There was a time when tattoos were the signature mark of bikers and outlaws. Today, they’ve become the stamp of all things cool with universal acceptance — from students and the white-collared and even grandmothers.
Tattoos are also now becoming memory markers, dedications in memory of loved ones or chosen to showcase an achievement. Last year, Kevin Pietersen, poster boy of English cricket inked another tattoo to his already long list, to mark his team’s win over India.
Anoushka Shankar, daughter of late Pandit Ravi Shankar was spotted with a tattoo dedicated to her father. The tattoo on her left hand, just above her wrist, is a line scribbled in Bengali script from a note he had written to her before his demiseand reads “Ja Hobar Ta Hobe”, which means, ‘What will be,will be.’
Ink that thought
As many leading tattoo artists in the city of Mumbai maintain, people are now realising the importance of putting thought and emotion into their tattoo while choosing a design than merely following a fad or making a rash decision.
“People realise that a tattoo cannot be discarded and thrown away like a summer dress that you have lost your fancy for. Nowadays, they research their designs and opt for art with meaning or with a definition of their personality and character,” said Sameer Patange owner of Kraayonz tattoo studio in Bandra.
“When I turned 21, I got a tattoo of a flying butterfly where the body of the butterfly was the shape of a woman. It signified me becoming an adult with freedom and responsibility — all a part of turning 21,” recalls Nicole Martin, a grade two teacher from Andheri.
“People want tattoos that they can cherish and are meaningful. They want a tattoo that when they look back on in their old age it will serve as an imprint of a special memory, and not a rash decision taken when they were young,” adds Micky Malani from Body Canvas.
“I have a tattoo of the peace symbol, a heart and a treble clef. Peace, love and music are important in my life. I fell in love with the design when I first saw it, as it reminds me of what’s good in my life and that it’s worth pursuing all three till I die,” said Reshma Varghese, a student from St Xavier’s College, Mumbai.
Bollywood and cricket appeal
While some seem to be putting in more thought into their tattoos, there are many others who choose to opt for designs they see online or have become a part of popular culture. Bollywood drives India and so many choose their tattoo designs after spotting it on popular film stars.
“Sanjay Dutt’s tattoo of Trishul and Ajay Devgan’s tattoo of Shiva have become very popular. After actress, Priyanka Chopra got ‘Daddy’s lil girl’ tattooed on her wrist, many girls wanted the same or variations of it,” informs Arun Alva of Al’s Tattoo Studio, Bandra.
“Cricketers and other sportsmen with tattoos also influence people a lot,” adds Rajiv Gupta, a tattoo artist from Churchgate. Mumbai. Portraits, names of loved ones and religious tattoos are some of the current favourites among Mumbaikars.
Ink it where I like it
While tattoo designs are moving away from the conventional flower, butterfly, skull or skeleton to more creative and personalised artworks, a change is also seen in the placement of these tattoos. People are getting tattoos not just on their wrists, legs or arms but also on their ears, under arms, inner parts of the bottom lip as well as private parts. With bolder ideas, Patange feels that the city needs more women tattoo artists as not all women are comfortable getting tattoos done on their private parts from men.
…it’s like potato chips!
The pain endured while getting a tattoo and the post-tattoo care that needs to be taken, post getting tattooed does not stop these tattoo lovers from getting a second or third tattoo done. Many tattoo artists compare getting a tattoo done to a bag of potato chips where one bite is not satisfying enough. Heerkani Bhosle, owner of Tattoowali in Andheri says that when people begin discussing one idea, new ideas develop and they come back to get a second or third tattoo.
If you plan to get a tattoo done, here are a few tips by cosmetic dermatologis Dr Rekha Sheth Dos:
> Use an antibacterial ointment twice a day for 10 days
> Use a shower gel or face wash to clean; dry thoroughly with a clean tissue and then use the antibacterial ointment
> Do not use soap
> Do not go swimming for at least
15 days > Avoid sun exposure
Don’t get a tattoo if...
> If you have boils, verruca, warts, or mollusca or herpes simplex virus type 1 because the infection not only spreads but can also go deeper into the tissue.
> Skin diseases like psoriasis, lichen planus, eczema can spread or aggravate if you get a tattoo done.
Tattoo Studios in Mumbai
Shop no 6, 16th Road, off Linking Road, next to Mini Punjab Restaurant, Bandra (W). CALL: Sameer Patange 9820342044 / 9930842044
Shop no 3, 29th Road, off Waterfield Road, near Micky Mehta Gym, Bandra (W). CALL: Vikas Malani 9819184454 / Micky Malani 9820384542
AL’S TATTOO STUDIO
5 Natraj Shopping Centre, 68 Hill Road, opposite St Peter’s Church, Bandra (W). CALL: Arun Alva 9833124831/ Olly Alva 9820583915/ Studio 26443326 / 26423890
Shop no 7, Chateau Marine, B Road, near Hotel Intercontinental, Marine Drive, Churchgate. CALL: Rajiv Gupta 9820196119/ 9820016119