Henna Crowns for Eid in Pakistan

Henna Crowns for Eid in Pakistan

I’ve been wanting to do a henna crown since I first took part in the Henna Heals competition. However, I didn’t quite realize the after effects or how heart wrenching the actual action would be.

I’ve spent the last 9 years of my life applying henna for people for happy occasions, for festivals and weddings, however, I have never before done henna for a young, 9 year old cancer patient, who lost all her hair due to her chemotherapy… yet is able to practice patience better than any adult I’ve ever come across. The way this little girl; Mariyam sat so patiently, and obediently followed all my directions truly gave me an insight at just how strong she really is. I can never even imagine just how much pain she must be in, yet she wore the most beautiful and radiant smile I’ve ever seen on a kid. Her eyes had that mischevious look about them and although her mom’s face was etched with fatigue and pain, Mariyam was truly a bundle of joy.

Mariyam was unsure about the henna crown at first, however, once she saw the glitters and sparkles, the idea of a custom designed bindi and hat for her made her happy and she agreed to have the henna on her head.  Feeling her bald head, and the lump in her head and knowing the reason behind her head being exposed, made my hands tremble for the first time while doing henna. She felt so fragile that I was actually scared to do henna for her in case I hurt her or caused her discomfort in any way. Her henna crown took 25 minutes, and I truly admire the way Mariyam sat so still, because she realized that moving means it won’t look as beautiful in the end.

 She had no idea what design I was doing on her head, but the first time she saw the photo a volunteer took of her henna crown, her face broke into the most heartwarming smile that just stole our hearts and brought tears to our eyes. She was SO happy with it! She wanted to look at the pictures over and over again! She then carefully selected the colored glitter that she wanted, as they would match with her Eid outfit (she had been discharged from the hospital for Eid so she can spend it in the comfort of her home with her family, but had to return right after to continue her treatment).

Mariyam was soon the centre of attention and she was loving every second of it! The smile never left her face as more and more volunteers stopped and complimented her on how beautiful she looked. She truly looked like a princess and I know she felt like one too. I don’t think she has ever been able to twirl around and show her bald head so proudly to people before, and just the fact that something as simple as henna could make her do that… and make her smile that wide … personally, it was the most heartwarming and touching experience ever!

 That little girl has never left my mind since and I hope you will join me in praying and wishing for her and all other patients there a smooth recovery and a long fruitful life.

I ensured that the henna I used was 100% natural, so that it doesn’t react adversely to their sensitive skin, and it’s safe to use. I now look forward to exploring such opportunities in Hong Kong!

Thanks to The Children’s Cancer hospital for hosting us, and for hosting such a wonderful Eid event for these kids. Thanks to my dear friend Farieha Aziz and my sister for being there with me and for Afia aunty for organizing and providing me with this wonderful opportunity. Thanks also to Jamal Ashiqain for taking such wonderful photos for us, and most importantly, thanks to Henna Heals for taking such a fantastic initiative and for inspiring me to use my henna skills in a more fulfilling way!

You can take a look at all the photos from the day here!


1 Comment

  1. Mush Panjwani says:
    September 10, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    So proud of you, Sara!

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