Mehendi Memoir

The ostensible reason behind going to Himachal Pradesh was to attend my friend’s wedding. So we took our marriage preparations seriously and headed to beautify our hands in Delhi.

Mehendi / Henna artists sit in Delhi’s tourists areas armed with cones and eucalyptus oil. For 15-25 rs, they will create magic on your palms. The henna feels cool to touch, and as the artists evolves pattern after pattern , you sit wondering at how all your ancient history, design, art and culture is now pouring itself onto your palms.

The henna will soon dry and shed itself. Your hands will be stained in beautiful orange and red. It will stay for some days, before fading away, and making you want some more henna on your hands 🙂

Here’s mine and J’s hands just after we got them adorned with henna. (This photo was taken by my niece Remitha)

In certain communities, the groom also puts on henna. My friend decided to go easy on it though.

And here’s the bride’s mehendi…

In Delhi, Janpath and Delhi Haat (Dilli Haat) are the most likely places where you can bump into a mehendi artist.


About whizkid

Photographer. Procrastinator.
This entry was posted in Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Women and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Mehendi Memoir

  1. Anonymous says:

    Wow that looks beautiful … and it doesn’t stain ?

    • whizkid says:

      Mehendi is essentially a paste made from a particular leaf. It leaves its mark for a few days and then fades away. Could also be called a temporary tattoo.

  2. What a beautiful art & culture! This too could be a shadow shot!

    • whizkid says:

      Thanks :).
      yes, its both art and culture. Adorning hands with mehendi during weddings/ festivals is an integral part of many communities in the sub-continent.

  3. Evette says:

    That is stunning. Leaves me wanting!

  4. chickensue says:

    What beautiful mehendi designs. I love your hands. Are you going to post shots of the wedding?

    • whizkid says:

      yes, there are a few interesting pictures from this wedding. A Himachali wedding was a first for me too 🙂

  5. M.Kate says:

    Amazing art. Over here, this is used for naturally Indian weddings and Malay too. We have lots of henna in tube at home and will play with the children , drawing on their feet ..since they have to go to school and that’s not allowed. However, our art is nowhere near that…

    • whizkid says:

      so good to know about similar practices in indian and malay cultures! would love to see some mehendi designs from your part of the world. 🙂

  6. prachi says:

    it is very ok one

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