Anwesh won Mr Gay World India in 2016 and is a graduate in Electronics and Communication Engineering from IIIT Delhi. He is an artist, blogger, writer, model, actor and a TEDx speaker.
Most kind, beautiful man ever
It was almost the spring of 2017 and I was visiting (now, my second home) Mumbai, for the Pride Month celebrations and as a representative of Mr Gay World India. Winning the pageant two years ago has always given me so many incredible opportunities and still does, even till this day.
I was yet to meet one of the most kind, and beautiful man ever. I was walking through the streets of Mumbai when Pance reached out to me, saying, ‘You look more beautiful for real, than in your videos.’ There was a charm around this man – so magnetic that he stayed with me that whole day.
I bumped into him again at an After Pride Party. Our talks revolved around a variety of topics – what brings us to the city, to the structure of DNA (as funny and nerdy as that might sound, well, we've been big-time nerds growing up!). It was nothing short of magic!
Wish for a partner?
Back in 2013, when I was still in school, I went for a family friend's daughter's wedding. The bride and the groom walked up the podium and it started rotating. They held their hands and kissed. It was such a beautiful and pious moment of love. Tears of joy rolled down my eyes, thinking, ‘How incredibly beautiful is this? Would I ever get to live this moment?’
I never grew up wishing, or, dreaming of being in a relationship, or, having a partner. All I wanted was a dog, my parents by my side, and my long list of dreams to accomplish. What else could I've asked for? And here I was on the crossroads, as a 17-year-old, thinking of the concept of a relationship.
Seizing the moment
Pance went back to his country while I went back to my college after that night, not knowing if we'd ever meet. Yet, with butterflies in my stomach, I believed I would. But ours is a funny world. With Mr Gay India, I also learned to be an adult. I learned how we don't live in an ideal world.
While I still continue to be that dreamer looking to take chances, I've also grown to be a little cynical. I had Pance's contact and texted him right after I sat in a taxi back home. For some reason, I wasn't able to text him (I later realised I'd got the code wrong). So, I Googled my way to his email and dropped him a mail.
I was pleasantly surprised to wake up to his reply. A part of me genuinely didn't believe it was happening, but just that one mail from him meant the world! I kept reading it again, and again. I didn't even remember his face well. I did however manage to get a super low-resolution picture with him, as a memory of that night.
I was still living without an ounce of an idea as to how we were going to meet again. But, did it even matter? I was the happiest man in the world to have met Pance and to have had a wonderful conversation with him, regardless of what the future held for us.
A few weeks later we decided to meet again, and again, and again. It has been incredibly enriching to understand what love really means through this year. How it has so much to do with understanding the individual you love, even without them having to utter a single word, to working on your own shortcomings, and rising in love.
Living in present
We've grown more secure in each other's company every time we've met. All that we have is the present, those few moments of togetherness, and it truly is a present.
It did NOT come with its own set of challenges. Love is indeed a synonym for pain. I hated having to part ways to go back to work, and college, not knowing if we'd manage to meet again. Funny enough, we didn't have as many cultural differences as we thought we would. We're all the same at heart. We have similar aspirations in life, the similar emotions we walk through.
Turns out, we have so much in common than the things that set us apart. In a constantly changing world where we both get to meet so many people around us, where we're both evolved each day, our experiences can shape us for the good, or bad. All I know for now is that I'm the luckiest man in the world to have Pance, and I wouldn't wish for it to be any different.
Little kid in him
Pance is a learner at heart, he's never stopped working on himself, trying to be better each day, trying to strike that work-life balance. He is constantly evolving, and so am I. We both loathe the concept of mediocrity and can have conversations for hours.
I love the little kid in him. The kid who doesn't stop wanting to be an explorer. The man who's so adorably in love with seeds, with art and architecture, and who's always ready to shop (and sometimes hoard) all the pretty things in the world.
I've found my little heaven in his arms. Sometimes, I'm a little scared of what the future holds for us, but, for now, I've learned the joy of living in the moment, the joy of being a better person in love, the joy of loving someone unconditionally, yet, not losing our individuality in being Pance and me.
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