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.

Nº3 MONTMARTRE STORY

“But Paris was a very old city and we were young and nothing was simple there.” – Hemingway

Living in the city of love is surreal. There have been moments while strolling around the city or walking around in Montmarte, I have always experienced things from a different perspective, in a different mood.

For a very long time this week, I dallied along the lines of how I wanted this blog to turn out. Should I make it a clichéd article? Talking about what kind of a place Montmarte is, the must-visit spots or the touristic routines. On a second thought, I even began to recall from my visits, a few pointers about Montmarte to give to my readers – but then, my whole point of sharing with you the reality of the place is amiss.

Nonetheless, to brief you, Montmarte is a large hill in Paris’ 18th arrondissement. It is a major tourist attraction for its quaint picturesque neighbourhood, artists corner and cafes. Montmarte is also the destination of the Basilica of Sacré-Cœur, Ernest Hemmingway and Picasso, Vlamenck, Derain, Soutine, Modigliani, Van Gogh and countless others who lived and worked in these narrow streets. You could find wall plaques identifying buildings and cafes as historic. “Hemmingway once peed in our bathroom…” etc.

The other major attraction is the Basilica Sacre-Coeur, built only a century ago, after the French were embarrassed by a brief but successful occupation by the Germans in 1870 under Bismark’s Prussian army. The Basilica is based in Roman architecture and took over 40 years to build. From a distance, the stark white domes are powerful and imposing. During WWII, 13 bombs are said to have landed on the church, but without resulting in casualties, which lent the place special status among the local people. Atop the dome, you get an entire view of the city including the Eiffel Tower.

What makes Montmarte so special? The peace inside the Basilica is incomparable, I have sat there for hours on many occasions. I still remember how it feels like every part of the locality whispers its secrets to you.

Take a walk in Montmarte and you will know what I mean. How would you feel when the guy sitting outside strums his guitar and sings one of your favourite song? How would you feel if you were transported in another world of art and era?

How do you feel knowing that you tread on the same cobbled stones which were once daily routes for Van Gogh and Hemingway? How do you feel just existing in that moment, breathing the same air and feeling the beauty of a past somewhere trapped in its transition? How do you feel, when every part of your soul tells you that this was the moment writers craved for?

That these were the corners that buried more than a painting, these were the bars and cafes where kisses were shared in secrecy, where tall claims of love were made in declaration. These were the places that gave many their heroic moments, that gave many their firsts of things. How do you not revel standing in a town that still keeps its magic simply by existing?

The more I am there, the more enamoured I have felt of how Montmarte, my most favourite part of Paris is. Montamarte whispers to you in love and secrecy when you are there with a unattached mindset. It makes you believe that there is always a next time for everything in life, that life goes around in a circle and what’s meant to be will always, always find you.

And in that moment, I swear, we are infinite.

XOXO,

Adhisa

Nº2 MORNINGS IN PARIS

There is no feeling in the world that compares to waking up in Paris and understanding that life will never be the same again. From small bakeries and boulangeries filling the streets, to the quiet stylised hustle of Parisian life, the aroma of croissants and freshly baked baguettes fill the stony cobbled roads and lanes.

On many mornings, I used to wake up at the sound of the truck below my apartment, the bakery opening at 7am while its still pitch dark and people waiting in a queue patiently to get their respective fill of coffee and croissant. Not only is it the go to breakfast but also amidst the hustle of catching the next metro and walking everywhere, its the one torrid breakfast affair that no Parisian would compromise.

Many a times, I used to wake up before sunrise, go down and enjoy waiting in the queue while my stomach growled. Taking my cup of cappuccino and a beurre croissant – I would go behind at the canal near my house and sit on the stone platforms.

Something about the sight of water taking its natural course, the coolness and purity of it all used to be a great way to rejuvenate my mind. There were many mornings when after this private rendezvous, I used to go to the weekend market which happened right opposite my apartment.

It used to be my best part of morning routines and shopping! Not only were the weekend market places my absolute favourite but seeing everyone be so tuned into picking up fresh vegetables and grocery used to really make my day .

It was my only solace where I used to feel like I was making very important life choices tbh. There is something about picking up your food, sniffing it (if you are weird like me), feeling the texture of the ingredients and then cooking the same.

The bustle of a market place and the rush of people walking in, talking over each other, some bargaining some checking the quality of products etc, it makes you feel familiar to the place you come from and helps you connect with the place you live at.

Chaos and commotion are not overrated. Take a moment sometime and freeze out amidst the crowd. Don’t you see what a small part of this madness you represent? Everyone is busy picking out their perfect ingredients, everyone is trying to get at least one thing right. We tend to be so hard on people sometimes that we often forget that everyone, despite the chaos and commotions are just picking out the right ingredient.

XOXO,

Adhisa Ghosh

OF LUXURY HOTELS & ISTANBUL

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

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

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

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

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

FAIRMONT QUASAR ISTANBUL

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

SOHO HOUSE ISTANBUL

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

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

Written by Adhisa Ghosh

Dress and Shrug – Forever 21 India

MY ISTANBUL PACKING WITH AFAMADO

So my departure is close, and I am a bit upset with a heavy heart as saying goodbyes and leaving home is tough, especially when there is no guarantee of a return. I have just three days in hand which means ideally I should have started packing by now and progressed with checklists, but here I am, writing a post for you guys, telling you how difficult it is to pack 23 years in 2 suitcases over three days.

Since my departure to Istanbul is on Sunday and that country is going to be my home now for a long time for my MBA, I have been thinking of taking some modest yet stylish dresses because I need clothes and makeup to survive. While listing down the dresses and clothes and shoes of late, I came across this very pretty floral, double-flap neck white dress from the brand Afamado. It is so elegant and stylish, it was definitely in my “Take” list. I love the fact that it totally reflects my sense of personal style and comfort and their variety is endless.

I think Istanbul is looking a lot better as I am trying to pack my way through. What do you think?

Written by Adhisa Ghosh

Photography by Manjari Singh