| Why we should all be Humanists |

Art Love

 

The recent attack on Pulse, a gay bar in Orlando has been immensely shocking and devastating and has been a huge jolt to the LGBTIQA community from the entire world. Enough speculations have been made on how the attacker was a closeted homosexual and had been a regular at Pulse himself. But the attack is a reminder of how we are falling short in making the world aware of our presence and why we too deserve a life of respect, dignity and above all a safer environment.

Almost everyday as I woke up in the last couple of days, I’d come across the story of an innocent gay man or a wonderful couple who lost their lives in this deadly massacre- the worst the US has ever seen. But what breaks my heart even more is how all of this is the result of a single ignorant man who was probably unable to come to terms with his own sexuality or his shallow pride and took to guns to bring an end to his own turmoil. It’s a shame we have to deal with such issues in 2016, almost forty years since Harvey Milk stood up for our rights and eventually died fighting for them. I really am not sure if we can in any possible way change the thought-processes of millions of stubborn minds out there. Sometimes it is futile for us to think that they could get some sense into their lives and you really can’t do much about it because well, people are rigid! When you’ve lived half or more than half of your life believing in something so strongly and then suddenly someone comes up to you and tells you, “Well you know what? You’ve been wrong all along!”, there simply is no way for them to give in! For example, no matter how much I could try and talk to my parents, they’d never be okay with pre-marital sex. My mum went berserk when she saw 7 condoms from Love My Condom gifted to me by Bernie- Mr. Gay New Zealand and then went all the more crazy when she saw a post I’d shared on Facebook with a picture of those condoms. I might have given my 200% to change their mindsets but if you yourself are not willing to, then there’s really nothing that I or you could do about it. But there’s a solution. We can make sure that our future generation doesn’t have to suffer. We can teach our kids at school that there is so much more to gender than just the existence of a man and a woman and that is okay to blur that line between the two, that it is okay for a guy to dress up in skirt and wear heels, that it is okay for a woman to not want to wear a bra and ride a bike, that it is okay for you to not want to be a man or a woman. I’m extremely happy to see the rise of feminism in the world. The rise of the concept of how men and women must be treated equally and given equal opportunities to learn and prosper in their respective lives. We do have a long way to go, especially in India where a substantial chunk of the female population knows nothing of what feminism is or stands for, but there’s hope and I choose to be optimistic.

But I’m here to talk about the people who don’t exactly fit into these two distinct categories of men and women. And there’s a lot of them. Enough for us to know and understand who they really are and why we need to talk about them. It’s sorta funny when I sit back and think about this issue. Mankind has existed for 200,000 years and the human civilization as we know it has been there for 6000 years yet we have failed miserably to understand our very own-self.  Just think over it. 6000 years of civilization and we’re still fighting for equal rights for women, half of my country still doesn’t know what homosexuality is and a major chunk of  the ones who know haven’t been able to grow out of their pea-sized brains to accept us for who we are, and let’s not even get to the stigma and the trauma that trans-individuals go through every f*cking day of their lives! The fact that it is so difficult for me to reach out to schools and persuade them to let me speak on sexuality and understand gender beyond the concept of a man and a woman is enough to prove the plight of every LGBTIQ individual in the world. We have manged to create the most ridiculous myths and stories around what God wants us to do, but have failed to understand the very foundation of God’s existence- love, care and acceptance. I wish there was a thing that would enable us to swap our lives for a day. I’m not even asking for more, just that one single day! And we’ll see what they’ll have to say then. All that you need to be happy is an open mind, a book and loads of hope. But look at how we’ve complicated our lives! I only wish for us to be humanists. Equal rights and opportunities for all of us human beings irrespective of our gender identity or sexual orientation. Let us all be humanists.

 

Love and Light

Anwesh ❤

|| 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 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.

|| Meet Aravani! ||

Aravani

Hey people! This week I made a new friend and I’m dying to tell you guys about her. Meet Aravani! She was born a man but she says she is a woman inside. Aravani was born named Aryan but she renamed herself after she came across the Aravanis of Tamil Nadu. The transgender brides of Lord Aravan are called as Aravanis who mourn the death of their husband the day after they get married to him. There is a long story to it, which Aravani will unveil in the coming days and so you’ll have to keep up with her. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile IIIT is bustling energy and tension as the annual tech-fest Esya is finally on. Got myself a pair of super-high heels which make me 5’11 and I’ll be posting a picture soon. 😉 Anyways, do keep up with all the work I will be posting in the coming days. I am a little occupied with all my assignments and an internship, but I’ll definitely make time for some interesting stuff I have in mind. Paws up!

Peace in.

When I felt like Recording

The other night while I was jotting down ideas for my next blog-post, I felt why not do a review of the year so far? To be honest the last 4 months have been an absolute roller-coaster ride and I can’t think of another time when I had spoken to as many strangers who ended up becoming some very good friends. To start with, Artist at Work’s Impart happened to me. Through Impart I got to meet a lot of people from Delhi University. More importantly Impart works towards teaching kids different forms of art in the NGOs around Delhi. Last year I got to work at Umeed near Qutub Minar where I’d met some incredible kids who I was teaching painting back then. I still am in touch with some of them. This year I did two vocal music sessions with them. While I was there to give Hindustani Classical music lessons the only thing most of the kids were interested in was Honey Singh. Delhi is obsessed with Bollywood and I can’t remember anyone who’s had an influence bigger than Honey Singh. Perhaps every little corner in Delhi has its own version of a ‘Yo Yo Honey Singh’. Currently I am allotted Salaam Balak Trust’s Aasra in Paharganj where we do little art and craft sessions. Back in March this year, Impart was celebrating its first birthday and I was supposed to make a scrapbook where the kids were supposed to write how they felt about Impart. That’s when I got to know that the kids there weren’t attending school. One of these boys had recently joined the center and he was from the North-east. The fact that he was able to write and that too write in English made my day. Every week as I attend these sessions, it reminds me of how blessed so many of us are to be able to attend a school and get our education, a basic right that so many kids still don’t have access to. Every time I go for the session, there’s this kid who comes running to give me a hug. And all that he needs is a hug to make him happy.  It reminds me of how important it is to cherish every moment of my present instead of cribbing over the past and that there is so much work that has to be done and that we who’ve had our opportunity must do the same for all these kids.

I happened to have never really heard of Starbucks till one of my friends last year posted a picture of his coffee from Starbucks with his name written over it. My friend Savi who I met through Impart and who I became friends with in like two minutes took me for my first cup of coffee at Starbucks. So while Savi, Manisha and I were having our coffee and gossiping for hours, a group of musicians came by to put up a little show. Some of them were from California, some from Poland and then there were some who’d just moved back to India from California. While some were independent musicians, others had come as bands. I couldn’t have had a better first time at Starbucks. That day was nothing short of magic. I made friends, got to speak with some incredible minds and it sort of stayed with me for days that followed. I just couldn’t get over how incredible that day was. Moments like these remind me and strengthen my faith in my belief that our life is a miraculous journey written by God. We are all in fact Alices in our own Wonderlands and the Wonderland will make us come across some incredible lessons, a red-headed villain, and a dangerous fight in the end which we can all overcome to transform us from ordinary into extraordinary.

And while all of this was on, KOOVS happened to me around March. All they wanted was an individual with a passion for Fashion. A classmate of mine sent me a link to the internship. I applied, went for the interview, and got through. So yay! 😛

While the entire journey helped me understand fashion a little better than what I had in my mind earlier, it gave me a bigger picture of how things might be in the future. To be able to be good at something you need two things- Aptitude and hard work. And the amount of hard work one needs to put in hugely surpasses your aptitude for the same. Years back my coaching teacher at Vidyamandir had said the same and it sort of became oh-so fresh in my mind. Sometime back I was watching an interview by Mira Nair and Lupita Nyong’o together and the latter spoke of how the former believes in nothing short of perfect when it comes to her work and that she never accepts mediocrity from her performers. It sort of has become my mantra in life. I too want to be perfect and nothing short of it. I hope I am able to live up to this belief forever.

This week I was in the mood to draw portraits.  Came across a picture of this beautiful model and I was like let’s give this a try.  So here’s what went into creating the entire sketch.

IMG_20150530_150238

IMG_20150526_215026

IMG_20150530_150640

IMG_20150527_183430

IMG_20150530_151611

Peace in.