I Get a Tattoo

All good decisions are made with a drink in hand right?

All good decisions are made with a drink in hand right?

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Okay parental units… take in that big sigh of relief because it’s not permanent (I can’t decide what I would like to do in two weeks, much less decide on the design of something that will be permanently on my body for the rest of my life).  I’m currently in Delhi attending a wedding… and one of the events leading up to the wedding ceremony is known as the Mehndi, where the bride is (and others are) given Mehndi (i.e. what we know as henna tattoos… I was told that henna is just the arabic word for mehndi).  According to the family of my friend, the guys generally don’t get mehndi, but as this wedding has some modern touches, once all the of the females were done, the guys were invited to join in.  So, because it’s what I do… when asked if I wanted to participate I,of course, said yes.  Now the women get mehndi (I have no idea if the word mehndi is singular or plural, so I’ll just use the one word for both cases) on their hands (the bride gets mehndi on her hands and feet, and only the bride is allowed to have her feet done), and since I am (and the one other brave man who decided to join in with me is not) a woman, I opted for the arm.  Trying to stay away from anything that somehow says tribal arm band, I went for the forearm location (plus, since I mostly wear long-sleeve shirts, you can see it if I roll my sleeves up).  Getting it done just involves sitting a room where a guy draws a design on your arm with small squeeze bottles that emit a substance that looks something like a really dark, fine pesto sauce.  The stuff then drys on your arm, there are periodic applications of lemon juice to re-wet it, and in general you want to keep the substance on as long as possible to have it stain your skin (the bride is encouraged to sleep with plastic bags over her arms and feet as darker marks on her wedding day are a sign of good luck).  Due to hair and sweat related reasons, the stuff on my arm peeled off after about 3 to 4 hours… and mine got a little blurred/smudged in the process.  But once the stuff peels off, you’re left with an orange/brown mendi… here’s what mine looked like the next day (the picture is a bit blurry because it’s a cell phone camera self-photo):

It actually got a bit darker over the next night.

It actually got a bit darker over the next night.

Here’s shot of the bride getting her arms done (and yes, she’s not Indian… the groom is originally from India and they live/met in London):

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7 thoughts on “I Get a Tattoo

    • Yes… always. And I’m glad he didn’t draw a butterfly, or stars, or any chinese symbols in there as well. Although I have had several Indian men come up to me in later days telling me that henna is only for ladies…

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