Blending Passion with a Cause By Aarohi Talati
|I am filled with a fiery passion for my culture. I love every aspect about it. One thing in particular that I adore about my roots is the form of art called mehndi in India, but henna in America. This is an all-natural herbal dye that when put on skin, needs only but a little time to dry and scrape off, and then will stay on as a beautiful and elegant design for over two weeks.
I have never personally applied the mehndi, but I have had it on my hands many times. I rented a booth at the Our Town America Festival, and arrived on March 12, 2016 at eight thirty am to set up, as the fair started at nine. We made the booth show off what we were trying to sell, and that we were raising money for the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital. As I had no experience, for the next hour or so my mom, who grew up applying mehndi, trained me. After learning how to hold the cone, squeeze the right pressure to make the correct amount of mehndi to come out, and plenty of other technicalities, I was ready for the long day ahead. I started to feel more confident with the more difficult to designs.
At first, we didn’t expect to make a lot of money because actually doing the mehndi is a grueling task and takes a while. Because of that, we set a goal $100. By the end of the long day, we had raised over $400 for the children at Joe DiMaggio.
|What was especially satisfying was the smiles of toddlers, teenagers, and adults as they watched their temporary tattoos come to life. Through this project,
I learned that I love to make laughter and happiness throughout the world, of course starting small right now. There was this one girl, who looked to be around four to five years old. Her grandmother saw the sign at our booth saying that all of the funds would go to Joe DiMaggio and immediately steered her over. As it turned out, the adorable little girl had surgery done there when she was barely six weeks. That completely changed my perspective on what we were doing for the kids in the hospital. We were saving lives. And that simple realization enlightened me that no matter what anyone else was doing and however much money they were raising, we were saving lives, and that’s all that mattered.
When people look at our work, they would see the beautiful and intricate designs. I would want them to look more in depth and see the effort it took to do a single small $1 design, and the skill needed. It would take five minutes for a simple design. Hard work was the key. Everything was up to standards, as we were showered with many customers. The amount of money raised is very important, as every penny counts. Some classmates earned thousands of dollars, making 405 seem insignificant. Doing another fair, or maybe more, would have increased our profit by a lot. However, this issue is a very minor issue as money is money, and it helps.