Srinagar: Henna Mehraj from Chattabal Srinagar was very young when she was exposed to the art of calligraphy and artistic handicraft designs.
Seeing her mother making beautiful designs, the 23-year-old would spend hours replicating them on a piece of paper.
Finally, when she got admission to the college, Henna simultaneously began using these designs in Mehandi art. Her designs became a runaway success and she became an instant star in her family.
“My mother is an artist who makes designs on shawls. I spent my childhood imitating these designs on a piece of paper till Mehandi art interested me. I initially started trying these designs on my cousins. They encouraged me to take Mehandi art as a profession. I am now a self-taught professional Mehandi artist. I mostly use my mother’s designs and try them on my clients,” she said.
From calligraphy to integrated and floral designs, Henna’s art has made her one of the top-notch Mehandi artists of Kashmir.
“My special designs are calligraphy-based. Similarly, I blend Arabic, floral and integrated art to produce unique designs. I am getting a good response from people for my designs,” she said.
Henna said that she is getting bookings from various districts of Kashmir, particularly during marriage and festive season. She is running a page ‘soulartmehendi’ on Instagram from where she gets bookings and also shares her work on the page.
“I charge Rs 4000 for a simple organic Mehandi design. For professional designs, I charge Rs 6000. I regularly upload my designs on my Instagram handle `soulartmehendi’. I am right now getting bookings from Srinagar and other districts as people are impressed by my art,” she said.
Henna said she is contemplating establishing Kashmir’s first Mehandi art designing institute to train young girls.
“I get direct messages from people, especially young girls who are interested to learn this art. So, now I am planning to start my Mehandi art designing institute where I will train young girls. This art has a good scope and girls can earn a livlihood,” she said.