Tuesday, November 29, 2011

the mehndi

Two days before the wedding, after I was showered and fragrant from my Ros, we headed over to my godmother's house for the mehndi*. My mom had bought a very lovely outfit from Devon for me to wear to the event, but it was obvious this was the first mehndi in our family, because it was floorlength and would have been a huge hassle to keep up over my knees with both my hands and legs unable to move. Good thing my godmother's daughter-in-law had the perfect short and pretty kameez at the ready for me to wear with leggings. Problem solved.

My godmother and her family rounded up a ton of saris in varying shades of green and blue, big paper decorations, and they even put up a tent on their front patio by the water fountain. It was so beautiful, I was sad that the weather was chilly so we couldn't set up our stations outside. And she had a ton of food--including this fried rice my godfather makes that I can't seem to get enough of. I knew that I wouldn't be able to use my hands or even move that much, so I was inhaling as much of everything as I could before I had to take up the spot I'd be in for the next four hours.

I love plants almost as much as my godmother does. I don't know how she knew that I love gladiola (gladiolas? gladioli?). So pretty. I really wish I had taken more pictures of the decor. It must have taken a lot of work and the whole place looked wonderful.

For years when I'd go to their house, I saw loveseat-like bench that has an indoor arbor over it and thought, "Self, this would be an awesome seat for a bride and groom." Guess where Jon and I were sitting? My godmother's 89-year-old mother said a prayer for us and then we all got down to business. Personally, it means a lot to me to have her blessings, and of older people in general, mostly because aside for that one year I had with my nani when I was seven, mine have always been so very far away. And now they're all in Heaven, where I'm sure they're sending their blessings. But it's always nice to hug a grandma in real life.

My godmother hired two mehndi artists--one dedicated to do mine--to do the mehndi for most all the women. A lot of my family, friends and parents' friends came at different times throughout the day and evening. You want to let the dark green paste dry to black and let it flake off to get the best dye on your skin, and the palms have more keratin (thanks, s, for that tidbit) so the color comes out better there. But it's a huge inconvenience not to be able to use your hands for so many hours, so many of them only got a design on the back of one hand. You know, so they could drive home.

Here are some highlights of their mehndi:








Tomorrow: Jon made a time-lapse video of mine.



From wikipedia: "Mehndi is a ceremonial art form which originated in ancient India. Intricate patterns of mehndi are typically applied to brides before wedding ceremonies."

3 comments:

Zinta said...

What a way to end a month of posts ! with a time lapse video of your mehndi. Love all your wedding posts so far.

Syar said...

We used to put henna on our hands - less intricate design, more rustic application - basically a cap for each finger and maybe a circle on the center of our palms) for Eid, and staying still for it to dry properly was the biggest challenge of our child lives. Mostly my grandma would put it on for us at night, we'd sleep with it on, as carefully as we could (I remember putting henna in my hair, and sleeping with the smell of it in my nostrils and my head in a shower cap) and then waking up and running to the sink to flake it all off and wash my hands and seeing the red orange on my skin.

So, I love this post and I want to have a mehndi every month. Looking forward to the video!

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