‘I love Tom Robbins, Terry Pratchett, adore musicians’ – Bruce Lee Mani, Co-founder, Taaqademy

November 2, 2018

Bruce Lee Mani, Co-founder Taaqademy, is also founding member and front man of what is arguably one of India’s most respected rock bands – Thermal and a Quarter (TAAQ).  As the lyricist and songwriter for TAAQ, his work has led to the band being lauded as ‘the most prolific band in Indian Rock’. Taaqademy is Bangalore’s premier space to learn, create, record and play music. The academy is a hub for changing the music scene in Bangalore by creating talent that will change the music perception amongst the people of Bangalore. The collaboration between Shankar Mahadevan Academy (SMA) and Taaqademy brings experts together to increase the passion for music. Here are his answers to our Proust questionnaire…

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Happiness is a relative term and ‘perfect happiness’ even more so. My striving is for balance, for equanimity. Human life is too complex and multi-dimensional to use ‘happiness’ as a single measure for anything.  

What is your greatest fear?

Fear itself.  

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

Hard to say. I’m pretty alright with what and where I am.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Laziness and entitlement.

Which living person do you most admire?

My mother.

What is your greatest extravagance?
Buying more musical instruments/gear than I strictly need.  

What is your current state of mind?

Stable but excited about the immediate future.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Chastity, perhaps.

On what occasion do you lie?

When I’m being dishonest.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?

Nothing in particular. It is what it is.

Which living person do you most despise?

Can’t say I ‘despise’ anyone – what would be the point?

What is the quality you most like in a man?
Equanimity and balance.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?

Equanimity and balance.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

I’m not sure.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

My family.

Which talent would you most like to have?

Playing the piano.

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

Impatience with my children.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Writing all the music that I have. But it is a work in progress.

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

A tree in a remote forest.

Where would you most like to live?

In a ‘Good Country’.

What is your most treasured possession?

Peace of mind.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Losing my peace of mind.

What is your favourite occupation?

What I currently do.

What is your most marked characteristic?

Being friendly and spontaneous

What do you most value in your friends?

A shared value system, beliefs and equanimity

Who are your favourite writers?
Tom Robbins, Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams, Iain Banks, Ramachandra Guha, Salman Rushdie and many more.

Who is your hero of fiction?

Samuel Vimes.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?

Can’t say.

Who are your heroes in real life?

What is your favourite name?


What is it that you most dislike?

Ignorance and narrow-mindedness

What is your greatest regret?
Not having my father around for longer.

How would you like to die?


What is your favourite journey?

Into myself.

What is your motto?

Don’t panic.

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