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.
My theme for the Challenge this year is