When I was in India, I set my mind on finding a local artist to draw henna (or mehindi) on my hand. I’ve always admired the art form and I so desperately wanted the experience.
I traveled to five cities while in India: New Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Udaipur and Mumbai. While in Mumbai – the last stop on my trip – I sat down with a Bombay woman, who was kind enough to come to my hotel room and draw this absolutely gorgeous design on my hand.
My hand drying after a mehindi design was applied in Mumbai
It took about 20 minutes and even though she didn’t speak English, we somehow, miraculously, managed to have a conversation. I woke up the next morning to see a stunning, dark red design on my hand (traditionally in Indian culture, henna is applied to the arms and hands of a bride on her wedding night and if the color turns dark red by morning, the bride is marrying the right person. Ha!).
If you want to see or do something badly enough, you’ll do it. When you’re traveling far away from home and you don’t know if or when you’ll be back, create your opportunities. No regrets.
Yellow reflections in Udaipur
They told us that the sunsets in Udaipur, India, a city known for its 7 lakes, were special.
“The water here picks up colors after 5 pm that aren’t visible during the day,” they said. We believed them; but you have to see it for yourself to really comprehend this type of natural beauty. Pay close attention to the specific designs in the water – you couldn’t create those shapes and shades on your own without atmospheric inspiration. Each wave is like an intricate mosaic.
Udaipur is an absolutely stunning Indian city. In fact, the best day I’ve ever had in my life was in Udaipur. The sun woke me up in the morning, I visited my favorite palace, City Palace (the prettiest I’ve ever seen), I had an Ayurveda massage in the afternoon, a sunset cruise at dusk and a dockside, starry-skied dinner as my evening activity.
Dressing the part in India is a dream come true…floor length dresses, sheer textiles to beat out the hot sun and traditional Indian floral embroidery and patterns…I’ve never felt as languid and natural as I did while in India. Could you ask for more?
Here are a few photographs from the sunset cruise, and stay tuned for my Udaipur writeup on Forbes.;)