Mehndi, or henna as it’s called outside India, is a paste made of grinded leaves which has a fresh organic smell. The paste is often applied on skin in indicate patterns and will leave a tattoo-like effect on. But don’t get worried now my dear parents, it is not a real tattoo! After two weeks or so it had disappeared.
I was sitting at a small wooden stool outside, and the artist was kneeling down on the ground, securely holding my arm. She was a typical Tamil lady with beautiful dark skin, saree and lots of gold jewelry. I felt surprised at first that she was sitting so close to me – a complete stranger. But how can I go to India and expect to have some private space?
We could of course has gone to a real mehndi saloon too, but being outside added a nice feeling to it. The lady was working very fast, without any hesitation her hands moved and created birds, patterns and strokes.
A’s family were there too, and they were all patiently waiting for me. We had a little snack time and I was hand fed by auntie with what became one of my favorite snacks: sweet peanuts. How cute isn’t it to be fed with snacks?
After 20 minutes the paint had dried and I could wash my hands. The dark-brown paint fell off and revealed what was underneath: a bright orange pattern was left on my skin.
I find mehndi very romantic. And that is not a coincidence – mehndi is usually applied to hands and feet of a bride-to-be. Indian women will also wear it for festivals, attending weddings or religious (Hindu) ceremonies.
As we actually attended a wedding soon afterwards is suited very well.
What do you think: is mehndi beautiful or do you find it strange?