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The Henna Artist


The Henna Artist opens a door into a world that is at once lush and fascinating,...
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Why do you think Lakshmi feels a sense of relief when she finally leaves her life as a henna artist behind? Were you surprised when she decided to move on in the end?

Created: 03/27/20

Replies: 14

Posted Mar. 27, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 3058

Why do you think Lakshmi feels a sense of relief when she finally leaves her life as a henna artist behind? Were you surprised when she decided to move on in the end?

Why do you think Lakshmi feels a sense of relief when she finally leaves her life as a henna artist behind? Were you surprised when she decided to move on in the end?


Posted Apr. 04, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
paulak

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 246

RE: Why do you think Lakshmi feels a sense of relief when she finally leaves her life as a henna artist behind? Were you surprised when she decided to move on in the end?

It took a lot of work and energy to maintain the facade she had so carefully erected to build her business and her life. Not only was the work itself time-consuming, but living with the ever-present worry that she would be found out is exhausting. I saw her change at the end of the book as a move to her true self where she was leaving behind the things she thought were important to move to what truly mattered. I think her house was a symbol of this process. During her time in Jaipur, she was building her personal facade as well as the structure that was to become her home. She even hid her name in the design on her floor.


Posted Apr. 04, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
melanieb

Join Date: 08/30/14

Posts: 265

RE: Why do you think Lakshmi feels a sense of relief when she finally leaves her life as a henna artist behind? Were you surprised when she decided to move on in the end?

I wasn’t surprised when Lakshmi decided to move on. I think she was relieved to do so. Throughout the book, Lakshmi demonstrates her courage and willingness to take risks to have a better life. Lakshmi realized there was too much history and loss associated with her work as a henna artist that could not be regained so she finally decided to move on to something new.


Posted Apr. 04, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
TaraM

Join Date: 07/17/19

Posts: 54

RE: Why do you think Lakshmi feels a sense of relief when she finally leaves her life as a henna artist behind? Were you surprised when she decided to move on in the end?

I completely agree with the above comments; paulak you're right to use the word facade, because that's exactly what it seemed like as the reader. I think she was living that life at first because that seemed like the best option, but once she realized what her true values were, she was able to make the change.


Posted Apr. 04, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
sweeney

Join Date: 05/24/11

Posts: 132

RE: Why do you think Lakshmi feels a sense of relief when she finally leaves her life as a henna artist behind? Were you surprised when she decided to move on in the end?

I was not surprised when she decided to move on; she had become painfully aware of the tenuous nature of the clients and relationships that she had. The new life had the potential to be much more fulfilling.


Posted Apr. 08, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
PinkLady

Join Date: 01/22/18

Posts: 140

RE: Why do you think Lakshmi feels a sense of relief when she finally leaves her life as a henna artist behind? Were you surprised when she decided to move on in the end?

I agree with others and façade was a perfect description. Being a henna artist had given her much of what she thought she wanted for a long time but as her circumstances changed I think she had a much better understanding of how shallow that life was. Her new life allowed her to be open and true to herself, not just live what others expected of her.


Posted Apr. 08, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ColoradoGirl

Join Date: 05/16/16

Posts: 140

RE: Why do you think Lakshmi feels a sense of relief when she finally leaves her life as a henna artist behind? Were you surprised when she decided to move on in the end?

I agree with you all, she realized she could never get back to a good place with society and these women. I think it was a fresh start and she could be more herself. I think she did feel sadness at leaving her house behind, but she actually wasn't very happy once she moved in.


Posted Apr. 09, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
acstrine

Join Date: 02/06/17

Posts: 381

RE: Why do you think Lakshmi feels a sense of relief when she finally leaves her life as a henna artist behind? Were you surprised when she decided to move on in the end?

The above comments are wonderful to read- -and I wholeheartedly agree with many of them. The entire time Lakshmi was building her business, she continued to send money back to her village for her parents. She demonstrated to me how important family and her personal relationships and connections were to her. But once a family member finally arrived in the city of Jaipur, Lakshmi was not free to enjoy or develop a close relationship with her sister because of how protective she needed to be of her business.

I didn't feel that Lakshmi reacted so desperately to losing her standing with the upper class women as their henna artist. Yes, she worried about fulfilling her debt obligations- -but she also used the turn of events to decide what truly was most important to her. The rumors of her stealing, her sister's involvement with a client's son- -this seemed to free Lakshmi and open her heart and mind to accepting her true self and what really made her happy in life.


Posted Apr. 09, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Elizabeth Marie

Join Date: 05/26/18

Posts: 69

RE: Why do you think Lakshmi feels a sense of relief when she finally leaves her life as a henna artist behind? Were you surprised when she decided to move on in the end?

I agree with many of the preceding comments. I think Lakshmi’s relief is also due to her growing sense of self and maturity. She realizes that she can be her own person, helping others without the duplicity that was necessary to succeed in her former life. I think she also blossoms with the realization that her talents are truly valuable and appreciated by her new clients. She has a real family and real friends, not just clients who think of her as a servant without human value.


Posted Apr. 10, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
djcminor

Join Date: 03/14/19

Posts: 184

RE: Why do you think Lakshmi feels a sense of relief when she finally leaves her life as a henna artist behind? Were you surprised when she decided to move on in the end?

After being accused of being a thief, Lakshmi knows she cannot ever be trusted by the women she had kowtowed to all these years. She has been an exemplary person and taken all the guff poured on her in order to keep her business afloat. I was sorry about her indiscretion with Samir. I wanted her to resist temptation as she had been. Lakshmi looks forward to her life helping Dr. Kumar and teaching him about herbal medicines. She will have a fresh start and she will have respect, not having to be on eggshells all the time in fear of stepping on someone's toes. Her new life will free her.


Posted Apr. 10, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rosemarys

Join Date: 05/29/11

Posts: 37

RE: Why do you think Lakshmi feels a sense of relief when she finally leaves her life as a henna artist behind? Were you surprised when she decided to move on in the end?

Lakshmi was always struggling to pay the builder of her house, afraid Hari would ask for more money, afraid her past would be discovered and always afraid she would lose her clientele by doing or saying something wrong. Anyone with all those burdens would be happy and relieved to move on to a better, less stressful life. The fact she would be with her sister and Malik made the decision even easier.
I can’t say I was surprised she was moving to Shimla because she was so interested in Dr. Kumar plus her first love was healing and helping others. I was surprised, however, that Radha And Malik went with her. I liked the happy ending, and needed it in this current dismal pandemic situation.


Posted Apr. 10, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dorothyh

Join Date: 01/23/15

Posts: 192

RE: Why do you think Lakshmi feels a sense of relief when she finally leaves her life as a henna artist behind? Were you surprised when she decided to move on in the end?

She realizes that she is working long hours for the house she is building , giving money to Hari she looses what is really important to her which is her sister and Malik. I was not surprised she gave up Henna and moved to be with the Doctor and use her skills with herbal medicine to help the local people.


Posted Apr. 12, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
beverlyj

Join Date: 12/22/11

Posts: 118

RE: Why do you think Lakshmi feels a sense of relief when she finally leaves her life as a henna artist behind? Were you surprised when she decided to move on in the end?

I was hoping that Lakshmi would move on as it became obvious that she would not be able to prosper as a Henna artist in Jaipur as the women who could afford her services would not treat her and her work the same any more.


Posted Apr. 14, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
cindyb

Join Date: 04/14/20

Posts: 76

RE: Why do you think Lakshmi feels a sense of relief when she finally leaves her life as a henna artist behind? Were you surprised when she decided to move on in the end?

I think Lakshmi was ready to move on. Her penance for leaving her parents in shame had been endured for so long.. Also all the secrets she was juggling about her earlier life could be left behind. She had lost her status with her high caste customers. Lakshmi was also realizing that the home she’d worked so hard for wasn’t really what she was seeking. She needed a new setting to reboot and she had the skills to form a working relationships with Dr Kumar which I hope grows into something more.


Posted Apr. 25, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
beckys

Join Date: 08/12/16

Posts: 169

RE: Why do you think Lakshmi feels a sense of relief when she finally leaves her life as a henna artist behind? Were you surprised when she decided to move on in the end?

It was time to move on. She had ridden the ups and downs of being a henna artist and being somewhat at the mercy of her clients who could make or break her depending on a rumor that they decided to spread. I was so proud of her for taking a chance to move from her comfort zone, to a life that hopefully will bring her more joy and happiness in the end.


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