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Updated: May 11, 2012 17:56 IST

‘I deplore duplicity'

Anjana Rajan
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Eminent classical dancer Sonal Mansingh is known for her pioneering work in Odissi, which was a relatively unknown form when she began learning it in the 1960s. This week she answers to Proust Questionnaire.

What is your idea of happiness?

To love and to be loved.

What is your greatest fear?


Which historical figure do you most identify with?


Which living person do you most admire?

My mother.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

My super-sensitivity.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Wicked duplicity.

What is your greatest extravagance?


What is your favourite journey?

To Mount Kailasa and Manasarovar.

Who is your favourite painter?


What do you consider the most overrated virtue?


On what occasion do you lie?

When the truth can be hurtful without improving the situation.

What do you dislike most about your appearance?

My high forehead. People find it intimidating.

Which living person do you most despise?

None. I don't hate anyone.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

‘Love you!'

What is your greatest regret?

Not to have danced for the penguins in the Arctic. I once saw an ad in which Zubin Mehta was conducting an orchestra of penguins, and I thought, if he can do it, why can't I?

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

Yet to happen.

When and where were you happiest?

In my mother's womb.

What is your present state of mind?

Lake Placid, and occasionally Mount Vesuvius.

How would you like to die?


What is your favourite motto?

Never say die.


Eminent classical dancer Sonal Mansingh is known for her pioneering work in Odissi, which was a relatively unknown form when she began learning it in the 1960s. She is also adept at Chhau and Bharatanatyam and brings to her performances as much scholarship as creativity. A Padma Vibhushan recipient, she runs the Centre for Indian Classical Dances in New Delhi and has held significant positions in the cultural field, including Chairperson of the Sangeet Natak Akademi, member of the General Council, Indian Council for Cultural Relations, and member of the jury, National Film Festival.

The Proust Questionnaire is a fortnightly feature which derives its name from the French writer Marcel Proust, whose personality-revealing responses to these questions went on to popularise this form of celebrity confession. This questionnaire was administered by ANJANA RAJAN

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