Celebrate the onset of monsoons

Celebrate the onset of monsoons

The sight of swings makes one feel elated. To add to this, a crowd of women getting their hands adorned with henna and purchasing bangles makes it a perfect setting for the festival of Teej.

It is not rare to find such gala celebrations in the Capital, but one place where anyone can be a part of the bonhomie is at the Teej Festival at Dilli Haat, INA.

Organised by Delhi Tourism, the festival this year had the usual fare of mehndi counters and bangle sellers. “But the footfall is less as compared to previous years. Mainly due to the present Metro construction work that doesn’t leave space for people to parking their cars,” says the owner of Samar Jahan Faizan Churi stall where women halt to try and buy bangles. “These glass ones are the latest stock,” adds the man at the stall pointing at the row of pink and red glass bangles.

In the same row, there are also stalls selling rakhis in all possible shapes and sizes. Among these the stall titled ‘Meena Didi Ki Rakhi’ became quite popular due to their quirky designs and
affordable cost.

A few steps ahead and one can find a row of women calling out to you to get your hands painted with henna. One of them is Ravita Bamne, who shows the pattern of mehndi on her hands and says, “This is Arabic design, the latest in fashion. The outlines for this design are done with black mehndi whereas the filling colour is from green mehndi.”

The charge to get one hand painted in this design varies from Rs 150 to Rs 250, depending on the intricacy of the pattern. The price might sound high but they are helpless.

Bamne says they have to pay double the amount for putting up their stall this year. “Last time we made a payment of something around 2,700 rupees and this time we had to pay a little above that, Rs 5000,” she says as her companions add how they miss the place where they were positioned last time – with a cemented ceiling to save them from getting drenched in the rain as well as in the centre of the haat.

As foreigners enjoy getting their hands hennaed, NRIs soak in the flavour of the festival. “It’s after 14 years that I will be celebrating Teej and Rakshabandhan properly,” says Neetu Bhardwaj, a US
national who visited the Teej Festival with her family. “Back there in US, we celebrate big festivals like Diwali and Holi but not Teej. I wanted to show my children how we celebrate these festivals in India and thus planned our trip in summer this year,” she says as her husband pushes the swing on which she is seated.      

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