Thursday, January 28, 2010

Mehendi better than tattoo ?

Getting people together is difficult, getting them together for a photograph is more difficult and if they are related to each other it’s the challenge of the day.
And if you want them all to be covered with different Henna designs at the same time then it’s the challenge of the decade.
So here I am with a top view of four pair of hands. They belong to my wife, sister, daughter and niece.
Actually it was no great feat for me as all of them are crazy about covering their hands (and feet if possible) with lovely Mehendi (Henna) designs, so they just jumped at the opportunity and this was the end result. click on the picture to see the full pic
Lawsonia inermis
I always marveled at the artistic talent of these skilled ladies who do their work in a jiffy, sitting for about 2 to 3 hours at a stretch silently producing design after design from their memory. They never refer any design books nor make any calculations about where to start and where to end.
mehendi_judy_III
As for the designs done on a bride’s hand (and feet) it is said that the groom’s name is embedded in the design (the alphabets scattered all over)
On the wedding night the groom is supposed to find all those alphabets till the complete name is formed. So the more skilled the mehendi lady is, the more the groom is going to be tormented.
Can you spot the name in the design below? This was done on a bride’s hand. I clicked about 10 or fifteen frames here and this is the best I could get.
Mehendi
And nothing like a smiling face to highlight the mehendi.
Mehendi and smiles
All said and done Mehendi is much better than a tattoo. For the simple reason its painless and will disappear in a week or so.

Its said that the more the spouse loves his wife, the more darker the mehendi gets. (so ye men make sure that your wife’s mehendi gets real dark the next day)
In India Mehendi ceremony is something that takes place on the previous day of the wedding and its fun as its an occasion to get together and have fun.

And then its also one reason to make your hubbies physically feed you as “you see I cannot pick anything with my hands, can you hold the glass for me?

A few notes:
Do's:
Wash the area to be decorated with a good soap (one with a mud base) and water.
Mehendi should be kept for 2-3 hours till it is fully dry.
Scrape off the dry Mehendi and do not wash it with water for at least 24 hours, to ensure maximum colour.
Apply a mixture of lemon and sugar, at least twice, to the dry area.
After the tattoos are dried completely get some steam passing through cloves over the gas and apply Vicks for a good darkened color.
When the Mehendi starts fading and appears patchy, it can be removed by applying cosmetic body bleach.

Dont's :
Do not use an oily soap as this can prevent the color from setting properly.
After the mehendi is applied avoid washing the area with soap or water.
Avoid staying close to the air conditioner as it dries up the mehendi.

35 comments:

Natasha said...

I have always loved this tradition but I never knew that the initials of the husband were hidden in the design! Thanks for sharing your knowledge and these wonderful pictures.

Best wishes, Natasha.

Anu said...

the first pic is great!! i love mehendi, and i totally agree with you about mehandi being better than tatoos!

The Holy Lama said...

Fun captured with some great advice too. Captain you are rowing right.

Smita said...

I love Mehndi and am ever ready to see it on my hands :)

I can not see the name but does it start with S? Or was it written as the eybrow of the peacock??

Awesome pics!

arcane said...

i cant figure out the name..i did try n hard...any hints???

BK Chowla, said...

I was finding it difficult to comment.
I made my wife read this post and she felt that any lady would be happy to have such lovely designs of mehndi.
Good Pics.

Lolli said...

Those are fantastic shots! Mehendi fascinates me!

Diane {createdbydiane.blogspot.com} said...

Great shots!

Renuka Bedre - Rao said...

lovely mehendi designs! mehendi is so so better than tattoo!

Malar Gandhi said...

I love the tradition of mehandhi...had them couple of times, when I was in India...am so fascinated with those designs and amazing color that it turns into the next day.:):)

Insignia said...

The designs are so intricate and beautiful. Sadly, the mehandi ceremony doesnt exist in South Indian weddings. I now want to have henna applied on my hands after reading this post!

Rain said...

What a fun post! The photos are very cool, thanks for sharing! :)

Nicole said...

Those are beautiful! Some day I would love to have it done, just for the fun of it.

Thanks for stopping by my blog, I hope to see you there again.

Jennifer said...

Thanks for dropping by my blog! And I have to say that I am really glad to have come by yours. I saw Mehndi for the first time on a Christian singer's (Natalie Grant) hand a few months back. Mind you, I didn't know what it was called and had never seen anything like it, but was intreged by it, and thought it was rather fun and pretty. So thank you so much for this quick lesson!

Judith Ellis said...

Wow! How beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

Jaunty anima said...

I too love applying mehandi..Every gal does!

Beautiful shots der!:)

walk2write said...

What a lovely and intimate tradition for celebrating nuptials. You did a wonderful job of capturing the fun and the joy of family time.

Jyostna said...

Oh yeah Mehendi is always beautiful than Tattoos.

shahana said...

Even i love applying mehandi.nice post

Mandy said...

Beautiful!! I want to try this!!

jaime said...

First, thanks for commenting on my photo blog! Second, your first picture is beautiful!! All of the pictures are great, but I do love that first one!

Christine said...

great post! =)

Now I want to get some mehendi done!

Chandrika Shubham said...

Nice article on mehandi. All photos r beautiful. :)
Name searching was quite interesting! :)
Happy blogging! :)

Rohini said...

Wow.. Gorgeous designs! I am simply amazed everytime I see these artists doing elaborate, intricate designs in less time.. It still takes 2+ hours for me to complete an elaborate one :(
Thanks for those lovely pics, I am gonna try these next time.. And thanks for dropping by my blog too! :)

Kristin said...

My cousins are Indian and the designs they did on the bridal party for one of their weddings were so gorgeous!

Shas said...

Liked the 1st, 4th n last pic. After reading ur post i realized dat its been quite sometime that i havnt applied mehendi on my hands. I wish i cud go n get it done now itself.

Diana said...

This really is an amazing and beautiful tradition. Thank you for explaining the meaning behind it.

Divya Kudua said...

Love the snaps..a wonderful read.I love putting mehendi too but I am very bad at drawing random designs..wish someone would do it for me..:):)

Rosey Pollen said...

How fascinating! I love the designs...very beautiful indeed.

Anjuli said...

I tried to leave a comment but for some reason it didn't work- I loved this post-will try and forward it to my daughters who absolutely love Mehendi.

A said...

Typically I don't comment on very personal posts like this. But I have to say the picture with all hands is very well taken.

SafexSolutions said...

Nice collection..Do you have some Foot Designs too?
Mehandi Design

mehndi design said...


Lovely post, So cute, I like Mehendi Henna Designs

marilyn scott said...

Yeah, I agree with you. I've seen so many sample of mehandi designs for functions like mehndi and eid celebration. I so love them! So awesome!

Cheers and more power xxx
Marilyn Scott
http://easyday.snydle.com/mehandi-designs.html

Prasad Kumar said...

I'd rather go for mehndi designs than tattoo. they are crafty and very beautiful.