Two days back my Mom told me she was going to wear marudhaani. Marudhaani is nothing but henna. This is not the one sold in packets in store but the fresh one.
My parents have a plant and usually the leaves are plucked fresh and grinded. We used to have a stone grinder outside and our maid servant used to pluck and grind it. The reason being the leaves would shed the bright red color juice and the stains take a long time to go. The person grinding cannot wear them since both of their hands would already have been stained with the juice.
As a young girl I would walk behind our maid to see when she would do that for me. I would watch in excitement to see her hands becoming red. Then I would carefully take the bowl of this grinded leaves to store it safe. Then at night my Mom or my Grandma would apply while they talked about their old stories. My Dad was not a fan of me applying this marudhaani. I had severe allergies as a child ( I still do to this date) and that he had a strong conviction that I would start coughing once I applied the same. My parents still have PTSD over my cough and I can’t blame them. My Grandma on the other hand would just say this is something that is going to cool the body and get rid of infections in our finger tips and would keep applying. Unlike nowadays nothing was added to the leaves just the plain leaves were grinded. So no chemicals. Let me tell you, this didn’t give the bright color. We didn’t and couldn’t make designs with it. Just plain rounds big and small and cover our finger tips with the same. I would have it all night and my Mom would put in sheets that needed to washed so that I am not staining good sheets. After all the overnight experience, with excitement I would remove in the morning to just see not dark color but orange color designs. My Mom and my grandma would have had better dark colors and I was always jealous. My Grandma used to say , oh that is your body nature.
As I grew up packet hennas became famous. This one with added chemicals did give me the dark color I wanted. I also learnt how to do design henna and took it as my lifetime goal during my High school years to master the same. My Dad was even more angry saying that these things were not good for my health 😂. Wearing Henna for marriage is an event and I remember the evening vividly when my friend stayed overnight to do both my hands. Surrounded by family and friends and all the noise, my best friend did a wonderful job.😊
My craze for this is still there . I do get these henna cones from Indian stores by I rarely aplly. Why ? Maybe I do not have my Mom to clean up the mess or am I more lazy to apply and wait for it dry? My local mall has a henna tattoo shop and lot of Indian ladies do this for a nominal rate here in my community. It seems I do not have the adrenaline rush to apply as I was a little girl. Isn’t it surprising how things change as we grow old! As I checked my google photos, the above one was taken in 2019 when I had it applied by a girl from our community during a summer picnic. So long!
I do really know many of my Indian friends as they read it, they too would have a wonderful flashback memory of their days applying this hand grinded marudhaani.
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