WHY YOU NEED TO BELIEVE IN 2020

Every year in December, we are always filled with hope and faith for the next year. We plan big, we have exotic dreams and to-do lists and resolutions to complete. We have a three month plan, a quarterly plan, a financial plan, some thousands of calendar plans, dates blocked – so much of insane planning and booking, blocking and vacay listings.

We never for once have a plan B. We never think what if it all goes to waste? We never plan for the alternative.

2020, what a plot twist you were.

I had so many plans this year. Looking back at it now, all my plans were centred around a growth that now feels superficial to me. A constant running without any sense of settling and loyalty. I always give myself 6 months in any situation. 6 months and I am out. 180 days and I am done.

What if 2020 was a person? Say someone who you had grown attached to, you started to like, a lot. You started to let in that energy, and then bam! You realise 2020 was just teasing you, it never meant to let you warm up, it never had any feelings or any capacity to empathise. And it was proud of that.

It’s not even a person anymore, just a reminiscent of some good times, of a rare glimpse of what normalcy used to look like and a well schemed conspiracy by the universe to trap your heart for a while and force you to go through a spiritual cleanse. Amidst all these idiosyncrasies, when you are trying hard to keep a sense of reality, comes your misplaced sense of trust and believe.

There have been so many times that I wanted to give up. I have literally laid down on the cold tiled floor, crying straight for an hour because I was too numb and exhausted to get up and face life. To be back in the same space with no escape.

I think what truly got me going was that I wanted to believe. And I wanted each weekend to come so that I could have a good sleep knowing this week, we made it.

I know this sounds crazy because as millennials we are told abundantly to shut out any kind of feelings, to not have a warm heart, to slash people before they can hurt us – and amidst all of that I ask you to believe.

I believe in the good.

I believe that it’s been a hell of a year and we still have 6 more months to go. I believe, in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, we will all be okay.

I believe a lot of things.

I believe that sometimes when you least expect to, people can walk into your life and open up your heart. They can show you who you are now and who you are when no one is watching you, and that is important you know. I believe sometimes people can really surprise you, once you decided to let them in. They can feel like your morning coffee brewing, while you stood unmindful for a second, while a rush of peace swept over you.

I believe that sometimes old kisses can be replaced with new ones, that they would have their own taste and it would help you stop remembering old mouths. I believe that some people help you replace old memories with better ones and in that knowledge you realise what you once thought traumatic, was a farce.

And I believe that if I eat a tub of fudge, and no one sees me, the calories don’t count. And I believe that when you like someone, despite all odds, you take the risk of telling them so. I believe you should acknowledge when someone is vulnerable to you about how they feel because God knows their hands shook when they wrote that message. 

And I truly believe, that sometimes, people can be extraordinarily stupid to take a moment of love and peace, and trade it for a month of disappointment and heartbreak.

Above all, I believe that we are all capable of being kind, of falling in love with imperfections, of defying the impulse to abandon, to jump the ship.

And I believe that because You are reading this – I can tell You this and we can be okay. I believe even though we all made mistakes this year, You and I will be okay. 

I believe we survive. 

I believe that believing we survive is what makes us survive. 

XOXO

Adhisa.

25 THINGS TO-DO BEFORE 25 WHICH YOUR MOM MAY NOT LOVE

Birthdays are always crazy isn’t it?

The very thought that there is this one day every year reserved to be made all about you can be pretty overwhelming, especially if you are someone like me who isn’t a big fan of celebrations.

Not a pessimistic trade, I feel birthdays tend to be hyped with a lot of expectations attached to them and I had rather be having a quiet one and fulfilling those goals instead!

Ticking off things to-do from that list you made as a school kid during a boring Maths class, remember?

So, I have a list of 25 things that I wanted to absolutely to do before I had reached the median score. I am not saying I did it all but who knows?

25 IDEAS YOUR MOTHER WON’T LIKE :

1- Get a scholarship & study what embodies your passion for the subject, not just for a degree and accolades.

2- Go to a country where you don’t know the language, live there and not just as a tourist.

3- Have an impactful relation with someone irrespective of time and language barriers.

4- Make a serious mistake. Just one, that reminds you every moment in your life that you could choose to be better and wiser, that your scar stands for something more.

5- Date someone who is wrong for you, who wouldn’t be your type. Or so you think. It’s only because you had something, you know what you don’t want.

6- Eat a piece of chocolate cake with a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon or a Chardonnay.

7- Go on an adventure in a different country, live it up there and reveal as little about yourself as possible.

8- Kiss someone you don’t love. Kiss someone who isn’t from the same country or ethnicity as you, or of the same age.

9- Get involved in high voltage dramatic situations in a foreign land for no fault of yours and come out being the victim.

10- Learn to accept other peoples POV and difference in opinions respectfully while stating your facts without any display of rage or animosity.

11- Be informed about socio-economic-political situations of the country and the world. By informed I don’t mean articles shared on social media and peer opinions endorsed by patronising people. Actually read up and dig up your political history, ups and downs and form your OWN opinion with facts and statements that goes to support the same.

12- Take the time out to know someone you despise. Or are not particularly fond of.

13- Learn to talk dirty at least once. And embrace your raw desires. Society has always wired us to be guilty and apologetic for expressing passion.

14- Start a collection. Any damn thing you want. I have a collection of the behavioural pattern of histories most infamous serial killers and their documentaries and footages.

15- Get into the habit of investment for your retirement. It sounds too early now but consider you future old self kissing you for this benevolence.

16- Have a secret tattoo that no one could see in plain sight. Only a few privileged people would know, if you know what I mean.

17- Have one inappropriate relationship and one diary that will be only yours to know.

18- Read controversial novels.

19- Just for once, buy something really expensive and pay for it with your own card or cash. Trust me, that sense of possessing something that stems from your own idea of affordability is quite a rush of sorts.

20- Take a trip, solo.

21- Learn how to cook or bake. It’s something you would occasionally find yourself enjoying in time. Makes for a great conversation starter.

22- Watch movies of different countries with subtitles.

23- Sponsor a child in any manner possible, even in the smallest of things like education or food.

24- Eat at a Michelin star restaurant at least once in your 20’s, even if its an appetiser. The thrill of it in your 30’s won’t be the same.

25- Know that your 20s are for adventure and whimsy, sure you would settle down one day and have a family and beautiful babies but that day is not today. Remind yourself of your goals, priorities and ambitions and live it up with an occasional bottle of wine now and then.

XOXO,

Adhisa Ghosh

Nº3 MONTMARTRE STORY

“But Paris was a very old city and we were young and nothing was simple there.” – Hemingway

Living in the city of love is surreal. There have been moments while strolling around the city or walking around in Montmarte, I have always experienced things from a different perspective, in a different mood.

For a very long time this week, I dallied along the lines of how I wanted this blog to turn out. Should I make it a clichéd article? Talking about what kind of a place Montmarte is, the must-visit spots or the touristic routines. On a second thought, I even began to recall from my visits, a few pointers about Montmarte to give to my readers – but then, my whole point of sharing with you the reality of the place is amiss.

Nonetheless, to brief you, Montmarte is a large hill in Paris’ 18th arrondissement. It is a major tourist attraction for its quaint picturesque neighbourhood, artists corner and cafes. Montmarte is also the destination of the Basilica of Sacré-Cœur, Ernest Hemmingway and Picasso, Vlamenck, Derain, Soutine, Modigliani, Van Gogh and countless others who lived and worked in these narrow streets. You could find wall plaques identifying buildings and cafes as historic. “Hemmingway once peed in our bathroom…” etc.

The other major attraction is the Basilica Sacre-Coeur, built only a century ago, after the French were embarrassed by a brief but successful occupation by the Germans in 1870 under Bismark’s Prussian army. The Basilica is based in Roman architecture and took over 40 years to build. From a distance, the stark white domes are powerful and imposing. During WWII, 13 bombs are said to have landed on the church, but without resulting in casualties, which lent the place special status among the local people. Atop the dome, you get an entire view of the city including the Eiffel Tower.

What makes Montmarte so special? The peace inside the Basilica is incomparable, I have sat there for hours on many occasions. I still remember how it feels like every part of the locality whispers its secrets to you.

Take a walk in Montmarte and you will know what I mean. How would you feel when the guy sitting outside strums his guitar and sings one of your favourite song? How would you feel if you were transported in another world of art and era?

How do you feel knowing that you tread on the same cobbled stones which were once daily routes for Van Gogh and Hemingway? How do you feel just existing in that moment, breathing the same air and feeling the beauty of a past somewhere trapped in its transition? How do you feel, when every part of your soul tells you that this was the moment writers craved for?

That these were the corners that buried more than a painting, these were the bars and cafes where kisses were shared in secrecy, where tall claims of love were made in declaration. These were the places that gave many their heroic moments, that gave many their firsts of things. How do you not revel standing in a town that still keeps its magic simply by existing?

The more I am there, the more enamoured I have felt of how Montmarte, my most favourite part of Paris is. Montamarte whispers to you in love and secrecy when you are there with a unattached mindset. It makes you believe that there is always a next time for everything in life, that life goes around in a circle and what’s meant to be will always, always find you.

And in that moment, I swear, we are infinite.

XOXO,

Adhisa

SINGLE IN YOUR 20’s

Brewing my cup of coffee one morning, the radio ever so lightly filling in the emptiness of my apartment, I decided to laze around for a while. Picking up one of my favourite books – a compilation of love letters from great men and women in history, I was pulled in the compilation. There were layered expressions of love and longing expressed so beautifully in ways that words could have ever been written.

Taking a break from the book and while finishing my coffee, I tried to recall the last time I was actually in a relationship, or in love. I am very aware that many in our generation equate being in a relationship as a fulfilment of social obligation, there might not be love but there is convenience.

At the same time, I am also aware of many around me who settle down, or fall in love or are desperately searching for their better half because the next person on their friend list is tying the knot. And this is all happening in a circle of 20- something young adults.

I feel, in my perspective, that being single does not necessarily mean one is alone. Let me tell you that there was a point of time in my youth where I conformed with peer pressure and felt the need to feel complete with the endorsement of a relationship and social approval of my circle. I thought that made me less lonely, that made me an adult and strong!

Little did I know, that I couldn’t have been more wrong ! I have felt the loneliest in my life for a very long time, ironically when I was with someone. The moment I grew up completely alone, I have never felt more complete as I do now.

There is a difference between being alone and lonely. And there is a way you can enjoy both without feeling too stigmatised by society. I know that there is always pressure on us as young adults, to have everything sorted. You should have a stable career by 25, get married and have kids by 30 and not later and so on and so forth. But have you ever wondered, that in the rush of getting things established and wanting to spend a life with someone else, how well do we know ourselves first?

Loving and respecting yourself is a way of setting a standard of acceptable behaviour from someone you let in your life in the most intimate way possible. Self-love should be really endorsed more!

Its nice to have someone’s thoughts help you fall asleep at night, but its equally important to be at peace even when you are on your own. If you constantly feel the pressure to jump from relationships or settle down for mediocrity because of convenience, it’s time you recognise that.

There was a long point in my life where I used to feel shackled up at the thought that I was single, and that maybe there was something wrong with me! But off late, I have realised how important it is to be aware that being single in your 20’s is often a gift in disguise.

Its a time and phase in your life where permanence of anything is an illusion. It’s a moment where you are too young and too old that you have ever been. You are constantly shaping and altering your life, well at least I am! It is also the phase where you start understanding the importance of family, close friends and handling mental health and trying to balance it all.

You no longer let depression and anxiety be an issue and you try hard to calculate your career goals because that’s priority. These are your selfish years. These years are for you and you alone. You put in the best work for your development while listening to your heart skip a beat just at the thought of your exciting future. Its a time when you want to dream of all the successes and the love that you deserve and you envision the relationship you would want to settle for.

It is also a time when you are constantly meeting new people. All the time. You soon realise the kind of people you enjoy conversing with, and often the difference between the ones who will text you at 3 am and the ones who will send you morning texts.

You know dates are easy and without expectations and you appreciate when someone is passionate about their life and what they do. You fall in and out of attractions, you kiss too often and you fall too hard, but all in all you learn to take care of yourself first, you learn that you are your own first priority and if no one is there, you can fall asleep listening to the song of your heartbeats.

You get to live unapologetically and one day at a time. You make space in your life for someone to enter with their baggages, when every now and then you have finally learnt how to organise yours.

Till then, one day at a time. And drop the idea that you have to “settle” in order to have been successful.

Jumpsuit – Wardrobe

XOXO,

Adhisa

Nº1-DE PARIS AVEC AMOUR

” Paris is always a good idea.”

– Audrey Hepburn

Ask anyone  who has lived in Paris as a student or otherwise and they will tell you that Paris is a dream. I remember as a child I was so enamoured and obsessed with the idea of Paris, of visiting the city one day, absorbing the street styles and roaming around the tiny cobbled lanes, taking in the fresh baked aroma of croissants, just your basic Parisian morning with a cup of espresso.

I landed in Paris on the 18th of April from Istanbul. Within 5 days of my arrival I got attacked and robbed at the metro subway in the 18th arrondissement (district) in Paris, at the Porte de la Villette stop.

Needless to say, the dream that Paris was in my head completely shattered. I was alone, stranded in a new country, with no friends, no familiarity, no money, no passport and I was caught up in the middle of a language I had a hard time to comprehend while sitting in the police station complying with the FIR.

I hated Paris.

But, like most love stories that start on a negative note and ends up being an affair to remember, Paris ended up being the city that completed my transformation and transition into adulthood. That, I can say without a doubt.

I haven’t written much in the last few months because there were just too many things that was going on – apart from prioritising my MBA and finishing what I came here for and a constant evolution of personal space, there was a lot of thinking and observations that kept me occupied. And all in all, I can’t complain. 

But, what I can assure now is that the journey to and fro has been made and I for one am more than thrilled that Paris happened. That it taught me lessons for life that would have been impossible to absorb if I hadn’t had the courage to stick out there, for better or worse.

I think at the end of the day, even relationships in our life weigh down to whether we choose to stay or leave. Whether we accept the opposite with the baggages and negativity or choose to stay in an arrangement only for the good times.

I remember having had such low times personally at the beginning, going through heaps of anxiety and stress, wanting to remain secluded and hating to socialise. I also recall how despite those nerve wrecking negativity and absolute bereavement over the loss of so much more than just money and passport but also self-confidence and enthusiasm, I tried to remember all the love and magic I had in my heart for Paris. 

It took time, constant effort and a lot of energy to fight the demons, but at the end of it all – isn’t  it what life comes down to? Isn’t the crux of every human relationship the ability to fight the good fight? 

The way I saw it, I have shifted and settled in multiple cities and countries for as long as I can remember now.  Maybe because of this, I personally form a bond with the spirit of a city that is more indispensable to me than anything else. And if the only relationship I am going to have in my life with the city doesn’t work out i will never be happy.

Three months after the robbery, I was standing at Pont Neuf, the bridge that is the heart of Paris on the river Seine. Watching as the sun set and the lights lit up, I asked myself for the last time – “Adhisa, do you love Paris, have you ever loved her?”

Stat came the answer – “Yes i do.”

You would want to remember that during the bad times the most.

That’s what every moment in our life is all about, really.

Written by Adhisa Ghosh

 

OF BIRTHDAYS

“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

I have been pacing around the apartment, having already had my two cups of morning coffee and i have been constantly fretting about how I would even begin this post. Starting with Lang’s poetry about “Birthdays” is a befitting tribute though, and some point of start.

As a lot of you who follow me on my socials will know that two months back, it was my birthday. I turned 24 in Paris and it was the best birthday I could have imagined or asked for. It was one day where there was unprejudiced love, laughter, heart to heart conversations, bottles of wine and 5 am versions of people. It was the best birthday.

Now, I wanted to rewind, just a bit.

I don’t like birthdays. I hate them. I love when I have to eat cake on birthdays but not mine. Why do I hate them? I have big time anxiety and issues more than Vogue regarding birthdays. I always want to be low key on celebrations and be with very selective people.

When i left the country last year, I had a very simple and quiet birthday with my family and a few friends. It was special because we knew that I won’t be there the next year.

However, I was quite excited and looking forward to turning a year older in the “City of lights”. I had  this fantasy that I would get a muffin, stick a candle in it and at midnight, make a wish and eat the muffin, alone. Yes, I am kind of weird that way. I have always enjoyed being alone and honestly I make no apologies for it. I have gotten so good at being on my own that my alone feels sweeter than your solitude. 

But obviously, that was not to be. I remember how we had a submission after four days of my birthday, and Reme, Nidhi and me were completely zoned out, working at our desks and I had obviously even forgotten about all the dramatic silly notions I had before. 

Oh , btw, these two girls are kind of my ticket to survival and sanity in Paris. We have each others back and they are literally the best part of living in this city. I think we three are very weird and unconventional in our own ways and that kind of makes the bond so much stronger.

Moving on, they were able to pull a trick on me and surprise me with cake, candles and wine. 

Yes, I screamed. Yes, it was kind of emotional. Yes, i felt ecstatic. 

Then I remember we took the bottle of wine and went to the river bank and decided to cheat on assignments with conversations about love, life and choices till morning. Really wasn’t a good idea because the eve of my birthday I had a little party at home, very last minute, people came over, the usuals. 

What I do remember and was probably the second best part about the birthday is when I looked around the room of my small studio apartment with at least 12 people scattered around over the music playing through the speakers, the lingering smell of wine and food in the room and the mellow conversations that people were indulging in at 3 am, I had to grudgingly admit that there were good people in the world. It wasn’t necessary that all these people are close to me or know anything about me. Most don’t. They only see what is shown, only believe what they want to. 

But above all, in this moment where everyone was their real self, vulnerable and honest, where despite what equations might fall in place months from now, or differences and fights that could happen, for that one moment everything was perfect. 

Maybe that is what birthdays are meant to be, maybe that is why we want to be able to celebrate them, so that out of those 364 bad days or unpredictable days you might have, someone out there gives you a whole of 24 hours and that one day that is completely yours. And you should never ever let anyone take that away from you.

Because in the past I have, I have let someone make my day theirs, even if they were doing it for me, and I hate to admit that the taste of such birthdays can linger in your mouth, like the smashing of cream and sponge that leaves a buttery taste and is so impossible to wash down. 

But this birthday, even when the surprise at 12 am made me so overwhelmed because over the flickering candles and being asked to make a wish, he was standing right there asking me to do the same too, but at the same time so were Reme and Nidhi. And these two girls were actually there in person, for better or worse.

 When the day got over, and the 24 hours were coming to an end, I felt safer in the knowledge that finally, turning a year older was beautiful in the most detached manner that I always wanted, where there are people and friends who are only in that moment fuelling your emotions – and that is enough, a thousand times enough.

XOXO,

Written by,

Adhisa Ghosh

30 DAYS OF SPRING

“When the night has been too lonely and the road has been too longAnd you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong

Just remember in the winter, far beneath the bitter snows

Lies the seed, that with the sun’s love in the spring becomes the rose” – Bette Middler, The Rose.

It has been two months since the last blog post went live. I was away from blogging for two months, not only because of lack of motivation but also because of the demanding nature of the MBA, too many visits and assignments and lack of motivation.
The last sixty odd days of winter was not only  cold and harsh but also was life altering for me at a more spiritual level. There was a part of me that I always kept clinging onto and quite like the snow that refused to melt on my rooftop, I grew more and more stubborn.
But then came the last day of the winter, when people spoke about how spring was around the corner, and I headed out to submit my visa papers for the next phase of my life wondering how even in detesting someone or something we are holding onto the very idea of not letting go and not living entirely.
That day when I submitted my visa documents, I think I submitted a bit more than that.
And finally, this year, when spring came, I started being happy once again, exactly the way I used to be three years back. I started enjoying my solitary times, and I started enjoying my company.  It was a revelation of sorts but the more I spent time with myself, the more I figured out the kind of person I am and the kind of people I want in my life.
Metaphorically, Spring is the season of transformation, where old gives way to new, the snow melts and the flowers bloom, and how glad are you to know that the transformation happens not only on the outside but within you too.
People will tell you how to live your life but no one can live it for you. From living with roommates to living alone, I have figured out the kind of person I want to be and the kind of company I prefer and sometimes being stuck with bad company can also be beneficial towards your development.
All in all, the season ended and began with two versions of myself and I couldn’t be happier.
It is so important to give yourself the time to grow and develop, neglecting that is beyond ridiculous.
Also, spring is the season of the amazing tulips and the flowers that bloom at every nook and corner. After having found my vigour, I decided to go for the Tulip show in Istanbul at the Gülhane Park and man, it was amazing!
Coordinating a bit with the floral theme that was clearly in the air and in my life, I decided to wear a floral patterned maxi dress  with a knit wear shrug, accessorising with the hexagon glasses (back to being my favourite) and the golden hoops (aka 90’s style).
This spring felt so good, so purifying and so cleansing. I was at pure bliss with my inner-self and these 30 days of Spring I enjoyed in Istanbul will be a time I will cherish forever.
Like I said how spring is also a period of transformation, or heralding the new times,  there couldn’t be a better time to share with you guys that  I am starting a new life and a new home next week? Talk about timing.
Stay tuned this time for more blog posts than ever.
Lots of love,
XOXO
PS: Check out my Spring video below!
Shot on iPhone 7 plus
Written by Adhisa Ghosh

ODE TO 2017, HOLIDAY LETTER

Dear Life,

I know we have been upset with each other for a really long time. I know that things haven’t been giving us happiness, even success has been feeling hollow of late. I know i have been unfair in my ways, I haven’t treated you with love or kindness, all i have done is made a big fat pretence. Pretence so good, that everyone believes that things are good, that we are happy, that we are successful, that we have the sun shinning bright on us every day.

On the contrary i know how most of this year has been. I know we have had issues, we have been mistreated, we have been hurt, our egos have been shattered, our confidence lowered, all our hopes, all the love we had, had been bundled in a sack and snatched away from us. I know we were left in darkness, darkness we were grappling with and trying to construct in some positive way to make sense for us. I know each second, each minute, each hour, each day was a constant battle to fight that heaviness off our chest, to not get delusional and to focus on the need of the hour. I know we have battled our inner demons, we sat through some bitter times in the darkness of our room only wishing that the statement “ In the dark there maybe fear but there is also hope” comes true. And i know that the nights came extremely hard on us trying every way to choke us, to rip us off, skin and flesh.

But despite all of that, all the fights, the innumerable break downs and the questionable amount of fat intake to tame the ricocheting hormones and the howls of a broken heart and misplaced sense of trust, look, oh just look how far we have come.

You and I are a strong team, and we can beat all odds together. This is a proof, because we made it. And not even for once did we let go of each other, We held on. We held on good. Even when there was negativity and series of failures shrouding our sense of justice, our hard work and solidarity, we were doubted and frowned upon, asked to correct our ways, yet no one saw the battles we silently won each moment in the battlefield of our lives, when every time we overlooked a negative criticism that could have brought us down, only we know how we never let any element of self doubt or the negative vibes seep into our souls through our cracked portrayal of ourselves. We hid, and we hid well. We remained adamant, we held our ground and we turned around.

I know that even after achieving a lot of success, after many a moment of crowning glory, we never felt that we should stop, we kept moving aggressively. And we never let any joy or any sense of satisfaction seep, we were very hard on ourselves , weren’t we?

Holding ourselves guilty for every little smile, every bit of compliment, every little pressure. We had started to get comfortable with the negative space, with loneliness, in a way that we no longer identified with it, yet a state that we once immensely enjoyed.

We said goodbyes with our hearts and yet something always held us back. We were too attuned to being obsessed with ambition and success, to overshadow the shortcomings of our personal failures in relationships and everything else and you and I know very well how much we have condemned ourselves to an emotional hell hole of a torture for mistakes that weren’t even ours to begin with. Our love was misplaced, we forgot that we have certain duties to ourselves first, we looked through the tinted glasses for way too long.

But today I promise you this, that things are going to change because i am going to be kind and i am going to love you and not punish you for other people’s mistakes. I have been unfair but i cannot kill my shadow. My parents didn’t raise us with a wolf on our chest, howling inside for every small moments of grief. We are over that now, we are done for good. And it is only because today, I choose you.

Yours forever.

Written on April, 2017

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 RELATIONSHIPS AND DOPAMINE

Science says relationships are mostly like drug induced reactions of the brain that is in love. For centuries and evolution, the universal problem and equation that human beings have tried to solve is the mystery of romance and relationships. There have been crimes of passion, wars fought for love, glorified love, undying love. This intense physiological and biochemical reactions are all scientifically linked to various hormones and neurotransmitters that our brain releases when triggered, the main one being the reward centre of the brain.

We all are aware of dopamine which is released by the brain during positive experiences like unforgettable dates, flattery, amazing sex and grand romantic gestures. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that controls the pleasure centre of our brains which creates reward circuits, which then generates automatic associations in our brain that link our romantic partners with pleasure and even our survival.

Dr. Helen Fisher discovered that this “frustration-attraction” experience of obstacles in a romantic relationship actually heightens our feelings of love, rather than hindering them. She discusses how the brains of those in adversity-ridden relationships become activated in an eerily similar way to the brains of cocaine addicts.

In other words? Our brains can become masochists, seeking the very people that hurt them.Then there is also oxytocin, named the ‘love’ or ‘cuddle’ hormone.This is the same hormone that bonds mother and child at birth, and it also bonds you with the men that are undeserving of you.

The oxytocin effect may also be stronger for women than for men; according to Susan Kuchinskas, author of the book, The Chemistry of Connection: How the Oxytocin Response Can Help You Find Trust, Intimacy and Love. According to Christopher Bergland, oxytocin, adrenaline and cortisol work together to consolidate and reconsolidate fear-based memories.

We can become addicted to this effect. Fear also releases dopamine, which again feeds those reward circuits in our brain, leaving us longing for that adrenaline rush. Fear and pleasure inevitably become intertwined despite our best efforts to expose and dismantle the seeming irrationality of our behaviour.

When we fall in love, we become obsessive like people with OCD, literally. Since serotonin regulates and stabilises mood, curbing obsessive thinking, you can imagine how low levels of serotonin we have, when we’re romantically involved with someone that can cause our decision-making abilities and judgment to go haywire. Low levels of serotonin also encourage sexual behaviour, so serotonin only makes it more likely that we’ll also be swept away by bonds created by oxytocin and dopamine as well.

Okay why am I talking science about relationships? You must be wondering so if you are in a relationship or going through a bad one, like you already haven’t heard enough.

The bottom line and fact of the matter is that if you dig deeper there is always always a rationality that lies beyond the irrational behaviour and impulses of the brain in love.

Last weekend, I was out at some three pubs with the Erasmus student group here in Istanbul. Everyone was enjoying, there was a good level of intoxication spreading like a wave through out the party, and literally everywhere my eyes went, I saw a pair of lips glued together. Now, of course I had my share of fun too, dancing with boys and engaging in random light banters, but when I sat back and thought about it, I realised how even after countless years of evolution humans across various continents and cultures will always act on their basic instincts. It’s like you are hungry or thirsty, the need to find that thrill and your brain wiring you to seek pleasure that comes with pumping in so much of “feel-good” factors in your system is really something.

Also, from a single girl’s point of view, even in a crowded night club with so many men and women at disposal, and the freedom to have any kind of night you want it to be, how scientific and practical are we when it comes to the concept of love and lust? Do we always act on our basic instincts to serve our purpose of a one night stand or is it simply the design of nature that amidst all this chaos, we might just be searching for the perfect mate. They say, love and lust are two factors that transcends every society in this world, how far have we come in accepting our wilderness within? How long would we deceptively play the hand of fate, on a night of attraction, orgasm and science? Think back, its all really scientific, there is no right or wrong, even at that pub, with total strangers or couples acting out their feelings and hormones, like it or not, no matter how emotionally cold turkey you might credit yourself for, every one is looking to let off steam sometime, in the most desirable manner that evolution has made us.

Ending on a poem by an anonymous Red Indian of Southern Alaska to a missionary in 1896,

“ Fire runs through my body with the pain of loving you,Pain runs through my body with the fires of my love for you,Pain like a boil about to burst with my love for you,Consumed by fire with my love for you,I remember what you said to me,I am thinking of your love for me,I am torn by our love for me,Pain and more pain,Where are you going with my love?I am told you will go from here,I am told you will leave me here,My body is numb with grief,Remember what I said my love,Goodbye my love, Goodbye.”

Dopamine your night away.

Written by Adhisa Ghosh

Shot on Iphone7plus

Wardrobe : Dress – Forever 21

Denim Jacket – Latin Quarters

Accessories from Accessorize India

Makeup – NYX Amethyst and L’Oreal Gold Palette