Tuesday, April 15, 2014

"M" for "Mehndi & Marriages"

Image source : here
Almost all Indians love Mehndi. To know more go to this wiki link . Mehndi is usually applied on any special occasion , weddings, festivals and some times just like that. In India any wedding is incomplete with out a Mehndi. Getting Mehndied is the most important aspect of a wedding. Usually in most of the weddings we have a ceremony called - "Making of the bride." The traditions differ but few things are common among people of all religions and regions like applying haldi (turmeric paste), Chandan (Sandal wood paste) to a bride and then applying beautiful mehndi on her hands. In short people want the bride to look her best on her D-day. Some people over do it. Some just do it in right amounts , I mean the getting ready part. Since my childhood days I love getting mehndied so much so that I used to try and destroy my hands with weird designs which look like modern art when I was in school. Slowly with time I learnt how to do Mehndi, some times looking at the design book and some times on the fly. Eventually I improved. I can't say I excelled. Below is one of the decent Mehndi designs I made on my own hands for the Ramzan festival.

Mehndi ki raat or the Mehndi night is one of the important prewedding rituals in India which is celebrated a day before the wedding ceremony and is often combined with ‘sangeet’ ceremony and in many weddings it has lot of live music and dance just like in the video above:) . It is fun and celebrated with close knit friends and relatives. This song is definitely played in most of the Mehndi nights.

It is an age old tradition in a big fat Indian wedding where Mehndi is applied elaborately on bride's hands and  a token of application (a henna mark) is done on groom's hands as it is thought to be a good omen. The intricate design patterns will just leave you puzzled. I always observe the Mehndi-wallahs (those who apply Mehndi) very keenly and every damn time I am flabbergasted as I don't understand how they make so beautiful designs so quickly. Practice makes man perfect and mehndi perfect too :) Mostly men do the mehndi designs on bride's  hands and legs during weddings and do it with such an expertise that you can't take your eyes off their work and the designs! Mehndi ceremony is popular even in Bangladesh , Pakistan and other Arab countries.
We also have varieties in Mehndi like Arabic design , Rajasthani (Indian), Pakistani and African. To know more check here. Mehndi designs are also modernized with ornaments , crystals and sparkles! Hyderabad is one such city where you get many talented Mehndi wallahs.

"Some popular cultural beliefs of Mehndi"
  • The darker the mehndi stronger is the bonding and love between the couple :P (but I have seen happy couples where bride's mehndi is not that dark or where bride doesn't get mehndied at all :P :D )
  • Same concept above is applied to the bonding between mother in law and the bride. ( I want to chase the person who invented this theorem :P )
  • Mehndi has medicinal properties. It has a cooling effect and soothes from stress, head aches and fevers. (how ever few people are allergic to the mehndi smell)
  • In bride's mehndi design groom's name / initials are hidden which groom has to find. This is a fun ice breaking ceremony between bride and the groom!
"Mehndi bloopers" :P
  • If you apply Mehndi and go to office, strangers also may ask you - "What is the occasion ?" Once a bunch of folks almost believed that I got married seeing my mehndi applied on a festival day :-o!
  • We have a biometric swipe in to enter in to the office where the swipe machine recognises my finger print. One fine day my swipe was not working at all. When I complained I was told it might be due to mehndi and that I should try it once it fades off.
  • I safeguard my mehndi hands so that they don't spoil the things around but the more I safeguard them, the more they  destroy a cushion cover , a curtain , a new stole etc etc :(
That's all for now folks. Below is the pic of my mehndied hands and legs on the day before my wedding :)
Have a beautiful day! Mehndi is one of the most beautiful art forms. If you never got it done, today is the day to try and if any one asks "what is the occasion and what are you celebrating?" Just say A to Z in life ;-) These are few amazing mehndi designs on Pinterest if you want to try.


This is my 13th post for "A to Z blogging Challenge 2014"

31 comments:

  1. Wonderful post Afshu. I loved all the details and beautiful designs :D

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Sfurti :)
      and special thanks for being the first one to comment

      Delete
  2. here, better spelling! :) Dear Afshu--I am so fortunate to have seen this, I think Mehndhi is BEAUTIFUL!
    thank you! jean

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    Replies
    1. haha ! So cute that u called me Afshu :) :) I smiled broaad
      and thanks . Am glad U liked it

      Delete
  3. Wow! Beautiful, Afshan! And you actually did the hands yourself!! Awesome!

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    Replies
    1. Ya once in a while I experiment on my hands but take a loooooooot of time to finish ;) Thanks

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  4. Replies
    1. @SG: Thanks a lot

      @Reema : Thanks for dropping by

      Delete
  5. Very nice, Afshan. I like mehndi. Have been thinking for a while to get a cone and draw the design myself. The ones you have drawn are beautiful and intricate. Love the ones you got done for your wedding.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Prathima :)
      Do try for ur self. with practice u will love the results..
      Thanks again

      Delete
  6. Some of the designs are reallly intricate, they just leave me with my mouth open.. It really is a skill, I have seen people use cones and the stick method of application.. and both are really good

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    Replies
    1. Stick method is also used these days ?? Was not aware of it. Thanks Hrishikesh. Yep the skill amazes me too

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  7. You know what the funniest thing? Arranged marriage where the couple is just getting to know each other and Love is something that might happen over the period of time, and the relatives tell her 'THE DARKER THE MEHENDI, THE MORE LOVE EXISTS BETWEEN THE COUPLE' Come on!!!
    :P
    Btw that is a beautiful Mehendi !! I am sure u looked stunning!

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  8. I absolutely love getting the mehendi done. N shaadi waali mehendi is really the best! Loved your post afshan! And you really have a good hand at it....keep it up!

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  9. I really love mehendi, but haven't gotten around to getting one since my kids :( I make do with applying mehendi on my daughter's hands :)

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  10. I love mehendi ! In my hands it never darkens though how I wish it would be as dark as it is seen on your hands ! Lovely post !

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  11. Oh I can't help it but remember the disastrous mehendi during my wedding! I could kill that woman when I see her next! arghh!

    Btw nice post Afshan..really diverse with your choice of topics I must say :)

    M for Motherly-Random Thoughts Naba

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  12. Beautiful post with lovely mehendi designs. Your mehendi looked so pretty, loved the armbands :)

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  13. Wow you are so artistic. Beautiful mehendi. Enjoyed the song too.

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  14. Very interesting. I loved learning all these details! The art form is beautiful indeed.

    True Heroes A to Z

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  15. What a lovely, cool topic to write on! :) Like most Indian women, I LOVE mehndi... :)

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  16. Well this is interesting, I didn't know about this before! :)

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  17. Your designs are very beautiful! Sorry to hear that the swipe machine didn't appreciate your artwork.

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  18. Thank you for educating me about Mehndi. I did not know anything about it until I read your blog. I think it is amazing you could do it to your own hand. What artful and pretty designs. I've really enjoyed seeing the pictures and learning about Mehndi.
    Thank you for visiting my blog. Our weddings were very different but special to each of us. I hope that you will come back again. Have fun with a to z

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  19. Mehndi!!!!!! Or henna as they say here.. my favorite.. I get it done the first day I land in India. Wish I was as creative as u, wouldn't miss it so much!! And the song is super. Do you remember the other one: check this out. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RD9rD-OFvSM

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  20. Beautiful art work! I've always wondered what it is called. I think it's lovely. Thank you for sharing!

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  21. I love Mehndi. My request to any friend who knew how to apply mehendi was : I will be your model. :)

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  22. Every woman/girl in India must like mehendi. Nothing like it. I had been to classes and have learnt the art of applying mehendi...when I was in college I have applied mehendi to a few brides. :)

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  23. I think Mehndi is so beautiful! But HOW DID YOU DO IT TO YOURSELF ON BOTH HANDS?! You must be ambidextrous to be able to do that!

    Your wedding Mehndi is beyond gorgeous! And I love that the groom's name or initials are hidden somewhere in the design. What fun! How long does it take for it to wear off?

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  24. Bridal Mehndi Designer And Artist in Delhi more popular all irregular daylight. With the growing demand to tattoos in recent years, mehndi henna designs are gaining popularity in many calculation countries after that the indigenous cultures.

    Bridal Mehndi Artist in Delhi

    Bridal Mehndi Artist in Delhi

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What do you think about this ? I always love to hear back.A comment or a brickbat boosts me to write more but the mud slinging shall be promptly vacuumed.
Thanks for your time :)

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