The Proust Questionnaire is a series of questions designed to reveal the personality of the person answering the questions. It is named after Marcel Proust, though he did not invent it. In the late 19th century, it was common for families to answer a series of personal questions, also called a confession book.
Proust answered such a series in 1890 while still a teenager. The manuscript was discovered in 1924, two years after his death, and the frankness of his answers has led to it becoming a popular form of interviewing.
Firstpost put the Proust Questionnaire to Dwayne Bravo, one of West Indies’ most successful limited overs all-rounders. A flamboyant and expressive cricketer, Bravo is a household name in India, thanks to his IPL exploits. He was part of the Chennai Super Kings core under skipper MS Dhoni, and has been successful in establishing himself as a firm fan favourite.
Bravo has previously held the West Indies captaincy post and is currently their second highest run-getter and wicket-taker in T20Is. He is their third-highest wicket-taker in ODIs.
The Trinidad & Tobago all-rounder is currently gearing up for the World T20 in India and Firstpost’s Jigar Mehta caught up with him in the sidelines of the Royal Stag Barrel Select Perfect Strokes chat show held in Mumbai.
What is your idea of happiness?
Life. Every morning I get up, say my prayers, that's the most important thing in life. I am naturally a happy person. I enjoy my life. So I think I guess being able to live another day is being happy for me.
What is your greatest fear?
I don’t like saying it (smiles) but my biggest fear is a plane crash. But obviously being a professional cricketer, I’ve to a fly a lot. So yes, that's my biggest fear.
What about more intangible things like fear of failure?
No, I never fear failure. We all are failures at some point in time but the most important thing is to prepare. As long as we prepare well, more often you will be successful. So it's better to prepare and fail than fail to prepare.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Nothing, I am happy with the way I am. I am not perfect but close to perfect. Very close! (Laughs)
What do you consider your greatest achievement so far?
Being a dad of two beautiful kids. Dwaynice my daughter and Dwanye Bravo Junior my son. I think those two are definitely my greatest achievement.
If you were to be reincarnated, what do you think you would be reincarnated as?
Ummm…Tough question. I am not sure. Maybe an entertainer, singer or something, I don't know.
What is your idea of misery? What makes you unhappy?
When I see obvious lies, someone being dishonest. I don't like dishonesty. Also if something should be done in a particular way, and it's not done in that way, especially when it's a professional environment or system, you expect certain things to have a certain standard when it doesn't happen then it definitely ticks me off.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Apart from Trinidad and Tobago, I would say……Chennai (a rousing smile followed by a hearty laugh). I love Chennai you know I have been there for the last five years and the city has been good to me, so definitely Chennai.
And what is your favourite occupation?
I love music and to my fans out there who don't know, I am going to launch a new song on the 14 March. It's called champion. It's going to be my World Cup anthem, we are going to have a new dance. It's our champion dance. So look out for it. It’s my new song. I have a special passion for music. Last year I launched ‘Chalo chalo’ and now this one is called champion.
What are the thrills that batting gives you?
Batting, you know being able to finish off games and win games for your team. Being able to hit sixes, fours, score winning runs, I think those are the exciting parts of being a batsman and also being a top order batsman you get some of the best bats from the your bat manufacturer.
What are the thrills that bowling gives you?
Being able to bowl at the death when there is a big challenge, when you have to defend a particular score in the last over or the second last over, those are the areas that I strive for. To know that for the last five years I’ve been playing for Chennai (CSK) and captain Dhoni trusts me so much that every time the team is in a spot of bother, he throws the ball to me. I enjoy that.
What do you think is your strongest quality?
My all round ability to bat and bowl and field equally as good, also to be able to fit into any team, any environment. I'm approachable and also have a big fan base. I just love to play cricket and whichever team I play for they know that they will get a 100 percent.
What do you appreciate the most in your friends?
(In) my friends, umm... Being able to share a laugh, a quiet moment, we go out and have fun together, Party, nightclubs. I enjoy the nightlife, that's something I do enjoy. I don't drink alcohol, I don't gamble, I don't smoke. So for those of you who don't know I don't drink, I don't gamble, I don't smoke, but I love nightlife. I enjoy my life.
Who are your favourite authors?
No, I am not actually a big fan of actually reading and stuff, so I won't pinpoint any particular, but I read books of Michael Jordan or Phil Jackson, those inspirational books like of past sportsmen, great coaches. I read a bit of Sachin's book as well, so those are the books that I actually read, like from ex-players or professional coaches or athletes.
Who are your real life heroes?
Hero? Definitely, Brian Lara. (My) childhood hero, As a kid growing up, I always remember saying to my family that one day I want to be like Lara. We are from the same village. Coming from the West Indies, every kid back in those times wanted to emulate only one person and that was Brian Lara.
On what occasion do you lie?
Lie? No, I don't lie (blushes a bit). I don’t lie. I said lies is what turns me off and gets me upset, so why should I lie. I don't lie, I'm a very honest, straight-forward person. Sometimes the truth tends to offend other people. But I am a firm believer of being honest, being honest with yourself, being honest with others and let the Gods deal with the rest.
What is your greatest regret?
Not being able to complete my Test career. When I started back in 2004, upto 2010, I thought I had a very good test career going and I feel I could have continued and been one of the best all-rounders in test cricket. But that dream was stopped short. Don't want to get into it but it was stopped due to politics, something beyond my control. But that's my biggest regret.
What is your guilty pleasure?
No guilty pleasure. I have no guilty pleasure. Nothing (smiles)
You ever play with anyone with whom you don't get on with?
No, I get along with everyone. I said I am an easy guy and can fit in any environment, so there has never been a situation in a team where I don't speak to someone.
Who is the most famous person in your phone?
In my phone? (starts laughing) The most famous person on my phone? I don't know. Everyone is on the same level. I'm the most famous person (in my phone!)
What is the best piece of advice you have received so far?
I would say from my parents. Being humble, have proper manners, simple things like have respect for elders, (wishing) good morning, good evening, good night and all those simple things which I learnt from my parents in my childhood I still have it in me. Maybe that is a reason why I am disciplined, never late, always on time and all those things.
What is your present state of mind?
Currently, sitting and doing the interview with you (smiles), but at the same time I am a very chilled person, very relaxed with life, easy going, don’t bother much, don’t overthink. I am happy with the way I’ve been living so far and the things that I have achieved so far and I just wish others can achieve their dreams, whatever they dream. Just wish well for others.
Do you have a favourite motto or favourite saying?
“What is to be, will be.”
What is the hardest obstacle you have had to overcome?
I can't really pin point anything, but most times when I face a challenge or an obstacle, more often than not I overcome it because I am a strong believer of my talent, myself and the things that I want. For example, two years ago I was getting involved with music and a lot of negative (things) came about, but if I was a mentally weak person, I don’t think I would have been able to release (my songs), well, on 14 March its going to be the fifth song that I am going to release. I am a positive person. If I believe in something I go towards it.
How would you like to die?
I don't want to die (laughs), I don't want to die. That's a hard question, no one wants to die. How can somebody like to die? If I can predict my death then.. I don't know, in my sleep, maybe? The easiest way.