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.
I think everyone who knows me, knows it pretty well that I’m obsessed with Indian clothes, textiles, accessories and fashion. So this week I re-created something extremely close to my heart- my mum as a twenty-one year old bride. She’s always told both me and my sister how she always wished that her ceremony was shot as a video, and that she had more accessories to wear. But trust me, she looked nothing less than stunning in that bright violet colored sari (a very un-conventional choice of color given how most Indian brides are obsessed with the color red), with a gold zari border and pretty white-tube-roses woven together and twirled around the bun. Odiya people love the color gold and weddings are incomplete without gold bangles, earrings and neck-pieces. That is one picture of hers that has always stayed with me and will continue to in the days to come. I’m not sure if a lot of people know this, but while henna is worn by a lot of brides these days all over India, traditionally alta was worn extensively by women in the eastern states of India during festivities. I love alta. It sort of just brightens up the entire look of an individual. Alta is a red colored liquid which was made out of lac insects earlier. But nowadays synthetic colors are mostly used for making alta. Women also wore a white colored liquid called shringar that smells like heaven on their forehead drawn usually in the shapes of creepers with little flowers and leaves or just a series of dots ending as a flower.
Stay tuned for the next set of looks I’ll be coming up with in the next couple of weeks. Loads of stuff coming your way.
Because it is taking us way too long to realize that we’re in fact brothers from the same mother. So I’ve been keeping a track of the recent Humans Of New York’s pictures by Brandon Stanton and I couldn’t be happier with his pictures from Pakistan. It makes me so happy to see the way Pakistan is finally being seen by people as any other country in the world where people do live happily and explosions aren’t exactly happening all around all the time. I often speak to my friends from Pakistan and that’s exactly how I got rid of the kind of image that I had of this beautiful country. A very Happy Independence Day to both the countries. Let’s not hate our own people. We’re together in this. Hoping that we someday get back to being the way we used to be.
So this week ‘The Effeminare Woman’ is all set to take over Delhi in her pretty bike and she’s already loving it. But just because she’s riding her bike doesn’t count for enough reason to not dress to the teeth! Mixing her Indian essentials with some super chic Indian jewels, she respects her freedom and is living her life on her own terms.
But unlike The Effeminare woman, I’m not exactly the kind of person who’s into bikes. I’ve never had any fascination to automobiles, which almost all the guys around me growing up were obsessed with and my disinterest would often befuddle me. So I finally thought that perhaps I should give bikes a try and I asked my father to teach me the basics. The first time I managed to hurt my knee learning, while the second time I hurt my father pretty bad. So that sort of cancelled out the possibility of a third time. 😛
This weekend I went to watch my friend’s play called “The Gordons” which was somewhat inspired from Noel Coward’s “The Blithe Spirit”. Love going to Mandi House anyways. In the evenings, Copernicus Marg is bustling with songs, tinkling ankle bells, and happiness. Had the toughest time finding LTG Auditorium, but then there was no way I was giving up. Running around in my maroon kurta and tan dress shoes, I finally reached almost 3 minutes before the play was supposed to start. Yay! I was so happy to have made it to the play. It was very well written and executed. Perfect amount of humor and just the perfect amount of sarcasm.
Also I have to mention about all the fiasco surrounding Shri Raadhe Maa. I’m like what is wrong with us. How on earth can we believe someone so easily? How gullible as individuals are we? But I have to give it to her for being able to con so many Indians so well, given the amount of followers she’s got with a fancy website and a registered Facebook page. Like whaaat? And then how can I not mention about all the moral policing going around in our country? Some forty odd couples were taken to the police station from various lodges and hotels surrounding Madh Island and Aksa in Mumbai and humiliated for ‘public Indecency’. Yes. Consenting adults who’d checked into private hotel rooms were charged with indecency in public and were not only insulted but also fined. The irony of the situation I tell ya! When are we all planning to grow up? No, really when?
So my summer vacations are finally on and I’ve taken a break from a lot of things and moved back home so that I can finally concentrate on things that I’ve always loved doing. Sketching happens to be one of them. Also we don’t have a WiFi connection at my place and the dongle that I’m left with isn’t really the kind of thing you’d associate with high-speed Internet, a.k.a it’s effing slow! I can hardly Google things but that’s obviously the last thing I’d like to bother myself with. 😛 There is a sense of happiness and a lot of peace in not being able to have a perfectly fine Internet connection. Where I currently live is far-far away from the city. So there’s no traffic, hardly any people, or any noise. So I am mostly hibernating and then the time I’m left with is usually spent in sketching, jogging (fitness is my new found field of interest 😛 ), or watching Queer as Folks. This is one show that I perhaps love even more than Game of Thrones. I love how it lets me travel into the crazy world of Babylon which is full of sex and well, more sex. It is a pretty cool show and if you ever have the time to or if you’re a little curious, you should watch this show.
Like I said I’ve been back to sketching lately. It used to be my sole source of entertainment when I was a little kid. I would finish off bundles of A4 sized sheets that my father would get for us drawing things that’d interest me back then. One of them was drawing women wearing loads of jewelry. When my art teacher found my sketches he insisted on sending me to him for formal training in drawing, and that’s how I got into it. I trained under him for five years till the time I was ten and then now after almost ten years since I last took my drawing lessons, I finally felt the urge to get back into sketching. So before I came back home, I managed to Google a set of sketches that I wanted to sketch while I’m here.
To start with, one must always start with the little elements in a drawing. Start from the top of the drawing, or if it’s a portrait, start with the face structure first. Once you have the basic skeletal, keep adding the other important elements. One of the basic techniques of sketching is to shade and smudge. I use an HB and an A1 pencil for darkness. While for drawing, I prefer using a well sharpened pencil, for shading, I like it when my pencils are a little blunt. In order to create a darker solid colored shade, I prefer filling the required area with a blunt pencil. While for creating a shaded pattern (from dark to medium to light), slant your well sharpened pencil and shade the lining first and use the smudging technique to create the required pattern.
Before you start shading, you can make your pencil a little blunt if you want. Makes it easier to work with.
I use a small piece of kite paper for smudging. Also make sure you have a larger piece of cloth or kite paper to make sure that the pencil marks aren’t all over your sheet.
The final piece.
The following are some of the sketches I’ve been working on lately. All of them are a recreation of sketches I came across on the Internet.