Maharani of kuch-nahi’ (nothing) part 1
A term that I’ve been called in jest by a family member since I was young, but it’s stuck with me. Did it mean I’d never amount to nothing? That I stood for nothing? That I sat on my royal arse and expected things to be done for me? The term made me angry and really lit a fire in me to be anything but..
Looking back I feel I really lacked confidence, in myself, in my abilities and in grasping opportunities that were I knew it were meant for me. Walking into an interview room with the mindset I that wasn’t good enough. Building up this belief in myself and gaining the confidence to have pride in my achievements hasn’t been easy.
From a young age I was always into Art, painting was my escape, on my bedroom floor when the world was too scary. I was always in the art department at secondary school, where my teacher encouraged me to explore my British Asian identity. When I got my 4 AAAAs at AS level, I was expected for my to go onto study something ‘clever’; my best friend was applying for Business management so I did the same whilst applying for Art foundations secretly. When it came to decide I rejected all my offers at some of the best business unis to study Art. I did my foundation and went on to do multi-media textiles at Loughborough University, This was a time to be fully immersed, to go as crazy as I liked with my creations and that’s exactly what I did; but with all the confidence I had in my work, I incredibly lacked when I came to what I wore, how I looked and making friends- always second guessing, wearing tights and tops under my tops to hide any cleavage, felt like I always being judged and not feeling comfortable. Hiding away in my room working while friends were enjoying freshers week. Having said that I eventually made some incredible friends, my husband being one of them, and in my final year, I could be myself and just relax but the years in-between to find ‘my people’ were a struggle. I think everyone paints uni as this incredible time to have lots of fun and be free and I felt let down by my experience in some way.. I didn’t live up to it, I wasn’t free enough perhaps.
Looking back, that Anisha had all the confidence in her work to be audacious and loud but lacked it in the real life. My work gave me a voice to explore the British Asian diaspora and who I was, it gave me wings to be myself for some time when I couldn’t in the ‘real world’ and through the journey of my brand & practice I’ve been able to work on that inner confidence, love myself, my body, my work and what I stand for- to be unapologetically Bold, confidence and badass & know I’m anything but a maharani of nothing!
More to come on my story in the future posts 🙂