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The missing ink

india Updated: Jul 25, 2010 23:17 IST

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Have you ever felt like wearing your feelings on your sleeve, or on more intimate parts of your body? You are clearly not alone for a host of celebrities are letting it all hang out by way of tattoos on their highly valuable selves. The beauteous Angelina Jolie has covered herself in etchings as also the droolicious David Beckham. In the case of more run-of-the-mill souls like us, the tattoo is often to do with proclaiming our fondness for the spouse or children.

But this opens up new vistas for writers who want the world to understand their message. Why bother to sit around at the computer for hours on end crafting the matchless prose? Just nip around to the nearest tattoo parlour and morse code your feelings to the world. If celebrities can tell us through the medium of their skin that amor vincit omnia or love conquers all, perhaps we have a thing or two to tell the world. For example, we could present others with our right arm bearing the legend quo vadis (whither thou goest?). This may elicit a call from the onlooker to your shrink. This may be a little ab absurdo, but it is ours to ad arbitrium or at our will. But we want to know why people chose dead languages to etch on what will become dead skin? Could they not do so in normal everyday parlance? And while we are at it, why do people prefer eagles and thunderbirds on their biceps to a red robin?

The answer is simple: you want to be seen to be interesting hence the beholder will have to rush to a dictionary of Latin or Sanskrit to understand your body language. If you were to say things upfront on a visible part of your anatomy like ‘the truth shall set you free’ don’t blame anyone for moving several guilty paces away from you. But if you were to put it as veritas liberabit vos, perhaps, you’d get a few eyeballs. But then, who are we to ink things over, we’re just the vox populi.