Better than *Me*

DSC03409.jpg

My favorite picture of the lot today. Had the honor of being shot by Ara Alexander. Wonder woman at its best!

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.

Peace out.

 

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.

IMG_20151202_120917

 

IMG_5384

 

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”.

FB_IMG_14460475288516877

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.

IMG_20151022_125049

IMG_20151022_211838

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

IMG_20151023_112346

Wall Art | Location: Pratapgarh Farms, Haryana, India

IMG_20151023_114247_1445582586784

Location: Pratapgarh Farms, Haryana, India

IMG_20151023_125558

Cousin Love ❤

IMG_20151024_235552

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

Peace in. 🙂

|| 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.

LilMiss

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.

FI

Peace in. 🙂

Aravani Welcomes the Fall!

Jeremy

This week Aravani is singing the song of love as her favorite season of the year #Fall is almost here. She’s dressed in her favorite dress from the most fun and colorful @itsjeremyscott SS 16 ❤💕 collection straight from the runway and she’s feeling no less than a star. 🎆

Remember the admirer we talked about in the last post? Hasn’t turned up since a fortnight. Does the possibility of love seem dwindling down the air?

A lot of the people have been asking me what the entire series is all about. So I’ve planned to release short Instagram videos for all my three characters in the future posts. You can always keep track of the series by using the hashtags. I’ve worked them all out and there shouldn’t be any issues either on the blog or on my Instagram account. ❤

Also it’s officially Fall! I obviously love fall for obvious reasons. It’s fun, it’s exciting, there are pretty leaves all around and you can finally dress in layers, which is absolutely awesome. Loads of amazing posts coming your way. So stay tuned and paws up!

Peace in! ❤

It’s a Yes!

Man3

Recap: The Effeminare man was at his boyfriend’s sister’s wending last week and was about to meet his to-be in-laws for the first time. How did it go?

And it’s a yes! They were so happy to meet him and they couldn’t be happier that they’ve found each other. It’s all clicking so well. Seems like a dream already. So what’s next on the cards? Marriage? Not so soon! Stay Tuned.

CognoOfTheWeek:

Sometimes I feel like homosexuals or perhaps the queer community in general could be the most homophobic group of people and that’s exactly why we so need to teach our kids about alternate sexuality, other than the fact that currently we’re not exactly doing a very good job providing them with proper sex education. If you might have watched Caitlyn Jenner’s interview on Ellen, you can clearly tell that a part of her is still a Republican, and she’s not exactly okay with the concept of same-sex marriage. I will be posting something on the same lines in my future posts. Oh also, I have my exams from the coming week, so wish me luck! And I might not be able to post something new in the coming week, but you know I am gonna make up for it. 😉

Peace in. ❤

Did she fall in LOVE?

Mor

It’s only their second date and things seem to be clicking for ‘The Effeminare Woman’ like never before. He’s understanding, is intelligent and more importantly is interested in listening to her. Are things going way too quick, or is it okay to speed it up when you know it’s working? Can you really fall in love with someone in just a week? Stay Tuned. She wanted to feel feminine and sporty all at the same time as she started getting ready for her second date. And to her rescue came the ever-so-stylish Shaurya from @morphologyblog. Don’t you just love the printed blue with a pop of pink jacket?! ❤ Because ‘The Effeminare Woman’ always wants to get it right no matter what.  So I’ll be using the hash tag #Effeminared on my Instagram account from now on when I recreate a look so that you guys can keep a track of all the fashionable people around. Some amazing looks I’ve come across lately, not just from bloggers, but also on the street, and some people from my college. Loads of looks to recreate, so you’ll have to keep up with my work. Stay Tuned.

Also I have a performance today which I’m pretty excited about. Let’s see how it all works out. I’ll post a video on YouTube though. 😉 Now wish me luck. And Paws up! 🙂

Peace in.

The Time He Went to Meet His Parents

Gallery

This gallery contains 1 photo.

So this week “The Effeminare Man” is going to attend his boyfriend’s sister’s wedding and therefore he’ll be meeting his boyfriend’s family for the first time. While he’s pretty nervous about it, he made sure his fashion game is still … Continue reading

When Aravani got herself a club for Queers

12

Aravani is obsessed with Asifa Lahore and following in her footsteps, Aravani has opened up a night club exclusively for the Queer community in Delhi where she often performs. She has also been helping some teenagers finding it difficult to come out by taking time out of her schedule and meeting and talking to them personally. Meanwhile she’s found some admirers in the club. But there’s someone she finds pretty interesting. Who is he and what is he like? Stay Tuned to know more. Much Love ❤

I think a few weeks ago I came across Asifa Lahore’s hilarious music video Jimmy which is a remake of Mia’s Jimmy, which itself is a remake of Mithun’s popular song from the eighties- Jimmy! Jimmy! JImmy! Aaja! Aaja! Aaja! Remember? Anyways, that sort of took me to all of the most inspiring interviews of this incredible man named Asif Qureshi for whom drag is more than just gaudy makeup and clothes, it is a way of life. Asifa Lahore is one of the first out drag queens and how! A recent documentary of hers (that was showed on Channel 4 in the UK) was widely talked about. She talks about how she gets mails from troubled teenagers trying to fit in, to hate mails with people telling her how she’s a disgrace to the Muslim community and that she must be killed. But here she is, living her life proudly as a Muslim drag and fab. More power to people like her.

Peace in.