I Learnt Mehendi/Henna Hand Painting

Posted by Lakshmi

Sunday,  19 June 2011

One of my teacher friends  asked me if  I  knew  mehendi hand painting or ' inai ' as it is called in Bahasa Malaysia and could I do it for her daughter who was getting married............

Well... now, that was something I had not learned as yet but you know me, I'm always on the lookout for a  learning  adventure.................and so   I asked several mehendi hand painters  if they could teach me this skill.  Funny thing is , all of those whom I asked , were not willing to pass their knowledge despite me telling them that I'd pay whatever fee requested.

Left with no choice but to learn it myself, I bought several books on henna painting,  bought the necessary supplies and started my practise on A4 sized tracing/greaseproof  papers.  Practise, practise and more practise - that's what I did daily and while researching on henna painting, I also discovered that it  was also one of the oldest form of  body painting/ tattooing .

Henna painting is done on the hands and feet of the bride as part of  her  wedding preparation  and this tradition has not been broken since the Bronze Age in the predominantly Indo-Arabic world.  Henna designs/patterns mirrors the art of the period of each community/country and also their cultural and foreign influence - eg  Indo European  designs  of florals and paisley  or Indo Arabic designs reflecting geometric patterns and symbols of luck . They can be as complicated as roadmaps or simple as right angled squares.  It depends on the henna artist and her expertise and creativity.

To those who want to know or try  how to make a henna mix , the ingredients are relatively simple and easy to find in your kitchen.   A packet of raw henna powder is mixed with enough fresh lemon juice ( strained), a few tablespoons of  liquid  black coffee ( this is optional).  Add  a  few drops of essential oil - lavender or tea tree makes the paste easy to flow.    Mix all the ingredients in a ceramic bowl thoroughly without any lumps and leave it overnight to develop the colour.    Use greaseproof paper cones or small  plastic icing bags to fill  the henna paste .  That's it,   it's   that simple and easy to prepare.

The actual work starts with the practise and boy, if you do want to make a go of it,  make sure you have plenty of filled henna cones and even more practise papers !  The finer and more detailed patterns take time to master but are very beautiful to look.   You can also do henna painting on your forearm  or on your back shoulder - sort of like tattoo  designs .  It makes interesting conversation piece and also shows off your creativity .

Incidently, you can use the same henna  mix for your hair too but you have to leave it on your hair for a good 5 hours for it to have any effect.    Your hair will  have a beautiful  and lustrous  sheen  and be healthy and soft.  The only precaution you must take is that you cannot use it on hair which  has been chemically coloured.   Wait till the chemical colour has worn off and then apply the henna paste.  Shampoo off after 4 - 5 hours and apply your usual conditioner ( if you want to  ) as henna is a natural colourant and conditioner by itself.    I've practised this myself  ( in my ahem... younger days ......)   and can vouch for this.    The reason why I have not been a regular practitioner is that I can't find time to sit around for 5 hours with a headful of henna paste covered with a bathing cap!

If you don't mind the messing of your hands with henna stains, it is worth the effort to learn this art.  It's like painting too, immensely satisfying when you look at your finished  handiwork!

My handiwork on a bride to be......

Ooops! I couldn't get the picture in the right position even though I tried umpteen times........

Happy reading and painting


June Ramblings with Nora from Kota Kinabalu , Sabah

Posted by Lakshmi
1 Comment

Thursday, 16    June  2011

Lovely Nora, a  confident young lady of Kadazan ethnicity   from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah , attended my class a few weeks ago.   This was the first time I had met a true Sabahan and I'm so glad that it turned out to  be Nora.  When she finally arrived at my doorstep with her husband on a fine Sunday morning, I was surprised to see her so young and lively  and  couldn't believe her when she told me that she had a daughter.      Nora is a very active young mother too - managing her own company in Sabah and  is also  one of the Youth Council/ Leaders  from Kota Kinabalu  who had  participated  in the Malaysian Youth  Carnival held at Putrajaya , Kuala Lumpur, recently .

Nora's class was thus arranged to coincide with her trip to Kuala Lumpur.

It was a whole day affair and below are some pics of Nora during her lessons .....

 Nora's finished piece of work

 Hmmmmm practising the roses ..................................



 My class at 3C Complex at Subang Jaya.  Was unable to take the rest of the students as I only remembered to take pics at ending of class

 I received this Teachers' Day card from the primary students of SRJK Ladang  Ebor  where I conduct voluntary weekly  classes .  The biggest greeting card I've received so far.

 I met my grand aunt after a lapse of 25  years at the  wedding  reception of one of my cousins and took this picture as a momento/rememberance.........

 And finally, I celebrated my 52nd birthday last Saturday.  It was a small family affair .  My daughter gave me a  most beautiful breakfast  -  A bowl of fresh raspberries, strawberries and peaches accompanied by whipped cream and a cup of good coffee in my favourite fine bone china  cup - all this was served on  a Beatrix Potter's Peter Rabbit's Tray with a matching mug which she had bought specially for this occasion.   ( Ha ha !  I still believe in fairy tales and Brer Rabbit la  )

Since my birthday fell during the school holidays  I insisted that  my son  and daughter  bake  me a cake instead of buying me  one.  Boy  !  what a ruckus they made.  It took me a little time to explain to them that that would really be the best present  they could give me  ..  and  although there were incomprehensible  noises coming out of their mouths, I pretended not to hear them ... Somehow they managed to do something of a cake  and although the appearance of the cake would not have won them a blue ribbon, it definitely won my heart. 

 The pic above shows my son in ' action '  at what he does best !

 I  couldn't have got a more meaningful birthday gift than this - a birthday  cake made by a 21 year old daughter and a 16 year old teen who are always at each others throats most of the time .  It's a miracle they actually did something  together !

Happy reading and painting


The Obdedient Wives' Club - Putting It Into Practice !

Posted by Lakshmi
1 Comment

Wednesday, 8 June  2011

I found the perfect way to put the Obedient Wives' Club policy into practice ....... what say you now Dr Rohaya ?  Obedient or Not ?

A Punjabi lawyer working in UK wrote to his wife in India.

Dear Sunita Darling,

I can't send you my salary this month because the global market crisis has affected my Company's performance, so I am sending 100 kisses.

You are my sweetheart, please understand and adjust with this situation.

Your loving husband,
Tuna Singh

His wife replied...

Dear Loving Husband 

Thanks for the 100 kisses.

Below is the list of expenses I paid with the Kisses...

    1.         The Milk man agreed on 2 kisses for one month's milk.

2.        The electricity man, Kooldip Singh, agreed not to     disconnect  only after 7 kisses
    3.     Your landlord Kapal Singh comes every day to take 2 or 3 kisses   instead of the monthly rent.

    4.     Supermarket owner Jaswant Singh did not accept kisses only, so I gave him other items, I hope you understand.

    5.     Miscellaneous expenses 40 kisses.

Please don't worry about me, I still have a balance of 35 kisses and  I hope I can survive this month using the balance    

Shall I plan the same for the next month?

Your Sweet Heart,


                      The moral of this story......

Happy reading and painting ( and laughing  !!)


(joke courtesy of Ms PG Gouri )

The Obedient Wives' Club Ha Ha Ha !!!

Posted by Lakshmi
1 Comment

Sunday  5  June  2011

I  really thought it was joke and when I re read the article and realised that it was uttered by a Malaysian and worse still ,  by a female , I was even more furious . I was by now choking on my toast.  Let's just say that it was extreme  good luck of the founder of the club that I was not anywhere near her vicinity when she launched it. God Lord ! , how could she even think of publicising this kind of crap to the newsmedia ?

She had just proven beyond doubt that  women are their own worst enemies . Sigh

Why do Malaysians come up with such looney ideas  tunes and thoughts ?  From the mainstream papers ( it's headline news in all local papers and I wouldn't be surprised if it is picked by the New York Post or The Hindustan Times or The Australian Herald and put in their ' Joke of the Day ' or " Believe It Or Not " column )  to online news portals, Dr Rohaya Mohammad has become famous  for advocating  - 

"  a man who is kept sated and satisfied in the bedroom would have no reason to stray and this ultimately results in a happy and passionate marriage. The family institution is protected and we can curb social ills like prostitution, domestic violence, human trafficking and abandoned babies.
"Now, this obedience is lacking and it is causing many marriages to breakdown. Men are having girlfriends and mistresses, they are going to prostitutes... I believe the problem starts at home where his sexual needs are unfulfilled " 
She said the OWC will hold seminars and talks to train women to be good wives, counseling sessions for married couples and will even offer lessons on sex and the art of seduction to those who request for them.

When asked if a wife should remain loyal and obedient to her husband if he abuses her or insists on going to prostitutes, Dr Rohaya said: “God has his ways and is fair to all. A husband is also subject to God’s rule, meaning he can go to hell too. But a woman must be a good wife to the end.”

Did you read that ?  That the OWC will train women  and offer lessons  ..........................and must be a good wife to the end , even if he abuses the wife ?     Hello, are they  going to set up a unit to offer lessons on sex and the art of seduction to those who request  or send back the abused wife to the abusive husband ?  Just a hypothetical question here - what if the person requesting for such knowledge is an intending wife to be  No. 2 whose entry in the man's life will  irrevocably hurt the family unit of wife No. 1 ?   And this from wife No. 3 herself............. haiyo, very confusing indeed, no ?    Did Rohaya really  think through what she is propagating ?

 I have a question for my Muslim readers/ ladies,  I'm just curious here, and forgive me if I sound ignorant - this training sessions and offering lesson on the art of seduction ....etc is by Muslim ladies who wear the headscarf ? ( picture )  I was under the impression that wearing a headscarf to cover the ' aurat ' is to be chaste and pure . Will such lessons to all those who request,  by ladies wearing the headscarf  be considered chaste and pure ? 

Going by Dr Rohaya's logic, does it mean that the first and second wives of her husband were not trained  to be good wives to please him  and so she came in as No. 3 to offer her trained services ?  That begets an interesting question --- hmm..... how  and where did    she get the training in the first place ? Or maybe another question --- with her "  considerable  knowledge "  and all and being a professional to boot, why did she marry a man who already had not one but  two wives ?  Duh..................... she probably thought that she's doing them a favour .........?

Marriage is a two party contract, each must honour and respect the other .  Marriage is not just about sex, it's an  agreement that binds a man and a woman together  lawfully , physically, spiritually and emotionally  .  Women are not chattels to be treated like objects by the husband and  it really makes my blood boil when I read such crap coming out of the mouth of Malaysians and from an educated woman at that .

Our country Malaysia is always on the wrong angle of the news worldwide for all the wrong reasons.  First it was about yoga, then whipping for women, then the controversy of the Bible publication, followed by the Allah name confusion, then recently  the poco poco (line dancing ) dancing episode and now this - a   club for obedient wives ...   how more dumb can we get ?  Nothing beyond this will surprise me anymore... 

To say that if the marriage breaks down or the husband strays because of the wife not pleasing her husband enough in  bed is shallow thinking to say the least.   I personally know of many of my  Muslim lady friends who are stunning to look at, glamourous and gracious and  whose 20 or 25 years of marriage went down the drain because of callous  husbands who just wanted to stray for no other reason than just to have a fling and ruin their family home for good.

A man will stray if he wants to and nothing can  stop him  - not even the most beautiful and sexiest of wife will  be able to stop it .  Look what happened to Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwatzernneger  . There are thousands more and  you don't even have to go that far - our own locally  well known  artistes and singers have proven that.      

So, Dr Rohaya,   go  get a life and grow up !.      The world has moved on from the Dark Ages and society has evolved.  We need to teach  - both  men and women ,  about love and respect, about how to live with dignity and pride as humans, about friendship and honesty, about kindness and compassion .............................. the list goes on.  We certainly  don't need this kind of  pathetic advice.

  Otherwise,   another wisecrack like you will be tempted to open  - THE OBEDIENT HUSBANDS'  CLUB  which will probably have lessons and tips  on how to make the husband listen to the wife to save the marriage.    You can  imagine what the response will be like  as Malaysia has more female to male ratio at the moment.......................................................