Saturday, 22 August 2009

Day 88 Pt 5 & Day 90- Mehndi

The Big Day is drawing near and preparations are near complete. There is only 1 thing left to do. Someone started grounding the fresh henna leaves which were picked and dried the day before and another extracted juice from a basket of limes. Drops of oils from tea tree, eucalyptus and lavender were then added to the mixture so that the paste will stain better.

12 hours later and the paste is carefully spooned into a cone shaped paper and applied with utmost artistry.

An art form originating from ancient India, mehndi is typically applied to brides, even bridegrooms in certain parts of India, before the wedding ceremony. In very sophisticated patterns, the bride often has her groom's name painted into the design and as the henna binds into the bride's skin, her man is symbolically and similarly bound or bonded.

Mehndi is also applied during festivals, 7th month of pregnancy, Deepavali or Diwali and any other occasions like the grand opening of a business with big ceremonial celebration.

Natural henna only produces reddish brown mehndi. Our girls know better than to try "black henna" which is quite the rage at the palace now as "black is the new reddish brown". Many harem girls have met their maker after using this "black henna" because it contains PPD (p-Phenylenediamine nicknamed "permanent pain or death"). A most unfortunate girl even lost her feet, thanks to her need to be hip (although that turned out to be a blessing in disguise. For she regained her freedom after being banished from the harem, met the man of her dreams and was frequently spotted at Tallulah's).

The Prophet Muhammed dyed his beard red using henna and his daughter, adorned her hands in mehndi. The use of henna and mehndi by the Prophet insured its place in history.

200 years later when women are too busy to wait for henna paste to set, one can purchase a nice pack of henna transfers for S$2 at any Daiso store. To apply, you peel away the pattern, put it where you want it, wet it with a tissue and then gingerly remove the paper leaving the design on the palm or the back of your hand or wherever you fancy.

Like around your belly button, where half a blossom peeps through and subtle tendrils creeps sensually round to your back.

OR at the side of a slim waist, a bold full bloom, unabashed and proud , so loud no one can miss it.

And finally the rose, the emblematic tattoo for all women who find no need to hide their sensuality or fear telling the world "I am Passion, My Love is Pure".

And if you like what you see, and must have one of these, be sure to visit Rolla and Ro, (originals only), Chandni Chowk, Sunday to Thursday. Price starts at 50 gold bars per hour (for trainee artist) or 200 gold bars per hour (for master Sumaiya Mehreen, see hand-drawn sample below or her blog )


rosanna said...

I love henna tatoos. A few years ago a friend of mine prepared the henna paste and we, a bunch of hens, had a henna party. I had a big eye tattoed on the right palm. I cannot show tatoos at work but any time I moved my hand it glimpsed. You know what my work is and I liked the idea of a hidden eye. Big hugs, welcome back to blogsphere

Tallulah~Belle said...

Those are way cool :-) Wonder if they have rock star ones lol.

My toe fungus henna tattoo lasted all of 2 days :-(

I used to henna colour my hair loads when I was Mom made me do it in the garden as she said it smelled like cow dung :-)

Pubdoll said...

Very nice use of the transfers, I first thought they were handpainted, and all the girls looks amazing!
I loved the henna ornaments on the waists as well!

So I guess the unfourtunate girl from day 88 had used black henna too? Now I will never dye my hair again, in fear of loosing my head!

Katy said...

Tengo algo para ti en mi blog,es un premio a la amistad y a una afición compartida.Espero te guste.
Mil besos

Daisy said...


Sans said...

Rosanna, I think a 3rd Eye is so brilliant for Ro! If I can find a suitable transfer, I may attempt to remove the current one. The transfer may disappear after you bathe, on a human but it seems fairly permanent on resin. I think this is the method I will use for my "turkish bowls" later when I start polymer clay.

I love love love henna mehndi but like you, I can't show them at work. It is so feminine and artistic, don't you think? I remember when I had them painted, I behaved differently. Daintier and sweeter..LOL, and I spoke softly too, to match my pretty hands..hahaha.

Sans said...

Jayne & Helene, I am not kidding about PPD and you do risk losing your hand and leg if used. Apparently it is not henna that is used for hair dye but indigo."Black Henna" was a misnomer used in the 19th-20th century when indigo became a popular hair dye in Europe and US because in powdered form, it looks just like henna but henna can never produce black. There are fake indigo with PPD though so be careful!

How you tell the difference is this: Powdered indigo is green and smells like frozen peas. If you mix that with water, you'll see a blue glaze form on the surface after a while. If you plop some wet indigo powder on paper or cotton, blue dye will leak out.
If you open a box of "black henna" or "black mehndi" and the powder is brownish black or black, it probably has PPD in it. If you mix it with water, blackish brown liquid will leak out. That stuff is not henna or indigo. It's chemicals and will hurt you.

Jayne, good henna last for weeks and sometimes months! 2 days?? You might as well use transfers! And there's nothing more rock and roll than a rose tat so yes, plenty of those around.

Editor Helene, spot on about girl with no feet. So spot on that I have changed the post to incorporate this. LOL! I love audience participation and I am sending you my stories to edit from now on..

Sans said...

DAISYYYYYYY! So nice to see you again :):).It's been a while and thank you, my friend. That warms my heart loads :):):)

Muchas gracias, Katy:). Voy a visitar tu blog para recibir el premio en breve.

Sumaiya Mehreen said...

Yay for Henna! Thank you Love, for promoting my Henna Blog :D ... haven't done henna in ages ...

Sans said...

Oh no, you mustn't stop, Sumaiya. You know how much I love your henna :). The last one you did must have been Sunehra's. Hers are gorgeous, like always.

Liberty Biberty said...

AH, yes, henna. I remember buying some strange mud-like henna shampoo in a really cool tube as a teenager, thinking it would be the miracle cure for my unruly locks. (It wasn't!)
The henna transfers look wonderful, you had me thinking 'how'd she do that?'!

Snowfern said...

oh man...i love henna tattoos (ok i like tattoos of almost any kind) and when i finally had the chance, i couldn't make it for my friend's sister's wedding! boohoo~

oooo Sumaiya does henna tattoos now does she! i thought she only did them for the dolls :O :O beautiful intricate work.....

and your dolls have lovely 'tattoos' too! sexy ;)

Sans said...

Mercedes,LOL, you must be wondering how did she suddenly know how to paint?'s just a step up nail art :) Bet its a piece of cake for you since you paint. By the way, your locks sure don't look unruly these days. The Cleopatra look really suits you.

Cindy, what I won't give to be invited to an Indian wedding. How can you miss it?? LOL, But I know some can last as long as 7 days.

The Banjaran girls thank you for your kind comments and ask if you will like some yourself? Sumaiya will be available if you have the gold ;p

dora said...

Me gusta todo, he conseguido enlazarte en mi blog, y he puesto que eres mi inspiración, y no es broma, es cierto, me encanta como trabajas, y como explicas las cosas, yo no tengo tanta facilidad, para relatar las historias. Felicidades.
Besitos Carmen.
Muchas gracias tambien por tu enlace, me ha encantado.

Sans said...

Carmen, muchas gracias, sus palabras me significan mucho. Pienso que tomé el premio incorrecto .lol. El eslabón a usted es permanente ahora en mi página de blog:)

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