Mehndi (or Henna) designs

photos of bridal Mehndi designs on hands and feet by Arun ShanbhagHere are a few pics from my niece’s mehndi gathering before her shādi. The lady squeezes out the mehndi paste from a foil cone and uses it to draw intricate designs on hands and feet. As the paste dries, fresh lemon juice is squeezed on it to keep it moisten and intensify the color.

Shādi or not, my sisters love mehndi for any occasion. Continue reading “Mehndi (or Henna) designs”

Wedding Rangoli

Rangoli - Shubh Vivah (Congratulations for an auspicious wedding) by Arun Shanbhag
Shubh Vivah = Congratulations for an auspicious Wedding!
Saw this hand draw Rangoli outside a wedding hall in Pali, near Pune; approx. 6-7 ft across. The white is usually rice powder, which the birds and ants are expected to eat away. Spectacular, no?

Shādi in the Family

Last week we enjoyed a shaadi in the family. It was a magnificent production over four days, amidst the beautiful rolling hills of upstate South Carolina. And yes, it was a respite from the Fall here, to greenery, well manicured, lush lawns and Southern hospitality.

And what a great occasion for a family reunion! For four days we reveled in family panchadika (chit-chat), gorged on a wide variety of indian dishes (no dish was repeated over four days!) and the reception had a teeth chattering, gut expanding array of 28 desserts!

Of course, on returning to gray skies and cafeteria goop we are clinically depressed. I want my masala dosa and south indian kaapi for breakfast!

So, here are a few pics.

During one of the pre-wedding services, the women in the house are getting ready to bless the bride. The priests says: ashta putra sowbhagyavati bhava and translates it: May you be a blessed mother of eight children. My cousin sister lets out a hearty laugh!

Continue reading “Shādi in the Family”

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