Photography: Monika Mistry
COME into the garden, Maud,
For the black bat, night, has flown,
Come into the garden, Maud,
I am here at the gate alone;
And the woodbine spices are wafted abroad, 5
And the musk of the rose is blown.
For a breeze of morning moves,
And the planet of Love is on high,
Beginning to faint in the light that she loves
On a bed of daffodil sky, 10
To faint in the light of the sun she loves,
To faint in his light, and to die.
All night have the roses heard
The flute, violin, bassoon;
All night has the casement jessamine stirr’d 15
To the dancers dancing in tune;
Till silence fell with the waking bird,
And a hush with the setting moon.
I said to the lily, “There is but one
With whom she has heart to be gay. 20
When will the dancers leave her alone?
She is weary of dance and play.”
Now half to the setting moon are gone,
And half to the rising day;
Low on the sand and loud on the stone 25
The last wheel echoes away.
I said to the rose, “The brief night goes
In babble and revel and wine.
O young lord-lover, what sighs are those,
For one that will never be thine? 30
But mine, but mine,” I sware to the rose,
“For ever and ever, mine.”
And the soul of the rose went into my blood,
As the music clash’d in the hall:
And long by the garden lake I stood, 35
For I heard your rivulet fall
From the lake to the meadow and on to the wood,
Our wood, that is dearer than all;
From the meadow your walks have left so sweet
That whenever a March-wind sighs 40
He sets the jewel-print of your feet
In violets blue as your eyes,
To the woody hollows in which we meet
And the valleys of Paradise.
The slender acacia would not shake 45
One long milk-bloom on the tree;
The white lake-blossom fell into the lake
As the pimpernel doz’d on the lea;
But the rose was awake all night for your sake,
Knowing your promise to me; 50
The lilies and roses were all awake,
They sigh’d for the dawn and thee.
Queen rose of the rosebud garden of girls,
Come hither, the dances are done,
In gloss of satin and glimmer of pearls, 55
Queen lily and rose in one;
Shine out, little head, sunning over with curls,
To the flowers, and be their sun.
There has fallen a splendid tear
From the passion-flower at the gate. 60
She is coming, my dove, my dear;
She is coming, my life, my fate;
The red rose cries, “She is near, she is near;”
And the white rose weeps, “She is late;”
The larkspur listens, “I hear, I hear;” 65
And the lily whispers, “I wait.”
She is coming, my own, my sweet;
Were it ever so airy a tread,
My heart would hear her and beat,
Were it earth in an earthy bed; 70
My dust would hear her and beat,
Had I lain for a century dead;
Would start and tremble under her feet,
And blossom in purple and red.
Define - Mithu: a woman of overwhelming intelligence and a heart filled with infinite delight. A character that devours the light and emits all of it within the darkest of nights to keep her loved ones away from hesitating surprises.
Sitting with her on the morning of July 18th, the drapes on the windows casted romantic shadows on the tapestry and mahogany table which I lay down my cones on. I usually pack light but there was something weighing over my shoulders. A process that I had been prone to since I was a mere 11 years old, was all buried. I could not bare witness to this feeling so I let myself work with the idea of Bridal outside it's regular conventional design compositions. Strange though, I had the design right infront of me but I could not figure out where to begin. I was the Artist, 'I AM THE ARTIST.' How could I have possibly let my mind go idle in the start of the appointment? This beautiful bride became a treasure as she filled her morning henna appointment with laughter and an unbearable twitch. As she spoke, I drew and as I drew she blossomed as a new Bride. We worked around a couple sets of arm rubs and intimate finger abrasion. A set of arms (front and back) till her elbow's very curves and feet (5" above her ankles) I versed her favourite poet's verses; Tennyson.
Her diary from start to finish was created with her favourite verses from the famous poet Alfred Tennyson. The beautiful photos by Monika Mistry instil each and every memory from that blessed day. Her greatest companion, Tigger joined in on the action as he enjoyed the scent of lavender. We watched the lines dance on her arms as she floated above the earth with her heart locked in a chest adorned in emeralds and delight. Her grandmother came to us to see her transform into a Bride. Trinkets from the family adorned her neck and fingers. An arrangement of gifts from her mother and the voices of beloved family and friends joined us later in the evening. A woman is unaware of the changes that once were custom or known.
What happens to a Bride who is not familiar with a custom?
Who does a Bride turn to when she is alone?
What colour does she wear during her wedding?
Does she love the conventional wedding?
Who makes the rules?
Speaking to Mithu throughout her henna diary days as well as during her diary event, we had several discussions on customization and where Brides feel their true selves are reinstated. A Bride becomes a woman in her own element while having support. An avocado is at its ripest when it is the happiest of green, a soft firm hold around an avocado provides this delicious vegetable interest to uncover it's juicy and highly nutritious valuable personality; it's interior beauty. Mithu wished for an intimate and private affair because she was used to this element, she is my perfect avocado. Her choice of Mani Jassal was a suitable one for her transitional period. Being adorned as a Bride, you wish to be at ease and fall into a nurturing state of sheer beauty. She gracefully presented herself while being enhanced by Rav B Beauty Concepts. Her flowers in her hair and romantic updo defined her soft hues and natural tan.
For many of us who choose to contrast heavily in our wedding's desires, we would rather invest in feeling than show and tell. Mithu is that Bride. She wanted to feel the warmth of her friends and so she invited her radiant mother to her consultation. A friend, a best friend, a companion for life is your mother. Mithu's mother was a pleasure to meet and talk to about her daughter's favourite moments. They are a compelling duo. When the consultation had completed, I had the pleasure of creating a beautiful rendering for her while the elements danced and spread throughout her palms.