In the world of sports, tattoos have fast grown in popularity. During the football season, one sees team logos and
mascots, along with fraternity brands, on the arms of players and spectators alike. Cricket too has inked it’s presence.
The most recent trend is to sport IPL team and player tattoos and face paints.. albeit temporary ones. While some do it because it’s the ‘in’ thing, for others it’s a show of loyalty and support for the team of their choice.
Vishal Khanna, of Tarantino Tattoos in Malad, says that last year he tattooed as many as 100 customers a day, towards the end of IPL’s first season. “Most wanted the tattoos done professionally but told me they should be able to take it off once the tournament ended,” Khanna informs.
He adds that while team tattoos are rare, the India colours and Sachin Tendulkar’s name tattoo is very much in demand in the city. This IPL, Kevin Pieterson is the man to watch out for. “He is the epitome of cool and his tattoos are a favourite with kids,” asserts Khanna.
Aditya Raut, 19, second-year engineering student, plans to have the Mumbai Indian blues on his face when he goes to watch the matches. “I support my team and want to show it,” he declares.
While forearms are the preferred body part, teeth tattoos have become a fad over the last few years. It’s believed that the latter are less painful and easier to remove.
Tanay Karnik, 24, call center employee, sports a recently acquired Mumbai Indians logo on his teeth. He says, “My pain bearing threshold is low yet I wanted to show my loyalty for the boys in blue, more so this time as the game had suffered a setback thanks to the change in venue. So I went in for this teeth tattoo.”
Almost everyone agrees that while they enjoy sporting the tattoos, they wouldn’t want to get a permanent one done. Karan Singh, 22, student, points out, “The IPL is four-five year phenomena. For all we know, it may wind up after that. And removing the tattoo then would be a painful and expensive affair.”
While feeling patriotic and showing it is no crime, a little care has to be taken to ensure that the feeling of pride doesn’t leave one with permanent scars. Dr Kamath, GP, warns against chemicals in the face paint that can cause skin allergies and rashes.
“The skin on the face is sensitive. It has pores that get blocked and can’t breathe easy leading to these problems. It would be better to test the chemicals before applying, either behind the ears or on the forearm. If there are reactions, avoid.”
Kamath says that it is best to get the tattoos done at a recognised place. He adds another warning: “Check that the needle used is properly sterilised. Needles that are reused can cause a number of problems, ranging from skin infections to HIV and Hepatitis-B.”