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

WHY YOU NEED TO BELIEVE IN 2020

Every year in December, we are always filled with hope and faith for the next year. We plan big, we have exotic dreams and to-do lists and resolutions to complete. We have a three month plan, a quarterly plan, a financial plan, some thousands of calendar plans, dates blocked – so much of insane planning and booking, blocking and vacay listings.

We never for once have a plan B. We never think what if it all goes to waste? We never plan for the alternative.

2020, what a plot twist you were.

I had so many plans this year. Looking back at it now, all my plans were centred around a growth that now feels superficial to me. A constant running without any sense of settling and loyalty. I always give myself 6 months in any situation. 6 months and I am out. 180 days and I am done.

What if 2020 was a person? Say someone who you had grown attached to, you started to like, a lot. You started to let in that energy, and then bam! You realise 2020 was just teasing you, it never meant to let you warm up, it never had any feelings or any capacity to empathise. And it was proud of that.

It’s not even a person anymore, just a reminiscent of some good times, of a rare glimpse of what normalcy used to look like and a well schemed conspiracy by the universe to trap your heart for a while and force you to go through a spiritual cleanse. Amidst all these idiosyncrasies, when you are trying hard to keep a sense of reality, comes your misplaced sense of trust and believe.

There have been so many times that I wanted to give up. I have literally laid down on the cold tiled floor, crying straight for an hour because I was too numb and exhausted to get up and face life. To be back in the same space with no escape.

I think what truly got me going was that I wanted to believe. And I wanted each weekend to come so that I could have a good sleep knowing this week, we made it.

I know this sounds crazy because as millennials we are told abundantly to shut out any kind of feelings, to not have a warm heart, to slash people before they can hurt us – and amidst all of that I ask you to believe.

I believe in the good.

I believe that it’s been a hell of a year and we still have 6 more months to go. I believe, in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, we will all be okay.

I believe a lot of things.

I believe that sometimes when you least expect to, people can walk into your life and open up your heart. They can show you who you are now and who you are when no one is watching you, and that is important you know. I believe sometimes people can really surprise you, once you decided to let them in. They can feel like your morning coffee brewing, while you stood unmindful for a second, while a rush of peace swept over you.

I believe that sometimes old kisses can be replaced with new ones, that they would have their own taste and it would help you stop remembering old mouths. I believe that some people help you replace old memories with better ones and in that knowledge you realise what you once thought traumatic, was a farce.

And I believe that if I eat a tub of fudge, and no one sees me, the calories don’t count. And I believe that when you like someone, despite all odds, you take the risk of telling them so. I believe you should acknowledge when someone is vulnerable to you about how they feel because God knows their hands shook when they wrote that message. 

And I truly believe, that sometimes, people can be extraordinarily stupid to take a moment of love and peace, and trade it for a month of disappointment and heartbreak.

Above all, I believe that we are all capable of being kind, of falling in love with imperfections, of defying the impulse to abandon, to jump the ship.

And I believe that because You are reading this – I can tell You this and we can be okay. I believe even though we all made mistakes this year, You and I will be okay. 

I believe we survive. 

I believe that believing we survive is what makes us survive. 

XOXO

Adhisa.

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

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

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

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

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

TRESemmé Climate Control Shampoo Conditioner

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

L’Oreal Instant Clear

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

L’Oreal Hair Spa Smoothing Creambath Hair Mask

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

B-blunt High Definition Curl Defining Leave-in Cream

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

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

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

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

Vitamin E hair Oil

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

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

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

Products used –

1- TRESemmé Climate Control Shampoo and Conditioner

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

3- L’Oreal Hair Spa Smoothing Creambath Hair Mask

4- Blunt High Definition Curl Defining Leave-in Cream

XOXO,

Adhisa Ghosh

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

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