The Indian Lady (long)

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Posted by Lauren on October 24, 2002 at 22:35:32:


I get to the lady's house a bit late. I stopped to eat on the way,
then remembered she'd be fasting so stopped for water and gum to mask
the carnivore breath. No problem, she welcomes me in anyway.
She looks through my books and is astonished at the pictures. She
*apologizes* for calling me to do this little thing for her since I'm
so talented. She says she just wants a little thing and looks
through. She finds a navneety design she likes. It's bridal.
She says how much. I say just give me whatever and I'll do that much
design for you. She gives me $20. I start in.
We start chatting. Before I know it, I'm halfway into the same
design she picked out. So I have to finish it. And of course it's a
two-handed design. I would ordinarily charge like $80-100 for this,
but in the cause of education and getting it right, I shoulder on.
I learned:
The holiday is celebrated for this girl who was married young and had
seven older brothers. She was trying to fast for her husband but the
brothers took pity on her and built a bonfire and told her it was
moonrise and she could eat. The first bite had a hair in it- very
bad luck. the second bite had something morre unauspicious. On the
third bite, her husband died. She found out somehow that if she did
the fast properly the next year, everything would turn out okay, so
she did, and it did. Her husband came back to life. You say seven
prayers to the moon, one for each brother.
There's another fast in four days for your children.
Nowadays, the priests give each festival day two days, for example
you could either fast today or tomorrow.
AND- if there are any local henna artists, and by this I mean
professionals and reasonably talented, not just somebody's niece,
then this lady doesn't know about them, and the local stores don't
know about them, which probably means the whole Indian community
doesn't know about them. And the lady LOVED her design! And she'll
be flashing her hands at her temple for Diwali, you bet. And she
wants flyers to put up and cards to hand out. And she wants her
daughter and sister to call me for henna for Diwali. And she wants
to host a mehndi party at her house.
So, okay, I charged her like a third of what I should have, but it
could certainly pay off! And I learned a good chunk.
I'll try to get pictures of what it looks like tomorrow- the color
was rockin' even in her cool house as I left her steaming on the
stove. I wish this pic had turned out clearer!


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