TROY

“Travel far enough, you meet yourself.”

Needless to say, my initial plan was to stay put at home and binge watch movies and cook up some storm in the kitchen, but on a complete impulsive urge, I decided to go for a trip on the 25th of December.

Having always had a penchant for historical places and archaeology, I decided to visit the ruins of Troy in the Çanakkale district of Turkey. Çanakkale is a city in northwestern Turkey in the Marmara region, on the Dardanelles Strait. It’s a gateway to the Gallipoli WWI battlefields, north of the narrow strait. On the grounds of the 15th-century Çimenlik Castle, Çanakkale Naval Museum Command contains historical artillery. The archaeological site at Troy, including an ancient theater, is southwest of the city.

Now, most of you are aware of the story of Troy, thanks to our history texts and the movie that was so well made, even the horse from the movie stands on the shore of this city. So in totality I got to see two Trojan horses. The second one that stands in the premises of the ruins of Troy, is designed by a Turkish architecture.

Coming back to my impulsive decision, I had to report for the travel at 6 am in the morning. I literally woke up at 430 am, bearing the freezing cold, made my way to the spot only to be kept waiting for an hour before the journey actually began.

I have not felt that kind of excitement in a really long time. I could not wait to reach the destination and adding to the happiness was the fact that it was my first solo trip. When we stopped for a break, I was more than trilled to see snow around me as it is yet to snow in Istanbul and I was running around like a child, trying to capture as much as possible.

On the trip, after being on road for five hours, we reached and were to have lunch. That’s when I met the others who had taken the same tourism package and I was so happy to make a good friend in Augusto who was visiting from Ecuador. Both of us were headed towards Troy, so our tour guide took us on a ferry across the Dardanelles Strait, and after a 25 minute drive, we reached the ancient site.

The fascination of seeing the ruins of the past still stand during these times and to be actually able to see the various sites was an experience I don’t think I can translate into words.

At the end of the day, while me and Augusto were sipping coffee on the Mediterranean sea, I looked around and realised that sometimes travelling is more than just visiting a destination. It is the journey that counts, it really does wonders to your mind. As for me, there is nothing I like more than talking to different people, making friends out of strangers, knowing their culture, hearing them talk about their stories and seeing their eyes gleam whenever they talk about love and passion.

Ultimately, at the end of the day, no matter how far you travel or what you see,  you realise that people will come and go, and if you are lucky enough you might get to be a part of someones story in the future, but universally, human emotions will always be a constant.

Travel before you have to actually settle, and even when you do, never underestimate the peace of mind that travelling brings to you. Just pack your bag, be whimsical and head out. It is really not the destination thats important, but what you make of the journey that counts.

Also, below is a video from Troy. Hope you guys like it.

XOXO.

PS : Best Christmas ever!

Written by Adhisa Ghosh

OF WINE AND THE GIRLS WHO RISK

“Generalising a girl is your first big mistake”.

So, we had this vineyard visit a few weeks back. We visited the Barbare Vineyards, a little outside the city limits of Istanbul. Once having reached, the place for sure took my breath away. Very quiet, echoing a country side vibe, the peace that lets you contemplate and gets you on, a trip with yourself.

We tasted around four to five kinds of wine and to be very honest I do not remember the names,  but I can tell my wines apart in taste and I can tell you that one was a Blush wine and the rest, Red. While warming up to the sunshine, cool breeze and every cliché of a romantic nature, sea view et al, my mind wandered far beyond the Marmara sea.

I was having an epiphany. It happened in a moment where I realised that in today’s world, being a woman who had a mind of her own, had a voice, above all was dominating, was something that was still unacceptable in more terms than one. The acceptance is not something that validates one’s existence, of course, but reflects well on the progress we have made, given we are all products of four billion years of evolution, time we act like it. Almost.

Reflecting on one dialogue by  Miranda Hobbes from Sex and the City , she said at a point when she left her job as a lawyer, ” You know, I’m just realizing, it wasn’t my tone of voice that my boss didn’t like.It was the fact that I had a voice.”

 

 

23 years and later, I realise that although everyone is in some sort of mad rush to progress, it comes to very few men to not generalise a woman. And the moment you face these stereotyped expectations, you know you have to pack your bags and flee. Be it India, Istanbul or any part of the world really, the patriarchal social hierarchy is so deep set and global that without realising and with no fault of our own, we become attuned to notions of generalising.

I remember a time when I was a kid, barely 8 – year old, and I was coming back in the school bus, and I was almost going to punch a boy because he threw my bag down and took my seat. At that point he started crying to my utter astonishment, and said that you are a mean and dominating girl. I laughed. I said, it’s okay kid, i don’t cry.

Years later, when I reflect on that incident, I ask myself why do we teach little girls to be fragile and soft, why do we not tell our girls to be risk takers, bossy and independent. Whoever is told they are dominating should be told they have leadership qualities instead, and whoever is told that you are a risk, take it as a compliment.

I know of so many women who portray the image of vulnerability to massage a man’s ego. It is absolutely redundant, something that also lets one generalise genders, just the way in retrospect, I am doing right now. But what I am also stating are hard facts, the very reason how a #metoo campaign was required to alarm human beings universally that united, honest women were fearless and dangerous. While talking to my brother Nikhil, about such situations, both of us couldn’t disagree that, even when a man says that they like a woman who is confident and all of that, in reality they had rather put their attention on someone who will not argue or put down their viewpoints.

It is funny to think that even today, there exists this mental gap where a man still considers himself to be rather supreme, and continuously generalise women as being weak. It is more amusing when I come across such men, I feel nothing but sorry for them.

And to all the women reading this, I couldn’t help but put out a more clear message  –

“Keep being feisty, and never ever let anyone intimidate you. This world needs more of you women who have a voice and an opinion. People are always afraid of strong girls who breathe fire and yet have a warm heart. Also, never trust anyone so much that you forget to trust your own instincts. Never love anyone else so hard that you forget to love yourself first.

And last but not the least, be proud of that moment when someone says they don’t want to take a risk with you. You represent to them all the sins they would never have the courage to commit.”

PS: The wine really helped.

Written by Adhisa Ghosh

Shot on Iphone7plus

Location – Barbare Vineyard

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

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 SINGAPORE DIARY

Singapore’s name comes from ‘Singa Pura’ which means Lion City in Sanskrit. According to the Sejarah Melayu (Malay Annals), a Sumatran prince called Sang Nila Utama landed on Temasek (Singapore’s old name) and saw a Lion which is called ‘Singa’ in Malay(language of Singapore). Thus he gave the island a new name, ‘Singapura’.

My summer holiday couldn’t have gone better with me and my family deciding to take a break from the scorching heat of Maharashtra and we decided for a quick five day getaway to Singapore.Since my dad has been to the city countless times and has been nothing less than praises for the development of the city and its people, he really wanted me to experience Singapore before I left for my MBA.

So we sat on the Air India Dreamliner, where the hospitality was beyond amazing and our five day trip was resplendent with a lot of city tour, wildlife and history. I would also try a lot of their street food because I think thats the best part about going to a new country and also befriending people, because Singaporeans are such amazing beautiful people, their discipline and perseverance amazed me and I think when we visit such places we have so much more to learn and take back home.

Also, on one trip, while asking the driver about the seasons, he jokingly mentioned how its hot, hotter and hottest. Which was quite true! It rains randomly and almost every day and the weather can get quite humid and sticky. Be prepared for an amazing tan and keep hydrating while you travel if you are visiting during the Indian summers.

Here is a quick brief lay down of the places I visited and what all we did –

1- Singapore Flyer

Singapore Flyer is one of the world’s largest observation wheels – after two and a half years of construction, it was opened in April 2008, its height reaching 165 meters. With a capacity to hold 784 people, Singapore Flyer is considered to be one of the main tourist attractions in Singapore.The view from Singapore Flyer opens up a magnificent panorama of the city and the Singapore Bay from a bird’s eye-view. One can also order a bottle of champagne, lunch, or a romantic dinner to be served on the wheel. No, we didn’t do that as we were straight up on the flyer after eight hours of flight and travel and no sleep. I refused to be photographed much to my mother’s chagrin because I looked like a mess.

Image credits – Embassy Alliance Travel

2- Singapore Botanic Garden

With more than 150 years of history, the 82-hectare Gardens holds a unique and significant place in the history of Singapore and the region. The Gardens has been inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site at the 39th session of the World Heritage Committee (WHC) on 4 July 2015 and is the first and only tropical botanic garden on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List. It is the first in Asia and the third botanic gardens inscribed in the world.

3- Gardens by the Bay

Gardens by the Bay is a nature park spanning 101 hectares of reclaimed land in central Singapore, adjacent to the Marina Reservoir. The park consists of three waterfront gardens: Bay South Garden, Bay East Garden and Bay Central Garden. The other attractions include the Flower Dome, Cloud Forest, OCBC Skyway, Supertree Grove, Dragonfly and Kingfisher Lakes, Heritage Gardens, World of Plants and Art Sculpture.They have replicated gardens indoors from around the world, in the flower dome and the cloud forest is a rainforest replica complete with a skywalk. That was definitely my favourite part.

4- Sentosa Island

The 500-hectare island resort is home to an exciting array of themed attractions, award-winning spa retreats, lush rainforests, golden sandy beaches, resort accommodations, world-renowned golf courses, a deep-water yachting marina and luxurious residences – making Sentosa a vibrant island resort for business and leisure. Making Sentosa its home, too, is Singapore’s first integrated resort, Resorts World Sentosa, which operates South East Asia’s first Universal Studios theme park. Situated on the eastern end of Sentosa Island is Sentosa Cove, an exclusive oceanfront and residential enclave bustling with some 2,000 homes, romantic quayside restaurants, retail and specialty shops. Our entire day went by visiting the Madame Tussauds, Butterfly museum, Underwater World, Marine Life Park and seeing the most popular show on the island, the very famous laser show, Wings of time. Yes, I have tons of photos from these places but I am way too picky to put them here so only a few will have to suffice. Also we were so busy hopping from place to place, and walking for miles and totally exhausted by the time we sat for the show.

5- Orchard Street

Orchard Road, a 2.2 kilometre-long boulevard, is the retail and entertainment hub of Singapore. Often known colloquially as Orchard, the area is a major tourist attraction. With almost every luxury brand on the street, and malls like Takashimaya catering to major brands and luxury, one finds everything from Prada to MiuMiu, Chanel to Dior and Gucci and Louis Vuitton to Desigual and Tory Burch and Tiffany. Yes, this was my most favourite part of the trip. My dad had to push me inside a cab.

6- Singapore Zoo, Jurong Bird Park and Night Safari

The Singapore Zoo, formerly known as the Singapore Zoological Gardens and commonly known locally as the Mandai Zoo was on of my best experiences. From having breakfast with the descendants of Ah-Meng, the Sumatran Orangutan who became the poster child of Singapore zoo and led quite a celebrity life to actually feeding the elephants and watching numerous animal shows, I felt so connected and so much in sync with the wildlife around. Even the Jurong Bird Park and the Night Safari were absolute amazing parts of the trip. If you are at the bird park make sure to visit the parrot paradise because the birds actually mimic and talk whatever you say. And the night safari, you cant miss their tribal dance and animal show. All in all, its one wildlife experience you don’t want to miss.

Ah-Meng when she was 47 years old, before her death

7- Merlion park and River Cruise

The Merlion is the national personification of Singapore. The name is a combination of “mer”, meaning the sea, and “lion”. The fish body represents Singapore’s origin as a fishing village when it was called Temasek, which means “sea town” in Javanese. Once you are at the park you see the glorious Merlion and throw in a cent while making a wish, and take the river cruise that takes you through all the bays of the city and narrates the history of each port. It is definitely worth the ride, where you see Clarke Quay and the Fullerton Hotel.

In conclusion, Singapore is worth a visit repetitively because of the people, the city that is so beautiful, clean and well maintained and the street food that I just loved! Also, the hotel, V-Lavender had a great buffet spread that gave me lots of holiday weight to fight off once I was back! 🙂

Written by Adhisa Ghosh

BIRTHDAY LOOKS WITH XXLLENT

“It is a ceremony, the blowing of candles, the cutting of a cake – the mess of cream and sponge in your mouth. The taste is sweet and familiar, like a newly formed wish, fashioned from all the ones you’ve made before.

You don’t remember them in sequence – the things you ask for. You only recall those you wanted the most. Like the pair of neon pink roller-skates, you saw in the shop window when you were twelve. How deeply you felt their absence when you sat among the litter of torn wrapping paper and empty new possessions.

Or the year you turned sixteen, when your best friend’s mother got really sick, and all you wanted was for her to be okay again. It was the year you learned that shooting stars were either a blessing or a curse, depending on what you wanted to believe.

Then there was that year you fell in love. The one where there weren’t any candles – just you walking late at night through the city streets with your heart in pieces, wanting to give yourself to the first stranger who called you beautiful.

Since then it’s been the same every year. As soon as the first match is struck, the smell of burning takes you backwards through your memory. It stops you right at that moment on that warm, September night, as you watched the first trickle of melting wax hit the icing, and you couldn’t think of a single damn thing you wanted – because he was standing there, in the flickering light, asking you to make a wish.”

–––––– LANG LEAV , BIRTHDAYS

Starting this post by one of my favourite authors signifies the fact that this one’s going to be all about birthdays. Yes! I am so excited to finally reveal my looks from the collaboration with the brand XXllent, started in 2016 by Raksha Shetty. An online website portal for plus size shopping, the brand XXllent is synonymous with the belief that beauty is beyond size and that every body is beautiful.

Fashion and style are elements and state of the mind that transcends beyond a certain size, shape and colour. Well, it couldn’t have been a better fit when one day I sauntered into the Xxllent office in Pune and realised how extremely innovative, quick, hard working  with a clear vision and goal the team was. There has always been a limitation in the availability of choice in fashion for the plus size women which compromises at least 60% of fashion choice for the Indian women and the brand Xxllent had been able to map this glaring gap in the market in the retail and fashion industry for plus size or curvy women. After all, why should any women need to settle for less variety in choice?

The brands’ stylist, Ritika Tara Sharma and I decided on a few looks and because my birthday was coinciding in the month of June, I decided to style a few looks and create a style guide for various birthday personalities. So, if your birthday is around the corner, keep calm and put your style game on because I am going to give you the following lay downs and help you up your fashion game !

1-Sophisticated meets Chic

This off-shoulder cape dress is such a winner if delicate and elegance is your style. I kept it simple by adding a lace choker as the only accessory.

2- Traditional meets Contemporary

This royal look with multicolour “ikat” combination with “gota patti” lace and gold border gives that royal look for that one event where class is priority. I decided to accessorise it with one statement neck piece and red lips.

3- The Summer baby

If you are a cool and breezy person who likes to be on the move and feel fluid and casual, even on days like birthdays, this batik print summer kaftan should be your favourite. I accessorised this with a simple Swarovski neck piece to give it a touch of luxury and a statement oxidised finger ring.

4- The Fiery College Teen

I love this look because of the very stated drama the flared kimono sleeves and tie up at the waist brings in infused with the lovely red hue. This ensemble completely embodies a fiery spirit who has a panache for some fun and drama. I let the dress speak for itself and added a simple pendant neck piece.

5- The dualist

Always in a rush and hopping from day to evening occasions and no time to change because all you have is a spare skirt in your car. Fear not, I got you covered with the reversible top which can be worn in both ways in both the colours – black and purple. I love monochrome solid looks that are clean and minimal and decided to add that headgear for a little greek inspiration ! Play with the shrug for both the looks and let it add that flare and glam.

Photography – Manjari Singh and Mehuljeet Singh 

Assistant Styling – Vaishali Pandey 

Brand – Xxllent 

Written by Adhisa Ghosh 

JORSS – SUMMER POP UP

It was pouring outside one evening while I was aimlessly sipping coffee, sitting at a cafe and strolling on social media, consuming news on fashion and beauty as usual. That’s when I got an invite for an event by Vidhya Tiwari, Editor-in-chief at Cariz, hosted along with her by Chanda Patil, for a Summer Pop Up exhibition at the gorgeous salon, Nails & More owned by Debarati Ghosh.

The pop up was brought in by Harshita Punjabi from Mumbai, whose label Jorss was a collection of summer wear carefully curated from across the world keeping the summers in mind. I decided to drop in for the pop up at the Nails & More on a weather temperamental Friday morning and get some much needed dose of my weekly Fashion inspiration.

Stepping in wearing Global Desi

Harshita Punjabi

While entering the quaint place I couldn’t help but soak in the neat interior giving out a very traditional yet contemporised vibe with copper vessels and reclined chairs, and adding to that was Harshita’s vibrant gesture that made me feel instantly at ease, like I was invited for a dress up party where I could browse through her collections at ease.

Nails and More

Glimpses from the pop up

Talking to the very talented young fashion designer from NIFT, Harshita explained how she usually does traditional wear but this collection was curated for being summer and travel friendly giving out a global vibe. A variety of collections of clothes from her various travels, each one unique and different from the other.

She stuck to summer tones for the colour palette. Pastels, nude tones and prints were her choice, perfectly reflecting the weather outside and my mood. Slim cuts and weather friendly fabrics were her silhouette and fabric choice and I instantly loved the collection while browsing through them.

When I asked her why did she zero in on Pune as the place for her exhibition, she quipped how the city has an undeniable potential for fashion and style. Also she and her beautiful friend cum owner of Nails & More, Debarati Ghosh had been planning to do the pop up since a very long time.

Harshita has always been very outgoing and an extrovert which I could tell from her way of easing her customers in.

Dreaming of being a designer as a little girl, she realised this dream at the age of 20 years, when she shaped her Indo – Western fusion brand under the label “Jorss”. After her graduation from NIFT, she soon found herself creating couture for the ‘Modern Indian Woman’. Jorss fashion is exclusive, elaborate and elegant and Harshita’s designs are whimsical and tasteful, effective with a variety of textiles, prints and sophisticated embellishments. After trying out a few of her collections and particularly loving two favourites, I realised that the heart of her designs lie in one of a kind outfits tailored to perfection for the urban woman.

Checking out some handpicked jewellery by Beadazzle by Soniya and Bling Spree

Being a curvy blogger, I couldn’t help but feel good about being able to ease into her designs and seeing variety not limited to a particular size. Upon asking her if she felt that fashion had a definitive size, her answer made all the positive difference making the collection more than just a display of her creativity. She quickly responded how she felt strongly about the fact that fashion was for all, and it wasn’t a size. It was clearly a state of mind and what made a woman feel like she was a queen! It was the confidence and the love for fashion and style that should transcend the obligation of feeling restricted.

I for one, couldn’t agree more. Also, I had so much fun playing dress up and twinning with her while getting to know all about this very talented designer!

I love the dramatic collar and cinched waist, and the pastel tone, very summer melting into monsoon feel!
This Batik print maxi dress is so soft and comfortable! Love!

Photography – Mehuljeet Singh 

Location – Nails and More

Designer – Harshita Punjabi 

Event – Summer Pop Up Exhibition

Accessories – Beadazzle by Soniya and Bling Spree

Written by Adhisa Ghosh

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MY GRADUATION STORY, 2013-2017

Pune, 2013. Personal Interview at Symbiosis Institute of Design, taken by the current Head of Department of Fashion and the Deputy Director, Mrs. Sanjeevani Ayachit. Me, a wide-eyed naive 18 – year old, over the moon about being able to come so far in that one course I was desperate to get into : Fashion Communication.

Nervously slipping through my portfolio and showing my letter of recommendation from my then Editor of a leading national newspaper, I tried to hide my growing impatience, because everyone knew a quiet interview wasn’t good.

“Don’t you think you are overqualified? Give me a reason why you should be considered.”

2017, April, I graduated from Symbiosis Institute of Design, in Fashion Communication, specialising in Fashion Styling and Writing, and having a knack for business and brand management that got me a MBA with scholarship in Luxury Brand Management at IFA (Institute of Fashion Academy ) ranked 6th in France, where I am soon going to be a part of cultures like Istanbul and Paris, as part of the programme.

Why am I saying all this? I am not bragging. It is not my intention to brag, but to highlight the fact that nothing in life is ever easy and you never know unless you try. My journey in Symbiosis wasn’t an easy one, sure, but it was also one I would never go back and change.

In my four years of graduation, I have seen students come and go. For some, bearing the pressure gets too overwhelming and some realise they are not cut out for design. I never thought I was too, till the day I had my first class in Fashion Studies in my second year and after that, time and again, I knew I could breathe, eat, sleep, walk and talk fashion communication, a state that all the 21 girls in my class would undoubtedly agree to.

From pulling all nighters to partying till dawn the next day at the thrill and satisfaction of having completed a project, to giving up sometimes and crying endlessly and holing up at home and avoiding college and taking a few backlogs, we have all been there and done that. From confiding in our mentors to developing some beautiful relations with our faculties as we grew older, we realised that we made it from being 18 year olds to 23 year olds and worrying about our jobs and securities now.

I have seen many come and go. People are always obsessed with the idea of something, like being a part of the Symbiosis culture probably, given that the hype is not negligible, but look beyond it, I promise you its much more.

If you are focused, goal and career driven and ambitious about design, then this place is what you can call home for the next four years of your life. And, if you are lucky enough, this is where your nights will turn into days with friends who would turn into families. This is where you would find people who would momentarily but significantly replace your family for you on days when you are homesick, and diligently dole out the roles of a mother, father and a sibling.

    DESIGN SHOWCASE, 2013-2017.

This is where you would make plenty of mistakes in your life too. You would lose control sometimes, feel the rush of your youth, feel the magic in your bones. You would rise above and fall down with a thud too, and every time you learn to walk back after your failures, you will know better than to quit. You will realise that you are in a lion fight, and people around you are your competitors and your colleagues you can learn from. Just because you didn’t win once, doesn’t mean you forgot how to roar.

You will learn to trust people even when your instincts tell you against it and amidst all that trusting, you will also learn eventually to trust no one but yourself.

This is also where you would find the love of your life and if you are lucky enough, then it would be the kind that would be for eternity. You would finally learn at your age, what loving selflessly is. You would have a love that writers write about and if you are strong enough to balance it all out and sustain storms, you will realise that this place is where you got your friends who became your family, your career, your motivation and your heart.

My design showcase, which is our annual graduation show happened in the month of April. That glorious moment for which we all waited for was finally here. I couldn’t feel more proud to see all my hard work transcend into the panel that had our work on display and I felt blessed to receive praises and best wishes for life beyond the four walls of Symbiosis.

PANEL DISPLAY OF DEGREE PROJECT WORK

It was a consuming three – day affair with the Design Show, with placements and Fashion shows, exhibitions, dinners and parties, telling everyone goodbye a thousand times and promising to keep in touch. It was like hearing every kind of goodbye said all at once.

My personal style has always been chic, comfortable and casual and for my Design Show, I decided to break the monotony of formal dressing and be comfortable yet classy in a ribbed shift dress and an anti-fit dress. Lace and metallic choker were my go to and only accessories as I like to keep it clean and minimal. My make up was also very balanced, with a pink glow, matte pink lips for the first look and green smoky eyes, matte nude lips for the second look.

PINK TREND – DRESS&CHOKER – FOREVER21

ANTI-FIT LOOK – DRESS&CHOKER – FOREVER21 & GLOBAL DESI

Shoes are my comfort zone, and when I know I have to party, my stilettos were diligently displaced with metallic golden shoes, my current all wardrobe staple!

I recall, the night of the farewell, all I did was observe my batch of 180 or fewer students, all together probably for the last time, interacting, dancing, laughing and talking to each other, all together amidst their differences, but together nonetheless.

FASHION BATCH 2013-2017 , BATCH PHOTO BY – MANJARI SINGH

On a closing note, I quote from Grey’s , ” Today’s the day my life begins. Today I become a citizen of the world. Today I become a grown up. Today I become accountable to someone other than myself and my parents. Accountable for more than my grades. Today, I become accountable to the world. To the future. To all the possibilities that life has to offer. Starting today, my job is to show up wide-eyed and willing and ready. For what, I don’t know. For anything. For everything. To take on life. To take on love. To take on the responsibility and possibility. Today, my friends, our lives begin. And, I for one can’t wait.”

Written by Adhisa Ghosh

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