THE QUARANTINE INTROSPECTION: ANSWERS I OWED TO MYSELF

Do,

Such a simple word just do, It’s harder when it’s you, Try to find a solution.

– Out Of Touch by CUT

What an unbelievable surrealistic ongoing of a madness the last 45 days have become, isn’t it? We have all adapted certain different lifestyles that we believe would help us tide over. We are all here, trying to be safe. Reminiscing the good old days and looking forward to just the simple excitement of being able to step out and raise a glass. Or just feel the wind on our skin and the sweat on our forehead.

These days, I ask myself, Adhisa, what do you really miss?.

You have always been a homebound person, someone who loves their solitary corners and doesn’t get intimidated by it. I think for people like us who genuinely enjoy being indoors, we also like to know that there is a possibility that we can step outside anytime we want. I think it’s the possibility that we miss.

The probability of things.

These days when I get bored or overthink ten to the dozen, I have started to reluctantly not dismiss those thoughts. Is it tough? Yes. To sit with your darkest thoughts and make a map out of it, it is scary. But once you do that, you know this is it. It is out of you and you can rewrite these.

This period of time has had me thinking about my days spent in Paris so much. I think Paris and me were a relationship I could never define. Paris tasted like warm crepes on a cold sunny morning, she smelled like croissants at 7 am and she felt so glamorous, even while buying a bottle of Asparagus on a drizzling afternoon in the Franprix aisle, clad in PJ’s and a jacket, hair wet enough to catch a sneeze.

The shoot I had done with Diana when I was in Paris, at the heart of the Louvre, was very special to me. I wanted to post it when it meant exactly more than just a glam moment. When there was an absolute genuine story to it.

This collaboration meant more than glamming up and posing for the camera. It was meant to prove something – and mind you it was never about anyone else, it was about me. It has always been about me.

I was in a phase where I wanted to stand out in my work, to be able to associate with a fashion project that was trying to stand out while being initiated with LGBTQ support and awareness meant differentiation and representation.

In some lonely corner of my mind, this also meant representation of someone who thought they didn’t fit in. Someone who had always been different. I think for a very long time, that idea affected me so much that I started acting out to desperately prove that I was different, that i wasn’t made to fit in. And this was what I lived through in Paris.

Paris never fit in too, she was arrogant at times, and she knew exactly how much she wanted to let people in. But unlike Paris, I still had to learn that every now and then. Paris knew how to stop amidst the flashes and slow down, she knew how to unwind, play pedestrian music and sway her hips to it and I had just about managed to dance it out from time to time.

This phase of quarantine has been a bit like my relationship with Paris.

It reminded me of the 2017 Adhisa, a bit younger, more gullible and enthusiastic Adhisa who was always trying too hard and never wanted to settle. It reminds me of how in this current phase, despite the limitations, I still want to do the same, but the way I look at these definitions have altered so much.

Do I still believe people easily, fall too hard with a thud? Of course I do.

I tell myself that without hope we are dead. Without expectations, we have nothing to look forward to. Without appreciation of the finer things in life, we will have such little unmentionable stories to look forward to.

This moment has taught me once again to find joy in those things that you would neglect on a regular day, because on a regular, normal non-pandemic day, we are rushing.

And we don’t pause.

We don’t take a moment to breathe. We try too hard to find happiness or appreciation in big moments. We redefine achievements and joys, so much so, that we lose ourselves in those definitions.

Take a moment and look around you now.

What is it that you really appreciate? Apart from your family and loved ones who are around you, what do you take away from this confinement? What are those moments that run through your head? Would you do it, all over again?

Despite the failures, would you risk your moment of truth?

The 2017 Adhisa never thought she would be able to feel a lot of things differently today. She was bitter, shut out and quite frankly, arrogant. She would be unreasonable, unforgivable and hurt people just to avoid being hurt.

But this Adhisa, the one that writes this, knows now that she was a child for dissing hope, for cancelling expectations or any form of vulnerabilities, for thinking you could win a war like that.

Look at all of us now, we are living in our shadows, at our homes, trapped in spaces that we have to revisit everyday. Despite that we are carrying on with each day, clinging to only hope and expectation for a better tomorrow. For getting that one chance with no restriction, for being able to feel free, for thinking that we are not alone, that someone somewhere is having these exact thoughts right now.

Maybe someone wants to take the next flight and see the person they love, but they can only hope for that time to come soon. You see, this whole time is going to be a gamble, and you better guess your bets right.

Because when this is over, you would want to say things loud and clear.

No more hiding in the shadows, no more dodging situations only because you think you would be wrong. I had say, take that chance, you get to be free today. Take that chance when there is no pandemic in the air, no threat that looms over us.

What is the worst than can happen beyond this? I had rather take the 2% chance of there being a probability of success of any kind, than dwell on the 98% of “what could”.

How would you and I know if we didn’t take the plunge or make the cut?

How would I have known I would stand at the Louvre one day and have that Carrie Bradshaw moment, or sit 2 years later writing this piece in absolute incoherency, because the urge to empty the words was far more compelling?

If you never try, you would never know. And next time, God forbid, there won’t be a pandemic to teach you that life cannot be lead in calculations. That life, happens.

Let it happen to you. Let people in. And you enter the house in their mind too, see how they can surprise you sometime.

I promise you it may not always be beautiful, but it would absolutely be worth it. Just 2%.

I carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) Anywhere I go you go, my dear;

And whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling
I fear no fate, for you are my fate, my sweet;

I want no world, for beautiful you are my world, my true.

I carry your heart with me – E.E Cummings

Brand Collaboration – Classy X Design by Diana Apsara

Written by,

Adhisa Ghosh

ACCESSORISING ON WOMEN’S DAY!

After a series of moving cities, friends and job, it was taking me a while to start writing – for who I really was. This blog would be my one slice of honesty. I think there could not have been more of a befitting day than today to post a blog!

Created with RNI Films app. Preset ‘Fuji FP 100C v.6 Faded’

The more we talk about this day, it’s significance and its requirement in today’s times, the more its narration morphs these days. Women are such powerhouses huh? From micro-managing to meeting others expectations before hers, be it at home, work or literally anywhere – there is so much that goes by around, already.

During such times, there is also the dilemma of having to always look good – be presentable in the easiest of glamorous ways. And the details – god! I am always about the small minute things – the finer beauty in life is all in the details no? I think when it is my personal style, whether at work or outside, I love a simple earring and some layering in accessorising. After all, we need to be ourselves – you need to be you when you style yourself.

We need to break from the multiple roles we play and I do it best with Accessory Funk. I will let that be open to interpretations – but know that if you decided to curate your own style, use my code : AFXSURBGIRL20 and avail 20% OFF on the entire website.

This is as real, unedited yet beautiful in its rawness that we want to be. As women, we are always strong, we are always beautiful, what better than to add to it ? 🙂

XOXO,

Adhisa Ghosh

*all jewelleries above are from Accessory Funk. Use code AFXSURBGIRL20 for 20% OFF on the website!

HOW TO GET YOUR CURLS TO LISTEN TO YOU – 6 WAYS TO TAME THE FRIZZ DURING INDIAN MONSOONS

Hey there! So just the other day I was wondering how my hair would start having it’s own set of mood, now that the monsoons are on in full swing.

There is absolutely nothing worse for the hair and skin like the Indian monsoons sometimes 😩! The humidity in the air can ruin one’s skin and hair and a few precautions can go a long way in keeping up the natural quality. If you have curly or wavy hair like me, it’s impossible to not get mad at how the weather and the constant pouring rain can make your hair frizzy, dull and lifeless. ☹️

Giving you a list of the essential hair care products I use for my curls!

TRESemmé Climate Control Shampoo Conditioner

I cannot stress what this duo product does to my hair when I am in Indian climate, its the only product my hair abides by! Easy to buy and also over the counter, use it for the best tamed and soft hair during this monsoon and round the season! 🙌🏽

L’Oreal Instant Clear

If you have dandruff problems frequently due to the weather, stress or pollution, this is one product that will cleans your scalp and is completely worth it! Sometimes, when I feel my dandruff gets triggered, I use it first on my scalp and leave it on for 3 minutes, then follow it with my regular shampoo and conditioner. ✌🏽

L’Oreal Hair Spa Smoothing Creambath Hair Mask

Due to heavy demand you may not find this product online always but you could easily find it at a L’Oreal salon. However, you can shop it online by clicking on the link and I have probably lost you at this point if I have to tell you just how important hydrating your hair is ! Get a hair spa at home with this hair mask! It’s once a week mandatory activity, come on! 🙆🏽

B-blunt High Definition Curl Defining Leave-in Cream

Monsoons can turn the best of our curls in frizzy curls and that’s more than a nightmare! This leave-in cream does to some extent help to lock curls and give it texture! Apply it in towel dry damp hair and scrunch your hair while letting it air-dry or style the way you want. For me, this does let my hair be in place when I am on the go and have just washed my hair! I leave it on and let it get air dried naturally and that gives it better effect and definition! 😚

L’Oreal Paris Total Repair 5 Instant Smoothing & Repairing Oil Serum

You know how some products are like a constant and you forget to give them their due credit because they have been fixing it since a while. This serum is definitely a must-have for any kind of hair type, for all seasons and a must application post hair wash! There are two kinds of people in this world – one that doesn’t apply serum after a hair wash and one that do.

It really transforms your life and hair for the better and a bit of self-care goes a long way! Must buy. 🤘🏼

Vitamin E hair Oil

At least once in two weeks, over night or a an hour before hair wash. Vitamin E helps in hair growth, dandruff clearance and is basically food for your hair. It is a good product to integrate in your hair care regimen.

On an ending note : the key lies to being healthy from inside out as well! Stay hydrated, eat fruits and vegetables good for your hair and skin too!

These photos uploaded here have been clicked right after I have used some of the above products!

Products used –

1- TRESemmé Climate Control Shampoo and Conditioner

2- L’Oreal Instant Clear (use it as a monsoon precaution)

3- L’Oreal Hair Spa Smoothing Creambath Hair Mask

4- Blunt High Definition Curl Defining Leave-in Cream

XOXO,

Adhisa Ghosh

BEST OF MET : DECODING GALA 2019

Come May every year and I have tremendous build up to see the red carpet looks and the execution of the themes every year at the Met Gala. From following the release of the concept from the moment its announced, to the journey of seeing it through, till the memes and the mockery. It seems that one day of the year, people seem to become judges of haute couture for a day to feel inclusive by destructing an event like the MET while personally having a wardrobe that consists of bare fashion minimals (aka jeans and shirt), is all very amusing.

Before I proceed to tell you my favourite picks, let’s talk about what is MET GALA? It seems a lot of people actually don’t know “why people dress the way they do at the MET”.

Cara Delevingne wearing Dior at the Met 2019

Started first in 1948 by publicist Eleanor Lambert, it was a fashion fundraiser that involved the high society of New York and encouraged donations. In modern times, the Costume Institute’s Gala of the Metropolitan Museum of Arts’, is the biggest fashion fundraiser on the planet. It calls upon well known faces from the music, film, fashion and arts realms. And because its for the love of costume, there is a theme every year that leads to a build up amongst brands and invitees, conceptualisation, story boarding, mood, style boarding and beauty boarding and then finally execution of a concept and story telling into a garment and a complete look – from the hair to the shoes. Since 1995, the event has been presided over by Anna Wintour, US Vogue Editor-in-Chief.

Last year the theme was Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination. What was the theme this year? This year the exhibition was arranged by Andrew Bolton, curator of the costume institute, around Susan Sontag’s 1964 essay Notes on “Camp”. The beauty of this concept was that it could be construed in various ways. Susan’s writing is reflective and timely of the ongoing political and cultural trend that it would be a resonance of the current times. Susan Sontag’s definition of camp is the “love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration , style at the expense of content ,the triumph of the epicene style”.

In Busby Berkeley movies and in the he-man actor Victor Mature, in Mae West and General de Gaulle, in Swan Lake, Flash Gordon comics, Caravaggio, chinoiserie, and the entirety of the Art Nouveau movement, Susan Sontag found Camp.

“Camp taste has an affinity for certain arts rather than others,” she noted. “Clothes, furniture, all the elements of visual decor, for instance, make up a large part of Camp.” Camp, as Andrew Bolton notes, “has become increasingly more mainstream in its pluralities—political camp, queer camp, Pop camp, the conflation of high and low, the idea that there is no such thing as originality.” Camp, he continues, has been described as style without content.

But I think you’ve got to be incredibly sophisticated to understand camp—look at Yves Saint Laurent and Marc Jacobs,” says Andrew in his interview to Hamish Bolton from Vogue. A 1909 book of Victorian slang explicitly describes camp as “actions and gestures of exaggerated emphasis used chiefly by persons of exceptional want of character.”

Let’s take a look at my top ten favourite looks in the line of the theme of “Camp:Notes on Fashion”.

LADY GAGA

One of the nights host, Lady Gaga had three changes on the red carpet. Couldn’t get more campier than that!

BILLY PORTER

Nailing it and how! Off late I have a new found respect for this man for so beautifully executing gender fluidity on the red carpet and making a statement with fashion. His inspiration was from the movie Cleopatra.

HAILEE STEINFELD

Remember the Viktor & Rolf gowns with memes and quotes? Well – illuminates the concept of camp in its exaggeration!

JANELLE MONÁE

Dress by Christian Siriano and inspired by Picasso!

KARDASHIANS & JENNERS

Kim wearing the “wet look” designed by the man Thierry Muggler himself! One of my personal favourites – exaggerated emphasis on the “wet” element!

GIGI HADID & MICHAEL KORS

Gigi Hadid went for a Cher and Liberace inspired look, wearing Michael Kors’ design!

EZRA MILLER, JARED LETO, DARREN CRISS, HAMISH BOWLES

I am sure you have started understanding the concept and the above looks now!

PRIYANKA CHOPRA JONAS & NICK JONAS

Moving aside the extreme memes and trolls that happened at the expense of Priyanka’s costume at the MET and every second person posting their views and opinions, like Vogue called – you would be disappointed to know that this couple was at their CAMPIEST BEST! What a duet! Priyanka’s team not only interprets camp in its absurdity but translates it with phenomenal prowess on the red carpet, syncing with Nick’s looks at the same time. They were the ultimate CAMP ROYALTY! FYI, Dior dressed them both!

There is a lot of intricate work that is involved at every step of the way, and if you thought passing a critic judgement on a look or calling it “nice” and “not nice”, is why they invested six months of hard work and craftsmanship into it, then you would be probably sad to know that your certification is not what they care about.

Fashion, above all, is not about looking pretty that the media or magazines sell you at large. Fashion is and has always been a form of art- an expression of identity and a liberation of self. Why else do you think it matters to us so much although we would vehemently deny it?

And when it comes to couture fashion – it calls for a different blog post. 😉

Ending on Oscar Wilde’s work of witticism “One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art”—are the essence of camp. 

So what did you take away from this year’s theme?

Probably not to be a MET gala couture comment expert next year is one of them 🙂

Claws come off,

XOXO,

Adhisa Ghosh

SHADES OF COOL

We live in a country where obsession with fairness products and skin care that promise to lighten your skin shades by ten times are everywhere in the market. It not only dampens a person’s confidence but also somewhere creates an internal conflict of what you want to wear, what will suit your dusky or wheatish skin.

A lot of people give unsolicited advice and tell you not to wear dark shades on your lips or nails if you are not of a fairer skin tone and many such redundant suggestions.

May i interrupt – and tell you that there are shades that are so cool that you would totally wear them on dusky to wheatish skin? I could even show you a few!

NOTE – For all my lip shades, I generally mix more than one colour for the perfect degree of shade I want !

LIP SHADES THAT SCREAM

Worn in the above photo, buy the red lip shade here and the maroon here

Buy the above shade of Nicka K True Matte lip shade in Aubergine here.

I am wearing Stila All Day Liquid Lipstick in creamy matte finish. Since I checked and this is not in stock anymore, you can buy an alternative in Maybelline . It has the same texture, colour and finish. Buy it here.

For the above lip shade, I have mixed two shades of colour!

One is the Sephora #Lipstories in 45 City Beat (matte finish) which you can buy here.
The second shade is a hot pink liquid matte lip shade from Sugar which you can buy it here.

MY FAVOURITE NAIL SHADES

For the shade I am wearing in the above photo, its from Faces Canada in shade Hocus that you can buy here.

I love variant of colours for my nails, my personal choices range from pastel shades to ombre and dark tones in matte. For matte shades in a range of light to dark tones, you can buy it here.

For matte shades from Nykaa which are my actual favourites and what i use, along with the cookie crumble shades – you can buy them here.

Holographic nail shades are the latest trend now and although I am yet to get them for myself, you can find various brands offering them online. You can buy the above shade and its various ranges here.

Now that I have given you a list down of the various shades you should indulge in a bit of retail therapy and get splurging! These are easy on your budget and totally worth it.

The ideologies that bind us to such stereotypes are always based on theories propagated by mindsets that evidently were backward! Even today I hear a lot of people from your and my generation – the so-called millennials who still sign up to such nonsense theories of dark colours on lips and nails and why the need for it.

Well the need is simple – we want to look good in wearing whatever we feel we can pull off without your unsolicited advice, thank you!

We are all struggling, trying to get comfortable inn beauty standards we are setting for ourselves everyday. So if you have a darker skin tone and you want to wear a darker shade – nothing stops you other than you!

Yes, you can flush all those well wishers and their advice and wear every shade of cool.

XOXO,

Adhisa Ghosh

MY WARDROBE ESSENTIALS!

Whenever we go shopping we generally end up splurging a lot into one dress that we would wear for one occasion, one time in the year! And then, every morning when we head out for work we don’t have any clothes to wear, like ever! Sounds familiar?

Well, when it comes to building a flexible wardrobe and you want to be conscious and sustainable about your fashion choices too, keeping up with trend all the time can get tricky! You often wonder how some people can look like they have a variety of clothes and a never ending cupboard? Actually, the trick of making it look like you got a million clothes to wear lies in building your wardrobe with essentials! There are certain style, colours and accessories that can never go out of style, even when fashion seasons and cycles change throughout the year!

I am giving you a list-down of some of my wardrobe essentials that should make a way into your wardrobe as well the next time you go shopping! Having some of these basics can take you from a Monday to Sunday and a morning to an evening look minus all the hassles and drama! And trust me when I say this – but these are very small things.

1.SHORTS

ALL for shorts, Zara – white shirt

2. A PONCHO

Watch – Timex, Poncho – Boutique store in Istanbul

3. A MAXI DRESS

Dress from Honey, Shrug from Forever 21

4. HEXAGONAL/TINTED SHADES

Shades from a thrift store in Istanbul

5. AN OFF-SHOULDER MAXI DRESS AND TOP TOO!

Dress from a private label, top from NUON available at selective multi brand stores!

6. A DENIM JACKET

Jacket from Latin Quarters

7. A CHEQUERED or STRIPED DRESS

Dress from a store in Istanbul

8. A TULLE SKIRT/A QUOTE TOP/A PATCHWORK DENIM

The skirt is from a vintage shop in Istanbul, Top from Lifestyle, Denim jacket from Classy X

9. ACCESSORIES – CHOKER

Choker is from a Parisian brand – ClassyX

10. LAYERING CHAINS

Chains from an accessories shop in Istanbul

11. A STATEMENT SEMI PRECIOUS STONE RING

11. HOOPS

Above are some of my basic wardrobe essentials in clothes and accessories that can help me pull off a morning to evening look in our busy schedules!

I hope you like this list!

XOXO,

Adhisa

OF LUXURY HOTELS & ISTANBUL

One morning, staring groggily at my breakfast and letting the caffeine hit me so that I finally realise I am awake, I stared aimlessly outside my drawing room window overlooking the Bosphorus Strait. Suddenly, my roommate emitted a shrill ultrasonic sound to maybe announce to the world that Amir Khan was in the city, Istanbul.

Obviously getting excited momentarily, I sauntered lazily to take a shower thinking of the long day of Hospitality seminar I had at the university. So as a part of the class, we were to be taken to two luxury hotels and given a briefing and indulged into the marketing, business and  history of the foundations. What seemed a tad boring initially as it had nothing to do with fashion, soon turned out to be more than I expected. We covered two luxury hotels in the same day, the Fairmont Quasar Istanbul and Soho House Istanbul.

The Fairmont Quasar was the first stop where we met the seminar instructor, Antony Doucet. After being slightly in a different zone initially, post the introductions, which I will admit, Antony’s disclosure of Chanel connections and his obvious knowledge of fashion brands, especially Coco, I was far more alert on any word that left the man’s mouth post the divulgence! Just after that, came the revelation that an Indian actor was staying at the Fairmont, yeah, you don’t even get points on guessing it was Amir Khan.

As fate would have it, while we were there, he had left the premises for some promotional stuff, so after a round of squeals and grunts, we went around taking a tour of the place.

Below is a photo series from the Fairmont Quasar and Soho House and of course what I wore, how I styled my attire and a brief history about both the establishments.

FAIRMONT QUASAR ISTANBUL

Rising over the slopes of the Bosphorus, surveying centuries of history, yet silhouetted against the modern skyline of Istanbul, the Fairmont heritage of distinction and style merges with the city’s historical past and traditions to bring guests an exceptional experience in the heart of one of the world’s most talked about destinations. For guests seeking a true luxury hotel in Istanbul, Fairmont Quasar Istanbul is the ultimate destination, comprising of the traditions of the past and the technological advancements of the future.  It caters to sophisticated travellers with 209 guest rooms, including 25 suites and 40 Fairmont Gold rooms, with additional 64 Fairmont Residences along with a diverse selection of restaurants and bars, also the  luxurious Willow Stream Spa and state-of-the-art gym are the perfect places to relax and revitalize.

SOHO HOUSE ISTANBUL

A exclusive group of private members’ clubs for people working in the creative industries, the brand Houses in London, New York, Berlin, Toronto, West Hollywood, Chicago and Miami. Istanbul is their 13th with some more ambitious projects in the future.

In 1873, Ignazio Corpi, a powerful Genoese shipbuilder in what was then known as the European quarter of Constantinople, commissioned a palatial residence bearing his family’s name. He engaged Italian architect Giacomo Leoni, who set about importing marble from Carrara for the flooring and facings and Piemonte rosewood for the doors and window frames. Famous artists of the day were invited to create the wall paintings depicting Greek mythological scenes in the entrance hall and on the ceilings of the Great Hall. The building took nine years in total to complete. Following Iganzio’s death, his nephews leased the building to the American ambassador, John G.A. Leishman. From 1906, it served as the U.S. embassy and residence, and then the US consulate general from 1937 to 2003. In 2014, Soho House began extensive restoration work on the Palazzo, returning it to its former glory. – From the History of Soho House Istanbul

Written by Adhisa Ghosh

Dress and Shrug – Forever 21 India

ISTANBUL-OF THE PAST&PRESENT

I have been in this city since Monday now, after 24 hours of travel from Pune, and I am so glad to have completely fallen in love with this country, of whatever little I have seen in these two days. The weather, the people, the whole culture, Istanbul seems to be the perfect marriage of its past and present, of the old and the new. The city of Istanbul is important to geography because it has a long history that spans the rise and fall of the world’s most famous empires. Built by emperors and buried by emperors too many times, the city stands on the ruins of its past, glorifying the history of the present. Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey, located on the Bosporus Strait it covers the entire area of the Golden Horn – a natural harbor. Because of its size, Istanbul extends into both Europe and Asia. The city is the world’s only metropolis to extend into more than one continent.

Due to its participation in these empires, Istanbul has also undergone various name changes throughout its lengthy history.

HISTORY OF ISTANBUL IN BRIEF

BYZANTIUM ERA – THE ROMAN EMPIRE (330-395 CE)-THE BYZANTINE (EASTERN ROMAN) EMPIRE (395-1204 AND 1261-1453 CE)-THE LATIN EMPIRE (1204-1261)-THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE (1453-1922)-THE REPUBLIC OF TURKEY (1923-TODAY)

Also known as the European Capital of Culture because of its melting pot of populace and various religions as well as culture, Istanbul maintains that fine distinguishing line that let’s a traveller understand the many mysteries and tales that this city hides. Since my hotel is located at the heart of European side of Istanbul, at Gülhane Park, I decided to take a trip to the very very famous Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque.

After having a brilliant breakfast, I strolled out, taking in the beautiful breeze and the good looking men. After about 600meters, I reached my first destination.

HAGIA SOPHIA

One of the most mysterious and extremely written about monuments in the city’s history, the Hagia Sophia survived earthquakes, religious power struggles, and has been a church (basilica), a mosque and is now a museum. It is known as the Ayasofya in Turkish, and was dedicated to the Wisdom (Sophia) of God. There were once two more churches that were regarded as “Churches of Divine Wisdom” but the Hagia Sophia is the last that remains.

From the time of its construction between 532 and 537 AD, on the orders of Byzantine Emperor Justinian I, through to 1453 AD, the Hagia Sophia served as a cathedral for the Eastern Orthodox Church. However, Constantinople, as Istanbul was once called, was conquered by the Ottoman Turks at this time, and the Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque by order of Sultan Mehmed II. Relics such as the shroud of Mary, nails from the true cross and the tombstone of Jesus were some of its treasures, until the city was ransacked during the Fourth crusade. It remained in use as a mosque until as recently as 1931, when it was closed down for four years to be reopened as a museum in 1935 by the first President of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

When I entered the monument, I was not only transported to a different time, but I could also decipher the existence of two most primary religion. While the Islamic sanctions remains, right above the structure is Virgin Mary, holding baby Jesus, protected by Archangels Gabriel and Michael. Also, guarding above the door are two angels, guardians of the heaven. As one enters, one sees the ceiling that was built at a height so high that it was supposedly a doorway to heaven.  Apart that, there are a couple of tombstones that one can see around the monuments, and one of the largest baptism area that Istanbul had in those days. As Hagia Sophia maintains the balance between the two religious powers, I couldn’t help but wonder how difficult was it for humanity to co-exist so peacefully?

THE BLUE MOSQUE / SULTANAHMET MOSQUE

Istanbul’s Blue Mosque is also known as Sultanahmet Mosque, named after Sultan Ahmet I who wished to build an Islamic place of worship that would compete with the Hagia Sophia. The two places of worship now stand side by side for visitors to judge which is the more extraordinary of the architectural marvels. Mosques traditionally have one, two or four minarets. What makes the Blue Mosque unique as it boasts six minarets. Although the main west entrance is far grander than the north entrance, non-worshippers are asked to use the north entrance, like I was, to keep the mosque’s sacredness intact. The Blue Mosque’s interior is lit with two hundred and sixty windows which were once filled with stained glass of the seventeenth century. Unfortunately they have been lost and replaced with replicas far more inferior. The mosque’s interior has 20,000 blue tiles that line its high ceiling. The oldest of these tiles feature flowers, trees and abstract patterns that make them fine examples of sixteenth century Iznik design.

Written by Adhisa Ghosh

Shot on Iphone7plus

THE UNTAMED x RANGTARA

” I am here to live, laugh, learn, love, celebrate, expand and contribute. I am magic and I am power, and in this remembrance I am free.” – Lee Harris

She stood amidst the colours. Her mind wandering to the fact that how life was nothing but a spectrum of colours to choose from, colours that reflected ideologies and perceptions, colours that reflected choices. She knew that even when she was standing apart her soul was blending in. She had heard that strength lied in not being attached but didn’t the true test of strength lie in the notoriety of attachment and still maintaining one’s free spirit.

She was always untamed, unfazed and wild. She just knew that some women weren’t born to blend in, they were just meant to stand apart and herald spring after winter had waged its wars. These women were supposed to lead and empathise. Some women were born to show this wretched universe how a human can be so gentle yet so strong.

She assumed she could be anyone. From being an independent working woman, to being the girl who cheats on fashion with grocery shopping, she was always striving for perfection but she knew in her heart, that her heart was something that raced, through the eyes of the lady selling vegetables, to the man bargaining for an extra piece. Some women, she learnt, were born to be the centre of gravity. She knew better to advise people to never mess with a woman who knows there is magic inside her.

She knew she was not singular. She had many aspects of her individuality that went from day to night, just like the setting sun. She knew that someone’s sunset was a sunrise somewhere. She had this illusion about romanticism and she always found so much of depth and love in clothes that adorned her and reflected her free spiritedness. She wasn’t willing to be someones six am sunrise but someones gloomy sunset definitely.

She was well aware of the fact that time waited for none, and the seed with a sun’s love, in the spring, becomes the rose. She was such an expert of duality that her clothes reflected the same attitude. She felt choices in life didn’t define a person alone, but also the clothes you wear and how you wear these stories of a fabric on you reflects a lot about your personality too. She could be a morning desk person laughing at a mirage to a 8 p.m dinner date where she is breaking rules and making vibes. She was half a goddess and half a tribe, she wanted no mistakes to be made in her recognition.

Clothes weren’t just items for her to cover the body, they were stories fabricated into a personality. Each garment was a work of art, pin tucks and slits, collars to bandhnis, it was a ricocheting affair. An affair she wanted to be remembered wearing, and in that moment she was the maverick, uninhibited and the untamed.

“You keep me safe, I will keep you wild.”

Written by Adhisa Ghosh

Brand Collaboration – Rangtara 

Photo Story by Manjari Singh and Mehuljeet Singh

Assistant Styling by Vaishali Pandey

MY ISTANBUL PACKING WITH AFAMADO

So my departure is close, and I am a bit upset with a heavy heart as saying goodbyes and leaving home is tough, especially when there is no guarantee of a return. I have just three days in hand which means ideally I should have started packing by now and progressed with checklists, but here I am, writing a post for you guys, telling you how difficult it is to pack 23 years in 2 suitcases over three days.

Since my departure to Istanbul is on Sunday and that country is going to be my home now for a long time for my MBA, I have been thinking of taking some modest yet stylish dresses because I need clothes and makeup to survive. While listing down the dresses and clothes and shoes of late, I came across this very pretty floral, double-flap neck white dress from the brand Afamado. It is so elegant and stylish, it was definitely in my “Take” list. I love the fact that it totally reflects my sense of personal style and comfort and their variety is endless.

I think Istanbul is looking a lot better as I am trying to pack my way through. What do you think?

Written by Adhisa Ghosh

Photography by Manjari Singh