Sunday, February 7, 2010

Glimpses of a Mehndi- Part 1

Brief glimpses of a mehndi celebration -
an oft celebrated night of festivities
with music, the colour yellow, and mehndi of couse
The mehndi is an entirely unneccessary, but customart part of weddings that last three or four days here - one occasion for each night.
 Above is my friend, the bride going down the steps to her mehndi venue.

Would you like to wear a flower bracelet?
 They are offered for the guests.
These are with marigolds, and small white fragrant flowers called moti.. (pearls).
 My paternal grandmother would pick and wear these motiya flowers as earrings every day of the summer.
 I once met someone who intricately weaves herself large heavy earrings made from white motiya everyday - she said it only takes her a short while from years of practice,
 and they are her part of her signature style.

For their entrance:
The girls from the groom's side carried lit candles in henna/mehndi as they made their entrance.
 The largest one is held by a few people together.
 They used to come singing,
but now the DJ drowns them out with soppy bollywood songs.

Weddings here can really consume schedules, especially if you consider that while the actual time on the invite says 8:00 pm, guests arrive around 10, the groom and his family anywhere between 11PM to 1AM or even later in some cases.. and until they do, everyone is waiting.
 If you will believe, the government actually stepped in recently and announced that all weddings were to end by 11 PM in Lahore, else, lights off!!! I'm serious.

The bride and groom sat in the wooden swing. Some people have it in their houses, but its just too formal and heavy for my taste.


Betel leaves with decorated edges
collect the bits of mehndi the guests swipe onto the bride and grooms hands. Just a custom, no significance.

Also, give them a bite of sweet mithai here,
 in this case deep fried balls of dough from powdered milk dipped into syrup,
make Gulab Jamun, one of the tastiest and easiest mithai to make:

The groom's brother dancing - on this wedding, it was more bollywood than anything, complete with theatrical expressions and lipsynching to complicated choreographed Indian songs.

From my friend's wedding, posting before the electricity goes as scheduled, but since its taking too long just now, here's just one of the traditional Bhangra dhol wallas /drummmers.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I wonder if he wonders, or remembers. I wonder if he escapes here, or comes to get an answer.
Sometimes sightseeing experiences can vary from placidly absorbing and enjoying the day to sending us reeling into other places and times, other views and questions, other wishes.

Monday, February 1, 2010

This huge painted exterior wall at the Lahore Fort is a reminder to get some inspirational art and text up on my own little wall. I've begun noticing some things about myself that have crept in like weeds and I must be careful about, certain attitudes or reactions, or a tongue close to getting a mind of its own.. Often, we must bring ourselves up - and though the feeling isn't enjoyable when I'm reflecting on my own behaviour or an annoyed moment, I feel it necessary to make conscious assessments of myself and my interaction with other people, so that I can keep striving to become the kind of person I would like to be, and remember to be 'good', as a child would put it simply.