"Anyone who wants to ignite their hidden inner power should at least try to do drag once." - Bahaar
1. What does "Drag" mean to you personally?
My drag persona is actually the real me. Bahaar is everything that she would have been if she was areal woman. She is speaks my reality.
2. When did you start doing drag?
I started drag in 2019. Pretty late bloomer but better late than never right?
3. How did you start doing drag?
It happened during a course of time. I did not ever imagine that I will be doing drag one day. It was only when I received a set of make up from a friend. I tried it just for fun, I felt good and then there was no turning back from there.
4. When was the first time you performed in drag?
It was 2019 January 7th. I still remember how nervous I was. It was at Kitty Ko.
5. How would you describe your drag style?
My drag style is 80’S Disco queen. I get inspired by the Bollywood/Hollywood disco divas.
6. Criticisms either make you or break you. What were some critics you got when you started?
I actually was never paid any mind to any criticism. It could also because I actually was never paid any mind to any criticism. It could also be because I have managed to surround myself with only positive people. Well the only criticism I got was on my ability to dance..lol and that is true. I got 2 left feet .haha
7. "Relevance of drag in India." What do you think?
Well… we still have a very long way to go but social media is playing a big role to make it as relevant as possible.
8. What the initial reaction of your family and friends when you told them about you as a drag performer?
My family knows I am gay but they do not yet know that I do drag. My sister and cousins know that and they appreciate it. My friends too have always been very supportive.
9. "Drag is political." Do you agree? Present your thoughts on the same.
I am not the best person to talk politics so I think this might not be a good question for me to answer but what I will say is that drag needs a place in our country. A well respected place. Darg is not just an art, it is a movement.
10. Do you feel drag needs to be inclusive? Why or why not?
I think anyone can and should do drag. Anyone who wants to ignite their hidden inner power should at least try to do drag once. You don’t have to be gay to do that. You just need a fire inside of you to do that.
11. Do you believe drag culture is compromised?
Drag culture in India is too new to say that it is compromised. We will get to know that in another 2 to 5 years. Lot of us are still evolving as drag queens and some are still learning.
12. Were you ill treated/abused because you perform in drag? Please share your experience if comfortable.
By God’s grace, NEVER. I am just very lucky to be surrounded by loving people. My friends and family always have my back.
13. What is your vision through the art of drag?
For it to be a part of our Country’s celebration. For it to be recognised on national television and get the respect in the society that it deserves.
14. A message you'd like to give to young drag artists.
I will say what I tell to most of the young queens who message me on Instagram about their struggles with coming out and coming out as a drag queen – It all should start with loving your inner self and like Mother Ru says – if you cant love yourself then how the hell are you going to love anyone else.
Follow Bahaar on Instagram to support her and see her upcoming work at https://www.instagram.com/bahaar_03/
About author : Miss Bhenji is an Indian aesthetic drag queen. She's a dancer, actor and a comedian. She's based out of Nagpur and her interview talk show is called Baatein with Bhenji. Baatein with Bhenji was an initiative taken by Miss Bhenji to interview the queer artists of India to give them exposure for people to learn more about them.