It was recently in Delhi that artiste and gay icon Sushant Divgikr first realised that he could be a grand drag queen. It was the sixth anniversary of The Lalit's flagship club Kitty Su, and international drag queen and winner of RuPaul's Drag Race, Violet Chachki, was performing as well. "I was so nervous, because she is known worldwide. I was just Sushant," he says, and adds, "And then I realised, I was singing while she was lip syncing, and also I was on home ground. After we finished the first half of the performance, she asked me, 'what is that voice!'"
All it took was a little bit of encouragement from friends and The Lalit scion Keshav Suri, and Divgikr decided he was going to finally take on a drag avatar of his own — Rani Ko-he-Nur. "Did you notice there is a 'he' in the name? So it's full of puns. We also have a rich culture to take inspiration from and that's why she is a Rani," says the 27-year-old Mumbai man. He describes Rani as sexy, sassy, classy and sl***y, all at the same time. Her look, which is under wraps for now, and will be unveiled at the event, is inspired by harem girls. "She is not basic. She is elegant and elitist." He also says that Rani will do everything that makes her so unique — sing, dance and make everyone laugh. "She is a complete performer," he says.
But, at a deeper level, Divgikr says the show is also about creating a culture of "inclusive" nights in the city. "The good thing about Kitty Su is that they acknowledge different types of performers." Along with Divgikr, who headlines the show — which has been organised by Monica Raheja and Niki Kaur of Mango Films — there will be performances by singer Thea Shroff, stand-up comedian Raunaq Rajani, and a belly dance by Mr Gay World India Anwesh Sahoo. "So, some of us are gay, some are straight. The point is to give the audience a mix of everything." He also says that he hopes these nights herald an era of change. "I want to tell the LGBT community that this is a safe place to come and have a drink and let their hair down. If a young boy, who is struggling with his sexual identity comes here, we will ensure there is no judgement at the door. They will not be shunned or looked down upon. It's about being whoever you want to be."
When: Sept 28, 10 pm onwards
Where: Kitty Su, The Lalit, Sahar Airport Road, Andheri East
Watch video: Ryan School murder: My brother was beaten up to give wrong statements
Download the new mid-day android app to get updates on all the latest and trending stories on the go https://goo.gl/8Xlcvr