Tuesday, April 3, 2007















The age-old, no-thought-required design that adorned all our hands. The reluctance to leave the hands of its lover.





My artwork on myself.





Its my cousins mailanchi function tomorrow (mehendi).





Mehendi has always been a fascination for me. I recall that my ummammas hands were never free of the traditional thoppi and vattams made of mehendi. The childhood eid eves were a fever of grinding the mehendi leaves and using toothpicks to apply crude flowers, finger caps and circles. Every Eid, I went to sleep praying hard that my mehendi was the reddest and the best. Mehendi cones were unheard of then, and every mother or every maid servant had palms stained with the henna juice on Eid with all the grinding and applying.





The colour of mehendi that varied from orange to blackish red depending on the alkaline content in your skin. My family seems to have been made of clay mixed with alkaline solution undiluted. We always coloured the darkest!





My fascination for mehendi grew and I grew quite adept at Mehendi designs- for the worse. I hated being the applicant for others. I liked it only on my hand. The selfishness of an artist i guess. I liked to sit in solitude and apply it on my hand, falling in love with his deep green and the sensous smell. I wanted to watch the henna juice stain my palms, legs and tummy - soaking it in love stains, and watching it fall off like dried leaves devoid of juices and all the juices in me. It was like a love relationship. And when it started fading, it did so with such reluctance, hanging on to my fingers till the end of my nails....





Im the henna artist tomorrow and my irritation to the fact that I am being forced to apply mehendi on her hands, may bring out the worst designs in me. that is scary....

2 comments:

Reshma said...

and in lands where there's no mehendi, it's unnerving to cut off that last half-moon of redness at the tip of the nails.

fawaz said...

she said you were the best mehendi artist the world has ever known...