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

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

WHY BLOG?

Don’t just exist, live.

Hey there ! Its been quite some time to my last blog post. It’s even been quite a while since I started blogging, almost two years!

Why did I start blogging? Well, to begin with, I finished my undergrad in Bachelor in Design specialising in Fashion Communication around 2017. When I was in the cusp of just having finished a degree and going abroad for my MBA studies, I had a good 8 months or so in my hand.

Not one to sit ideal and also going through some personal moments of fighting depression and anxiety, I decided to combine my love for writing, Fashion and Carrie!

Having come from a Fashion Communication and Design background and having worked in the Indian fashion industry quite a bit during fashion shows and having assisted fashion bloggers, I realised that while the trend of body positivity was slowly but surely being raised, it still wasn’t filtering at a deep root level.

Sure, I live in a country with 1.2 billion people and twice the amount of insecurities and body shaming when it came to women and men, and yet we were still a market where products and fashion choices were literally carving that out of us and making it a business model.

All I wanted to do, was address this gap in the market, be able to filter in even if it meant reaching out to a 1000 people and making an impact and influence – and I mean an actual influence, even if it means I was impactful to the lives of 10 people, thats enough for me.

I have come a long way since then – I have personally evolved and gone through many life phases, lands and time zones and what started initially as a platform to influence and make every size feel inclusive in fashion and exclusive in beauty – I strongly believe that with time, we should let other aspects of oneself to flourish as well.

You would see how over time, the blog has evolved with a Travel and Culture angle as well, along with Fashion and Lifestyle – and with the new name and site upgrade – it became inevitable to add “Relationships” as well!

I believe a lot of our adulting and growing up phases include different relationships that we come across, that shape and form our personalities and can often leave a deep impact in our development. It’s important to realise that we need to be able to channel out and view such experiences in all its entirety – that life in itself is a journey of taking away lessons and growing through it.

So, to sum it up – while promoting body positivity and encouraging breaking stereotypes – the blog goes a step ahead and takes a whole circle approach – from fashion and beauty, to travel and culture as well as relationships – this is a safe place with no judgements and no labels of any kind!

And on an ending note – if you are reading this – believe me when I say I know how much different aspects of our life and toxic influences or relations (be it of any kind) can shape and influence our appearance and choices and affect our mental health! In some way, one of the main reasons I wanted to blog was to bridge the gap between body and mind through the path of fashion, style and culture!

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