Henna is also known as Mehndi which has been a tradition in every marriage. Mehndi derived from a Sanskrit word ‘mendhika’ is a traditional art originated in the ancient Indian Subcontinent. To beautify one, hands and feet are decorated during auspicious occasions like weddings, festivals, and even parties. The use of Mehndi and Turmeric are described in the Hindu Vedic ritual book. Mehndi designs can be termed as an art of drawing fine sketches on palms with a cone. Mehndi cones are made up of thin plastic of a smaller size that can behold in a hand. Mehndi paste prepared with mehndi powder and added oils like eucalyptus oil, tea tree oil, and cajeput oil, is then filled in the cone. Its ends are tightly sealed with the adhesive tape and its point is closed with the use of a paper pin when the mehndi cone is not in use.
Mehndi cones are easily available nowadays for one to use but women in rural India still grind the fresh leaves of the henna plant and make mehndi paste, which gives much darker color. Then they apply this paste onto their palms and feet using a very fine stick. Drawing fine freehand sketches with the pointed cone is not that easy as it looks. But persistent practice and the love for this art can make one perfect in drawing beautiful designs. Initially, it might take more time to put mehndi on the palm and on the back of the hand, but after few attempts, the hand goes smoothly creating multiple designs.
Arabic designs are one of the most stylish designs that are preferred by most of the women. The designs are very creative with bold borders and fine shading. Unlike other designs, Arabic designs are quick to make as these designs use big patterns of leaves, flowers, curves, and vines.
Rajasthani pattern may involve different creatures shape with semi-curves, dots, and flowers. Different geometric shapes can also be seen in this pattern. Rajasthani mehndi designs are made using very fine lines and no part of the hand will be left out.
Bridal Mehndi takes a minimum of 3 to 4 hours time when full legs and hands are designed. Obviously, the bride always wishes to look special among all others and so her mehndi designs also need to be special. Very minute designs are painted in the palm including the picture of the bride, groom, dhol’s, tabla’s, peacock. For an artist, this becomes the platform to put every creative idea on the hands and feet and converting them into interlinked designs.
Mehndi artists love to play with different shapes and patterns and create beautiful and exotic designs. Mehndi designing is a special art that is treasured by Komal Shah and today she has shared her experience with us. Komal Shah is a simple and kindhearted lady who worked hard and stood on her feet. She is a well-educated woman, who loved her passion and turned it into a profession. She has 17 years of working experience as a Mehndi artist in Maninagar, situated in Ahmedabad City, Gujarat. She even travels to other nearby cities as per the requirement and her schedule. Over the time she has made a team of 3 to 4 females and presents her art in major commercial and public events like marriage, festive rituals, and children’s training institutes. She has mastered in this field and encourages other people to choose their passion and achieve success in life.
Komal Shah also noted that some Mehndi cones available in the market do have some dyes and chemicals added to it to achieve dark colors which can cause inflammation and skin rashes. So if someone feels allergic to the mehndi should immediately wash her hands and apply Aloe Vera gel which will soothe inflammation and consult a dermatologist. She further gave some tips to make the color dark naturally. According to her when mehndi is put on, it will start drying in about 20-30 minutes and start to fall, during this time, make a mixture of lemon juice and sugar, and apply it once over the designs with a cotton ball to remoisten the mehndi designs so that the designs will stay for longer on hand and will darken the color.
Leaving these for few hours definitely will leave its red color but if you want a darker shade of red then you have to keep away from water. Do not wash away your hands to remove the mehndi; instead, scrape off your mehndi. Also Eucalyptus oil, Limestone soaked in water (chunna), Vicks, Sesame Oil, Catechu (Katha) are applied on hand after removing the mehndi. These products will give heat to your hands and make the color darker. Mehndi, now a day is a fashion statement among youngsters to use as a tattoo on the back or the arms. Do check out her Facebook page at Komal Shah https://www.facebook.com/komal180976.