it their business to discover those things for themselves, on the sly. Sometimes they find out. :)

    I value honesty in both men and women; but rarely find it. I value the same in friends.

    As far as personal defects, I don't have any; I just am. Are there things I can suppress (or have supressed) in terms of my own inclinations and/or behaviors to accommodate another's? Sure. For example, I'm married to a short-tempered woman (though she has mellowed somewhat over the years) . . .

    As with the foregoing, I can't really say there's any one occupation I favor more than another. Occasion, circumstance and opportunity dictate -- and such terms are more often than not dictated by another's perceived importunity. A submariner once described to me what life was like cooped up under water in a nuclear-missile laden, cigar-shaped vessel with hundreds of men for four to six months at a time. It seems there is a finite store of happiness to go around in this closed system, which means in order for one to be able to increase one's own happiness, one must either acquire it from someone else . . . or somewhere else.

    What I regard as the lowest depth of misery is where you find those whose own happiness is dependent upon the depletion of another's store.

    Most all the rest of the questionaire is some further variation on favorites or preferences that, near as I can tell, sort of adds fuel to the aforementioned misery index. Certainly blue is a marvelous color; but so too does red have it's moments. Likewise magnolias are stunning in their bloom; but so too is a sea of desert flowers stretching to the horizon. For those comfortably set in their preferences . . . well, there's the Biblical account of King Solomon who, on the inauguration of his kingdom, asked for incomparable wisdom from God (a critical requirement for governance determined, perhaps, in his childhood exposure to his siblings in his father David's court) so as to better manage the fractious tribes among Judah and Israel. His desire granted, Solomon then embarks on a prolonged experiential exploration of what his kingdom (and the world) had to offer. His final conclusion after having learned to speak to birds and the djinn, after having secured piles upon piles of gold and silver, after having accumulated 700 wives and 300 concubines (and their myriad business partners), after virtually having made his kingdom the navel of the world?

    All is vanity, lol -- which also serves as a pretty catchy motto. :)

    Regards,
    Mark

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  6. Mark:

    Thanks for adding to this and thinking of yourself as a fellow cross-connector. Takes some burden off me :)

    I like "pacific imperturbability". It can be very aggressive.

    Is it possible to differentiate between short temper and anger?

    I have mentioned anger as a defect, mainly because it is energy sapping and in my case causes me more harm. However, I need to feel anger where issues are concerned.

    It seems there is a finite store of happiness to go around in this closed system, which means in order for one to be able to increase one's own happiness, one must either acquire it from someone else . . . or somewhere else.

    In that sense, happiness is a cocoon...once out of it, one has to deal with 'slings and arrows', but then you say one has to seek it outside. I'd say one seeks a source that makes one happy - a thing, a person, a moment. But the sense of happiness lies within. We can snap out of it the moment our perception towards it changes.

    Would that then mean "depleting the happiness of another's store" and therefore the "lowest form of misery"?

    I shall conjecture that the happiness one feels is different from the happiness one feels.

    I tend to agree with you that favourites can and do change. The idea behind such a survey, I suppose, is to expect us to react spontaneously and choose the one for the moment. For me, it just helps me become minimalistic...which is tough!

    Mine isn't, however, the acquisition of Biblical proportions therefore no grand beseeching of a choice.

    All is vanity, lol -- which also serves as a pretty catchy motto. :)

    It is. But as a motto one would have to live by, or believe in, it. And would vanity wish to encompass all? Where, then, lies exclusivity?

    It was good of you to make an exception and share...today's colour is white and the flower is carnation :)

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  7. Mark, a small error...it is the happiness one GIVES is different from the happiness one FEELS

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  8. Is it possible to differentiate between short temper and anger?

    I think so. Anger is more focused. Shortness of temper is not nearly as controlled; though preferable (from my standpoint, lol).

    In that sense, happiness is a cocoon...

    Actually, that's fairly close to what my submariner friend said was how he managed during those long months -- though just barely, as I understand it, as the crews on these vessels are filtered and vetted several times over before being assigned. Can you imagine being cucooned in a cucoon with several hundred highly intelligent but miserable and bored techno-geeks?

    They say that's how Dianetics got its start. :D

    ...once out of it, one has to deal with 'slings and arrows', but then you say one has to seek it outside. I'd say one seeks a source that makes one happy - a thing, a person, a moment. But the sense of happiness lies within. We can snap out of it the moment our perception towards it changes.

    Certainly the "Somewhere else" I offered as an alternative to "someone else" might include a sense that happiness can be internalized. And, yes, such might indeed be considered a "store" of happiness. Something like memories, perhaps -- or souvenirs.

    Would that then mean "depleting the happiness of another's store" and therefore the "lowest form of misery"?

    I think perceptions -- or how we see and/or remember things, a person, a moment -- can and do change, as you observe. Things change too, and so do people, appearance-wise and behaviorally, which makes it tough to keep on top of at times. A moment, on the other hand -- or the memory of it -- is strictly up to the individual (and to whomsoever he or she, if applicable, has given authority) . . .

    I shall conjecture that . . . it is the happiness one GIVES is different from the happiness one FEELS

    Funny, that. It's kinda like colors and flowers and birds. Shall we say happiness is in the eye of the beholder? :)

    I tend to agree with you that favourites can and do change. The idea behind such a survey, I suppose, is to expect us to react spontaneously and choose the one for the moment. For me, it just helps me become minimalistic...which is tough!

    Sure, but then you're Farzana, lol. For many others, I suspect, such a survey is more like a pop quiz to see how well they remember which writer/poet/composer/painter/etc they're supposed to like or despise.

    . . . But [with "All is vanity"] as a motto one would have to live by, or believe in, it. And would vanity wish to encompass all? Where, then, lies exclusivity?

    One would? Well, yes, by definition (my Webster's says, "a short expression of a guiding principle"), I guess one would have to live by, or believe in, it, if it were one's motto. And certainly -- logically -- if one believed "All is vanity" to be true, it follows one would believe the obverse to be true as well. I'm not sure vanity is logical, however, and there may lie the exclusivity clause. :)

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  9. {Is it possible to differentiate between short temper and anger?}

    I think so. Anger is more focused. Shortness of temper is not nearly as controlled; though preferable (from my standpoint, lol).


    Hmm…but anger is also a temporary rage (and I am gladdened that the rage can be trendy!)

    Can you imagine being cucooned in a cucoon with several hundred highly intelligent but miserable and bored techno-geeks?

    They say that's how Dianetics got its start. :D


    I can’t imagine being with them even without the cocoon. Although I have had my little brush with Ron Hubbard. Does that count?!

    {I shall conjecture that . . . it is the happiness one GIVES is different from the happiness one FEELS}

    Funny, that. It's kinda like colors and flowers and birds. Shall we say happiness is in the eye of the beholder? :)


    I meant that the giving is finite and tangible and yes dependent on the eyes of the beholder/recipient, but the feeling of happiness need not be the same. It could not be about giving or receiving, just being.

    {I tend to agree with you that favourites can and do change. The idea behind such a survey, I suppose, is to expect us to react spontaneously and choose the one for the moment. For me, it just helps me become minimalistic...which is tough!}

    Sure, but then you're Farzana, lol. For many others, I suspect, such a survey is more like a pop quiz to see how well they remember which writer/poet/composer/painter/etc they're supposed to like or despise.


    Well that, too, applies to me! It isn’t about stasis but movement from one to the other, and encompassing and responsing to several disparate stimuli.

    I'm not sure vanity is logical, however, and there may lie the exclusivity clause. :)

    I’d say vanity is not objective, but it may seem logical to the person indulging in it or indulging it. The exclusivity you allude to might seem like splendid isolation…or is it doomed? :)

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  10. @mstaab,I am not artist or writer and don't know much.Both of you are having such serious discussion!!I will try.
    I like blue,green,purple
    Art from bengali school,favorite writer is sarat chandra and dostovesky
    Honest people I like men,women,friends
    My defect is not wanting to know bad news
    I am quite happy with my lot and I don't have a motto!!

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