It’s henna time! The royal dining experience – Magical moments of Karauli

Henna is one of those ‘when in India’ moments, you know, when in India one must get some henna tattoo with traditional design painted on them?

After a full day of activity, Miriam, Sam and I managed to squeeze in some ‘Henna time’ just before dinner.

This was not a well thought out plan. Firstly, Henna takes hours to dry, and sometime during when the skilled henna ladies were decorating both sides of our hands, arms, and feet, questions like ‘How are we going to eat?‘ started to arise.

Sam and T – ‘Miriam, why didn’t you warn us??’

Miriam, the smart one, had asked for the henna to be painted on the one hand and arm only, and on her left hand at that (she’s right-handed).

Dumbfounded, Sam and I sat there, both our arms and feet detailed with intricate flower patterns and design, looking quite tribal, wondering how we were going to pull off eating a formal dinner with everyone in the royal dining hall..

Somehow, being the confidently food motivated person I am, I just knew instinctively that I would find a way to eat my buffet dinner without any hands. In fact, subconsciously, I had been training for this moment my whole life!

Sam, not knowing what else to do orders a beer with a straw.

T, feeling a bit more ambitious at the dinner table, asks the waiter to bring out her soup entree..with a straw.

We sit there, in this decadent room, at the majestic wooden and marble dining table with its silvers and crockery, with our henna printed arms lying face up on the table trying not to disturb the wet tattoo ink scrawled over both our arms and hands, both our heads down indifferently sipping our beer and soup.

Dave, as everyone at the table looks on in shocked amusement – ‘How stupid are you lot!?’ A statement, not a question.

T, in best spazz voice – ‘Taanks Duawve!’ then continues slurping soup through a straw, but leaving behind any chunky bits.

Thanks to the helpful and kind waiters, we successfully devour our buffet dinner (use your imagination), though we did leave behind a trail of broken crockery, and dry crumbs of dark brown henna paint.