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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Tattoo tales - The Inky Way

 Pic courtesy Google Images
(Pic courtesy Google Images)

I remember the first time I saw the concept of a tattoo - it was a series on some international channel depicting the many cultures all over the world who have embraced this creativity in their own way. No, not Discovery or TLC, it was a documentary film on some unknown channel and I simply got hooked to the many designs that were taking shape. Once upon a time, the trend of tattoos was only associated with bikers, criminals and people who were considered of an inferior background, but today, the trend has changed, and getting inked has almost become like a fashion statement.

There's something really attractive about a tattoo - provided the person who's sporting one can carry it off. Like everything else that's fashionable and makes a statement, a tattoo looks best worn with the right attitude. It's at once sexy and dangerous, in some cases feminine, delicate, and in most cases, rugged and confident - all these depending on whether the person is a male or female. Of course it's a fad, of course many people do it just because everyone is doing it, but it's really to spot the 'real' ones, those who've got inked coz they believed in it, cos for them its an extension of who they are, not just a copy of what someone else has been doing.

This documentary I saw must have been about a decade ago, a time when I was just fresh out of being a teenager, and getting a tattoo wasn't something I was thinking of, I was simply fascinated with the idea of a tattoo on others. But over time, this has definitely changed, as today, I came home with my third tattoo, and as of now, I shall say this is my last. I hope so. And hope that I can stick to what I'm saying. Here are my three tattoos and what they mean to me:

This was my first one, it's got a musical note and a star and it depicts my love for music and my nocturnal tendencies - I'm a complete night person....
 This was my second one, it has a heart with two drops of blood underneath, and it depicts my feeling that though there's a lot of bloodshed and tears in this world, a bit of love can remove it all.

 My third and latest and I hope last one, this is a cluster of stars, and for me it signifies the power of dreams and hopes, that I can surely achieve what I dream of.

While my craze for this inky business continues, I decided to do a little reading on the trend of tattoos, and here's what I found:

  • One-fifth of contemporary British adults have at some point been 'inked'
  • Little more than a decade ago there were 300 tattoo parlours in Britain, now there are over 1500
  • From the early 1800s, one of the minority culture that was associated with tattoos was the criminal class, and one of the most popular tattoo inscription was 'Born To Be Hanged'
  •  In India, tattoos are a craze among the Gujarati youth, especially ahead of the Navratri festival, with girls mostly preferring designs like Radha-Krishna doing dandya raas, butterfly, star, flower and dolphin
  • In Patna, Bihar, young and old alike have been bitten by the tattoo bug, with tattoo parlours coming up in large numbers in the city
  • In Kolkata, older teenagers and young adults are extremely crazy about getting inked, with most popular designs being tribal tattoos, foreign inscriptions, initials, OM, cross, tiger.
If you really want a tattoo, get it, but please, don't do it just because it's the trend and because your 'cool' friend has one. A tattoo ideally symbolises an expression of your feelings, something you want to show through the creativity, so make it 'yours', not someone else's copy. For those of you who want to get a tattoo but are scared about the pain it comes with, relax. The pain isn't that bad, and if you're still scared, you can opt for one which is on a more fleshy part of the body, rather than an area which has more bones and nerves. The first 2-3 days are when you have a bit of swelling and pain, and the itching sensation remains for about a week from when you get the tattoo done. Be careful to keep the tattoo area completely dry for the first 3 days, no water should touch that part of the skin. And of course avoid touching and scratching.
*Facts regarding British tattoo trends have been shared from an article on History Today, click here to read the entire article.

And like I always believe in and say:
"Heal the world we live in
Save it for our children" - MJ

Debolina Raja Gupta