Friday, December 04, 2009

Why I love henna?

I have always told everyone I love henna but why?
Is it because I  am an Indian and henna is a very important part of the Indian culture?
Is it about getting together with your girlfriends and family ?
Is it the aroma of henna or is it the process of mixing the paste and the anticipation of getting henna done and then taking good care of it?
Is it about the color next day and seeing the color grow on you or is it about trying out different ways to help the color get richer?
Is it just another temporary pain free adornment or decoration?
I have always heard people telling me at henna parties that they love henna and cannot do without it. But I rarely do henna on myself  and hardly ever have the urge to do it as well but I love doing it for everyone else.
Then why do I love henna?
I believe for me henna is more about a connection and the art of how something so humble arising from the earth and turns into something so exotic and so beautiful.
I have a very specific memory from when I was around 6 or 7 years old.My mom did henna for me and two of the other girls around the same age who were my neighbors back home in India.
Just after she finished my friend Meghna's henna and gave her instructions to sit in one place and not touch anything till the henna dries, Meghna could not resist the urge to drive a tricycle and went about doing so with henna on her hands.
I remember vividly my mother seeing that while doing my henna and telling her to stop, then asking her to be more careful and then immediately fixing it without saying a word more about it.
I don't know what upset my mom more, her creation getting destroyed or Meghna being disappointed?
For me henna is that connection with my mother and those moments we spent together.

Like my mother, my hands are hardly ever adorned with henna and yet I still find it very relaxing while doing it for everyone else. My mother also always wanted to do henna for everyone but herself and that is also true for me.

That is what I believe henna is to different people. For all the aunts who tell me at henna parties that they love henna, I think they talk secretly about the connection back home, that moment they had shared with their families and friends.

For parents who do  henna for their daughters and their sons (I do for mine) I think its building a different connection and also that only you share with your child and also introducing them to your past.
Is it not amazing to see that every daughter at any age listens and completely follows the after care tips their mothers tell them about how to get a darker color.
Whenever I do henna; it is just I, me, myself and my henna and everything
else becomes almost non existent.
I love doing henna as it allows me the versatility and gives me the freedom to create something beautiful; like the gazelle I did for a client,a dragon and the phoenix for one bride, the bride and groom almost ready to kiss each other on a brides hand.
I love to figure out where to hide the groom's name in the bride's henna and the excitement every bride shows and that sparkle in her eyes while the groom tries to find that name or just showing it off to the guests. I like the euphoria surrounding a  henna party. I love drawing bunnies and cakes for my son and Hello Kitties for little girls.

That is why I love henna.

Tell me why you love henna:)