Veena Nagda is a reputed mehendi artist who has practiced her art on several Bollywood brides, including Karisma Kapoor, Twinkle Khanna, Farah Khan and, now, Fardeen Khan's wife Natasha Madhvani.
Nagda spoke to Patcy N about these events, and why she's so popular with the ladies...
I was born in a middleclass family in Mumbai. My mother was a housewife, and father a pujari. I wasn't allowed to study after my SSC, even though I had passed with a first class, as ours is a conservative Jain family. So, I began doing embroidery on saris and practising the art of applying mehendi. That is how it all started.
To cut a long story short, after applying mehendi at a few parties, I was invited to the Ambanis' home. It was an engagement party, but they liked it so much that I was asked to do the bridal mehendi as well. From then on, the big orders poured in.
Farah Khan, the daughter of Sanjay Khan, called me for her wedding. I had three other mehendis on that day though, so she asked me to begin at 7am. That was my entry into Bollywood. I was booked for Suzanne Khan's mehendi eight months in advance. Apart from weddings, I also do mehendi for festivals. I have also done it for movies like Kabhie Khushie Kabhi Ghum, Kal Ho Naa Ho, Hum Tum and Kabhie Alvida Na Kehna. I got all my popularity because of Hrithik's wedding.
I don't charge for celebrity weddings. They pay me according to their wishes and it has always been more than expected. As for my normal charges, for the bride it starts from Rs 3,000 to Rs 7,000 rupees, and includes both hands and feet. For guests, it is Rs 50 to Rs 75 per hand.
My husband is very supportive. We have late nights, which are not allowed in our community, but he has been very cooperative.
Design: Uday Kuckian