Experimenting with Henna

Henna of Mehandi is a very important part of South Asian Culture. I remember my grandmother putting it on her hair to darken it. I remember going to the bazaar to get our little palms filled with beautiful designs on festival days.

After coming back from the UK, our gardner who has been living with us for the past 23 years brought a bowl full of henna leaves from the garden and very fondly said, “Now you have grown up. You must put henna on your hair.” Henna is an integral part of a woman’s life. It is not just to make pretty tattoos on one’s skin. It is part of the “solah shringar” or the 16 adornments a woman uses on her wedding day and throughout her marital life.





‘The queen of water.  Fresh ground henna leaves and watercolours on paper


















Keeping the fact in mind that I won’t have the luxury to pluck henna leaves straight from the tree always, I bought tubes from the supper market. Another reason was that it is more widely used by people than the fresh one. The effect was different. This henna was thicker and smoother in texture. It took more time to dry and shrunk a bit.