I love the lace look on the fingers with a connection of circles. The color results came out great and I wore two of my favorite rings to dress up my hand. Let me know what you think!
Reach out to me for all of your henna needs! I am looking forward to hearing from you.
I worked on this design over the weekend. Let me know what you think of it!
These are uncertain times. The world is afraid and in absolute disarray. Innocent people are dying everywhere and it is especially hard in these times to have any sort of hope.
In these times, we cling to what is necessary, what is near; specifically, our faith and our friends.
Nothing calms my head more so than doing henna designs (on either myself of my friends). Two of my friends came over and I drew on their hands, we had an impromptu henna party. It was great to spend time with them and also to further perfect my craft. Sometimes doing henna on my own hands gets tiresome and it is so much more fun to photograph others hands after I finish my work. These designs were great and my subjects were, too!
Let us hope that devastation and despair is replaced by hope, everywhere. No more fear, intolerance, hatred, bigotry, and let us fight to end oppression and injustice!
Henna cones from Pakistan are fresh; they smell different and leave a much longer lasting stain compared with any that I have found here.
I was lucky enough to visit Pakistan again and in the markets of Karachi I ordered some awesome mendhi cones. I used a cone and now await the color.
I keep practicing different patterns but these paisley style swans are my favorites. They look elegant and are simple enough to do.
Who says rainy days cannot be fun?
Several years ago in 2011, Mayor Bloomberg said that the number of panhandlers in the subway had gone down drastically during his administration. I remember nearly choking on my water as I read the news. He obviously was not living in the same city as the rest of us. We encounter panhandlers and homeless people on a near daily basis- it is so normal that one does not even look up when these folks begin their tales of woe. The mayor obviously does not ride the A train or the 4-5 trains or the R trains (or any other train for that matter- I am the most familiar with these aforementioned lines). He does not see the hundreds of folks sleeping in Penn Station on a regular basis or the Roosevelt Avenue station, or the Jamaica stations or lining up outside train stations on Broadway near Wall Street.
I am ashamed to admit that I have become hard-hearted; I begin to make horrible assumptions about these people begging for money. What must it take for a person to become so desperate as to beg from folks who cannot even bother to look up from their phones or books? How difficult must it be to live from day to day, wondering where meals will come from or where one will sleep or if one will be warm for the night? May compassion never leave our hearts for those less fortunate!
There are several food pantries and organizations that are trying to combat hunger and organizations to help relieve homelessness. Can we, the city, the public and private institutions, open up more spaces for the homeless? For example - keeping public libraries open longer, especially in the winter. What else can we do to help? I try to give some money and pray for them. I am afraid that it is not enough. Any thoughts or suggestions?
I love Brooklyn, I have stated that several different times in this blog. What I love the most is that no matter how many times I am traveling through Prospect Park or Park Slope, I always seem to find something new to marvel at. There were really quiet places in Prospect Park- benches and bridges I had never known existed, where one could sit and be at one with nature with no sounds of humans for miles (so it seemed). The trees and foliage block out noise and the highways very well- the design of the park is fantastic. I noticed old structures in the park that no longer had any use yet were still kept there. I ended all the way up at Grand Army Plaza and the from the farmers market there, I bought some goodies for the lamb stew I prepared that evening.
I spent three hours wandering around the park and came back to try the henna pattern below. It originally ended on my wrist but I continued it further down. It kept looking more and more elegant. And of course how could i forget my circles? I kept that in my palm- it's my favorite design. It reminds me of a circus.
Very rarely do I get enough time to sit in one place and complete a task without interruption. Doing henna, for me, is not a chore, rather, it is therapeutic.
I love getting before and after shots and comparing them. This henna (whichI bought in Pakistan) is very good, it does not stain the hand too fast and it lasts a couple of days without peeling off and making ones hand feel like sandpaper. I kept my hand (with the paste on) in a plastic bag for an hour to help retain some heat. It work and the color stained very well. Perfect day for practice for upcoming brides!
Seaside in Karachi, Pakistan
I have had the luxury of observing Ramadhan (the Muslim fasting month) in Pakistan with my extended family for the past two years. My employers have been very generous in giving me that time off and I luxuriated the holy month in an Islamic environment. Ramadhan has been in the summer and that meant long, hot days of no food and water and the thought of that was depressing and frightening to me here by myself in New York. So, I went to Karachi and my relatives accepted me with open arms and I loved every minute of it. This year, however, I chose to stay in New York during Ramadhan. I wanted to get over my trepidation of a summer Ramadhan in NYC and just do it. So far, I am glad that I did.
In Karachi, the awareness of Ramadhan begins a week in advance. Signs are up, lights are up, it’s equivalent to Christmas. It is a countrywide experience (since Pakistan is an Islamic republic), school/work days are shortened or timings are changed (I used to stay up all night and sleep a lot during the day), days off are accepted and charity is a given. People are incredibly kind to those who fast. I remember driving home with my cousins one day, it was close to sunset, and there was a lot of traffic. In the midst of the traffic, folks were going around to the cars and people on street, giving them food so that they may break their fast. Likewise in my family dinners, other people were thought of first, either in prayer or by handing out food in the community/mosque or by giving money to the less fortunate. It was the done thing - charity was a given. My Ramadhan experience in Karachi was an incredibly social one, I was constantly surrounded by people, family, friends, neighbors, etc, we dined together, talked and traveled, joined in happiness and sorrow, in remembrance and forgiveness. It was truly the wholesome family experience any person could ask for during a holiday.
This year in New York, I have faced a different sort of Ramadhan thus far, one of solitude and reflection. I live alone, my nights are spent eating, praying and figuring out a sleeping schedule so that my work is not affected. I do not attend the mosque here for I do not have enough time to travel back and forth and it is physically exhausting navigating the subways at nighttime in the heat. However, this Ramadhan is one of the best I have ever experienced. This struggle has helped me understand how much I have in my life and how imperative it is to help others who do not have the luxuries I enjoy. I find myself constantly reflecting on my life and my choices. There is no “New York” rush this month, I walk slowly, I talk slowly; there is no overexertion of any facet because there is a thought behind every action. The solitude in fasting is a joy; it’s a silent, daily journey for God and myself. There is a real chance to improve my character, to try and change for the better.
While these two cities have offered me entirely different Ramadhan experience, the lessons I learned are quite similar. There is an importance in constant reflection of ones character and there is equal importance in the establishment of charity. May the rest of Ramadhan be equally rewarding to everyone.
So what if it rained today? New York City has seen it fair share of hazardous weather and the city has overcome it. The cancellation of the GoogaMooga festival today really annoyed me. It's just water, really. And guess what? It dries and evaporates once one is back indoors!
Luckily the Fifth Avenue Street Fair still went on, despite the dreariness. There was music and food and all sorts of artwork and antiques. People were out with their umbrellas and plastic ponchos. That's the spirit of Brooklyn that I know and love.
The festivities on Friday in Prospect Park were inherent of the spirit of Brooklyn as well. I had the opportunity to volunteer at the GoogaMooga festival on Friday (see the pictures below). It's a great festival celebrating mostly local food and music. There were young and old mingling in the park eating gourmet hot dogs ($12 a pop), sampling the different kinds of food and enjoying the music. It's really a shame that it was cancelled today. I am sure if it had been based on a vote, the show would still have gone on.
I hate crowds. It is why I avoid taking the R train from 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM in the morning and 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM in the evening. The trains are overcrowded, especially in the winter with people and their enormous coats and bags. However that is the usual grind and I've timed myself out of it.
I wouldn't be me if I didn't find something to complain about. I've been meaning to call the MTA about this for a while but I never seem to remember to do it. At Prospect Avenue, going towards Bay Ridge, there is only one exit. It is so annoying that most people who get off at this spot (myself included) have to strategically place themselves between the 3rd or 4th subway car to get out right in front of turnstile. Otherwise, one can imagine waiting and moving slowly in line for 3-4 minutes. It seems like a silly thing to gripe about however isn't it against some law (or a fire hazard) to only have one exit in a heavily populated neighborhood where majority of the people ride the subway? The other side of the station has 2 exits. So MTA, BUILD A NEW EXIT AT PROSPECT AVENUE PLEASE!
I've lived in Brooklyn for nearly three years now. There is much to see and do and I fear that there will never be enough time to see and do the things that I want to. Inspiration is at every corner, if you let it be!
Prospect Park is fun, even in the dead of winter when the ice has frozen over the lake. Little kids squeal with delight at the ducks and swans in the pond. The ducks do look content on the ice.
I'm lucky to have an apartment and to have heat that I do not have to pay for. However why is it so difficult to get the settings right? I must be be only person in my block who has all my windows open and the fan on all night in mid February because my thermostat reads 90 degrees!! I can't even dress properly because I can't tell what the weather is outside. It just feels hot. Alas, another call to the landlord...
I'll be adding pictures and commentary of the things I love. I am an ordinary person in an extraordinary place. There is no special purpose to this blog other than to project what I am thinking of at any given moment.
All the photos are mine (unless stated otherwise). Please do not use without permission. To learn more about me, check out my linked in profile below.