Mona says

08/16/05 – Mehendi

The Mehendi is probably the best known of desi wedding events. The mehendi is the day that the henna (mehendi) is applied for the bride, her relatives and friends. It’s just a huge party with food and celebrations.

My mehendi wasn’t what it would have been had I been married in Dubai. Because it was in India, not a lot of my friends were able to make it to the wedding, so my mehendi was a smaller affair, with cousins and other female relatives.

The previous night I had spent, as was getting to be custom for me, awake. Especially now since, I’d signed the nikah (marriage contract) papers – everything seemed so final. All my doubts came rushing back – was I cut out for a domestic life? Would I be able to handle this? I was too young, I had so many things I wanted to do for myself. I kept praying for guidance, for peace of mind and heart.

I showered as soon as day light broke through, had some breakfast (though my aunts and mom will convince you that those 3 or so days before the wedding, I barely ate anything at all). The henna girls arrived at around 10 or so, and the kids couldn’t contain their excitement. Constant chatter of who was going to keep their henna the longest (to dry) and who was going to have the most applied floated around.

My oldest friend, B came down all the way from Bombay, especially for the wedding. She, her sister, T and her mom were over most of the afternoon. Since my henna was to be the traditional desi intricate bridal design, it took over 5 long hours. Five wonderful hours of being surrounded by some of my favorite women, of discussions of what marriage was going to be like for me, stories of my childhood.

B & her family left later in the afternoon and I was asked to rest, or sleep if I could while the henna troop took their show into another room.

This lasted well into the night and was continued the next evening.

I can’t remember how the rest of the day passed, but I do remember a lots of relatives, food and dessert and laughter.

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