Howdy people! We assume that you must be into some anime/game/movie series. Now, we definitely can’t be wrong about you folks daydreaming about your favorite character/yourself in action sequences, often making attempts to save countless lives in vast open-worlds. What if you convert your action-based fantasies somewhat into reality?
To your surprise, we got a chance to have a talk with one such person. She is none other than the cosplayer, Shariyari Aorin (26) aka Persian_Meow, who shall be representing India in the World Cosplay Summit 2k18. At present, she works for Nodwin Gaming and has been contributing a lot to the cosplay community in India. Let’s dive into her world for a moment.
Your favorite genre in gaming?
Honestly speaking, I don’t think I have a ‘favorite’. I enjoy all games alike but I do love fighting games, Mortal Kombat being my all-time favorite. I do enjoy strategy games as well. Working in NODWIN Gaming, which is one of biggest eSports startups in India, I did develop a special interest for DOTA 2 and other MOBA (Multiplayer-Online-Based-Arena) titles.
| "Kamui is my cosplay goddess!" - Aorin
What inspired you to get into the cosplay scene?
Pokémon!!!! When I was young we went to a ‘Live Action Pokémon’ concert, where I saw the artists all dressed-up for cosplaying and performing. It was really mesmerizing, to say the least! It felt so real and I was so happy that, I too wanted to be like them – to bring life the characters we love and wish were real.
Who is your cosplay crush?
Shout out to Kamui!! She is my cosplay goddess!! I follow her work and find her very inspiring. She is an ideal cosplayer. But Phil Mizuno gets me doki-doki!
| "I do my job and try to focus on the path ahead" - Aorin
The World Cosplay Summit is next month. How pumped up is your adrenaline?
I am screaming inside!!!! It won’t be my first time in Japan but everything feels so unnerving, I can’t wait to go back there, I will be meeting people from around the world this time. It’s a great honor to represent your country and I have been lucky to have that privilege many times in my cosplay career.
What is the current scope for cosplayers in the Indian industry? How are you willing to contribute for the same?
Looking at the cosplay scene right now, while there is a lot of scope for improvement, the community itself is fuelled by negativity. In fact, I am no saint either. Everyone is battling for the top position but what exactly is the top position? Meaningless fights and personal agendas are destroying chances of progress while giving others the opportunities to exploit cosplayers, simultaneously.
I am as guilty of losing my temper and indulging in petty fights but I am proud to say I have never used my position to exploit or harass any other cosplayer, unlike few people. I try to be just and provide open opportunities for people.
In my career, I have hired dozens of cosplayers and hosted many events helping to build the community and present cosplayers with the chance of winning a cash prize and international trips. I don’t need a title of community admin or manager to contribute towards the growth. I do my job and try to focus on the path ahead.
| "I can buy costumes too but I prefer doing it with my own hands" - Aorin
What’s your best cosplay ever? What challenges did you face in preparing your costume?
This is a very tricky question; I have made more than a hundred costumes!! While I like many of them my personal best is going to be Ahri. I was super happy when I made the costume and it was the most challenging ever, as I made the nine tails of her costume with wood, metal wires and fur that weigh between 7-9 KGs. I danced in that costume while wearing those tails in front of hundreds of people and it was one of the best memories I have.
Being a cosplayer in India, you must have faced a lot of scenarios where people bully, harass and often cross their limitations. How do you deal with such type of problems?
I have been bullied for my religion, my ethnicity, my health, and the list is quite long. I have faced bullies mostly online because cowards hide behind a keyboard! Unfortunately, I have a horrible control over my emotions and that gives opportunities for the haters to trigger me more. I end up retaliating and posting back. But I have started to ignore bullies now.
If an admin of a group wants to abuse their position and ban me on personal hatred then I am not going to plea a bargain. I will continue to do my job. If a friend of another cosplayer wants to bully me because of my medical issues, I will ignore him/her and make another costume. If I get slut-shamed by one for comparing my cosplay work with sex workers, I won’t stop cosplaying.
At the end of the day, I will achieve more than those who hate me, as I am focused solely on my work and not them anymore. All the bullies that I have ever faced, none of them have ever done anything for the community without personal gain or agenda. I can buy costumes too but I prefer doing it with my own hands. That is how I earn my share of respect, via my work, not by purchasing costumes and flaunting them.
What do you do apart from cosplaying?
I love cooking and baking!! When I am not cosplaying I am playing games, spending time with my babies (I have two adorable dogs and a wonderful cat), catching up on anime/movies and mostly spending time with my family.
Your favorite music?
I enjoy music. To be honest, I have no particular genre. Good music is good music, and I enjoy everything from Bohemian Rhapsody to Dark Horse. I enjoy opera and Disney songs alike and sing along to all of them. I am also a swifty, go Tay Tay!!
The best restaurant you have visited so far?
Wasabi Café in the heart of Chicago!!! I have legendary tales of sushi from that restaurant which I share with my friends every now and then. If I had teleportation I would hop there instantly right now. Another great experience I had was at the Apu Restaurant in Manila which offers great luxury food with a twist!