Lying on the terrace, counting stars, little did I know those stars were counting on me.
The sky was pretty as ever, in this part of the world. I wanted to take a picture for the world to see it. But where’ll the world see it? That’s when the millennial in me gave in to a Gen Z fad: Instagram.
I signed up and posted a picture there. A poem to go with it, in the caption! The post went viral. But I couldn’t figure out if it was the caption or the picture that did the trick. So I made another, a week later. This time, it was me performing that poem, in all its honesty. Gods must be crazy! That video spread like wildfire, widely appreciated. I felt like I found my calling, finally. Who knew a starry night on the terrace had so much in store for me!
Three years to that night and here I am, touring across the world, performing my poetry. I still wonder how that terrace keeps me grounded, regardless of where I tour. Starting my journey as an Instagram Influencer and moving on to become a performance poet across countries, my manager believed I needed an Image Consultant. The world needs more than just poems to hold on to sanity.
They’d style my hair, groom my beard and tweak most of my demeanour, to make all sorts of justice to what they thought I should look like. I couldn’t gather myself to deny any of it.
They’d tag along on all my tours. I’d to don a macho look in all my tours, performing poems on every colour in the spectrum. While I wrote my heart out on my poems, my performances never felt the same to me anymore.
I needed something to hold on to. Something I can call mine. My identity crisis needed a respite. While this might not be what you expect me to do, here’s what I searched online: Toiletry bag for travel.
That’s my very first encounter with Oscar, a Dopp kit I treasure my life with. A multipurpose unisex accessory for toiletries. Made with water-resistant CORDURA. Why did I buy it? Because this toiletry bag will be my safe haven. It will be visible to all, but hold what I call mine inside. To me, Oscar is more than just a bag. Oscar is my little secret, my respite.
You look confused and I can see why.
Oscar, my Dopp Kit, is what holds my true identity. The bag’s lightweight, yes. But it also rids me of most of the weight in my head. Its premium metal fittings and secure YKK zippers offer me the privacy I deserve.
The world believes that I carry my shaving & grooming kit in this bag. But that’s not the case. When I look at the mirror, I don’t see myself. I see what the world wants me to be. Oscar is not just a toiletry bag for travel now. It is what stands between me and my mirror now. This bag is my respite from conformity. What the four compartments of this bag hold is what I am between four walls, in the privacy of my room.
Oscar holds my makeup kit and my shaving kit. My beard would never get along with the lipstick I wanted to try or the blush on my cheeks. So I like to shave it away. My crew would have me wear shades for the ‘Macho’ factor. But I want to try out the trendiest eyeliner in the market. I want Mascara, but they want masculinity. My makeup kit holds a concealer. But conformity has concealed me for far too long. I like the right foundation while wearing my makeup. But gender stereotypes have a stronger foundation in the world I live in. A beauty blender is what I carry, but I am also all the genders in a blender.
My identity took a refuge in this bag until now. But one day, it shall be its home. Oscar helped me make up my mind to stop fighting with conformity and to come out in the open, to what I truly am. My gender’s a fluid and Oscar, my Dopp Kit, is that one companion who lets me be.
Oscar is not just a toiletry bag for men. Oscar has got your back, regardless of your gender. ;-)