A little excerpt from what I’d written back in December while I was preparing for Mr Gay World India, and I’d asked myself “What if it doesn’t work that way?” and this came out of that:
“The biggest problem with us is that we don’t let ourselves accept the fact that it can also happen the other way; that there is a possibility of things clicking. This can’t happen to me because I’m too poor, I’m too under confident, I’m too fat or too thin, I did not grow up in that part of the world, I did not grow up in that era, I can’t think that way because I’m not a writer or that I’m too young or too old. What you heard that other person say is that other person’s story and his/her circumstances. You don’t have to wait for your life to imitate every aspect of that person’s life. What you have to yourself right now is the only thing that matters. And try and achieve your goal a little every day of your life. Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant. Don’t wait for the perfect moment to hit you. This very moment you’re reading this could be the perfect moment for you to start something new and exciting. I have a goal because I let myself dream and not even once let myself tell me how it might not happen. Another thing that initially stopped me from giving things a try was my fear of failure. And in the process I realized how failure is in fact failing to try. If you try and keep fighting all odds, you’re already a winner. Once you start trying there’s another fear you have to tackle-the fear of the unknown. I’m trying and I don’t know if it’s going to lead me that way. But what if it does? And there is a possibility that it doesn’t work that way. But you need to remind yourself constantly that it is still okay for it to not work the way you wanted it to be. Maybe you have something better in store for you?”
One of the reasons why I wanted to be a part of Mr Gay World was so that I could meet more people in life, get to know more varied perspectives and learn and evolve as an individual through the entire process. And while things have worked out pretty well for me, one of the things I’d never expected was how mind bogglingly my relationship with my parents has strengthened through the entire course of Mr Gay World India and beyond. My father and I don’t speak very often, and every time we spoke, we’d end up discussing our extreme opinions with respect to my career choices. I am a dreamer at heart, and I really do want to experiment madly with my life and push myself as much as I can, while my father would insist on me being a little more practical. Bruce Springsteen had once said, “More than rich, more than famous, more than be happy, I just want to be great!”, and I would totally want to believe him!
So it was the morning of 25th of January when I wake myself up, get dressed thanks to my partner in crime Ashwini and take an auto to somewhere in Bandra where Darshan, my co-contestant picks me up and we head towards Sky Café near Church gate after me having puked in his cab and then forgetting to throw the paper bag out. Almost four hours later I was Mr. Gay World India 2016 and I was absolutely numb. I wanted to be ecstatic, but I was so numb and more importantly so anxious of what the future had in store for me. The week after was all the more over-whelming with me giving interviews everyday and not having enough time to talk to myself and make myself believe that a little dream of mine had actually come true. And I was back in Mumbai a little more than a week after for the Mumbai Pride and it couldn’t have been better. I was made to feel so special, meeting all the people I had someday dreamt of meeting and it was all happening in front of me. Wow! But a part of me still felt pretty empty. And I realized why as I sat down to finally talk to myself after cleaning my ever-so-messy room. The only person I have to compete with is myself! I would’ve never grown as an individual had I been sitting with my phone swiping through pictures of the ever-so-perfect people I follow on Instagram. I only had to be better than what I was. And that’s exactly what I’m planning to take with me to Malta- the best of Anwesh.