Rom film stars and sportspersons to ordinary people, this life-long piece of creativity is gripping all in various shapes and forms. From the names and pictures of their loved ones to religious and spiritual figures and chants, to national heroes and even
So what does a tattoo mean to them? What attracts them to this painful process, which isn’t just hard to get, but even more painful and expensive to be removed? “A tattoo is a lot of things put together,” says Delhi-based tattoo artist Hendry Lama. “It is a way of expression, a trend, idol worship and, more importantly, a reflection of one’s psyche.”
Once associated with drunken sailors, felons and Hell Angels, tattoos have gone nearly mainstream. Men and women alike say their tattoos make them feel sexy and rebellious. For many people, tattoos symbolise angst, rebellion, and a rock ‘n’ roll culture. But rebels are now challenging the stereotypes by replacing tattoos of skulls-and-daggers with those of religious symbols. And at India’s first-ever International Tattoo Convention held at Surajkund in October 2011, artists from across the world inked images of Shiva, Buddha, and even Sanskrit shlokas on visitors.
Recently, there has been a surge in interest in Sanskrit tattoo designs and symbols among Hollywood and other celebs. British footballer Theo Walcott has joined the Sanskrit Tattoo Club. On the inside of his right arm, a Sanskrit tattoo reportedly meaning ‘Beautiful, Blessed, Strong, Intelligent’ is engraved. Actress Jessica Alba, musician Tommy Lee, singer Rihana, dancer-singer Kimberly Wyatt are some celebs sporting Sanskrit tattoos.
THE RANGE OF DESIGNS FROM TRIBAL ART TO FLORALS, NAMES OF LOVED ONES TO WEAPONRY – THE RANGE OF DESIGNS IS VAST AND VARIED. ANYTHING FROM CHANTS AND NUMERALS TO FIGURATIVES AND ABSTRACTS WILL DO AS LONG AS THE MARKS ENGRAVED ON THE SKIN ARE TO THEIR LIKING.
It was the ‘Mast, Mast’ girl Raveena Tandon who started it all in Bollywood with a scorpion etched on her chest – displaying her sun sign. “I was the first one to get a tattoo done in 1993,” says the actress. And ever since Saif Ali Khan tattooed the name of his lady love Kareena Kapoor (now his wife) in Devnagri on his arm, he knew no peace with every shutterbug trying to click away at the tattoo and every filmmaker made fun of it from Rohit Shetty in Golmaal Returns and Jugal Hansraj in Roadside Romeo, both films involving Kareena.
Ladies aren’t far behind. Heading the pack is Amrita Arora. She got her former lover Usman Afzal’s name in Arabic tattooed on her lower back. At an international concert in 2007, Malaika Arora had the spine to show off a lower back tattoo. Esha Deol, a shy introverted girl, has a Gayatri Mantra tattoo behind her shoulder and Om on the other side. Among the older lot, Urmila Matondkar is a surprise tattoo enthusiast. Rakhi Sawant has three tattoos on her body. Sushmita Sen likes Durga Maa and Riya Sen has got a Lotus; Mahima Chaudhary likes flowers; Kunal Kapoor likes the dragon; Shah Rukh Khan and Kunal Khemu sport tribal art on their bodies. One among of the most tattooed men in tinsel town is Sanjay Dutt.
Then there is director Apoorva Lakhia, who is the most tattooed Bollywood celeb who has tattoos all over his arms right up his neck. He has one of Goddess Kali, two Hanumans, and the Hanuman Chalisa written around a tattoo of Superman. Bunty Walia has got parts of Shiv Chalisa on his body. Akshay Kumar too is pretty clued to this art and has his son Aarav’s name inked on his beefed up body. Another divine body that has tattoos of his daughters’ names belongs to model-turned-actor Arjun Rampal. Nice boy Aftab Shivdasani has two tattoos, one is his name written in Japanese and another of four gods on his right arm.
Just like million-dollar handbags and pocket-sized pampered poodles, celeb tattoos still attract a lot of attention. Surely, the most popular tattooed female celeb in the world today has to be Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie. Her tattoos reflect what she is – exotic, sensuous with a hint of danger. Her tattoos consist of tribal dragons, a Thai tiger, and various Latin sayings across her shoulders and arms. Some other best tattoos around cover some of the world’s most gorgeous bodies include David and Victoria Beckham. Amy Winehouse, Pamela Anderson, Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, Justin Timberlake – the list is endless. Reports suggest that a shocking 80 per cent of the entertainment industry has tattoos whereas a mere 20 per cent of the general public has stained skin.
Sports celebs with tattooed bodies include cricketers (Virat Kohli, Dale Steyn, Brendon Mccullum, Mitchell Johnson, Michael Clark, Lasith Malinga), footballers (Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Olivier Giroud, Ricardo Quaresema, Kevin-prince Boateng, David Beckham, Dani Alves) and others. The Olympic tattoo, which is now the sign of true sporting success, seems to be the school of thought among the world’s top Olympic heroes who have inked the trademark Olympic Games Rings on their fit physiques. quirky at times, they give an insight into the life of a person. A tattoo can speak about his or her beliefs, values or strengths. It can also be a medium to represent hisc or her love story, a pleasant memory, a winning moment or life’s motto.
Hear Mumbai-based celebrity tattoo artist Sameer Patange who has inked the likes of Hrithik Roshan, Salman Khan, Sanjay Dutt and Ajay Devgn and has also inked a storytelling tattoo on actor Sushmita Sen. “When you overcome something in life, you want to show off your victory. Temptation was something Sushmita wanted to win over. Hence, she got the word etched on her arm with the letter ‘T’ in the shape of a dagger. The actress implied that temptation is a beautiful feeling, but it can be equally dangerous.
Each tattoo has a tale to tell. These are just real-life stories that are pictorially explained. Meaningful tattoos that express the innermost feelings are very popular. Simple designs can tell a tale you can never imagine. Never mind diamonds; a tattoo is forever too. And that’s precisely what gives
The Tattooed Celebs TALE TO TELL
mark as it’s a reminder that their ‘story isn’t over yet’! Days after widely revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand died in October 2016, Thais headed to tattoo parlours to get free a lasting memory of their monarch! Charlotte Guttenberg (67) an American woman set a new Guinness World Record in September 2016 when she, with nearly 91.5 per cent of her body covered in elaborate designs and colour, became the most tattooed female senior citizen! Celebs like Beyonce, Katie Holmes, Kate Moss, Alessandra Ambrosio and Vanessa Hudgens have taken to metallic tattoo trend. Known as ‘Flash tattoos’, these are temporary, two-demensional tattoosc are made with gold, silver, bronze! ‘Rocky’, a stolen German shepherd, travelled 400 miles over 3 years to get back home in an Italian village when the veterinarians were treating it and found a tattoo on him that helped track his owner!
skin free from infection are the same that allow ink to live forever in our skin.
A few square inches of ink work cost anywhere from a few hundred rupees to a few thousand rupees. Keeping apprehensions and inhibitions aside, an increasing number of people – right from the young to the old – are getting themselves tattooed. It’s a permanent fashion statement that lives with you forever. The human body is very plain and tattoos are a great decoration. Trends come and go, but a tattoo lives on.
The practice of tattooing people