Delhiwale: Our icon in New Friends Colony
She’s 85 and so elegant, stately, regal and her white hair are so beautiful—even on the phone screen. Actor Sushma Seth is chatting on WhatsApp video from the home in New Friends Colony that she shares with her daughter and her family. “I haven’t stepped out since the start of the first lockdown,” she says in her archetypical authoritative and yet supremely soothing voice that is familiar to so many of us who grew up watching her in films and iconic TV serials. “Most people are not aware that my background is theatre,” observes the lady, as she gamely agrees to become a part of the Proust Questionnaire series in which we nudge folks from diverse backgrounds to make “Parisian parlour confessions”, all to explore the lives, thoughts, values and experiences of Delhi’s citizens.
Your favourite virtue or the key aspect of your personality
Emotional strength and calm acceptance
Your favourite qualities in a man
Empathy, integrity, generosity, a sense of humour
Your favourite qualities in a woman
Strength, grace, kindness
Your chief characteristic
Determination, positive attitude
What do you appreciate the most in your friends?
Understanding. Sharing joyous moments. Sorrows have to be endured – physical and emotional.
Your main fault
Your favourite occupation
Acting, directing - plays. Music. Painting
Your idea of happiness
Peace and harmony in the environment. Aesthetic surroundings
If not yourself, who would you be?
An improved version of Sushma Seth!
Your favourite colour and flower
Red. Roses. Fragrance of Indian roses and mogra
Your favourite bird
The vibrantly coloured birds and the ones who sing sweetly, and koel
Your favourite prose authors
Bharat Muni, the author of Natya Shastra, a treatise on the performing arts, which also discloses the theory of Ras. A. Parthasarathy, who authored Vedanta Treatise. Devdutt Pattanaik. Anuja Chauhan
Your favourite poets
Pandit Satyakam Vidyalankar, Rabindranath Tagore
Your favourite composers
Pandit Jasraj, Hariprasad Chaurasia, Shiv Kumar Sharma, Kishori Amonkar, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Edvard Greig, AR Rahman
Your favourite painters
All the gifted enterprising artists/painters of group shows who are unknown – whose works do not have buyers
Your heroes/heroines in real life
The Medical fraternity, which has served selflessly and tirelessly during this pandemic. All those who have suffered and endured this pandemic, primarily the women
Your favourite food and drink
Shahi paneer, papri chaat, Thai curry, cheesecake and all the desserts!! Water, milk, red wine!
What do you hate the most?
The military event you admire the most
Kargil War. And our armed forces’ preparedness to combat ambush/violation without disclosing their strategies
Reform you admire the most
Abolition of child marriage, sati, caste system
Natural talent you’d like to be gifted with
My own singing voice of teen years!
How do you wish to die?
Swiftly and peacefully - after a bath
What is your present state of mind?
In learning mode of the incredible but complex mobile and computer technology
Faults for which you have the most tolerance
Health and economic suffering