Its not that I haven’t cosplayed earlier, but there was something different this time. For some reason I was more confident. I used to be very conscious about my costume and used to have an inferiority complex earlier, but this time that didn’t happen. May be it has to do something with the experience, may be it has something to do with my up-gradation in the costume, maybe it has something to do with my familiarity with other cosplayers, may be it has something to do with the support I had from my acquaintances or may be it has something to do with everything I said, but the important thing is that I felt confident at PCC. I was Confident as a person, confident as an Otaku and confident as a Cosplayer.
My plans were ruined, as I reached late at the venue, the cosplay which I was going to do on the 2nd day of the Pune Comic Con was incomplete, this happens before almost every cosplay event, but it didn’t bother me this time, I took the decision of not cosplaying as The Thing from Fantastic 4. Instead I cosplayed again as Gaara and thanks to Adwait a new friend that I made in Pune, who not only gave me shelter for the 2 days, but also helped me by lending his clothes, which I used for my modern Gaara cosplay on the day 2.
The day 1 was tiring as me and my girlfriend Tejal had a sleepless night and a 4 hour-long journey in the morning. We stayed at Adwait’s house where Gaurav Sawant (who cosplayed as Kakashi on the first day and Deadshot on the 2nd day) was also staying. The afternoon went in the preparation for the cosplay as lots of last minute work was pending. Well to be honest everyone else was working while I took a nap for an hour. Everyone skipped the lunch and after finishing our pending work we headed for the PCC venue. Once we got inside there was no looking back. I don’t know how the time flied. I guess I spent almost an hour at the entrance itself. There were already few cosplayers who were posing for the camera and the one that stood out the most was Ankit Singh with his huge Armored cosplay. The official PCC photographer was taking his pictures. We exchanged handshakes as we had met earlier at Nagpur CosCon, though I couldn’t talk to him for long as people started asking for pictures with me, I mean with Gaara! To be honest it feels nice as an ordinary person like me get all the attention like a celebrity when he is cosplaying. While I got busy with Gaara fans who wanted to take pictures of mine, I managed to steal some time to get myself registered for the event and meet my other cosplayer friends like Pooja Singh (Cosplayed as Hinata) who was cosplaying for the first time, David (Cosplayed as Tatsumi with Incursio Armor), Sophia (Cosplayed as Electra on day 1 and Mistborn Vin on day 2) , Sanket Kadam (Cosplayed as Spiderman on day 1 and Scare crow on day 2), Nishad Nadkarni (Cosplayed as Armin on day 1 and Genos on day 2 ) who won the best anime cosplayer award for his Genos cosplay, Swati (Cosplayed as The winter solider) and many others whose name I forgot to ask. Meanwhile Rohan Jain asked me to pose for the camera of the Official photographers and soon after all the cosplayers assembled, we began a parade to the main stage. In the queue near the stage we managed to team up with other Naruto characters cosplayers and came up with a small action skit, which we performed on the stage. Smita Mulik who cosplayed as Sasuke, Hitesha Padwal who cosplayed as Sakura and Pooja Singh who cosplayed as Hinata fought against me Gaara Kazekage and defeated me, though I didn’t liked the loosing part, yet it was fun to enact the last moment made skit. I never had any expectations of winning for some obvious reasons, yet I waited till the results were out. The best anime character results was about to be announced and everyone started screaming Gaara… Gaara… Gaara… Gaara! I was shocked as well as nervous; I really wanted to win from the bottom of my heart. Finally the result was out and San Ramsankar won the prize, it was expected but for a moment that cheering created a hope in my heart. Though I didn’t win the award, but that cheering was more than an award for me.
For day 2 as I said I skipped on cosplaying as The Thing from Fantastic 4 and instead cosplayed as modern Gaara. I decided not to register, but just roam around and enjoy the place, but to my surprised Gaara fans covered me again at every step. I met some people who were present at Nagpur CosCon as well. Some people even suggested me to register for the 2nd Day too, but I had already planned to take a chill on this day. Overall I had a wonderful experience at PCC and am glad to meet all the cosplayers. Honestly because of my lack of planning I couldn’t manage to meet and greet all the cosplayers properly. I will try to be more interactive with everyone next time. This comic con gave me the much-needed confidence for the future Cosplay events, and I got to know that the masses are appreciating my work. I will work hard next time and try to be little more extrovert.