Kulsoom Aftab is a dramatist, poet, actor, original content creator, director, translator, voice-over artist, script consultant, writing and acting coach. She is also a student counsellor, and part of the NAPA faculty. Kulsoom is an activist for meaningful entertainment, female empowerment, and original content. Her work includes an award-winning documentary, Our Jacob, translation credits for Stanislavsky’s An Actor Prepares and a voice-over in 3 Bahadur (first Pakistan animated movie) She also played the lead in Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra (NRT). Her forthcoming work includes an Urdu adaptation of Shakespeare’s All’s Well That Ends Well, and the feature film, Jugnu, produced by Jami, to be released in 2020. She takes part in our interview series to shed light on more of her psyche.
The Proust Questionnaire has its origins in a parlor game popularized (though not devised) by Marcel Proust, the French essayist and novelist, who believed that, in answering these questions, an individual reveals his or her authentic nature.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Feeling perfect with all my imperfections.
What is your greatest fear?
Lizards ( insects) , rats, wedding receptions and sometimes my unpredictability.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Not in terms of money. In other ways … it’s my emotional availability.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
On what occasion do you lie?
Whenever it’s needed. For a cause.
What is the quality you most like in a man?
A man understands the other man.
What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Resilience against drama in her life.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
– Be Original.
– Let the inner child Express
– I don’t give a damn
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Which talent would you most like to have?
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I wish to change the intensity of my attachments with things and people.
What do you most dislike about your appearance?
Nothing. In fact I love everything about my appearance.
Which living person do you most admire ?
My Niece Leenah. She is just 4 but she knows what she wants and how to get it.
Which living person do you most despise?
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
In a country like Pakistan, there are so many. First, surviving all the questions like SHADI KIYUN NAHI KARTI HO?
Second, not giving a damn about people’s opinions regarding me and my art and my activism.
Third, it’s more than a decade and I’m still doing theatre.
Fourth, being a feminist and alive!
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
Bhutto, to make it sure that Mujeeb and all Bengalis get their fair share in Pakistan.
Where would you most like to live?
What is your most treasured possession?
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Loss of talent.
What is your most marked characteristic?
Well… my vulnerabilities, mostly. Apparently long hair, kohl eyes, emotional availability and sarcasm.
What do you most value in your friends?
My choice to call them my friends.
Who are your favorite writers?
So many… yes, so many. Who can find a few names when it comes to writers and artists? So many come to mind.. like Qurat ul Ain Haider, Najeeb Mahfuz, Manto, Enver Sajjad, Kafka, Sartre, Gabriel García Márquez Virginia Woolf and James Joyce and others.
Who is your hero of fiction?
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Who are your heroes in real life?
Everyone who is fighting with Depression and anxiety.
Everyone who is giving a tough time to “Log Kia Kahengy Syndrome.”
What is your motto?
To fight for aesthetics.