This is the beautiful Indian bride, the night of Menhdi. She is on a parallel roof with the million flickering candles of the Kite Festival lanterns twinkling in the night with a cascading firework over her and to the left of the picture. The photographer invited us to the roof to see the shot being taken. He is flying to the US to do a wedding shoot there. Imagine ! The bride has both hands and arms and feet and up her legs done in henna , the night before the wedding. Traditionally, it is at the bride’s home or a wedding plot. We were at the later. There were a number of artists working to decorate anyone who wanted the Mendhi work done. There was even a man doing masculine designs on the arms of boys and men.
Jennifer bravely went first. This young girl did all of us, 6 in all , one right after another. I tried to offer a tip but she was empahtic. . . “No Auntie!” I did snag her a water which was passed constantly along with various juices. Hindus do not drink or serve alcohol. I had the feeling that the family of artists might be Gypsies, after all, India is thought to be the place of origin for the gypsy people.
The tradition of painting one’s body with henna was first seen in relics of Ancient Egypt. Today it is traditional in Hindu and Muslim countries for pre-wedding festivities and /or other celebratory festivals. Remember the little girls showing us their Mendhi at Mohammad’s Birthday?
The Mendhi changes to a dark maroon color as it oxidizes in the air and reacts to your body chemistry.
The food was terrific as before, but lighter than on Monday night. There were Indian puff pastries that were filled either with a spicy mixture or sweets and honey.
Another little touch that they might be Gypsy people was a puppet show. I felt as if I was back in the small towns of Italy where in the central piazza, there was often a Punch and Judy puppet show especially on weekends.
Finally, I will show you my hands which I am caring for to insure my Mendhi will last for the two weeks of expectation I have !
Any Mendhi experiences, or Indian weddings?
This Is Incredible India. . . . . . . T I I I !