Sunday, April 11, 2010

Any color you like

Having finished with her board exams, my cousin (dog molester in the previous pic-post) came visiting last weekend. She believes she is a girl of limited needs. The metric system, having given up trying to measure these limits, believes otherwise. She was armed with a shopping list that had a mind, body, soul and even a twitter account of its own. And not any averagely active twitter account. An account with a tweeting frequency of milliseconds; littered with twitpics, retweets and hashtags for her own shopping convenience; but strangely enough, not limited to 140 items… er… characters, 140 characters.

Girl of limited needs, she believes. A good brother, I think.

I paid for all her demands, pun intended. Dresses that seem to be a whole new wardrobe altogether, her first prithvi play, her first and my only and last horse-cart marine drive ride (honest!), her first beer, her first long island iced tea, her first 3AM road-side tea.

Then she stopped just short of killing me – “Bhaiya, I want you to get me a tattoo. But you don’t worry; I’ll get it in a spot where not too many people will get to see it in my lifetime. If you know what I mean!”

She winked. She winked, again.

I do not have a problem with tattoos. I have a problem with my little sister wanting a tattoo. I have a big problem with tattoos wanting to be in a 300 kilometer radius of my little sister. I have a bigger problem with the intended questionable location of the intended tattoo. I have the biggest problem with her reference to the plural nature of the target viewership of this intended tattoo.

I do have a problem with tattoos.

I have a problem because this is what happens when you put an 18 year old girl, a tattoo drill and a ridiculous idea in the same room (watch the two minute video below; you bloody well watch it – my little sister’s sanity and skin are at stake here) -

A tattoo machine is but an electric drill. It is an electric drill with a needle at a speed of 9000 rpm (for all those who had a life and did not study engineering – it goes round-round 9000 times in a minute), which is only marginally higher than that of a Ferrari. Is one supposed to feel secure just because the needle is laced with multi-hued ink and is in the hands of a professional tattoo ‘artist’? I think not.

This brings me to a few questions I have for the starry-eyed Belgian girl.

Why would you let an electric drill moving at the speed of a Ferrari back-wheel get close to you let alone your face?

Why would you let a man who looks like this within a 300 kilometer radius of yourself?

How could you then conveniently fall asleep when a man who looks like this was working your face with an electric drill?

I get miffed at few things. But I have a constant bone to pick with stupidity; which brings me to ‘televised tattooing’. The only television I watch apart from racy Bhojpuri item numbers on the local cable channel is Discovery’s Travel and Living. One show that particularly fascinates me is LA Ink – it’s a reality show that follows the life and times of tattoo ‘artist’ Kat Von D and her human canvasses. The next time you have a chance to catch it, please pay close attention to the justifications people give for getting a particular tattoo. Also observe the persistent use of the words ‘like’ and ‘you know’ in these justification monologues. I don’t like and I don’t know.

(For greater reading satisfaction try to read along in the respective ethnic accents, especially the second one)

Hispanic woman getting a gecko tattooed on her lower back – “It was like you know, the first time like I’d been to like my motherland Costa Rica. And the moment you know I entered the hotel room was like the moment. I totally like saw the gecko on the wall, it like totally saw me and we like jumped together. I was like scared of the gecko; it was totally you know like scared of me. That was the moment. It was then I decided I needed a gecko tattoo to remember this visit to Costa Rica, like you know forever!”

I sure hope she doesn’t travel to India or want to remember it ‘forever’. I don’t think a cockroach tattoo is socially acceptable let alone sexy.

African American woman getting three purple lilies on her hip – “Ma name’s Lily. Ma grandma’s name is Lily Sr., ma mamma’s name is Lily Jr. and ma lil sista’s lil Lily. So I’m Lily getting a tattoo of 3 lilies for the gals in ma family!”

I will not dwell on the intelligence of the above idea for the woman is clearly as much of a visionary as Louis Braille’s three blind mice. My primary concern is the color of the tattoo – purple. Purple on an African American skin tone? Has this woman never heard of contrast? Would the average Punjabi girl tattoo a glass of milk on her face (left half – it is the only half washed with Dove soap day in and day out. After twenty years of taking the Dove soap challenge, she still doesn’t know if it is softer, whiter and moisturizer than the right half)?

White woman getting a fork and knife tattooed on her side torso – “I’ve been like dating this guy for you know a year. He’s like a really super cool chef (the two words I hate most in the English language – super cool). So I wanna get like a really cool tattoo for our anniversary. So I thought (I’m not so sure she is capable of thinking, but anyway she thought) why not you know, dedicate a tattoo to like the tools of his trade – forks and knives (I’m confused; is he a professional diner or a professional chef?). I hope he likes it.”

I hope he doesn’t dump you, because after that fork and knife tattoo you’re only eligible to date other chefs, butlers or if you fancy Indians – south Bombay Catholics (does any other desi culture set even know what a fork is?). Also, two of my past relationships have lasted for over a year. Does that mean, as an anniversary present, my exes should’ve gotten a tattoo of the tools of my trade – a Microsoft Excel sheet and Powerpoint presentation? Wouldn’t that be like you know super cool?

Long story short - girl of limited needs was not to become the girl with a dragon tattoo. A good brother? I don’t know.

P.S. @ Sowmya - Notice, I did not call my cousin sis, my cousin sis :P