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Updated: July 23, 2011 03:29 IST

Proust Questionnaire: ‘I had a turtle that I called Kalidas...' - Aparna Sen

Soma Basu
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The Hindu

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 SOMA BASU.

What is your idea of happiness?

Being able to make films without worrying about where the funding is going to come from.

What is your greatest fear?

That our audiences will want to see only romantic comedies soon and that all our stars will want to act in romantic comedies only. I feel that day is fast approaching.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

My hair.

If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?

That we would all be living in the same city. As it happens, I live in Kolkata; my husband Kalyan lives in New Jersey in USA; our elder daughter lives in Cincinnati – also in USA; my younger daughter lives in Mumbai; my sisters live in Delhi.

What is your idea of misery?

Not having the opportunity to make films.

Where would you like to live?

In an attic in Manhattan.

Who are your favourite authors?

Gabriel Garcia Marquez and J. M. Coetzee.

Who is your favourite hero of fiction?

Michael K in Life & Times of Michael K by Coetzee.

Who are your heroes in real life?

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and Nelson Mandela.

If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?

A filmmaker.

If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be?

A filmmaker.

What is your favourite occupation?


What is the quality you most like in the opposite sex?


What do you most appreciate in your friends?

A sense of humour.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Having managed to continue making my kind of cinema for the last 30 years in a crassly commercial film industry.

What are your favourite names?

Kalidas. I had a turtle that I called Kalidas.

What is your present state of mind?


How would you like to die?

Under anaesthesia.

What is your favourite motto?

Never answer questionnaires like this again.

Agree with Madhusudhan Bose. One feels this is where the tact of the reporter comes into play - they must come up with a way of suggesting to the subject the kind of 'questionnaire' this is. Maybe give them some background and tell them the venerable readers of The Hindu are looking for a lot more than cute or smart one liners!

from:  Rohan
Posted on: Aug 5, 2011 at 18:31 IST

After a brilliant set of responses from Kamal Hassan, and a typical but atleast descriptive one from Shobha De, this one has been quite dull. Almost appears as if Aparna Sen was going through the motions. Request Hindu to tell the interviewee's to give better thought and deliberation. I am sure we don't want another of those attention seeking, 'see I am so smart' one line answer questionnaires administered by other publications.

from:  Madhusudan Bose
Posted on: Jul 27, 2011 at 04:43 IST
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