Read How JWB Team Turned Mehendi-walas This Teej
- IWB Post
- August 19, 2015
This week started with a ‘happy’ Monday morning (no, seriously!). Everything seemed beautiful around us with that hot coffee and cold cucumber sandwiches until we realized it was TEEJ! As a women’s blog, how could we afford to miss a festival related to women?
For those who don’t know, the Hartalika/Haryali Teej commemorates the reunion of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, and is celebrated by both married & unmarried women.
It was already noon by the time our masterminds juggled up to create a quick campaign for Teej celebration. We zeroed in on the idea that our team will provide free mehendi service to women! In that way, we could meet so many city’s women and wish them a happy teej. So far things sounded perfect. However, we couldn’t find any mehendi-artist to support us at such a short notice. What now? We smartly decided to ‘hire’ Priyanka, our team member, as our mehendi-wali since she is the best among all of us when it comes to artwork.
With posters in our hands saying ‘Power in Your Hands’, we hit the Jaipur streets and started inviting ladies to join us and get henna applied on their palms for free. Our designers at JWB created 2 astonishing henna designs – a woman with strong muscles that was depicted with a paisley, and another a bow and arrow where the bow was shown with two paisleys. These designs literally represented that the strength is always in the hands of a woman, and that she has the power to change her destiny.
We set up our little kiosk at two prime locations – M.I road & Raja Park.
After a wait of about 45 mints, we could find our 1st customer. Yay! The joyous moment was such, that our mehendi-wali…err…Priyanka forgot how to draw the woman-face shown in the 1st design. This, by the way, explains our cover picture of this article. Thankfully, the lady was sweet and laughed it off.
Next was this munchkin who enthusiastically jumped into Priyanka’s lap and asked to get henna-ed in her alien-kid language.
The baby girl’s aunt who was dressed in a traditional kurti-kachli liked our idea so much that she decided to cover her previous mehendi with JWB’s creativity!
This was what happened at the M.I road. Next destination was Raja Park where we were embraced by a diverse crowd. In the chaos amidst Raja Park’s streets, we fortunately found many women who were interested to be a part of our Teej campaign. Of course, there were those too who suspiciously asked us why we were giving a FREE mehendi service at all! Grr.
This good aunty who owned a near-by shop became our 1st customer in Raja Park. With a smile as bright as the color of her salwar-kameez, she looked lovely in the mustache mehendi.
Say hello to this school-girl-in-pink, our photographer’s cousin. Sweet of her that she could join us to support the event! Looking at her, many women came to inquire.
What pleased us the most was the fact that women of every age group walked up to us.
Like these two ladies in their sixties who got henna-tattoo on their upper arms! Total swag, eh!
The evening even gifted us few emotional moments. An indie girl got Jaipur Women Blog’s name and logo henna-ed on her palm, and told us how much she loves reading our articles. *happy tears*
And then this one, where a lovely husband took so many pictures of his wife cheerfully getting her mehendi done while he was waiting patiently. Wife’s happiness was definitely a priority for him. BTW, their naughty son was so naughty that he gave Priyanka a hard time focusing.
Next was Nikha Singh Rathore, an East-Indian, who is happily married to a Rajput in Jaipur. To gel up with the Rajasthani tradition well during Teej, she got her husband’s name henna-ed. Aww.
These women prove that although they believe in customs whole-heatedly, they are somewhere raising the global phenomenon of free-spirited womanhood. The customs don’t bound them; instead they make customs a means to move forward in the positive direction.
It was already more than 2 hours that Priyanka had been creating ‘masterpieces’ on these women’s palms. Masterpieces that portrayed that the supremacy is in the hands of women when it comes to their own life and destiny.
By the time we decided to close down, these beautiful ladies requested us to put mehendi in one of their hands. Of course, we couldn’t decline.
PS – However, the MOST beautiful moment of the evening for our team were these street kids who borrowed few mehendi cones and designs from us so that they too could make the most of this festival. We made sure to spend some time with them and teach them how to apply mehendi.
Photo courtesy: Nupur Agarwal