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Of Henna and Dancing

Posted by on October 16, 2014

I have stepped out of my normal life and into a Bollywood movie: choreographed dance, henna, sparkling saris and the good-natured chaos of wedding celebrations.

IMG_7623 - Version 2

Since we arrived in India on Sunday, we’ve had the privilege of joining various wedding preparations and festivities for the upcoming marriage of Vasudha and Vishal. Vasudha, my dearly-beloved and artistic sister-in-law will be married tomorrow to her best friend, Vishal. I am so excited to see them wed and to gain a new brother-in-law!!!



I know, they’re gorgeous and creative.

So here I am, sitting in new Delhi sipping my first cup of chai for the day, listening to negotiations in Hindi about how to arrange furniture before guests come.


People often ask me if Indian weddings really are 5 days. I’m still not sure what the answer is, but I know that since Sunday the house has been full of delicious food, dancing and joy-filled guests. Yesterday was perhaps the first official day of the marriage with the Shogun and the Mehendi party.

Shogun, as I learned yesterday, is the last official meeting of the parents before the marriage. As such, Varun’s parents, his Aunt, and Varun and myself went to Vishal’s house for tea (and sweets!) with his parents, his aunt and sister. It was such a neat time to get to know Vasudha’s future in-laws and to practice Being A Good Indian Daughter-In-Law (hint: smile. drink chai and eat all sweets proffered. try not to say anything stupid).

In the afternoon, the mehendi wallas came, the couches were pushed outside and the real fun began. Henna is one of my favourite parts of Indian weddings. Traditionally, brides and their guests have their hands and feet decorated in flowers and designs with the cool, brown liquid before the wedding.



Joanna and Ellen have proven to be enthusiastic additions to the Rana Wedding.

While the henna was drying (2 hours!), we ate sweets and practiced our dances. Yes, this trip to India includes choreographed song and dance. I am truly living the dream.


Except that Varun and I are not the most talented dancers.

When Vasudha told us 3 months ago we’d have to dance at her Sangeet, Varun swore he’d rather wash her dishes for the rest of her life. If you know how Varun feels about dish washing, you know that is a very generous offer.

And so, without further ado, because it’s already going viral among the wedding guests, I’ll share with you my latest Instagram video hit. Wait for the end:

My Dancing Fail

(you may have to download the video or check your cookies/plug-ins. I have no idea what I’m saying.)

Here’s the instagram link….

v and a fail

Tonight, I’ll perform this dance in a long, heavy skirt covered in sequins, while wearing heels, in front of a room full of 150+ “close friends and family”. Thankfully, this family has already sworn their love and allegiance to me for life.

2 Responses to Of Henna and Dancing

  1. Jane

    More dance videos please! Hope the wedding was great!

  2. Lotte

    This made my day! 😀

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