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

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