Peep beneath the CEO’s pinstripes or the doctor’s coat and you might discover guns, roses, or for that matter, Guns ‘N’ Roses.
Once considered the bastion of punks, sailors, deejays or downright junkies —a set you would associate with things grunge and wild — tattoos are undergoing a generational change in Mumbai with bankers, lawyers, doctors, executives and even middle-aged housewives getting needle on skin.
While most of them would have a mantra or a family picture etched, some of them are getting the rock-star stuff that they always wanted as adolescents but never dared in a less flashy, pre-globalised India of strict parental and societal controls.
Faisal Sara, a 36-year-old banker, believed tattoos were not for him. But in his mid-thirties, he decided to challenge his own convictions and tattoos became his medium. “I would be the last person to get a tattoo done. I often taunted my brother for his tattoos,” he said. But getting his son’s name inscribed as a tattoo helped him overcome a mind block. “It is something really close to my heart.”
The transformation can be felt in tattoo studios as well. Lokesh Verma, who owns Devil’z Tattooz in the PVR Priya complex, says the profile of people getting tattoos is changing. “Collegians have always been our mainstay, but these days, many more housewives and businessmen getting adventurous with body art,” says Verma.
Offices seem to have no problem either. “There is a formal dress code, but there is no prejudice about tattoos in the corporate world. It used to give one a frivolous image, but not any more,” said a senior HR professional with a private insurance giant. “You are seen as fun and willing to experiment.”
Inputs from Harsha Baruah in Delhi