Recently I had been to a celebration event. The host had arranged Mehandi for all the ladies who attended. It was very thoughtful and nice of her. It was instant Mehandi and the design came out very well. In 15 minutes we were told that we could take the dried Mehandi and we had a beautiful red design on our hands. This got me thinking of our childhood days when we used to apply Mehandi around Diwali or some major festival. how much effort we took in our childhood to get this Mehandi on our hands. it was a big process. Our house help used to get us tender Henna leaves that smelled so good. . She would grind it for me in a stone grinder and myself and my cousin will wait for the end of the night to put them on our hands. We would add few drops of eucalyptus oil to it. I would have my father to put on both hands. Since it was a paste from ground leaves it would only be a small simple pattern. I love to completely cover my fingertips like a crown with the Mehndi paste and also have a small circle shape on the center of my hand. Sometimes a little more design would adorn both the hands. That night trying to sleep carefully without getting the paste on the pillow or face was a challenge. The wonderful fragrance of mehandi would keep me aware of my hand even in the sleep. Next day morning we would be excited to see the dark red color on our hands. we would slowly remove the dried mehandi and rub coconut oil over our hands. We will also collect the dried pieces and let it soak in coconut oil for use as hair oil later. The fragrance in our hands will be there for a few days and the red color for atleast two weeks. Now as I saw the instant Mehandi design on my hands though it looked pretty and colorful the fragrance was missing. The enthusiasm of the whole process was missing. In 3 - 4 days it faded away slowly. Maybe someday if I could get a henna plant to grow indoors here, I could try to recreate my childhood memories once again.