Love hurts... and costs | india | Hindustan Times
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Love hurts... and costs

Increasing number of break-ups spells big bucks for city-based tattoo artists who’re charging heavy fees to cover up old ones, reports Rajesh Ahuja.

india Updated: Mar 17, 2009 13:45 IST
Rajesh Ahuja
Rajesh Ahuja
Hindustan Times

You’re better off if you didn’t get your former arm candy’s name embossed on your back à la Becks, who bends it like nobody’s business. Those who did are now shelling out an atom bomb to get it covered up. And women, interestingly, are at the helm of the queue. Tattoo artists in the city are minting money as lovelorn birdies flock to parlours to get their tattoos altered. All thanks to new break-ups and newer link-ups.

“More number of people approach me for tattoo cover-ups than new clients getting one done. That’s because relationships dominate the tattoo circuit big time. Youngsters who get their love interest’s name tattooed on their bodies come around to get it covered up because they’re now dating a second someone or worse still, tying the knot with a certain third,” says Michael Cowasji of Mike Tattoos, Chittranjan Park, before breaking into peels of laughter.

It may sound funny but isn’t quite so for the ones making a trip to the tattoo wallah again. “I broke up with my girl who had me get her name tattooed on my arm. Now, I have to get it redone as my new girlfriend wants hers. These trips have left me completely broke,” laments Raghav Singh, a management student.

The poor fellow is understandably helpless for it takes fatter dough to overshadow your old “mistake”. “A cover-up usually costs double the price one pays to get a tattoo done.

“Though it depends upon its size, I try to give my clients the cheapest deal. A female client (getting married soon) has had three cover-ups done already,” shares Krish, another city-based tattoo artist.

Lokesh of Devil’s Tattooz, Basant Lok, adds, “Permanent tattoo removal through laser is quite expensive. So, a cover-up is the best way out. It calls for a lot of redesigning, tweaking and hence for a Rs 2,000 tattoo, the cover-up could be anything between Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,000.”

But love’s labour isn’t entirely lost for Delhi’s daredevils, it seems. According to tattoo artists, there are many still getting outrageously experimental with the needle. “Getting your arms, back and neck tattooed is oh-so-yesterday.

Youngsters these days are getting them done way down under,” confides Michael. Ouch!