Growing together has been the most tender, most defining periods of our lives — Esthesia has been a crucial element of this journey. When we started thinking about Esthesia, while still in school, it was only a speck of a feeling. A dream to create what we were consuming. The method in which we were digesting media—articles, poetry, photography, film—was shifting. The internet was a cesspool of untapped perspective. The first tangible tinkle of this idea emerged in 2016 while we sat on a rickety, wooden table in a café in Mumbai. We were seventeen-year-olds, highly inspired by Tavi Gevinson’s Rookie Mag. Our lunch conversation is penned down in a notebook somewhere, filled with mind-maps of what we wanted this space to be, how we wanted it to unfurl, what a digital magazine meant to us, and so on. Manogni had a name in mind, following which we came up with multiple others. But, we kept going back to our first working title. Esthesia; the capacity to feel. We ached for that fierce ability to archive, explore and colour code our emotional rupturing, as we came into ourselves as people, women, writers, citizens, friends and artists.
Our partnership throughout the years of Esthesia included excel sheets, email drafts, in-depth conversations and quick-fire texts, all to create a space we thought would lend itself wholly to the artistic populous was one of the most life-altering experiences. Fundamentally, this collaboration has taught us more about life, the patience needed for collaboration, community building and artistic nuance than any classroom assignment. What we intended to be a part of and what we eventually dove into differed in small but meaningful ways. We intended to invite creativity and evoke inspiration while minimising the looming fear of presenting one’s work in the digital expanse. As an extension of this, we found ourselves looking at culture, identity, and our own lives a little closer, and retrospectively, better. But with the onset of what feels like real adulthood, we found ourselves grappling with the limitations of time, logistics, and other nitty-gritties. We were school-going teens when we started and now on the brink of the something-twenties. And while this has been a rude and heartbreaking awakening, seventeen-year-old Manogni and Anoushka wouldn’t have dreamed of coming this far with their little project.
For the readers who have been here from the start, the ones who have joined us in the past few months, and the lovely friends who have given us valuable feedback — it has been perhaps the biggest joy of our young lives to create this space with you. Esthesia Magazine would not be what it is without our extremely talented viewership, who are artists, designers, writers, poets and a whirlwind of creative energy. The best part of editing and running our Magazine was the array of voices we experienced. Transported through heartbreak, quarantine spaces and friendship, every time logging on to our small email box was infused with excitement with what we might read or see today. Thank you for choosing to submit your work to us. Thank you for trusting your work with us. From reaching out to and interviewing artists we adore, painting our website backgrounds with raging red streaks in April and glittered blues in September to being a part of our contributors’ luminescent works. We have adored each bit of our little community.
Esthesia defines itself as the capacity to feel. We are not just spectators of what is happening to us or around us. We deeply feel the effects of our temporality with people, spaces and time. Feeling, roots us to our mind and body. A sensory rush that turns into art pieces, stories, poetry and so much more. We leave this as two best friends who continue to be eager in knowing, feeling and questioning the world around us. The force and power of good story-telling will never stop or be stopped in any era, medium or climate. As we move on and play our roles; we will carry the magazine with us. The essence of this publication is infused into all of us. We stop publication, but we hope you can carry the memory of it with you, if it meant something to you, as it very much did to us. All the art on Esthesia will continue to be archived on our domain. A piece of Esthesia will continue to bloom as we all dance together again, in the days to come.
Manogni & Anoushka