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 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

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

Birthdays are always crazy isn’t it?

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

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

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

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

25 IDEAS YOUR MOTHER WON’T LIKE :

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

18- Read controversial novels.

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

20- Take a trip, solo.

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

22- Watch movies of different countries with subtitles.

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

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

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

XOXO,

Adhisa Ghosh

SINGLE IN YOUR 20’s

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jumpsuit – Wardrobe

XOXO,

Adhisa

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

OF BIRTHDAYS

“It is a ceremony, the blowing of candles, the cutting of a cake – the mess of cream and sponge in your mouth. The taste is sweet and familiar, like a newly formed wish, fashioned from all the ones you’ve made before.

You don’t remember them in sequence – the things you ask for. You only recall those you wanted the most. Like the pair of neon pink roller-skates, you saw in the shop window when you were twelve. How deeply you felt their absence when you sat among the litter of torn wrapping paper and empty new possessions.

Or the year you turned sixteen, when your best friend’s mother got really sick, and all you wanted was for her to be okay again. It was the year you learned that shooting stars were either a blessing or a curse, depending on what you wanted to believe.

Then there was that year you fell in love. The one where there weren’t any candles – just you walking late at night through the city streets with your heart in pieces, wanting to give yourself to the first stranger who called you beautiful.

Since then it’s been the same every year. As soon as the first match is struck, the smell of burning takes you backwards through your memory. It stops you right at that moment on that warm, September night, as you watched the first trickle of melting wax hit the icing, and you couldn’t think of a single damn thing you wanted – because he was standing there, in the flickering light, asking you to make a wish.” – Lang Leav, Birthdays

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

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

Now, I wanted to rewind, just a bit.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

XOXO,

Written by,

Adhisa Ghosh

30 DAYS OF SPRING

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

Just remember in the winter, far beneath the bitter snows

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

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

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