Green fashion fever: Mehendi kaleidoscope, bangles and Shrawan magic


What’s the trend nowadays? Well it’s undoubtedly the oragngy-saffron intricate designs that decorate almost every second girl’s palms and wrists, and the green glass bangles. Both an indispensable part of the month of Shrawan when females of all ages seem obsessed with getting mehendi on hands and green churas caring a hoot about whether it matches their attire.

This ‘green’ fashion fever has the majority of our dames in its web, and they are happy to be caught in it too. Though for some, the religious significance it holds is very strong, many are just into it to be trendy.

Weaving circles

The green bangles, a part of this Shrawan fever, come in a variety of materials — simple glass ones to ones that shine and sparkle, metal and plastic ones in attractive designs.

The small alley near Akash Bhairab temple is choked with bangle shops, and almost all are filled with ladies trying out and bargaining for a good dozen of green bangles. Deependra Maharjan from one of the shops said, “Women from almost all age groups and all castes come. It is not restricted to a certain type nowadays,” adding that the glass bangles are really popular.

Designs on their palms

In a narrow alley near Bishal Bazaar sits Suraj, who is seen to be visited by an endless stream of customers — from young girls in their school uniforms to married women. Their only wish is that Suraj beautify their hands with his creations in henna.

“The trend has caught up in the last four or five years,” he says adding that usually 40 to 50 women come on Shrawan 1 to get mehendi on their palms.

However, the entire month of Shrawan is quite hectic for him as customers keep turning up.

It takes him around five minutes to make a simple design, while a complicated one takes around 10-15 minutes. The designs usually cost from Rs 20 to above Rs 200 depending on the intricacy. Simple, bridal and Arabic are a few of the designs he etches on the palms of willing beauties.

A recently married couple came to get mehendi. Wife Bhanu Rai said, “I’m obviously getting mehendi because it looks good, but also for religious reasons. It’s for my husband’s long life and hoping that he will change certain habits of his like going out too much.”

However, her devotion to her husband does not just stop at palm decoration. She observes fasts during the month, and husband Subin Vaidya said he felt really good that she was doing all this just for him. However, he was not sure he would really change.

Ranju Manandhar, who was brought up in Tarai, has been putting mehendi on every occasion since her childhood. Explaining the mehendi and green bangles culture, she said, “In Kathmandu, people keep a fast in honour of Mahadev on Mondays, but we used to have special Vishnu pujas too in Shrawan. We celebrate Shrawan Teej as well. On this occasion, we offer mehendi to Vishnu and then wear it too. We wear both for saubhagya (good fortune).”

However, for the younger generation the reason seems to be quite different.

For young Erina Tuladhar it is because it has become a fad these days that she put mehendi and wears bangles. And also because everyone says one will get a good husband if they do so.

“I’m putting it because all my friends are putting it and will wear it throughout the month, but we are not fasting,” she said.

So, be it any reason — fashion or religious — the trend is here to stay for at least another four weeks.