HOW I WAS A STUDENT IN ISTANBUL -MY OPINION OF THE CITY

The last few days, I have been remembered way too many times by a few of the people I knew and loved back in Istanbul.

As many of you are aware, I used to live in Istanbul as a student during my MBA at IFA Paris ( MBA Luxury Brand Management). Many of you still keep enquiring about the course and the programme – get your details here! Their application for January 2020 intake is now open, so you would have plenty of time to dig.

The rest of you who aspire to live in Istanbul as a student, let me tell you that it would be the best decision you could ever make! I know because it was simply one of the best countries I have lived in.

Quick tips that comes in handy if you are a student going to live in Istanbul –

1- Get a Istanbul Kart for your daily travels while you take the bus and the metro! Get the apps you require to survive – bitaksi is one of them! Taxis are super affordable if you want to relax and travel but extremely time consuming. Once you familiarise yourself with the bus and metros, life is easier as Istanbul has Europe and Asian side to cover along with small islands that you could take the Ferry for.

2- Effes is probably going to be your go-to beer brand, local produce but quite good!

3- Taksim and Nevizade streets would be your daily grind, but explore other areas too like : Nisantasi, Besiktas, Moda, Princess Island, Karaköy and Emirgan.

4- Tavuk Pilav (Chicken Pulao) and Döner (the one at Koregaon Park, Pune doesn’t even come close to the taste and for obvious reasons) would eventually become your binge choice when hungry.

5- You would soon start to claim that coffee cup reading is your thing. And you would develop a love for Turkish coffee and tea (Çay). Apple tea and Hookahs are also must try and simply exquisite.

6- People are BEAUTIFUL. You would soon find your heart changing into a Dickens or Bronte or the likes of any author – side effects may include unnecessary fluttering of hearts and eyelashes, occasional dates and oodles of pampering.

For the women : Turkish men are ideally a heart person, they are very expressive and don’t shy away from courting you, they are more about the process than the final end result and are very romantic! They would hold your hand and walk you in the park and insist on paying for you (they really do not understand the concept of splitting or letting the woman pay too), it may be cute for a while but certain things could feel too old school – but hey it’s all individualistic and depends on a lot of factors but in general and from personal experience, I can vouch for this. I have barely gone on a few dates with Turkish men and that was enough. Personally, I can’t be that smothered.

For the men : Turkish women are very beautiful no doubt but don’t just admire them for their appearance ! They are well-balanced, career oriented and in trend with global dynamics and culture quite a lot and often extremely well educated while balancing the family. You might want to be able to respect their spirituality and beliefs. It works both ways! 🙂

7- You will have cats all over you : admit it, they have always been your spirit animal. You might also conclude cats might rule this planet or at least Istanbul one day. Probably one of the main reasons why I believed I have lived many a lives in Istanbul before, probably as a cat 😉

And to top it all, the city is a labyrinth of historical artefacts and empires that exist in harmony with modern potboilers.

Until next blogpost soon.

XOXO,

Written by,

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

Nº2 MORNINGS IN PARIS

There is no feeling in the world that compares to waking up in Paris and understanding that life will never be the same again. From small bakeries and boulangeries filling the streets, to the quiet stylised hustle of Parisian life, the aroma of croissants and freshly baked baguettes fill the stony cobbled roads and lanes.

On many mornings, I used to wake up at the sound of the truck below my apartment, the bakery opening at 7am while its still pitch dark and people waiting in a queue patiently to get their respective fill of coffee and croissant. Not only is it the go to breakfast but also amidst the hustle of catching the next metro and walking everywhere, its the one torrid breakfast affair that no Parisian would compromise.

Many a times, I used to wake up before sunrise, go down and enjoy waiting in the queue while my stomach growled. Taking my cup of cappuccino and a beurre croissant – I would go behind at the canal near my house and sit on the stone platforms.

Something about the sight of water taking its natural course, the coolness and purity of it all used to be a great way to rejuvenate my mind. There were many mornings when after this private rendezvous, I used to go to the weekend market which happened right opposite my apartment.

It used to be my best part of morning routines and shopping! Not only were the weekend market places my absolute favourite but seeing everyone be so tuned into picking up fresh vegetables and grocery used to really make my day .

It was my only solace where I used to feel like I was making very important life choices tbh. There is something about picking up your food, sniffing it (if you are weird like me), feeling the texture of the ingredients and then cooking the same.

The bustle of a market place and the rush of people walking in, talking over each other, some bargaining some checking the quality of products etc, it makes you feel familiar to the place you come from and helps you connect with the place you live at.

Chaos and commotion are not overrated. Take a moment sometime and freeze out amidst the crowd. Don’t you see what a small part of this madness you represent? Everyone is busy picking out their perfect ingredients, everyone is trying to get at least one thing right. We tend to be so hard on people sometimes that we often forget that everyone, despite the chaos and commotions are just picking out the right ingredient.

XOXO,

Adhisa Ghosh

V-DAY FOR THE V-SINGLES

So, the unavoidable 14th February is less than 48 hours away and you literally have no idea what has to be done – or how you could go through another V-day while being V-single.

Fret not! Go through our list of things to do this Valentine’s day if you are very single and yet wanna have lots of fun, because why not!

And unlike a junk of posts that you will find online that will tell you how you should celebrate this day or “Netflix and chill”, these ideas below have been given by real people, just like you and me!

So sit back, read the different ways to ruffle up your V-day with real ideas from real people!

1. VALENTINE’S DAY OFFERS

Online shopping = retail therapy! Go get that card and shop to your hearts content for some amazing make up combinations and kits. Buy beauty products from Snapdeal at more than 60% off.

If you want to go for something more of a better brand value and options then I definitely recommend the Smashbox collections at Nykaa. Who doesn’t love some lipsticks ya?

2. PLAN AN OUTING WITH YOUR BFF AND DO NOTHING!

Okay this one’s my favourite! When I was in Paris, me and Reme used to literally end up doing nothing – day after day, but we used to roam around quite a bit and fool around too! One of them was, before Halloween we went to the H&M store and clicked selfies and did a whole lot of crazy things! You can do similar stuff – go out with your BFF(s) and act crazy, have wine at 12 in the afternoon or just sit and groan about who invented V-day at allll…. you get the drift.

3. HOUSE PARTAYYYY

Do I need to elaborate? Play one of those games by Ellen and/or trash your ex’s stuff. FUN.

4. COOK SOME MUTTON!

Okay – calm down. I swear this one’s real simple. And if I could make it – so could you – like for sure! SO, click on and decide between a Kolkata Mutton Biryani or a typical Kolkata style Bengali Kosha Mangsho (slow cooked caramelised mutton).

5. BOOK YOUR MOVIE TICKETS!

I recently watched the movie – Ek ladki ko dekha toh aisa laga. If you are in India and you want to catch this movie – book your tickets right now. It’s one movie that feels so relevant and beautiful in today’s times and age! I loved the story, the background, the lightness of the film while dealing with a love that has just been slowly finding its acceptance around the society!

So this Valentine’s Day – Let Love be!

6. IRISH HOUSE

This one’s for the win. If you are in Kolkata, Mumbai or Pune or anywhere with the existence of Irish House – head straight into their Valentine’s Day offer : A week long celebration, lots of pinatas and potent LIIT’s from 8th to 15th February while watching some stand-up comedy or simply hanging out with your friends. If you want to get those tickets for the Stand-up comedy feat. Prashasti Singh & Shaad Shafi at 9 pm at the Irish House Andheri Mumbai, go ahead and get booking!

7. HOT CHOCOLATE AND GOOD OL’ WHISKEY

YUMMY! Dig into some hot chocolate with whipped cream and have a glass of some good scotch or whiskey – or have it both together. Go crazy !

8. HUNT FOR OLD VINTAGE ALCOHOL IF THAT’S YOUR THING

There are flea markets you could get your hands on! In Paris it’s literally everywhere plus they are more like a collectible – so go shopping at the flea market!

9. GO FOR A RANDOM FEEL GOOD PHOTOSHOOT!

Okay, so just because you are single doesn’t mean you and your friend can’t spend the entire day doing photo shoots, posing everywhere possible and getting the best out of a day that was designed to make you feel low.

But you go ahead, wear some good makeup, put on that dress and top and get clicking for some good photos for your gram!


XOXO,

Adhisa Ghosh

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

ISTANBUL 101 x IFA PARIS

I am blatantly aware of how so many of you have asked me about my MBA course and about IFA Paris.

To start with, I was pursuing my undergrad in Symbiosis Institute of Design in Pune, specialising in Fashion Communication when in my final year I decided to go in for my MBA in Luxury Brand Management, immediately after my final degree project.

No, I didn’t have any help from anyone to figure things out so amidst working for my Degree Project and pursuing the application process at IFA for its September 2017 batch, I followed all the guidelines and process clearly mentioned on their website and also applied for a scholarship.

Once I was given a counsellor who guided me through the process, online exam and the interview, much to my delight, I was accepted with scholarship into the program.

The option was that first six months I could choose between Istanbul, Shanghai and Paris, and eventually finish off my last two semesters in Paris. Taking this opportunity I decided to give Istanbul a shot as Turkey has always fascinated me and was on my Bucket list.

I couldn’t miss the opportunity of being able to live and study at such an exotic destination. After spending six months in Istanbul and living like a locale I would like to give you a list down of the Istanbul lifestyle and the IFA experience.

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FLAT HUNTING

Initially, if you choose Istanbul, the campus coordinator connects you two months prior, with the fellow students coming to the same destination, on a WhatsApp group (This is only for Istanbul, the Shanghai batch had different measures). We had a total of only 5 students who opted for Istanbul, hence the pressure was less.

I connected with a Turkish school teacher who wanted to rent out his apartment located opposite the Golden horn in Istanbul on a Turkish house hunting website. The minimum monthly rent and lifestyle budget can range from 750-1500 Lira depending on your indulgences as well. But Istanbul is a city that can be very easy on your budget and is cheaper than Mumbai! (shocker)

I cannot stress how important it is to budget your savings while you are a student abroad. 

Also, finding accommodation is extremely easy and hotels are cheap if you want to come to the country and then re-confirm your housing as I did.

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GETTING YOUR ISTANBUL KARTE

It’s a travel card you get at any grocery store (generally SOK and Tekel shops) (SOK is a grocery chain and Tekel is alcohol store)

It is a must that you buy this card that comes for 7 lira. You need to keep recharging your card, a minimum of 30 lira that goes for a month or half depending how often you travel. These cards can be swiped in the bus, tram, metro-bus and metro. Alternatively, cabs can be frequently used as well because they run on meter and are quite reasonable than Europe. (I know you must have heard a lot of negative things about Turkish cab drivers, please do not form a judgement unless you have experienced it in real life, most of the cab rides i have taken have been wonderful and people have been kind.)

In retrospect, it’s a must you buy this card!

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IFA CAMPUS

IFA collaborates with a premium institute called the Kadir Has University that has a very good reputation and prestige in Istanbul. Located in Fatih, the college is accessible by all public transport and is a very safe campus, one of the most peaceful ones I have seen so far.

With a starbucks, two huge cafeterias, unlimited wifi and state of the art classrooms, you won’t feel like leaving the campus much.

Also, the course structure for MBA in Luxury Brand Management is not very intensive at the beginning and you will have plenty of time to settle in and feel at one with the course. The teachers are wonderful, warm and caring and are extremely sensitive to your adjustments or any short-comings. I am so glad that I have gotten to experience a wonderful bond with most of my mentors in Istanbul who did a brilliant job at teaching us the course layouts and also went out of their comfort zones to arrange for trips and visits so we could get to know the Turkish culture and market more personally.

Our campus administrator was a Turkish person who would always encourage outdoor trips and coax us to soak in the cultural spirit of the city, even if it was a 3 am cab ride back home, realising that Istanbul was a city that literally never slept. The best part was we knew that most of our teachers and mentors were a call away in case of any emergencies, there was no barrier and we were like a big family!

(The new IFA campus details of Istanbul have changed, click on ISTANBUL IFA to know more about it! )

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IFA INDUSTRY VISITS

During your six months of stay I can promise you over 20 industry visits spread across two semesters. These include the Perfumes and Cosmetics and Hospitality seminars. You get to visit and interact with brands and entrepreneurs, visit luxury hotels and take tours, get offered different cuisines and learn about wine tasting and visit vineyards for Gastronomy lectures. I think the best part about the two semesters spent here is the amount of time we have wandered outdoors participating and soaking in real lessons and meeting with people coming from various walks of life. It was all very luxurious and I felt that I was studying a luxury brand management course because everything was related and a very realistic image was drawn over everything. Between these visits and amidst networking with countless entrepreneurs , I grew up in Istanbul.

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NIGHTLIFE IN ISTANBUL

Now, I understand that as a student it can get quite hectic sometimes and taking a break and soaking in the nightlife in a different country becomes a must routine breaker.

Join in with an Erasmus student group who organise pub crawls and events. Soak in the nightlife and pubs across Taksim, Istiklal street, Ortakoy and Besiktas. Some really good nightlife destinations which are easily accessible and cheap in Istanbul. Some of our daily grinds were – The Beat, Eski Beirut, St. Regis and Cosmo. Google them if you are in Istanbul!

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FOOOOOOD

Not going to say much on this except Tavuk Doner, Iskender, Sarma, Çorba, Lahmacun, Turkish delights, Baklava and Çai are my favourites! I am not so fussy about food and given that I am a Bengali, I appreciate good food. I strictly believe if you have left your country to live in a different one, you might as well soak up the food and culture while you are young! Istanbul is filled with warm smell of freshly baked breads, cheese and olives in the mornings. Dig in while you are there!

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TURKISH PEOPLE

One word- Beautiful. Period.

The most helpful and shockingly honest bunch of people I have met so far. Boys are charming and respectful for most parts ( although avoid dating Turkish men haha, okay maybe just two dates ) and women are gorgeous!

Also, I love Turkish people. Istanbul is in my list of countries to work in for a while.

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MUST HAVE APPS

If you are an art aficionado and want to spot some cool areas – Street art Istanbul is a good option. For the practical student related apps to get around – I can swear my life on Trafi and BiTaksi. For food delivery, there is only one efficient app called Yemeksepeti.

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NEARBY VISITS 

Since I lived in the European side as the college was located there, my travel time was 20 minutes. But people do commute for an hour, it’s not surprising at all.

Public transport is one of the best and very convenient – you can take the ferry as well to nearby islands. We used to go to the Asian side quite a bit. You can also make one day trips to Troy (click to read the whole article on my visit), Bursa, Pamukkale and Capadocia amongst many others.

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IN RETROSPECT – WHAT IFA OFFERS AND MY EXPERIENCE 

In retrospect, I strictly recommend that before visiting any country you try to adapt a few of their words, their pronunciation and to extend an acceptance. I strongly believe the kind of behaviour you project is what you receive back, especially in a foreign country. It’s good to be discreet and friendly yet knowing when not to let someone take advantage of you.

IFA gave me exactly this opportunity, to live in two different countries and gather an exposure which is very potent, deeply instilled with a knowledge of their inherent culture, mounting over layers of the decades of forgotten history and stories.

You want to take this one home.

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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

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