‘I despise people who live in the city but do not feel a sense of ownership for the city’ - Padmaja Nagarur, Co-Founder, Artflute

October 5, 2018

(The Proust Questionnaire is a questionnaire about one's personality. It has its origins in a parlour game popularized by Marcel Proust, the French essayist and novelist, who believed that, in answering these questions, an individual reveals his or her true nature.)

Padmaja Nagarur is the Co-Founder of Artflute.com, an online marketplace for world contemporary art with a strong drive to take art beyond traditional auction houses and galleries and make it part of living room conversations. She was recognised as the most promising woman entrepreneur at The Women Entrepreneurship Quest. Here are her answers to our Proust Questionnaire...

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

To be able to experience a piece of art and connect with its story without having the urge to know what the artist has to say about it.

What is your greatest fear?

Fear of the unknown and that is what keeps me on my toes.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

That I am my strongest self-critic.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Inauthenticity. However, I also do see their struggle to be authentic.

Which living person do you most admire?

That ordinary person who remains obscure and yet lives his life with the same fervour as you and I, trying to make ends meet and relishing little moments.

What is your greatest extravagance?

A large Badam (almond) tree in full bloom in my backyard.

What is your current state of mind?

Adventurous and nervous.0

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Courage - Much talk about courage doesn’t allow you to confront your real fears.

On what occasion do you lie?

When it gets too complicated to explain the rationale in my head.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?

When I really think about it, none. What I love most about my appearance, though, is my nose pin look.

Which living person do you most despise?

That person who lives in a city but does not feel a sense of ownership of the city.

What is the quality you most like in a man?

Vulnerability and Sensitivity.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?

Empathy and Courage.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

Conversation and “What’s your story?”

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

Aditya Pisupati, who I am married to and my partner in adventure and chaos. And trees!

Which talent would you most like to have?

To be able to converse with animals

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

I would be a tad more athletic now that we are just 3 months away from signing up for a new resolution. :)

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

The greatest is waiting to happen. I do acknowledge my contribution in growing Artflute to be a loved art company by art enthusiasts and artists alike, as a social artist and life skills facilitator with Dream a Dream (an NGO working in the space of life skills educations) and now on their board and having my short film featured in Cannes Film Festival.

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

A sea turtle. I want to be able to explore life under the sea without all the gears and at my pace.

Where would you most like to live?

On the hills. In an unassuming cottage.

What is your most treasured possession?

The seed of a Sequoia Tree

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Filled with hatred for self.  

What is your favourite occupation?

Writing, reading stories of artists, talking art to art enthusiasts and hugging trees.

What is your most marked characteristic?

Sparkling eyes with a hint of smile when I’m talking about things I’m passionate and fascinated about.

What do you most value in your friends?

Brutal honesty and their hugs.

Who are your favourite writers?

Rabindranath Tagore, Devdutt Pattanaik, Pankaj Mishra, Irving Wallace, John Grisham and Jiddu Krishnamurthi.

Who is your hero of fiction?

Professor of X-Men and Po of Kung Fu Panda - both seem to be masters of their minds and chi.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?

The more I read about him and his works, I identify myself most with Rabindranath Tagore wanting to explore the greys of life.

Who are your heroes in real life?

All those young adults who are successfully channelising their energies in creating a movement of good and change.

What is your favourite name?

Heidi (the mountain girl from the Alps)

What is it that you most dislike?

Stagnation

What is your greatest regret?

Not witnessing history and Obama giving his victory speech despite being in Chicago.

How would you like to die?

Washed away by a Tsunami wave while watching the sun set.

What is your favourite journey?

Of travelling alone watching landscapes and strangers pass by.

What is your motto?

Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is 'Youer' than You. Thanks to Dr. Seuss for this one.

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