A pictorial look at the transformation of Sushant Divgikar to Rani Ko-HE-Nur.
Drag queens may seem like an alien concept in a country like India where homosexuality is still taboo (can we be done with section 377 already?) Traditional Indian dances have long seen men dress up as women and cross-dressing is rampant in mainstream Bollywood, yet when it comes to drag queens, how many names can you recollect? And no, Govinda in Aunty No. 1 doesn’t count.
To give you an idea of what it's like to be a drag queen, we went behind the scenes at Alaska Thunderfuck’s (yep, that’s a real stage name, google it, NSFW obvs) maiden gig in India. Having won RuPaul’s Drag Race, Alaska came to India to perform her very popular, interestingly titled songs such as ‘Anus’ and ‘Pussy’ for Kitty Su’s LGBTQ celebration. Opening for Alaska was India’s very own Rani Ko-HE-Nur, the drag avatar of Sushant Divgikar, a maverick known to us normies as model, actor, singer, reality TV star, pageant winner and more. Through our lens watch this gifted performer transform into a glamorous diva.
That before picture
Kicking off the transformation
And you thought contouring was just for women
When you realise you don’t need to be Kim K to up that contouring game
The eye shadow is straight out of a YT tutorial you can’t replicate at home
With eye lashes this luscious, it’s hard not to channel your inner diva
Mirror mirror on the wall…
Make up that extends to the neck and chest
Hair in place, it’s time to don the final outfit
Did someone say fierce?
Strike a pose
Strike many poses
Opening for Alaska Thunderfuck
Rani in her element
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By Shibani Sharma
Photographs by: Yash Bandi