This Valentine's Day many young lovebirds in Kolkata won't say it just with a card but also with a tattoo - even if it's a temporary one!
The queues outside the 10-15 tattoo parlours here have got longer with Feb 14 around the corner - a day when many young hearts profess their love. The youngsters though are mostly going for painted tattoos, where the ink will fade in a few months.
"The craze for getting a tattoo this Valentine's Day has shot up like never before. Now every other boy or girl wants to make a tattoo to impress his or her lover," Raja Pyne, one of the oldest tattoo artists in Kolkata, told IANS.
"I have already tattooed over 90 youngsters since mid-January. There are bookings for 40 more till Feb 14. However, most of these tattoos are not permanent ones, they will last for about six months," Pyne said.
Another city-based tattoo artist, Anil Sakarwal, has tattooed over 70 youths.
Asked what the reason for this sudden craze could be, Sakarwal said: "I feel it is an effect of Hindi films. The 'Kareena' tattoo on actor Saif Ali Khan is history now. But on-screen tattoos like Amir Khan's in 'Ghajini' or Shah Rukh Khan's in his forthcoming 'Billu' has provided this fresh idea for wooing one Valentine this year."
Youths are getting tattoos done in the weirdest of places.
"If it's a permanent tattoo, they are more sensible - mostly it's a rose, a cupid or small messages like 'You are my love', 'I love you' or 'Be my Valentine forever'. And they are getting it either on their arms, backs or necks," said Pyne.
"But if it's a temporary one, then they act insane. I recently tattooed a boy who was ditched by a girl last Valentine. He tattooed his ex-girlfriend's name on his leg and his present girlfriend's name on his chest," Pyne said.
The list of temporary tattoos done by Pyne include the names and faces of lovers and cheesy one-liners made on palms, abdomen, hips and even the scalp.
A college student, Ronit Roy, who got a temporary tattoo done from Pyne, said: "I have scribbled a cheesy line - 'Smita, you are so sweet that I got fat' - on my abdomen for my girlfriend. It cost me around Rs.2000, but then, it's Valentine's Day and I am ready to do anything to make her happy."
When asked why he didn't dare to get a permanent one, Roy said: "I have fallen in love with this tattoo and wish to get a similar permanent one soon, but without my present girlfriend's name because who knows if this relationship will last forever!"
Meanwhile, girls too are flaunting their love through tattoos.
"I chose to make two tattoos this Valentine - a permanent 'rose wrapped in a snake' on my back and a temporary one (my boyfriend's name) on my hip. But I didn't tell him it's a temporary one. He was so happy that he promised to get me a diamond pendant," said Sahana Paul, a call-centre employee.