Henna -#AtoZChallenge @AprilA2Z

Picture courtesy: http://vanishamistry.deviantart.com/

Eyes sparkling, Anusuya sat perfectly still as the artist drew one intricate design after another on her palms. Her knees knocked together in excitement as the beautiful curves took shape on her soft hands.

Meera, the henna artist, smiled at her joy and proceeded to explain that the floral design was an indication of her fertility and that she would have to help her husband look for his name inside the design as part of the wedding ritual. Anusuya was too excited to register any of these details.

As soon as the henna session ended, she leapt up, layered skirts flying and ran to look for her mother, Madhu, who was busy talking to the caterer about the food for the ceremony.

Madhu turned and smiled as Anusuya threw herself excitedly at her, jabbering away about the mehendi on her hands. Cradling her chin gently, Madhu looked at Anusuya, shed a couple of tears and said, ‘May you always be happy, my child. Wherever you go.’

Anusuya’s dark hair bounced, as her eleven-year-old eyes looked up in alarm at her mother and asked, ‘Where are you sending me?’



*Mehendi/Henna-  a paste that is used to make designs on the body.

A-Z Challenge 2015

My theme for the Challenge this year is

Alternate  Angles

45 thoughts on “Henna -#AtoZChallenge @AprilA2Z

  1. A wonderful flash, but such a sad ending. Where are you sending me? So tragic that her life will never be in her hands. Glad I found yoy on the AtoZ 🙂 I’ll be coming back?

  2. the last line kind of hit me hard…what a loss of innocence…she was too young to register what the applying of henna meant….that was the saddest line..

  3. Gorgeous henna design. Fascinating. Loved the story, too, but I did feel for poor Anusuya how she was joyous and festive at the beginning getting the henna painted on her hands, but then scared at the end. Being a child bride would be very frightening, I would think. I guess it still goes on when parents are poor and feel they have no choice.

  4. I was reading the story with a smile but when I read the ending, I was like what?!!!! After reading your explanation to the comments above, I have decided to go with the happy version of the story; that the marriage was not Anusuya’s but some one else’s.


  5. Beautiful post and to me it indicated child marriage..
    I love mehendis but getting them done is not as easy..So, it is usually once in 2-3 year thing. The one on my wedding was my best memory of it 🙂

  6. You really scared me when I reached the last part! But after reading your comments in the comments section, I felt partly relieved. It’s true, the issue of Child Marriage haunts us even more than this story did!
    Thanks for another amazing blog post! 🙂

    Fellow #AtoZChallenge blogger,

  7. As always I like that your piece is open to interpretation. It does seem though that she’s getting married. At 11. And that’s truly sad. Otherwise getting henna applied is one of the funnest things. That’s the first thing N thinks of as soon as the holidays set in.

  8. I read this one twice. The first reading made me sad. But then again, I realized that neither the mehndi artist nor her mother said she was getting married NOW. Nonetheless, it is nicely done. It addresses a grave issue but does leave the interpretation open for the reader. Did you mean it that way? Or am I over thinking this? 😛
    *Shantala @ ShanayaTales*

  9. Oh God! No…. I was so happy reading till the last line! Was she getting married now??? Or was that a harmless question? 🙁 Good one though!

  10. My daughter had a small henna design done on her wrist, I think it was, at the Scarborough Renaissance Fair in Texas several years ago. She loved it!

    The designs are lovely!

  11. The enthusiasm of a young child – nothing to beat that :). I am still a lover of mehndi though I don’t manage it too often, and D looks forward to the holidays just to try it out too!

  12. Aww…that’s how innocent we are as little girls. Only to discover later in life where our mothers intended to send us or have sent us 😉

    1. Aww, did I scare you? I’ll be honest.I left the ending open. In India, child marriages were very common at one point in time, so I was hoping to trigger some memory of those days. Then again, the mother in the story does not indicate that the wedding prep is for the girl. She may well be a relative of the groom/bride and is just attending the mehendi ceremony 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.