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Say it with tattoo

Sreya Basu, TWF, Bollywood Trade News Network
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A needle can do wonders to your skin and life. Tattoos are no longer just a fashion statement but a stylish means of self-expression.

Remember Shefali Jariwala in the "Kanta laga" remix- wooing her boyfriend with the "I Luv You " tattoo on her arm? That was on silver screen and way back in 2003. This year tattoos have pierced into the Indian lifestyle in a new ‘avtaar’- they are being considered by Gen X as the "coolest" way to express and emote.

Sms’es and emails are there, but when it comes to communicate in special situations with novelty, tattoos are taking the cat away. Proposing to your beloved, celebrating a long-cherished success, a family reunion after ages, a dream house or even making your loved ones feel special are being communicated with ink and needle on your skin; as it is human instinct always seeks permanency.

There are umpteenth examples from Bollywood - Saif Ali flaunting his love for Bebo with a "Kareena" tattoo, and Esha Deol expressing her "spirituality" with the Gayatri Mantra and auspicious "Om" tattoos among others. But following the screen sizzlers blindly- Nah! Today's youths are smarter than that.

Kolkata-based tattoo artist Raja Pyne said:" Till last year youths used to go for traditional or trendy designs or abstract art. But this year the craze has heavily oscillated to expressionist tattoos. Recently a 23-year boy got himself inked his family tree to celebrate a family reunion after 43 years of dispute."

Ranjika Dutta, a Calcutta University student, said: "I got myself an angel tattoo on by back to mark my eighteenth birthday special. Later I inked my sun sign, a Leo tattoo as well. These contradictory tattoos also express that I am a freedom-loving and adventurous person."

It goes beyond saying that this new craze has best hit the young lovebirds. Scribbling ones girlfriend's name or a romantic phrase on arm, chest or even eyelids makes the lover feel like a knight.

"I got a tattoo saying You Are Only Mine to propose to my girlfriend," said a 25-year accountant Ashutosh Sarkar. On the other hand another "mohabbat-man" Arun Mehta tattooed his beloved's name on his eyelid's. "It was risky and painful one. But it proves how much I love her," he said.

The pain of the needle, the swelling and even the frequent infections are forgotten over an ice cream, a couple of movies at multiplexes and lots of caress from the beloved. But here is a word of caution. When the girl gets bored at her boyfriend’s tattoo and rushes for a tattoo-free guy, one would rush to a dermatologist to get a skin grafting.

So unless you are bird-brained don't forget to check, crosscheck, re-check and triple check what tattoo you want. Because tattoos are like memories-they can be faded not deleted.

However this craze for expressionist tattoos cannot be claimed as the twenty-first century brainchild. Way back in 1940s Christian pilgrims used to get religious tattoos inked on various parts of their body as a mark of their pilgrimage. European knights bore tattoos saying if they die fighting they should be given proper burial.

Even in India tattoos were a must during tribal celebrations in the early seventeenth centuries. Besides there are mentions of dermal pigmentation in Kalidasa's Abhigyana Shakuntalam.

Well, now if your parent glare and snare at your tattoo get another one scribbled History Repeats Itself or I Love My Tradition.

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