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Spare me the tattoo trauma

A tattoo is pretty much like marriage. Reversing a wrong decision can be quite a pain in the... you know what. It’s cool and all that. Still a tattoo is a no-go for some. Why?

entertainment Updated: May 22, 2011 00:30 IST
Sonal Kalra
Sonal Kalra
Hindustan Times

This week’s column is all thanks to my extremely talented colleague, Neha Sharma, for coming to rescue when I’d run out of topics. Her message on the facebook fan page made some of you lend me excellent suggestions on what to talk about. Though I plan to take-up the heavyduty stresses in the coming weeks, today let’s discuss what is bothering Ayush from Chandigarh.

The 17-year-old is in a quandary on whether or not to get a tattoo, because he wants to seem ‘cool’. Hmm, stress understood, Ayush. Afterall, getting a tattoo is pretty much like marriage. Reversing a wrong decision can be quite a pain in the..., you know what.

TattooWell, to be honest, I’ve been envious of people who get labelled as being cool, just because they got someone to inscribe a permanent mark on their bodies. While a lot of tattooed people I know, are pretty chilled-out, there are some on whom it seems like such a big mistake that you can sense even the poor tattoo crying. You know why, Because these are people who got a tattoo for one of these wrong reasons.

1. Because someone else has it: So, you are trying to be like the dude in the class, huh? Or is it that your best friend’s got one and the stupid dragon on the arm will put a we-are-a-gang stamp on your friendship? Oh, grow up. Trying to be like someone else is anyway uncool and it is worse if you’re gonna bring permanent ink into the picture. All it’ll do is, leave a forever-reminder that you tried hard to look cool, and while we all make stupid mistakes when young, who wants a permanent reminder of idiocy? Let me quote some fictitious scientific study if it helps drill the thought. Scientists at the Virginia Wolf College have established that in 82.7% cases, a tattoo does not change the person you are. You’ll still be Chaman Prakash from Bijnaur if you are, and a butterfly on the ankle will do precious little to change that. More importantly, why should you try and change it? It’s not so uncool to not have a tattoo, as it is to be an underconfident copycat.

2 Because you don’t even know what tattoo you want: Nothing’s worse than going to a tattoo parlour and saying, ‘make something that’s trendy’. And trust me, there are buffoons who do that. No wonder we see ‘dudes’ roaming around with symbols that mean nothing. Yeah, now don’t try to hide that heart with two flowers jutting out! What were you thinking? And oh, puhleez, I know you know it but let me still say. Do NOT get peoples’ names tattooed on you. It’s unwise, cheesy, tacky... downright kinky if your date/spouse/mother’s name finds itself in odd places on your body. Why, why? Don’t you realise tattoo removal businesses thrive on fools?

3 Because you forget it’s permanent and that you’ll age: At the rate young people are getting inked today, thirty years down the line we’ll have an entire generation of tattooed grandparents. Nothing wrong with it, though, except one minor detail —the skin wrinkles and the tattoo shrinks! So don’t be surprised to see a whole new meaning emerge out of grandpa’s biceps or auntiji’s navel. And since that’s likely to cause embarassment, tattoo removal centres will rejoice. Sample this imaginary conversation between two women, circa 2040.

One: “Can’t come for the party. My mother in-law is undergoing surgery tomorrow.”
Other: “Oh, sorry. What is it? Uterus removal?”
One: “No yaar, tattoo removal. Father-in-law upset everyday at seeing the ‘You’re Just Rocking” tattoo on her thigh read as
“You’re Joking,” now that it has shrunk.”

So my dear, you get the point, don’t you? We are not talking about something you can rub off with soap and water if you suddenly hate it. It’s kinda irreversible, because removing it would be more painful and expensive than getting it in the first place.

I still maintain tattoes are a cool way of expressing your identity and flaunting your passion. You just need to be absolutely certain before you go for them, though. Go through this interesting flowchart on the right, developed by the Newhousten tattoo removal center in the US. You may just get clarity...and calmness !

Sonal Kalra watched Ghajini and has decided to get her phone number and blood group tattooed. Kuchh kaam toh aayega!

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First Published: May 21, 2011 18:03 IST