THE QUARANTINE INTROSPECTION: ANSWERS I OWED TO MYSELF

Do,

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

– Out Of Touch by CUT

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

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

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

The probability of things.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And we don’t pause.

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

Take a moment and look around you now.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I carry your heart with me – E.E Cummings

Brand Collaboration – Classy X Design by Diana Apsara

Written by,

Adhisa Ghosh

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

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

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

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

TRESemmé Climate Control Shampoo Conditioner

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

L’Oreal Instant Clear

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

L’Oreal Hair Spa Smoothing Creambath Hair Mask

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

B-blunt High Definition Curl Defining Leave-in Cream

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

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

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

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

Vitamin E hair Oil

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

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

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

Products used –

1- TRESemmé Climate Control Shampoo and Conditioner

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

3- L’Oreal Hair Spa Smoothing Creambath Hair Mask

4- Blunt High Definition Curl Defining Leave-in Cream

XOXO,

Adhisa Ghosh

SHADES OF COOL

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

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

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

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

LIP SHADES THAT SCREAM

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

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

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

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

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

MY FAVOURITE NAIL SHADES

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

XOXO,

Adhisa Ghosh

BENGALI AT A WEDDING

If you have been following my blog since the beginning you would know that I am a Bengali, hence being obsessed about wearing sarees for any traditional or festive occasion runs in my veins, by default.

Nevertheless, I am one who adores the nine yards. I love a good traditional handcrafted saree. Mostly because I empathise with sustainability, handwork and the special skills that our artisans posses, who keep working generations after generations in preserving a craft and heritage. I feel obligated in some ways to be able to help in keeping this legacy alive.

Hence, I always try to go with sarees as my first option for any festive or traditional moment instead of splurging on designer labels that have zero contribution towards sustainability, culture or heritage. I am so selective about the fabrics and embroidery, I had rather know that my investment is not only in a piece of fabric or handwork but it also goes a long way in contributing to a family who works hard day and night, stitch by stitch.

THE MAHESHWARI SAREE

The handcrafts and weaves of India are elaborate. That is probably why this country has such a rich variety of sarees and handlooms to choose from. This saree is from a boutique in North Bengal, Siliguri. Indigenous sarees and traditional handcrafts are found at the boutique.

The Maheshwari Saree comes from Maheshwar, a city in Khargone district of Madhya Pradesh. An ancient town on the banks of the Narmada, was originally the capital of the Malwas during the Maratha Holkar reign till 1818 and enjoyed a considerably elevated status in terms of royal interests. It was this encouragement by the royal family that the Maheshwari saree came into existence.

Legend has it that Rani Ahilya Bai Holkar employed a special team of craftsmen from Surat and Malwa to design an exclusive nine yard saree that could be gifted to her relatives and guests who visited the palace. With the first saree conceptualised and designed by the Highness herself, Maheshwari sarees went on to become a huge hit in the royal and aristocratic circle.

BENARASI CHANDERI SAREE

The town of Chanderi in Ashok Nagar District of Madhya Pradesh is known for its historical importance as well as the world famous hand woven Chanderi sarees. Records show that hand looms wove Chanderi sarees for royalty between the 12th and the 13th centuries.

While some references to the Vedic period in Indian mythology suggest that Chanderi fabric was introduced by Lord Krishna’s cousin Shishupal, one can find its mention in Maasir-i-Alamgir (1658-1707), wherein it is stated that Aurangzeb ordered the use of a cloth embroidered with gold and silver for making khilat (a ceremonial robe or other gift given to someone by a superior as a mark of honour).

The material was very expensive. The beauty of this fabric was its softness, transparency, and fringes embellished with heavy gold thread embroidery. According to the records of a Jesuit priest, who visited Marwar between 1740 and 1761, Chanderi fabric enjoyed royal patronage and was also exported overseas. A British visitor, RC Sterndal noted that Chanderi was the favoured fabric of Indian royal women because of its soft, light texture and transparency.

(Source: CHANDERI SAREES: A LOOK AT THE HISTORY AND EVOLUTION OF THESE ROYAL WEAVES)

Though these various accounts make it hard to put a date on the birth of Chanderi sarees, it’s clear that the fabric has always had the patronage of the ruling class of the country because of its unique sheer texture and intricate embroidery with gold and silver.

As a fashion blogger and MBA in Luxury Brand Management graduate, my initiative also strongly supports the handcraft of Indian weaves and sustainability of our traditions and heritage.

It starts from home.

XOXO,

Adhisa