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Sushant Divgikar: A True Performer We recentlt had an opportunity to engage with one such performer who has consistently been on the rise for delivering this exact emotion, Sushant Divgikar best known as Rani Kohenur. Read more to learn about their extravaganza life and journey.

By Kavya Pillai

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Sushant Divgikar aka Rani Kohenur

Why do we love live shows? What are we looking for from a performer? Is entertainment easy? If we think about it there are a ton of different characteristics that make a performance great. It is just a personal feeling you get when you are able to see an artist live and feel the human connection from them and the audience. They make you realise how being able to look into an artist's eye and engage in their music beats lying in bed or sitting in a car listening to the record. We had an opportunity to engage with one such performer who has consistently been on the rise for delivering this exact emotion, Sushant Divgikar best known as Rani Kohenur.

The days leading up to our conversation were spent gauging not just Divgikar's performances, but the many impactful shows and roles that have led to this diva's success. Divgikar's drag persona Rani Kohenur was a participant on the show, Queen of the Universe and left a global impact on how strong the talent pool in India is with her performances. Talking about the same she said, "I've been around for 18 years, as an artist and a performer. Having represented the country internationally and the amount of work that I have done across mediums, such as print, radio, or podcasting, well we were doing things before they were ever cool! So I am extremely proud to say that I have taken time to do it all and build myself."

The entertainment world has drastically evolved to a more inclusive space, however Divgikar started his journey at a different time. Talking about how he approached the industry he shared, "Today you see so much representation of trans actors, trans women and queer people getting all kinds of work. But at a time when there was none of that happening, there was just me and maybe one or two other people in the space. You have to fight for your place at the table, sometimes more when you're queer. And I'm okay to do that. I've always kicked open doors and it is a fact that I had to go through a lot of turmoil for today's industry to be a reality. "

Looking back at where it all began Divgikar shared, "I used to represent my school in cultural activities and inter-school competitions. So I realized early on that this is what makes me happy and now my passion is now my profession." "I believe my art will live through me even after I'm gone, " he added. When asked about their approach to performing live, they simply shared, "I never use autotune. I rather put all that money into learning and training myself. So I do a lot of Riyaz (practice). And I believe it is not fair to make a fool out of your audiences. So if you want to give them a great show, be honest with them and give them their money's worth."

Looking at his various collaborations we asked what his knack for knowing the correct people or making the right connections was. "I'm never in competition with anybody. So whoever I meet, I learn from, so it is easy to work with me, that is one thing. And the second thing is, which is the feedback that I've gotten from all the people I've worked with around the world. Now, whether it is RuPaul, John Legend or closer back home from Salman Khan, Rekha Ji, Usha Uthup and many more. I think that I don't need them to make a connection. I don't have any ulterior motive. And that is why our connection is authentic," he shared. "I'm here for a bigger purpose, which is to spread the joy of my art to each and every person, regardless of sex, gender, caste, class, colour or orientation," he added.

We asked him how he has the time to reply to each and every comment or share so many mentions of him made by millions of fans every day. He simply said, "You know, sometimes it might come across as tacky. People suggest, I should look busy. Honestly, I'm never going to be busy enough to not reply to fans. Because there was a time and day when I would cry and cry about not even having one comment on my content. So today, when I have thousands of people coming to my social media platforms or my shows to cheer for me, I am going to give each one of them the love back that they have given me."

To conclude our conversation we enquired about upcoming plans and in typical Rani Kohenur fashion she said, "My future plans are to take over the world one film, song and content piece at a time. And I want to just put it out there that I'm available to be booked every single day and sometimes even three times a day. And I just don't get tired. So this is just a disclaimer, and this is just a public service announcement to all the directors, music directors, composers, producers, and filmmakers to book me. Thank you."

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