Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Mehendi Ceremony.

My name is not Sanjay. Neither there is any Mahabharata going on. But there is a very sweet girl in Texas, USA. I am trying to recreate the wedding ceremonies for her. hope this partially alleviates the pain of missing the wedding of her dear brother.

Today is the last ceremony before the wedding. The mehendi ceremony. After this ceremony the bride doesn’t step out of the house till the wedding. This is considered to be one of the sixteen adornments for decorating the bride.

Mehendi or henna is a herb whose leaves are plucked, dried and ground and then mixed with eucalyptus oil and a host of other things and then kept for a while. This is applied mainly on the hand and the feet. The skin in these parts contain high level of keratins which bind with lawsone the colorant of henna.

Three very talented artists came from Rajasthan. They carried an album of designs, some Arabic, some rajasthani, some others. Once the ladies selected the designs, the album was promptly sent back to the brief case and locked. Their designs are zealously guarded. Imitation is not the best form of flattery in this profession.

It was mesmerizing to see them sketch expertly and with breath taking quickness. There was no referencing. All they had were skilful hands and a photographic memory.

They travel everywhere in India. It was surprising to note that they do almost three thousand hands and feet every year. Their next destination is Hyderabad followed by pune. Wow. Real trotters!

Finally Yugesh and I did our wedding shopping. We both purchased kurtas pyjamas for the wedding. The range of Kurtas are amazing thanks to all the daily soaps. Yugesh is in two minds. He wants to wear the suit and doesn’t want to wear. Sounds weird. Well that’s Yugesh for you. He wants to look dapper and doesn’t really know what would look nice.

We are just a few hours away from the ceremony. The guests have started arriving. Yesterday picked Yugesh at twelve at night. He came from Delhi by Rajdhani and looked subdued. Cant really blame him its really energy sapping – this heat.

As the reverse countdown begins , the nerves are showing. Every one is testy. I didn’t sleep last night till four am. If I don’t get sleep today I would definitely pop a sleeping pill. Got a very early morning roll call.

But we were having our share of fun too. The ladies with henna on their hands and feet looked totally helpless. Even drinking a glass of water was hard work. Lucky they had the services of the domestic help. The men folks are no male chauvinist. But they are all lazy pigs. The best comment came from my brother as Bhabhi came balancing our evening tea precariously. He looked at her with feigned gratitude and said, “ Oh you shouldn’t have!”

Who said chivalry is dead!

No comments:

Post a Comment