thedelhibells: Mehendi

6 Mar

The haldi was washed off, but the yellow hues remained. Night fell, the lights came on, and the smell of mehendi wafted through the decorated doors.

Presenting to you, the mehendi ceremony!


I was panic-striken after I saw my parents faces after the haldi ceremony. They had washed their faces, but you could still see yellow patches on their faces from where the haldi had been applied. I was afraid to come out looking half-yellow half-normal! I knew I would have to scrub well in the shower, and scrub I did! I may have taken a bit too long to get ready – by the time I came out, my sister had already knocked 10 times on my door asking me to get out already!

I didn’t have time to blow dry my hair, but I hadn’t intended to anyway. I knew my hair would get heated and curled and God-knows what-not over the next few days, so I gave it a break and just left it as is. Normally, it dries out frizzy, but I took the chance.

I entered the mehendi area awestruck. The lighting by the bay window was just as I had imagined. But I can’t take any credit for décor on any of the functions. It was all decided and organized by my talented mother and sister.

The full mehendi outfit, and the bay window area where I sat for mehendi

The full mehendi outfit, and the bay window area where I sat for mehendi

I took my place amongst pillows and cushions strewn around for comfort, and the mehendi began. There were 2 menehdi-walas sitting with me, and this is how the conversation went:

Mehendi-wala: Madam, kaisi mehendi chahiye? Dense, ya khuli khuli?

Me: Khuli khuli

Mehendi-wala: Any design preferences?

Me: Nahi, do whatever you want. Just make it pretty.

Mehendi-wala: Mehendi kahaan tak chahiye?

Me: Yahaan tak (pointing to a place on my arm 2 inches above my wrist) aur yahaan tak (pointing to a place 2 inches above my ankles)

*uproar all around*

Whaaat? You are the bride! Get mehendi atleast till your elbows. What about your legs? Why are you getting such little mehendi? You are the bride only once!

Ah, they went on and on. Well, as Mehak had so nicely put it on her blog a long time ago – once the mehendi dries, they’re just black squiggly lines. And I knew that the more spread out the mehendi is, the more skin shows from between those lines, and the contrast makes the mehendi prettier. That’s just my take on it.

Anyway, since I was the bride, and they were my hands and feet, I got to decide how much mehendi I wanted on them. All pleas blurred in the background, and the mehendi-wala got to work – got to give the bride what she wants!

I was very pleased with how the mehendi turned out. No, it was nothing fancy. But, it was just as I had imagined. And in retrospect, I can confidently say that I did not regret the “less” amount of mehendi I got done. I was just being me, and that’s what all brides should aim to be. If you want to go light on the mehendi, say it! And that’s what you’ll get. But if you’ve always dreamt of mehendi all over your arms and legs, by all means get that done! It’s your day. It’s your time. Do what ever it is that makes you a happy and satisfied bride. That’s all that everyone wants for you anyway.

Mehendi for blog5

Once the photographers and the last of the guests left for the night, it was just me, my sister and my parents. And that was the last night we had as just us - we sat and chatted with each other, discussing the day’s events. We put nimbu-cheeni on each other’s hands, and my father helped us out with things we couldn’t touch yet for the fear of the mehendi getting smeared. I was reminded of how it has been just the 4 of us for all these years - people have come and gone, relatives, guests, friends. But the one thing that’s always been constant has been this - the assurance of these 4 people. It’s this rock solid foundation I can always depend on. This has been my family since the day I was born, and soon the family was about to expand. I relished in the feeling of being a kid & an elder sister - and nothing else. There was no other care in the world for me that day.

Tomorrow onwards things would get hectic, so I breathed in all the stillness and calm that is so tangible immediately after the house has been emptied of far too many visitors. The silence was comforting. I applied Vicks on my hands for the first time in my life to deepen the name of the boy whose life would be entwined with mine for the rest of eternity. And I slept like a baby that night.

Photographs by Tarun Chawla Photography

You can read the whole thedelhibells series here:

  1. Prologue
  2. Mata Ki Chowki
  3. Pre-Wedding Week
  4. Pre-Wedding Shoot
  5. Haldi
  6. Mehendi
  7. Sagan
  8. Sangeet
  9. Wedding
  10. Reception Preview
  11. Reception

25 Responses to “thedelhibells: Mehendi”

  1. Marathi Weddings March 6, 2022 at 3:41 pm #

    Do you know that you’ve got a killer smile!! Nice outfit. I thought you bought a turquoise blue for mehendi!


    • thedelhibride March 6, 2022 at 3:55 pm #

      Awwww *blush blush* thanks!!! I did buy a turquoise blue crushed skirt initially, but in my search for a matching brocade corset - I found this corset, and it went so much better with this yellow skirt I found at the same store! That poor blue skirt is still lying unused in my cupboard - I’m hoping I find an occasion to use it somebody soon!


  2. thevowsandbeyond March 6, 2022 at 4:41 pm #

    You looked so pretty!! Glowing!!! :)


    • thedelhibride March 6, 2022 at 6:47 pm #

      thank u! looking forward to reading more about your wedding!


      • thevowsandbeyond March 6, 2022 at 9:54 pm #

        Thanks for the reminder!! Gosh I got so lazy - will get off my bum and do it!


  3. Poorva March 6, 2022 at 5:43 pm #

    Omg ur last few lines r so touching. I could actually feel the emotions!
    N u r so pretty n ur right u were the bride,it was ur day, u do whatever u want to :-)


    • thedelhibride March 6, 2022 at 6:48 pm #

      awwww thank u so much poorva!


  4. Mrinalini March 7, 2022 at 11:55 am #

    You look radiant! Your post spells out what all of us went through just before the madness started..! :)


    • thedelhibride March 8, 2022 at 11:54 am #

      Thanks Mrinalini! And yeah, this was probably the last quiet moment we had before I got married.


  5. Bhumika M March 7, 2022 at 12:05 pm #

    I know what you mean. Those few quiet moments that I got with my parents and little sister meant the world to me! Lovely post!


    • thedelhibride March 8, 2022 at 11:55 am #

      :) i’m beginning to realise that this happens to all us brides!


  6. Shikha March 7, 2022 at 12:24 pm #

    so cute… its so tough and emotional to just think that one day we have to leave


    • thedelhibride March 8, 2022 at 11:56 am #

      It didn’t hit me then that I was going to leave soon. That feeling has taken a few months to finally sink in!


  7. Sonia March 7, 2022 at 1:11 pm #

    Love the yellow skirt! And the mehendi design. And you look really pretty.


    • thedelhibride March 8, 2022 at 11:56 am #

      thank you, thank you, thank you!


  8. thebengalibride March 7, 2022 at 11:21 pm #

    It was a good thing that you got your mehendi a lil above your wrist .. I got mine till the elbow up .. And it was a pretty painful experience .. Sitting there with all arms stretched .. I had a hard time smiling for the cameras!

    Btw looking very pretty .. As usual :) looking forward to the wedding posts!


    • thedelhibride March 8, 2022 at 11:58 am #

      yeah, that was another reason why I didn’t want too much. The more intricate and dense the design, the more number of hours you have to just sit there. The pillows propped up on my sides really helped, and the whole process didn’t take too long. I was totally expecting that my hands and back would start to hurt after a point, but it was really quick and easy! No painful experiences, thankfully!


  9. JC March 8, 2022 at 8:23 pm #

    You look so beautiful! Wonderful post! :) Nice ending to it. <3


    • thedelhibride March 8, 2022 at 8:58 pm #

      Thanks! Glad you liked it :)


  10. Chandan June 25, 2022 at 8:07 pm #

    Hey! Any recommendations of good mehendi artists in Delhi? I am based in South Delhi and need help!


    • thedelhibride June 25, 2022 at 8:10 pm #

      Hi Chandan. I got my Mehendi done from Raju Mehendi wala who sits at GK1 m-block market. He was very reasonable and did good work!


  11. Divya August 2, 2022 at 2:55 pm #

    Hey TDB,

    Can u recommend some mehendi wala in Delhi?


  12. Divya August 2, 2022 at 2:57 pm #

    Oh I missed up reply to the previous post ! :)


  13. Rownak February 10, 2022 at 10:24 am #

    You are so beautiful and I am obsessed with your blog.really nice work!!!



  1. TDB’s Wedding Wardrobe Breakdown | thedelhibride Indian Weddings blog - May 24, 2022

    […] To see more pictures of this outfit, go here. […]


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