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Nats and her tats

Updated on: 13 February,2022 07:17 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Rahul da Cunha |

I braced myself for her messy abode, imagining clothes strewn all over, dust laden surfaces, teenage posters

Nats and her tats

Illustration/Uday Mohite

Rahul Da CunhaIt was a momentous day. “Feel like popping over for a cup of tea?” Natasha aka Nats, my 18-year-old neighbour invited me over, something she had never done before.

I braced myself for her messy abode, imagining clothes strewn all over, dust laden surfaces, teenage posters.

My impressions, assumptions weren’t wrong. Nats lived as she thought—sloppy, messy, feisty, all over the place, a kaleidoscope of chaos, disorder, millennial mayhem.

“Your flat is uhm… lovely… uhm quite Bohemian,” I attempted.

“Nonsense dude, it’s a mess, I couldn’t be bothered… no one’s really going to move in… haven’t really found a worthwhile boy to share my space… so ‘whateves’!” (Eye roll)

Placed in the middle of this couture confusion, was a giant iMac.

“Rahul bruh… I’m a graphic animator.”

“I uh… had no idea… apologies, I never asked what you do. What do you ‘animate’?”

“Come with me,” she said.

And with that, Nats with the tats and the red streaked hair led me to a white pristine door in the flat. As we entered, she said, mysteriously...

“I’m taking you to where no man has been before… or woman… welcome to my Doja, Rahul San.”

Then she unlocked the door  to a room, unlike her outer room, one of quiet and calm. 

“Doja… that’s a...,” I began

“Yeah, it’s a Japanese meditation room. This is the other part of me,” she said. 

“You’re uhm half Japanese, Natasha?” I asked nonplussed.

(Eyes roll, eye roll, combined with a deep breath ‘Hrmpppph’)

“Jeez, Rahul uncle, I knew it was a mistake to let you into my secret world, don’t be literal, dude. I have two sides to me, the outer and the inner.”

“Okay chill, Natasha, it’s just that this uhm, room, is in stark contrast to the one outside. I cannot believe that this spitfire girl I know, has a spiritual side.” 

“Yeah, this is my secret world, no one has been inside here, except you, you should feel honoured…”

“I am.”

“Nobody will understand this….”

Nat went very quiet.

“Rahul San… this isn’t just any room, it’s a private chamber, it represents a side of me no one knows … no one should know… and if anyone ever does, I’ll know who told on me, and I’ll come after you.”

“Don’t worry your secret is safe with me.”

“I’m a ‘Ninja’, a ‘Ninja’,” she offered, and showed me a tattoo on the back of her neck.

“This is me, my Ninja avatar, Nyoki.”

“You’re a Ninja, as in you cover your face, revealing only your eyes, you leap from rooftop to rooftop, stealthily, with a samurai sword, that kind of Ninja?”

“Yeah bruh in a manner of speaking, metaphorically… in my head… I close my eyes... and I’m off…exploring worlds, righting wrong doings, occasionally resorting to vigilantism.”

“Okay Nats, tell me...”

“It’s Nyoki… Rahul San, in here, it’s Nyoki.” 

“And what did Nyoki do today?”

“I chopped my boss into many tiny bits,” she said simply.

“Why?” I asked horrified.

“Because he’s El Creepo… and he’s gotta be stopped… he was bothering all the women in the office, this morning he was smoking on the terrace, I crept up behind him, he just didn’t see me coming… I sliced him up.”

“That’s like in the TV show, Dexter.”

“It’s in my head, Rahul bruh (eye roll)… try to expand your mind a little, this is fantasy… I live in two parallel universes, one, that’s Natasha, is from Hoshiarpur, lives here in Mumbai, dealing with the nonsense that the city throws at me… and then I come in here, take one look at my Ninja tattoo, close my eyes, and I channel Nyoki, and I’m outta here… got it? Anyway, gotta go now, Rahul bruh!”

“Wow, so are you now Nyoki, going to conquer new worlds… flying through space and time, locked in mortal combat and sword fights with evil samurais, engaging in espionage and assassinations… tell me, tell me, Nyoki?” I asked fascinated.

“No dude, now I’m Natasha, going down to grab us some lunch, come?” Nats smiled. 

Rahul daCunha is an adman, theatre director/playwright, photographer and traveller. Reach him at

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