Teej Utsav: Women in Delhi-NCR transcend religious boundaries at this celebration

At the ongoing Teej celebrations in Dilli Haat, mehendiwalas and bangle sellers work non-stop to add merriment to the celebrations of Hindu women, and make their festive experience a fulfilling one.

Updated: Aug 14, 2018 12:17:14

By Henna Rakheja

Women in Delhi-NCR get their hands beautified with mehendi, for Teej celebrations.

When women dress up in traditional attires and take to the swings, it’s time for the festival of Teej. And for women folk in Delhi, there’s no better place to revel in these celebrations than the annual Teej Utsav by Delhi Tourism.

From mehendiwalas to bangle sellers, and jewellery sellers, everyone associated with the festival of Teej is present inside Dilli Haats. And, the beauty of this event is that it is transcending boundaries of religion.

Shama Parveen, a muslim mehendiwali at Dilli Haat, INA, says Rajasthani mehendi patterns and shaded mehendi designs are in demand this year. “I have been applying mehendi on hands of women, who celebrate Teej here, since I was a child... I used to come to Dilli Haat with my nani (maternal grandmother). At that time we used to charge Rs 5 or 10 for applying mehendi on one hand. Today, we charge Rs 100 per hand, and even then there’s usually a beeline of women waiting for their turn. At times, we don’t even get a breather; but when ladies praise our design we feel satisfied,” Parveen adds.

A bangle-seller makes a woman try bangles at Dilli Haat in Janakpuri. ( Photo: Subrata Biswas/HT )

A similar satisfaction on being part of the festive celebrations is noticed in Nazma, who runs Nazma Chudiwale, a bangle stall at Dilli Haat, INA. “Jabse Dilli Haat bana hai, tabse hum chudi pehenate aa rahe hain (I have been selling bangles here since the time Dilli Haat has been constructed). Today, fewer women buy bangles as compared to those times, but they do buy because ek aurat ka solah shringar chudi ke bina adhura hai (A woman’s ornamentation of herself is incomplete in absence of bangles),” says Nazma, who has been selling bangles here for more than three decades.

“People ask for latest designs in bangles, and I give them what they want. But, I know for a fact that everything new is branched out from the old. Like the colourful glass bangles — which are extremely popular these days — are exactly like how they used to be designed 15 years back! And yet they are a hot selling item among women celebrating Teej this year.”

Folk dancers perform during the Teej Utsav at Dilli Haat. ( KAUSHIK RAMASWAMY )

Besides this display of secularism, the celebrations here also see competitions of Rangoli-making and Mehandi applying. And the evenings become a family affair with performances by folk artists from states such as Rajasthan.

And, no one ditches the regional delicacies such as Rajasthani thali and ghevar, which add more sweetness to the festival.

What: Teej UtsavWhere: Dilli Haat When: August 10-14 (INA ); August 11 to 15 (Pitampura) and August 12 to 15 (Janakpuri)Timing: 10.30am to 10pm Nearest Metro Station: INA on Yellow Line, Netaji Subhash Place on Yellow Line and Tilak Nagar on Blue Line, respectively

Interact with the author at Twitter/@HennaRakheja

First Published: Aug 14, 2018 12:16:50


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