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With 103 tattoos, this 21-year-old is India’s most tattooed woman

Mumbai based Tejasvi Prabhulkar had been labelled as a crazy person because she had dropped out of college and started getting tattoos done.

more lifestyle Updated: Feb 19, 2019 10:09 IST
Kabir Singh Bhandari
Kabir Singh Bhandari
Hindustan Times, Delhi
Tejasvi Prabhulkar,Tattoo,Tattoo woman
People always stare at Tejasvi whenever she goes outdoors in sleeveless clothes or shorts. Sometimes they think she’s not from India because of all the tattoos she has.

Mumbai based 21-year-old Tejasvi Prabhulkar has taken her fascination for tattoos to a completely different level. She has undergone the needle 103 times to get as many tattoos on her body, and in the process has been mentioned in the Limca Book of Records as the most tattooed woman in India.

But the tattoos came at a price- she was almost disowned by her parents, her family and friends thought she had gone mad and the surroundings judged her on a daily basis.

Tejasvi, who is a tattoo artist, painter and model, opens up to us about why she stated getting inked, the stares she gets everyday and what she wants people to know about women who get tattoos.

When did you start getting tattoos and why?

I was 17 when I started getting tattoos and my first tattoo was my name Tejasvi. The reason was that people used to pronounce my name wrong most of the time, calling me Tejasvini or Tejashree.

Later on, I took up tattoo-making as a profession. I had always been fond of sketching from the time I was a child. My mother would tell me that I should use this talent of mine for something useful, which is when I decided that being a tattoo artist would be a good profession to pursue.

How did your parents feel about it? And what about friends and family?

My parents literally abandoned me. I had left my college in the last year of the Bachelor’s of Mass Media (BMM) course so they thought that I’m going crazy because of my new found love for tattoos. But I realised that this degree would not be of use to me if I wanted to become a tattoo artist and people would judge me because of my tattoos and not my work if I continued in this line.

However, my friends, neighbours and relatives- all of them had labelled me as a crazy person because I had dropped out of college and got 25 tattoos by the age of 20. They used to say “Who would marry you?” and said that I had destroyed my body.

How do you decide what type of tattoo you would put on yourself? You already have 103 tattoos, any plans of putting more?

I think tattoos should be something meaningful or memorable. After I left college I wanted to do something big as everyone had started taunting me and I wanted to prove them wrong. All the 103 tattoos that I have are related to my life till the age of 21 in the form of memories, motivation and muses.

Then, in a month I got 78 tattoos done, getting 6 tattoos daily (to reach 103). And yes I have plans for getting more tattoos and have kept half my body empty for them.

What are the weirdest experiences you have had while out in public?

People always stare at me whenever I go outdoors in sleeveless clothes or shorts. Sometimes they think that I’m not from India because I have so many tattoos.

A lady once asked me that how can I stay with these permanent tattoos because whenever she puts mehendi on herself she wants to remove it. One of the most common questions I get asked is how can I handle so much pain with these needles, and a lot of the people who ask me this are afraid of injections.

What is society’s perspective about a girl with tattoos?

Some people always judge individuals by their appearances or the way society sees them. Most often when the public see me they feel, “Does she think she’s more attractive with those tattoos? I don’t think she can cook or wear traditional clothes!”

They feel I look like a tattered book or garbage. People also think that since I have tattoos all over my body I might also have them on my private parts and hence am definitely not marriage material.

I want those people to know my looks don’t define my character- I can cook, do household chores and wear traditional clothes. Just because I am 21 it doesn’t mean I can’t make permanent decisions in life. Everyone’s journey is different- some people go through major experiences early on in life. So no one should be defined by their age, gender or looks.

The author tweets at @shadowwarior and can be reached at kabir.bhandari@htdigital.in

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First Published: Feb 19, 2019 09:42 IST