Today the wedding festivities began with all the ladies getting together for our henna (also called mehndi) “tattoos.” Henna is typically applied to the bride and her female family members prior to wedding ceremonies in India, and the designs are usually very intricate and symbolic. I was really excited to finally get a henna tattoo, but first I wanted my hands and nails to be in tip top shape, so we stopped at a nail salon inside the Delhi Select Citywalk mall. The mani/pedi session also included arm and leg massages. After two days of non-stop walking and sightseeing, we definitely needed it!

Mani/Pedi party at Affinity Salon
Mani/Pedi party at Affinity Salon

Rupak even joined in on the mani-pedi party – no polish, of course! Ana kept trying to get PK to join in as well. He refused over and over again, but she finally wore him down and he gave in. I have to say, I think he actually enjoyed it!

Ana watches over the nail technician taking care of PK
Ana watches over the nail technician taking care of PK

After our pampering, we headed off to meet the family for my henna application. By the time we arrived, several family members had already finished getting their henna applied and were sitting around letting it dry. After the henna is applied, it takes at least an hour for it to dry and begin to flake off. However, while it’s drying, you really can’t move much at all.

Drinking water after henna application
Even having a drink of water can be a challenge when you can’t move your arms!

After saying hello to Rupak’s family, it was my turn. I sat in a chair and the two henna artists put pillows on my lap, one for each arm. It took about 45 minutes or so for them to apply the henna.

Quick video of henna application:


It appeared to me that the designs were male and female peacocks, but I’m not sure. Once my forearms and palms were finished, they flipped my hands over and applied even more henna on the top of my hands and arms!

All finished!
All finished… now the waiting game begins…

After my henna tattoos were finished, it was Joyeeta’s turn. Being the bride, her designs were intensely intricate and covered her arms all the way past her elbow! I can’t even imagine how tough it was for her to keep still, both during and after the application!

The beautiful bride Joyeeta getting her henna applied
The beautiful bride Joyeeta getting her henna applied

We stayed with the family for a little while and ate some finger foods (well, Rupak had to feed me since I couldn’t even pick up the food) before heading back to the hotel. I tried to stay awake until my henna was completely dry, but I just couldn’t stay up for very long once I got into bed. When I woke up the next morning, there was a perfect peacock imprint on my pillowcase! I guess I was just lucky I didn’t get any on my face!

Next post – the wedding!!


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