Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Where My History Begins: Of Mehendi and Elephants 9/27/11

On Saturday or Sunday I asked wonderful Charlotte if she knew a place where I could get mehendi. She actually arranged to have someone come into the office and do it for us there. Sadly, the pictures of my arms with the henna on are on someone else's camera and I'll have to ask for them, but what no picture can convey is how truly stunning it is.

All the work was free hand, no tracing, no stickers. Henna tubes and a steady hand. I was the first to go, told her not to do my finger tips as I had to type, not that i would have been able because my palms were decorated as well...oh well tips go done. We set the henna with lime juice and sugar and off I went to do stuff on the floor while everyone else took their turn.

I'm trying to type with my fingernails...not easy let me tell you. Then it's my turn for the backs of my hand/arms. 25 minutes is all it took...stunning...and I'm so enthralled with it. But now I am a wet mehendi mess who's stinking up the place with the smell of henna and eucalyptus...I love the scent but you can smell it all over.

I've got a meeting with Dipesh and bless him, I turn my computer over to him so he can do the typing. It really was all sorts of adorable. He graciously toted my laptop from the conference room to the floor, opening doors (which he did even when I didn't have mehendi), and being a really great guy. American men, please take note...women love it when you treat them like this!

We have a call in meeting with the recon team and the SME back here...good meeting...I'm getting high on the fumes. I apologize profusely. And all they can say is it's ok, the mehendi is beautiful. And you wonder why I love them all?

He's toting the laptop back and my eyelid starts itching...great! Wet hands, can't do anything...Dipesh to the rescue...he took my glasses off so I could itch. And if it wasn't just the nicest thing, it would be super funny...ok it is now...but in the midst of this all I could think was "wow!" yep that was it because my words just failed me.

Lots of nice compliments from everyone on my mehendi. The ladies from my teams kept coming to the conference room to see how it was turning out. They knew you had to set it with lime and sugar so they went to get that. I was limed and sugared and then spent the rest of the time on the floor.

Based on all the comments, everyone was waiting on the great reveal. I'll come back to that after the elephant story.

Harish (our 2nd driver) picks us up and off we go. Roads are pretty deserted at 2:30AM. We're driving along when my boss and I both spot the elephant walking down the street. The driver pulls over and I left Shawna out of the far back seat because she has her camera in hand. Driver stays back and she is in the middle of the road snapping pictures. At one point she has to jump on the top of the median wall so a truck doesn't take her out.

The car lights are not allowing her to get good shots, so he pulls ahead and she jumps out and snap. She's jumped back in and with her came the elephant's snotty trunk. We all screamed...yes five grown women screaming...and Shawna ended up in Carrie's lap in the next seat. Hysterically funny! The driver gives the elephant and it's keeper money. Elephant takes it into its trunk and lifts it to the dude on top. So Shawna gives it more money. The dude (ok it's really an old man with someone behind him sleeping) give the elephant a command, it lifts its trunk and the trunk is coming down, he snots the back window of the car. EWWWW!

Ok back to the mehendi...we are at the office on Wednesday (the last day), my mehendi is stunning even to me. The palms are nice and dark, think dark chocolate, and the arms are a rich cocoa brown. If I had known the reaction I'd get from everyone in the office, especially the men, I would have covered my entire body in mehendi, not that they would have been able to see any of it, but you get the idea.

Let's see, I got: "Wow!", a jaw drop and what appeared to be a nearly swallowed tongue, "beautiful", "the color came out amazing on you", "you carry it really well" and a lot of other really nice compliments.

I have to say it made me feel, I don't know, kinda sexy. It's so exotic and beautiful and the color is so complimentary with my skin. And while I really usually want to blend into the shadows, right now I'm strutting my stuff with my mehendi proudly on display.

Seriously though, I am considering having it done over my shoulders and across my collar bones. It's just exquisite.

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