Mehndi, Henna in English.
It is a big part of the culture I come from. Almost every celebration is incomplete without the beautiful patterns of mehndi on the women's and girl's hands.
Weddings, Oh my goodness!!!!!!!
Mehndi and wedding are two sides of a coin.
I was not very thrilled to get married. This is 2003. I was 22, just wrote my final B-tech exam and I am off to be a wife. Nope. Not thrilled at all. The house was starting to fill with relatives and closed friends.
Even though I was not looking forward to being a spectacle to the 2000 people who are going to show up on my wedding day, I was looking forward to filling both my hands and feet to half of my leg with mehndi. These beautiful patterns, that I have already picked in my head. And I look forward to the day before the wedding, the evening especially when I will be surrounded by women of my family and the groom's and I get to put on Mehndi. It is supposed to come out the next day, bright red with a hint of dark.
My fiancee had promised me that he will bring the artist. I insisted that let me get my own so that I know for sure I will get the one thing I am looking forward to. The morning of the mehndi day, my fiancee informed me that the women of his family are going to put the mehndi on me.
You guessed it. I still had the same fire in me. Tamed. But not dead.
I insisted that there better be a professional who shows up, else there will not be any mehndi event.
I should have been more clear. A professional did show up. But she was busy and had to go within a set time. So I ended up getting a half ass mehndi job on my hands. Just the hands. I have never been that disappointed and angry before that day. But, I am the bride to be. There is certain etiquette that I need to follow. Also, I am a very well behaved good girl.
The wedding went on. A lifetime passed. We found ourselves on different paths of life.
When I met him when he asked me to marry him, I mentioned this story to him. I did not say anything else. The day before, he rushes me to a house and to my surprise there is a girl who does this for a living. Time was short, but I was so happy that he would do that for me. My hands and my feet were decorated with green, smooth mehndi. The next day, it turned bright dark red.
what followed that day end up having no significance in the grand scheme of life to many.
I went with him to visit family. And on our way, there was an insistence that I put mehndi on, oh I was not resisting. I was happy as I ever could be. So, my hands were decorated once more with beautiful patterns. I loved it. I loved it so much that I had tears that I had to hide.
I was thinking about life today. Someone close to me keeps telling me that "Don't think so much"
"Enjoy every moment of life"
First thing, I told him, I am a writer. Thinking is my job. So don't say that to me unless you really want to be disappointed.
Enjoy every moment of life.
It is not the first time I heard this. I have heard 100s of times. I could take it as what I believe which is every emotion, every feeling is valid, hence every moment of your life is valid and you can be present and enjoy it. Even the tears.
But that is not what most mean. Most are addicted to happiness. The more we chase it, the more we become disappointed.
What does mehndi have to do with any of this?
They were three distinctive moments of my life where so many emotions and feelings and unknown were present. They were not the ideal happy moments that we chase. But when I look back, those three set of moments are filled with joy. I feel the tears.
What I am trying to say is, every day we might have those mehndi moments. Unless you are paying attention, willing to let it happen, you will miss the pure joy life can offer.