Story begins with me wanting to get a tattoo. Reason, I want to look hep. Lot of people in office are getting tattoos done. People whom I've never seen in jeans are also sporting tattoos. Basically I’m being a copycat.
Logistics: I have to find a tattoo guy, check the cost, pain part of it and hygiene which is the most important. So I contact a reasonably well known tattoo artist.
Cost he says is 2500 for basic tattoo, pain less than manicure or threading (apparently his other woman clients have educated him on these things!) Hygiene: He works in one of the reputed international hospitals. When asked why, he says he helps women who have got breast implants done due to cancer. How? The implant can’t provide a nipple so the tattoo artist creates nipple for them. My reaction to this, I’m speechless and shocked on the agony that a lot of women silently go through). He tells me this to assure me about hygiene and says he would give a new needle to every customer.
Next I speak to a friend who sports 2 tattoos and she asks me few questions.
Why you want to get a tattoo. My answer is to look hep.
Is that the only reason? My answer yes.
Will you want to look at the same thing for the rest of your life? Yes.
Even after you are 60 and your skin has wrinkled. Hmm yes I think so.
What will you say when people ask you the meaning of the tattoo. My reaction, do people ask such questions. To this her reply yes. Tattoo is something that you really believe in. What do you believe in? My reaction one big question mark?
At last she suggests Goggle on tattoo. So I Google and the answer is world is divided into two sets of people one who gets tattoo and other people who are scared of people having tattoos. I thought this thinking exists in 1960’s. But I am surprised to find this attitude not only in India by Internationally as well.
The D day: My friend the one with 2 tattoos decides to get a third one. I tell her I want to come and watch so that I know what I am getting into. We go to a tattoo parlor. The tattoo parlor has lots of tattoos on the glass window some good ones some like skeleton which I find scary. The tattoo maker has his whole arms tattooed. My friend asks for a Trishool (Trident) to be done on her hand. He first draws the design on her hand with a pen and when she is satisfied with the design, size of the tattoo that’s when the tattoo maker begins the real work. He takes out a big needle from a packet. It’s a size of a pen. He then shows it to her for her approval to open the packet. Once she nods her approval he then opens the packet. He then begins work on the tattoo. Both my friend and he try to have a small talk to distract her from pain. She is sitting coolly. I watch her face with attention to see any signs of pain, irritation. Nothing her face is blank. In 5-7 minutes the tattoo is done. There is no blood. He then applies lot of Vaseline to her hand. She asks for a touch up to be done on one of her old tattoos which was done by her some 5 years back and has kind of gone light. I watch all this is in astonishment.
Outcome: Do I get a tattoo done. No. I’m still thinking. But I have realized there is much more to a tattoo then just a style statement. In case I decide to do it, this time I will be much more prepared and ready for it rather than randomly deciding to do something. So much for tattoo.