HOW I PLAN MY INSTAGRAM FEED: A GUIDE FOR BEGINNERS!

I cannot believe this is going to be a blog post, but I think our increased social media dependency has amplified with the pandemic and lockdown.

Hence, without any further drama, I am going to tell you some simple steps I take to curate my IG feed. Personally, I feel I have grown since the last 2 years, in terms of my personal content and aesthetics. That also could be because I was not very involved or never thought of how Instagram could be so much more than just sharing a photo.

How you treat your Instagram can define the way you grid it.

For example. if you want a pretty aesthetic driven feed, based on your interests, likes and dislikes, you will need to follow up trends and also see what is reflective of your lifestyle.

The way I plan mine these days is completely based on fashion, lifestyle and mood.

I think at the end of the day, you need to know what works for you and what doesn’t. There are so many apps that can help you align your feed but these few steps are the easiest way to nail a good feed, for beginners!

STEP 1: GOOD PHOTO

Take a good photo! Start clicking what best comes close to your page topic. Love fashion? Replicate trends and click. Love makeup? Do some glam looks. Love baking or cooking? Indulge in some food photography.

These days, you do not need a digital camera, a good phone does most of the work, with the help of some quick editing apps!

STEP 2: FEED PLANNER

Once you have the aesthetics nailed, remember your feed needs to speak about the journey you are curating. Post relevant information. Post relevant content. If I am visually balancing by posting fashion/lifestyle themed content – I am not going to suddenly post about technology! Especially, if it is not going visually with my theme.

Your Instagram grid works in 9 image graph. So, your 9 images are 1 complete grid that won’t shift. Once you understand that, you can take help of apps like Preview and other similar feed planner. This is the best when you are serious about curating a good feed!

STEP 3: SYMMETRY/ASYMMETRY

Visual balance ! This can be tricky. However, what I do is I create a visual symmetry/asymmetrical balance with photos. Let me simplify.

Below is an example of a 12 grid. (3photos * 4 rows)

If you take the two rows from below- you can see a triangle block in the 6 grids. I have repeated my close ups and far shots alternatively. I have kept a pattern in the repetition and I have kept the colour palette close to similar shades – white, beige, sunset, fall colours, maroon overtones.

I have also balanced heavy images and scenic images alternatively, so it creates a semblance and does not look too crowded. So, to sum it up – you should plan your feed with a balanced rotation.

1close up – 1 far shot – 1 close up : 1 fashion portrait – 1 lifestyle image – 1 fashion portrait. (3:3)

STEP 4: EDITING APPS

Filters! Filters! Filters!

While being natural is great, I really cannot upload a photo on Instagram without basic corrections of light and shadow. I am absolutely against using filters and apps that completely distort your face.

However, there are certain apps that I use to get the base filter corrections similar for the photos I want to post in a grid (9-12 photos).

These are Snapseed , VSCO, Prequel (for their video effects and plenty of blogger and grainy image options, grunge & retro edits) and Polarr. Some of these also have paid features but I am not that advanced. Snapseed is completely free and that pretty much does my work. I also use this app called Unfold for stories – it basically gives me a clean template layout.

Also another example of a 9-grid visual balance, planned via Preview.

And you are set!

Once you get an idea about balancing your visuals and finding a middle ground to harmonise your colour palettes, half your battle is won. Good resolution photos are everything!

Also, I think because i have OCD, I am so particular about wanting to keep it clean, minimal. At the end of the day, your content needs to come from a place of passion, of authenticity. Of speaking about who you are, even if your captions are not. It needs to at least be aspirational in terms of having a reach and engagement. I have never curated my Instagram for want of followers. I think I do it mostly because I enjoy the platform that allows me to express my styles, fashion, other sensibilities and make it like a mood board. More than just post photos for the sake of it! I like the limited curation and reach it has, and I don’t want that to change.

I have a very Bradshaw heart. (I love how only a few would understand this reference)

Featuring my best friend and babies 😀

XOXO,

Written by Adhisa Ghosh

ACCESSORISING ON WOMEN’S DAY!

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

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

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

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

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

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

XOXO,

Adhisa Ghosh

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

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

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

 

THE PERFECT ANGLE?

Spilling the hot cup of coffee on my hand in the morning whilst being unmindful, thinking again how I would begin this blog post, as Sufjan Stevens- Casimir Pulaski Day played on my laptop piercing the morning gloominess of a cloudy day —

“In the morning, in the winter shade, On the first of March on the holiday, I thought I saw you breathing,”

I muttered a curse while I let some cold water take care of my hand and started the burner for another cup of coffee.

This fifteen minutes in the day, in the morning when everything is quiet and my room is also echoing a certain silence yet waking up with me, with the rhythm of the spoons scraping coffee or the sound of the milk boiling over, these few minutes are when I completely zone out.

I love how living alone has had so many perks of late, especially when it comes to reflecting life choices and relations, and of course taking time to think about the work that one has been doing. I had decided quite some time back to do a post on my skin care routine and the kind of insecurities I have faced over the years, since my teen years and into adulthood.

The morning routine that i do is very essential to my skin care as well because I literally begin my day with a tall glass of water. No lime or honey or any such additives. A simple glass of water even before freshening up. Its something my Mom taught me while I was a kid and I find water to be a very indispensable part of my mornings. For almost three years I had also taken to drinking the water soaked in Methi seeds overnight in empty stomach, works wonders!

SKIN HISTORY

Now before I jump to what my daily skin care is I would like to point out that I have always had a combination skin prone to sensitivity. I had a very clear skin till about 14 years after which obviously I started getting breakouts on my forehead. Since then, for ten years I have had a dermatologist who has treated me every time I had breakouts. Some years were good and some years were really bad. Thankfully I never had any scarring or too many blemishes as I have always taken medication before the acne got worse and my breakouts were not rapid or concentrated.

My biggest mistake would be to have done chemical peels in a desperate attempt to get a clear skin. I would not suggest anyone who wants to do that because it comes with side effects more than often, leaving your skin scarred and dry. 

When I changed my dermatologist while pursuing graduation, I went for chemical peels and the doctor used to pierce my pimples and then use the peel. I was young and thinking that recovery doesn’t happen without some pain, I was gullible enough to continue this when I realised that its actually a convenient method to have the patient come in repetitively. 

There is no guarantee that your breakouts will stop, they may reduce but you will always keep getting recurring pimples, also your skin would dry out way too much and now you would have to deal with dryness as well as scarring. Trust me when I say this that its a horrible experience when you are 20/21 and you want to dress up and put makeup etc. Now, again not all days were bad, but especially during menstruation cycle, stress and anxiety, I used to always inevitably have breakouts and the pattern would continue. It made me very very sad. 

It was only when I was around 22, I was also battling depression and needless to say I was too tired to pay attention to my skin. I had given up. That’s when my parents took me to a family skin doctor who gave me much assurance and condemned picking or touching pimples ever. 

Along with oral medications and some topical creams, gentle face wash that doesn’t dry the skin and lifestyle changes, it took me almost a year to see good results and some consistency. Incorporating lots of fruits and vegetables, along with proper meal timings, exercise, lots of water (almost 3 litres a day) to drain toxins, and regular sleep patterns also contributed to good skin.

 I stopped any kind of commercial skin care products and completely stopped any parlour facials etc. You just have to let your skin recover, adapt and heal while you are going through all this change, especially when you are in a disturbed state of mind and this is very very important. More often than not, the key to good skin is mental happiness. We keep undermining our mental health so much that we don’t realise how what we eat and how we feel can start dramatically reflecting off your face. 

When I moved to Istanbul I stopped the medications but after three months, I had a rash because of some food item and I had to consult a skin doctor again and I was on oral treatment for the rash as well as acne once again. The doctor explained how after 24 years i would automatically stop getting acne, but at that time, because of the rash I had developed some acne and was put on treatment immediately, a course that would go on for six months. 

Needless to say, the combination of my family skin doctor and the Istanbul doctor literally fixed my skin. However, I still of course have many insecurities.

MY DAILY SKIN CARE ROUTINE

Those who skim through my insta stories off late will always find me without make up on my face. Before however, i wouldn’t even think of posting a selfie without at least some amount of concealer. 

Since the time my skin has been healing and there used to be a bit of dryness due to my oral medicines and winter season in Istanbul, my doctor had told me to use only olive oil. Olive oil is high in naturally occurring Vitamin E, extremely healthy for lips, skin and hair too!

In the mornings when I wake up, I wash my face with lukewarm water. This is important to note that NEVER wash your face with soap the first thing in the morning. It causes your pores to produce more oil and if you already have breakouts, they can get worse. Simply wash your face with water and drink a glass of water. Avoid any product and let your skin be bare for the first one hour minimum! 

After that I generally do my basic workouts at home and work up a sweat. This helps to clear your pores, the more you sweat, the more your face gets rid of toxins. After that jump into the shower and use a gentle face wash, followed with a mineral or rose toner and a soft hydrating cream. On some days if I feel my skin is too dry, like during winters, I replace the moisturiser with olive oil, just three drops for my skin and lips. 

I have been avoiding heavy make up since a year now and completely prefer to let my skin breathe. If I have to put make up I do it by getting a good compact base that is loose and a bit of concealer, thus letting my skin breathe. I may use foundation once or twice a month but it is that rare. When you have a clear skin at some point, you stop caring about covering up so much and I like it to be natural. Even the make up below does not involve foundation base but a loose compact base!

My bedtime skin routine is a bit different. I use a Sulphur soap to wash my face, exfoliate with the same soap and a massager once a week to improve circulation and erase fine lines, and I never forget to use a charcoal detox mask by L’Oreal skin once in two weeks. The charcoal mask literally dries your skin of all the impurities and I wouldn’t recommend using it too much as it might get your skin dried out. 

After that, toner and a Vitamin E Body Shop night cream for my face – literally the holy grail for skin care.

THINGS TO NOTE 

This is my skin care routine completely based on my skin type and skin history. For me to share is to make you understand what may suit my skin may not absolutely suit you! I think its very very important to never ignore teenage breakouts or even adult acne. Acne is not always red or in high concentration, they can also be like small rashes. It is extremely important to have a dermatologist look into it for you. Never ever blindly follow beauty products or over the counter drugs without getting a skin analysis. The only way to clear skin – trust me- is by first making an appointment with a dermatologist ! Also, if the dermat suggests a chemical peel, find another dermat now that you know!

Olive oil and water is everything as skin food, so are some fruits and leafy veggies. 

Please do not use too much make up products on breakouts or scarring  tissues. They aggravate your skin more. 

SKIN INSECURITIES

I still have so many skin insecurities though! Yes, my acne stopped and I got rid of previous dark circles, even my hair scalp stopped being oily but still there are these small things that make me feel so imperfect or used to for a long time while i was growing up.

 I have these small spots (people call it beauty spots these days) but for me they will always be small black spots. There is one on my nose between my eyes, one near my forehead, two on my left upper cheek and one on my left upper lip. I used to be very conscious of these and could never cover the spots with makeup, but off late I have started embracing these small details and imperfections. 

I remember when I was a kid and kids are mean back in school, girls would sometimes make fun of my fat lips or the spots and I used to cringe sometimes, they would even make fun of my cheeks! It was 12 or 13 years later at the age of 25 that I feel perfection in my flaws and marks. 

I realise now how even the small spots on my face, or the red patches on my cheek, my fat lips that now people ask me if I have used fillers for (like come on!) and when I wash my face and slap on moisturiser and my skin turns red because it is that sensitive, are only proofs and testament to all the years and generations of history that rests on my face, of ancestors and culture that journeyed through billions of years to one day have me in existence, feeling nothing but perfect in my flawed imperfection.

What is perfect anyway? The perfect angle to a photo? To a selfie or to using the app to smooth my skin before? Or the lines that run on my forehead or a spot or two? Or is it when I wanted some boy to find me pretty and I decided that my left profile is better than my right? How do we embrace these silly notions of perfection when the absolute reality is that generations and generations have died and lived to merge and form history on your face, on my face.

Its time we embrace every marks and spots, because somewhere our roots live in them, so shall we?

All pictures in this series are unedited, not touched up and raw.

If you wish to speak to me more on this or share your own story of insecurities – any for that matter – feel free to mail me at thewildberrychild@gmail.com or contact me on my Instagram.

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

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 LUXURY HOTELS & ISTANBUL

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

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

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

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

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

FAIRMONT QUASAR ISTANBUL

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

SOHO HOUSE ISTANBUL

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

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

Written by Adhisa Ghosh

Dress and Shrug – Forever 21 India