Nehima’s #FittingOut Story- “I’m Asexual”

Firstly, a very Happy New Year to you guys! This is officially my first post of the year, so yay! Anyway my first post this year is another Fitting Out story that I’ve been eagerly waiting to share. And here it goes:

” When I realised I was asexual I had hit puberty and my classmates were getting increasingly sexual. I, on the other hand, remained the same. The apparent change in sexuality was more pronounced when I shifted to a new school. I was still the same person. I knew all the jargon but felt none of the hormonal urges. I read up a lot about what I was missing out on. I didn’t, however, read anything on asexuality because I did not know that such a term existed. So I hid behind a mask of knowledge and double meaning jokes. I faked it till I could convince everyone that yes, I wanted to make out with that cute boy. But I never believed it. Once I entered eleventh grade, any ounce of sexuality I may have had (highly unlikely) was further pushed in the background till it merged with the obscure blankness of the unknown. This was the time when I didn’t care about the fact that I had friends or not. I became secluded (not related to asexuality but to the fact that I started reading novels and studying). My friends were the boys in my group with whom I discussed problems and novel storylines (they read too, much to my surprise). I made a few strong friends here, some of whom I still talk to. Anyway, I digress. So, still asexual. I first heard the term while reading about LGBT. I wanted to know what was happening to me (I thought maybe I was a lesbian). No one knew much about it at that time but the definition of asexuality clicked with me. I knew that I was an asexual. I never told anyone about it though.

    When I told my family about being an asexual I completed my school without any event and entered college. It was a fun transition for me, one that I enjoyed a lot. I got to start over with a completely new and random set of people. I cut my hair short, changed my wardrobe (mom helped with that), and slept off the exhaustion of the last two years. But I still was an asexual. I saw how the females reacted in the presence of attractive males and my reaction wouldn’t be the same. They noticed this and I was mockingly termed half-male, half-female. I had no issues with that and I went along with this label. They didn’t mean any harm. After my first year, I made amazing friends. I met two brave individuals (Anwesh and a boy from my school) who are homosexuals and who are supported by their family and friends. I saw the love they got and thought of telling my family. This asexuality posed a problem for any possibility of marriage since my parents want me to have an arranged marriage. In an arranged marriage, the poor unsuspecting husband wouldn’t know that his wife is an asexual and doesn’t want to have sex. He would expect sex and would feel cheated. So, I had ruled out marriage a long time ago (since the time I realised that I was an asexual) unless I fall in love with a man who understands what he’s getting into and still wants me. I sat my parents down and told them that I wouldn’t get married, definitely not an arranged marriage. They reacted with shock. I put forward my reasons (asexuality being the brightest point). My parents said that this was a good thing and that I would grow out of it once I got married. I said that I wouldn’t. This was permanent. It wouldn’t change. They refused to listen, to understand. So I let it pass resolving to tell them this again. My sibling reacted much better and was genuinely happy for me. Fast forward one year. I decided to tell my parents once again, this time separately. So, father first. Same response, “it’ll pass, it’s good that you don’t feel this right now” and nervous giggling. My mother, too, reacted the same way. My only option was to make them read articles on asexuality. They both support the LGBT campaign. They would support this too once they realised that I won’t just ‘get over it’. And I did just that. Third time’s the charm I guess because my parents finally understood what I was talking about and supported me. I still have not told my friends and other members of my family but over time, I will. Till then, I shall remain anonymous.”

— Nehima

12 Things 2015 Taught Me about Life

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I did this picture with Savi for her college magazine. So much fun every time we do pictures together. :’)

 

2015 has by far been the most fulfilling and secure year of my life. I happily walked out of a relationship where I wasn’t an equal with my head held high, became fully aware of how I can’t make everyone happy in the world, met complete strangers in life who brightened my day up at once, made friends almost instantly who went on to become my closest set of friends and finally realized how sometimes in life some things can mean so much to you that you’re literally ready to give it all that you have.  Here’s a roundup of the twelve lessons I learned in 2015 about life:

  1. I had a lot of fun, and it isn’t fun.
  2. You can be the sweetest peach in the world, but there’s still going to be someone who doesn’t like peaches.
  3. Grow up, never become an adult. Adults are boring. If you are always trying way too hard to be normal you’ll never know how amazing you can be.
  4. There’s always going to be someone a lot better than you, someone a lot more talented than you are, and someone who has been working a lot harder than you have. And that’s exactly why one should never stop pushing oneself to get better.
  5. Allow me to quote Paulo Coelho here, “And, when you want something, the entire universe conspires in helping you achieve it”. ‘nuf said!
  6. Don’t wait for life to be perfect. What you have right now is perfection. If you don’t value what you have today, you’ll never learn to value it tomorrow. Don’t wait for your life to get back on track. Make the best of what you have right now. There’s always something wonderful today, that you might not have tomorrow.  The glass is never half empty. It is always full-half with water and the other half with air.
  7. Life is service. Service is joy. We’re all here to make a difference. You don’t necessarily have to change the world, but you can always do your bit and the universe will take care of itself.
  8. Experiment! Not everything in life has to lead to something. Don’t be scared to take risks in life. Remember, if someone has done it, you can do it too. If someone hasn’t done it yet, then you should definitely do it. Take a chance, follow your instincts. You’re going to walk out of it stronger and wiser than ever.
  9. You’re not going to be always right. Don’t let your pride over-shine you. Make your mistakes, and more importantly accept them. That’s the only way you’ll learn to correct them.
  10. Never stop learning. Like ever!
  11. You deserve all the happiness on earth. Work hard, be good, and let yourself be a good student, your life will be a great teacher.
  12. Life is magic. And don’t you dare stop believing in magic!

 

Love and Light

The Effeminare

#FittingOut Stories

Like I had mentioned in my previous posts, I had taken my campaign #FittingOut to the Annual Delhi Pride Parade this year and had asked people to share their Fittingout stories. They were all so beautiful and moving and I’m so glad to be finally putting all of them together for you guys to read. So *drum rolls* and here it goes:

1.

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“Like most of the introvert kids in my school, I tried fitting into groups that led to me being a kind of individual I wasn’t. And I resented that a lot! Not bothering yourself with the negative things that people have to say about you only leads to a positive discovery of oneself.”

 

2.

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“I was a little tomboyish at school and I never liked wearing skirts and all the other stuff that women are supposed to wear. I’m usually very friendly with people and that was also why I was so popular at school. So yeah, I’m happy fitting out and I think if you fit out you make an identity for yourself.”

 

3.

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“I’ve always supported LGBTQI rights and I think it’s absolutely normal. But my parents and my acquaintances have always asked me to not put forth my views out in the public. But I do that anyways.”

 

4.

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“I had no particular group that I belonged to in school. In fact I was that one girl who was mostly punished during classes. I have curly hair and people would often want me to have them straightened.

I think love is love. The queer community is so misunderstood and people aren’t exactly aware of their struggles and the challenges they face. People are always so quick to judge them which I think needs to change.”

 

5.

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“I’ve come out only recently to myself as bisexual and this is my second pride, however the first after coming out to myself. Though my office colleagues very actively support the queer community, I haven’t come out to them yet.”

 

6.

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“I used to play the female characters in school plays and most of my guy friends were cool with it. In fact I was in an all boys’ school, so the guys had to play the female parts and while all other boys would run away, I’d happily volunteer. My parents weren’t aware of my trans-fluidity until a year ago, in fact my dad still doesn’t know but my mum supports me a lot and has given me the freedom to be who I want to be.”

 

#FittingOut

Back in 2011, I chose to be a part of a dance routine at my school’s Annual day that turned out to be the beginning of a new me. It was a semi classical dance routine and had ninety girls with me being the only guy.

One of the girls came up to me and condescendingly asked me, “Are you too a part of the group?” I said yes. She gave me a look and walked off. That upset me and this particular episode stayed with me for a while and I kept thinking of how difficult it was for me to fit in. Then Steven Retchless in his high heels happened to me and I realised how I did not have to be sorry for being who I am.

I didn’t have to fit in anymore. I’d rather be ‪#‎FittingOut‬. Because you’re original and you were meant to stand out. I was also there at the Annual Delhi Pride Parade with my campaign and I’ll be sharing all the interesting Fitting Out stories I came across in the future posts.

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And now for the bigger news I had been waiting to share with all you guys. I made it through the first round for Mr Gay World India 2016 and I am also done shooting the pictures for the same. I have been working very hard for the competition and it has been a dream since 2012. I am currently waiting for the results for the next set of rounds. MGW would be a huge platform for me to voice my opinion and belief and do my bit  in bringing a positive change in the world. Let’s hope for the best and #Fingerscrossed.

It also makes me super happy to finally share the #FittingOut campaign video. This would not have been possible without Rahul from Artists at Work Productions backing this video since the beginning. This man is the boss. I can’t thank all my friends enough for being a constant support. Let’s make this world a place where being queer isn’t looked down upon. We all deserve to live a life filled with happiness and respect. Let’s all put a little of our efforts into making that dream come true.

 

Love and Light,

The Effeminare

 

 

 

 

 

Pukaar for Chennai

This year Chennai, the capital city of Tamil Nadu in India has been crippled by torrential rains leaving the entire city submerged in water. All sources of communication have come to a halt with people in parts of the city in dire need of your help. You can also do your bit by donating an amount you are comfortable with and picking an artwork in exchange. This is the link to all the artworks submitted by artists from around the world.
You can read all about the initiative by clicking here.
I have also made a submission of the following artwork.

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I request you guys to go ahead and do your bit. 🙂

Love and Light,

The Effeminare

The Mouse I share my room with

Nothing beats the happiness of a semester that has just ended. No really, it’s been a tough semester and I know I’ve grown stronger with the end of this one. It is no less than a war fighting assignments, projects and the one and half hour long lectures every semester. Engineering is no funny business. I’ve cried for hours struggling with the academics, I have tried hard at every lab exam I had to attend, noting down values I wouldn’t understand, practicing math equations I would hardly follow, but I tried. I’ve learned a lot from my eighteen year old self in the first semester who did not have much to look forward to but still clinged on to the little hope he had and religiously did his academics, studied till late at night and woke up at 6:30 in the morning to catch an hour and a half long metro to college and gave a dreadful exam where he was asked to implement a clock on Verilog he had no idea of and then went on to implement fancy muxes on a breadboard and made it through his final lab exam. I have no idea how I did it, may be the fact that I was done with one of my eight semesters made me happy. But I know it’ll continue to empower me. And I always pray to God to give me enough strength to fight all such wars in the future and never stop learning. Because learning is the only way we’re going to get better.

So while I had paid for a single seater this semester, I have been provided one with a little mouse running around eating my almonds. I used to try real hard getting him out of my room. Onions, deodorants (I don’t know why I used that), and every possible home remedy you name and I have tried. But that is one hell of a resilient (or stubborn?) mouse that simply wouldn’t go. And now I’ve just gotten so accustomed to him being around that I just cannot get a mice poison from the market to kill him. He’s sorta cute. Anyway I haven’t been able to make illustrations for almost a month now owing to my busy schedule due to my multiple projects, final assignments, photoshoots (I’ll let you know why I have been working on them)  and exams. But I will be back to business. So let the December begin.

Sneak peek into the pictures I did with Savi for her college magazine.

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Love and Light,

The Effeminare ❤

 

 

 

|| Finding Anny ||

Vogue

A little something I worked on the other day. Recreating the official Vogue India cover for October with Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh in it.

Anny is a name I was given back in school by my closest set of friends and it sort of has stayed with me even today. 😛 I did a little Googling and it told me Anny is a Hebrew name meaning, “He (God) has favored me” and he indeed has. I am evolving everyday and still trying to understand who I really am and that’s how I came across something important.

I often find people looking down upon effeminacy. More often than not, people do not have an issue with homosexuality. The problem lies in what they have defined as abnormal for them. Anything that does not fit into their definition of normal is weird. Perhaps the problem could be solved by defining a new normal for us all?

“Men must behave like men”, said a man in his description on Grindr (And I agree Grindr is the last place I should be looking for politically correct and intelligent statements!). Isn’t that in some way suggestive of his dislike towards his sexuality? Or maybe he is okay with homosexuality, but has an issue with men being effeminate. One of the biggest problems on earth is how much we hate people like us. More often than not people hate people of their own kind more than the people who’re different than us. When Priyanka Chopra becomes arguably the first Asian to be a face of an American television series as slick as Quantico, it is the Indians who have more of an issue with her success. “Oh her accent is so fake!”, “And now she’s having sex abroad!”.

I feel sad when I see a classmate of mine pointing out how ugly and ordinary-looking Freida Pinto is. No one adores Freida Pinto as much as I do. I look upto her in so many ways than I can count. How many Indians born and brought up in India go abroad and are able to not just be a part of not just inspirational Indie movies but also crack all those big-banners? I really wanted to understand the real reason behind us doing so and I could finally find one- insecurity. One of my acquaintances on knowing my interest in the field of digital art and fashion condescendingly said to me, “But why do you want to be a part of something like Fashion?”

No wait a second, do you know anything about the world of Fashion? Do you know or even remotely understand the work that goes into coming up with something new and interesting in a world where almost everything has been tried and tested  and to top it all execute the same and make it look desirable and wearable enough to the audience?

She was also quick to assert, “I see how you also speak like those gay men I saw on Bigg Boss, may be because you have started living with such people?”

So much has been spoken of the problem with prejudice and the concept of passing a judgment without having even the slightest idea of the bigger picture. And all these people I talk about are educated individuals. Education isn’t only about learning the ability to read and write. Education is developing the ability to think rationally without mindless preconceived notions, the ability to develop a mind of your own and do something substantial for this society that you are a part of. But fuck that shit! “I went to a school so I could get myself a job, a spouse and judge people around me my entire life.”

Logic plays no role in such conversations. We are believed to be living in a country that came up with the concept of Karma, but yeah, ‘Fuck karma! I am going to look down upon what you do and make myself look bigger’. Well, I’m not sure whether someone told you, “You cannot fix yourself by breaking someone else”.

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Siddhant clicked this picture for me on Arushi’s camera and let me tell you I was back from a play and I was effing tired but all the sweat made my skin shine bright, so I ain’t complaining.

Peace in.

And she’s a Coder!

Mawi

‪#‎CoderAtHeart‬
Yes! That’s exactly what ‪#‎TheEffeminareWoman‬ is so passionate about. She loves the language of computers and could never imagine her life without it. She might have found the love of her life now, but deep down she knows what her first love is- Programming!
And who did she decide to Effeminare this time? @mawis_vintage isn’t only a talented blogger. She’s much more than that. Perhaps the most down to earth and hard working person I’ve met. You meet her once and you know why she is the kind of blogger she is today. Good Luck Mawi! You’re doing great.

Also I had the most fun-filled Durga Pooja ever! I’ve already mentioned of my mad-love for this event and this year was no less. I did a little Dilli darshan as well. And here’s a set of pictures from what I wore on one of these days during Durga Puja. Let me know what you think of these.

Also I love being back home. Haryana has one of the most beautiful places on earth and I had the opportunity to visit one of these places. Pratapgarh farms are about sixty kilometers from where I stay and it’s actually the way to the farms that is prettier.

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Following are some pictures I clicked on the day of my visit. ❤

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Wall Art | Location: Pratapgarh Farms, Haryana, India

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Location: Pratapgarh Farms, Haryana, India

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Cousin Love ❤

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Pretty pretty swans! Location: Pratapgarh Farms, Haryana, India

Peace in. 🙂

Artwork

 

 

‘Wanderlust The following entries are original works submitted to us in accordance with the month’s theme. Happy browsing!”

Source: Artwork

So the above is an artwork I’d made for LSR’s (Lady Shri Ram College of the Delhi University) Wanderlust issue and it’s finally live. Go give it all a view. They’ve also got some really interesting write-ups which you should definitely give a read.

Happy browsing! 🙂 

|| The New Ways ||

So I’m writing this post after quite a while since I posted the last one, and  I’ll tell you why. Lately I’ve been trying to focus on learning new things. I’ve been experimenting with a couple of new ways of making my art look more mature and defined. I’m trying to make my vision clearer and making sure that I don’t get lost in the dark. I want to focus on reading for a while now. A couple of days back, I had a little conversation with someone and I realized how stagnant I’ve become and that perhaps in some ways my writing is lacking elements that a good piece of article usually has. I want to focus on writing about the beauty that lies in the simple things in life. I want to be more versatile. And I am trying to also keep up with the academics in college. I don’t think I’ve mentioned this in my posts earlier, but I’m an Electronics and Communication engineering student. In a lot of ways I’ve felt so detached from the course since the very beginning, but I’ve also learned a lot. I didn’t like my course one bit the very first semester. I would try and just run away every time I’d get a chance. I still don’t understand much in class, but what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. I’ve learned the importance of deadlines, the amount of talented people we’re all surrounded with, and more importantly the importance of hard work. I can actually go on and on about the past two years, but we’ll do that some other time.

Getting back, since I’m experimenting, you’ll get to see some variety in my illustrations in the coming days. And therefore, ‘The Effeminare’ series might go a little slow for a while now. The story is going to take a lot of interesting turns, and I’m going to try and make them a lot more beautiful and slick, which means I’ll need time since I also have to get my academics a little on track. 😉

Anyways, I’ve made a lot of illustrations in the weekend that just went by. It was Shraddha’s birthday on the 3rd of October and I made this illustration of hers in her pretty blue dress.

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I also ended up making this fashion illustration, something very much in the lines of Shamekh Bluwi (I’m obsessed with his work!). I think I will be making more of these for a while.

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Peace in. 🙂