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Instant Mehandi

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by jskls, Feb 2, 2022.

  1. jskls

    jskls IL Hall of Fame

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    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.
     
    Deepu04, Amica, indubalram and 8 others like this.
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  2. Mistt

    Mistt IL Hall of Fame

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    Nostalgic! I was picturizing my childhood memories regarding henna / mehandi while reading your childhood days. The only difference was my mom didn't like to apply mehandi at night and I grew up listening this beautiful song on gorintaku. Some lines in that song describe on what kind of husband we would get depend on henna color on our hands. My sister and I had compared color of the mehandi we get after removing henna from hands and also discussed with friends. Wow! Those days:hearteyes:
    True and I always miss that freshness, warmth in celebrating festivals too. May be that is the speciality of childhood which we can enjoy anything with a pure mind and innocence.

    Nice idea, Lakshmi and all the best :thumbsup:.
     
  3. Kohvachn

    Kohvachn Gold IL'ite

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    Very relatable, LS. Remembering those days when I and cousins would wait until late at night for my grandmother or mother to get free and do Mehandi for us all and the aunts alike. Nights before Diwali and Pongal would be so "kalakala" - with joy and laughter! Now it's a more of a simple affair at my mil's and putting Mehandi on my hands is my DH's job. Sweet and romantic that way I guess, new kind of memories to cherish for me. Lol.
    JointPics_20220203_081345.PNG

    Enjoyed reading, thank you for sharing!
     
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  4. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Lakshmi,

    I am glad this temp mehandi brought some interesting memories to you and others in this thread. I always wondered how the green mehandi produces red color in the hands when I was young. Whenever my mother used mehandi, I used to sit and watch. As I didn't have any sisters, my mother used to ask me whether I would like to have mehandi. Out of curiosity, I said, "Yes" to her when I was young and walked around with red round center in my palm and red edge in all my fingers. After I grew up, when the boys started making fun of me, I told my mom to stop doing mehandi to me. But after I grew up, I used to watch mehandi events in festivals and marriages with keen interest and many used to ask me what I was doing among the women. Slowly, I stopped being around the mehandi events.
     
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  5. Amica

    Amica IL Hall of Fame

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    I love the fragrance of fresh henna! I could smell it as I was reading your snippet. So many lovely memories!

    Henna plants can be grown indoors. And they are available cheap. Give it a go!
    .
     
    jskls likes this.
  6. SGBV

    SGBV IL Hall of Fame

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    I could feel each and every words of this post, as my childhood mehendi memory was very similar to this. It was a process, and in my case not just the house-helper, but everyone in the family would be involved in this process.

    My cousins would bring the fresh leaves from the nearby villages, and our domestic helper would do the grinding part.
    Mom, aunts and grand mom would give suggestions as to what to add to the paste, and when to apply considering our health and all.
    They believed keeping mehendi in hands for long at night can cause phlegm in kids, so they made sure we follow the right protocols. Also, ideas from friends, and neighbors here and there to add backing soda, tea etc...etc... to bring out the nice maroon color to the mehendi.

    My neighborhood young girls (older than us) would invent new techniques to apply mehendi using icing piping bags, and used toothpaste tubes.
    Some go overboard and apply hot wax designs in their hands, and then apply this mehendi paste over it.
    Their entire palm would become red except the areas which was covered in wax design. It was a painful process, but was trendy back then.

    We lived in a Muslim neighborhood during our childhood, and it was customary to apply mehendi on the 27th day of their Ramadan fasting time. That day, the entire community would stay awake for prayers, but for young kids like us, to stay awake and dry our mehendi filled hands without having to go to bed was fun & easy.
    That would turn out to be the most memorable night in our lives, by chit chatting with neighborhood kids, playing antackshari and eating cookies throughout night time.

    I forgot to mention the results of our mehendi the next morning :)
    Thankfully, a few of our hands would turn maroon in color and the mehendi will last for more days than others.
    My sister and many of my cousins will either have dull red or orange only, that last fewer days only.

    The older aunts and cousins would jokingly say, the ones with dark red/maroon hands will have loving/caring husbands down the line, while the others won't. This will result in funny arguments among young girls like us during then.

    You brought back all the fun filled childhood memories - Thanks!
     
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  7. jskls

    jskls IL Hall of Fame

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    Thanks @Mistt for sharing your childhood memories as well. Hold on to the memories and they will hold on to you (Taylor Swift song :) )
     
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  8. jskls

    jskls IL Hall of Fame

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    ha ha … that’s so sweet of your husband to do that. Enjoy the attention Thanks for sharing your memories as well.
     
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  9. jskls

    jskls IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Viswa sir, that’s nice read about your memories on Mehandi as well. These days Mehandi events are nice with music fun and dance etc. don’t hesitate to participate I went to one such event over dressed and learnt my lesson the hard way
     
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  10. jskls

    jskls IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Amica, thanks for your lovely feedback. I have just got my hand on growing curry leaf plants. I will keep looking for henna plants as well.
     
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