Unlock Teej: Mehendi craze takes over corona scare?
In corona times, when everyone is taking precautions and getting used to the ‘new normal’, one might assume that the mehendi (henna) artists would be out of work like most other professionals. But, ahead of Teej (July 23), this year the mehendi artists in Delhi-NCR are pleasantly surprised at the steady number of women visiting them, in popular markets.
Women did step out to get their favourite henna designs applied on the hands. Anju from Anju Mehandi Art, Tilak Nagar, says, “We are getting customers. The number isn’t like previous years lekin bilkul suna bhi nahi hai. Customers to aa rahe hain aur hum bhi saare precautions le rahe hain is time pe. We sanitize our hands and wear face masks... And during the lockdown, we got a chance to come up with some interesting designs such as Madhubani, and a mix of Jaipuri and Rajasthani. Our customers have been loving these.”
Some mehendi artists share that they are also getting pre-bookings. Raju Kumar, a mehendi artist in Karol Bagh, says, “Bridal ke liye toh pehle bhi booking aati thi par is baar toh Teej ke lie advance booking aa gai thi aur humne sabhi safety measures ko dhyan mein rakhte hue address pe jaake mehendi lagai. Ek client ko mehendi lagwane ke baad thode time ka gap diya aur sanitize kiya seat ko, tab dusre jane ko mehendi lagayi. Market me kaam mein manddi to abhi bhi hai par Teej aur uske baad Rakhi aa rahi hai to tyohaar karke log aa rahe hain mehendi lagwane.”
Monika Aggarwal, a Karol Bagh-resident who went to the market to get mehendi applied on her hands, says, “I gave a particular time to the artist and he assured me that no one else will queue up at that time. That’s how I got the confidence to go for it. I’m a mehendi lover and thought that when everything is unlocking then why shouldn’t we give a chance to mehendi artists to get back to business; we need to learn to live with coronavirus. And, when I went there, I was satisfied to see that they took all the precautions. On my part, I took extra precautions, and I must say that it was quite a different experience this year.”
Vicky, a mehendi artist at Central Market, Lajpat Nagar, says, “Customers are calling and inquiring about the safety measures we are taking. We are trying our best to not upset them, and are taking all safety measures at our end. Pehle lockdown mein kaafi nuksan ho chukka hai, ab aur nahi kara sakte toh precaution lena better hai. With Teej, the festive season is here, and we are trying our best ki customers khush rahe.”
Mehak Maheshwari, a Greater Kailash resident, says, “For a recent wedding, we had invited mehendi artists in our house. They took all the precautions and so did we. I told this to my friends and they went to the market to see the same artists so as to get mehendi for Teej celebrations.”
Author tweets @ruchikagarg271