Godnaa ( permanent carving on the body)
In those days ‘GODNAA’ was a must for every woman in villages.
The carving - expert was always a woman and she was known as “GODNAITEEN’.
It was a painful art. Oil lamp was burnt and she used to heat her small instrument, made of 32 needles, on the flame of the lamp till it became red. She used to draw images on the body as we write on paper with a pen. It was a fire art performed on the body. Generally she drew the picture around the wrist in the form of a Kangan or in the form of bangles. Some used to have it on the upper part of the arms also. During the moment Godnayiteen worked on the body, other ladies used to sing geet in louder voice around the lady on which this painful art was performed. Perhaps this was done to distract her attention from the pain.
Men rarely had it.
I asked my grandmother ‘why to have such a painful carving on the body?’
‘Only this will go with us when we depart from here’ she replied confidently.
I never knew this painful art on body had such a big philosophy behind it.
These days ‘Godnaa’ is very popular in the whole world among men and women both, as a ‘body - art’ in a highly advanced form.