Thursday, May 07, 2009

A hand for Henna

"Come Sir, sit on the stool while I apply henna to Didi. After all, it will take some time and we can't have you standing on your first visit to my humble stall.

Well it is difficult for me to remember with men sir, but for Ladies, I remember them by their hands. Sir, it is my boast that I can remember a woman's hand even ten years after I have applied Henna to it. Why only last month an Didi came here from Mumbai and I remembered her even though it was more then two years. Even Didi here has not come here after her Marriage to you. Have you taken her away from us? Ah Delhi! yes yes, like that other Didi, people come to my shop from all parts of the country.

What to say sir, about my quality of work, I can only let you be the judge. Like you see these turns that I am making here on Didi's hand now? And this one? these are so delicate that hardly ten people in the whole of Maharashtra can make it. But other then that, it is the other things. I refuse to put any chemicals in my Henna. The oil I rubbed on Didi's hand, it is a secret mixture of five oils I mixed with real Eucalyptus oil so that the Henna catches beautiful color. Though with you as husband, I am sure Didi's henna will color just as well. See how Didi is blushing, I am afraid that the henna will color before even I apply it fully.

Do you know sir, that Henna is used only on happy occasions? Any happy occasion like marriages, celebrations and festivities, henna is the ideal thing. Every part of Henna application is filled with its own Joy. Women get together with their friend and gossip with other, exchanging stories while the henna is applied one after the other. And what to say of the teasing that happens between brothers and sisters and husbands and wives after the henna is applied? Did you know that even lord Krishna would tease Radha with food while she would be unable to eat herself due to henna on her hands? While Henna dries, it cools the hand and even protects it from infections. And once it dries, it makes the woman so beautiful.

Sir if we men even try to dance, it looks like we are swatting mosquitoes, but every movement of the henna applied hand is a dance. If you take my word sir, the Henna is the best jewelery for the Indian Women hand.

There Didi, your hands are finished. Make sure you let them dry for at least thirty minutes or else they will smudge.

You can give the money to my daughter. She likes to use her hand now that we bought her a new one. It is made in Jaipur. Her last hand, i would make nice designs, but since this is new, she refuses to let me near it. That is the way children are.

Please bring Didi again sir. Here only I will be."


Vinnie said...

God! this is so beautiful. so many wonderful gems of wisdom from a henna designer n the joy of 'having a hand'...thanks for sharing this:)

God bless that designer n his/her daughter...

u have also managed to bring out the local flavor in this English translation!

Velu said...

Hey Vinnie. Glad you liked the story. But then that it was - fiction. So no need to develope affections for my characters as I might have to kill them in my next story! :)

was trying out a different dialogue for narrating story.

haven't seen anything from you in the last few days.


PS : >O< , :)

Vijay Basrur said...

Interesting man. The local & commercial version of mehndi is quite intriguing indeed