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


Poshgit said...

Whatte super cooool bhaiyya :P

I LOVE L.A. Ink! I likes tatoo art, but mainly to see the crazy shit they come up with. My favourite was the one where this guy gets a block of cheese tatooed to remind him of his pre-lactose intolerance days. Wowness :)

Judy Balan said...

Ugh. Gee. Shucks.

Thanks for being a doll and adding to my list of things to be paranoid about when Ki hits pre-teens :|

And if the 56-stars-chick was stupid, what about the wonderful father who actually walked her into the shop and left her alone with Bogey man? *eyeroll*

Super cool post, I say! ;-P

Anonymous said...

Lol! So you are THE(nut)Gogol.And you are a 'he'! Hilarious post :D Unlike you, I love tattoos. Love the whole intricate designs and all that. But,I like them ONLY ON OTHERS!

My parents got away with piercing my ears when I was all of 9 months old. Although history has it that I,in a very graceful lady-like manner threw-up on the guy who pierced my ears in less than a min after he finished his work. I decided that was going to be the last needle-business on me.

But then 2 yrs ago,I was starting work in a hospital and had to go through the whole vaccination routine.So I had some 6-7 injections lined up for me.Just when I was ready to cry blue murder,I noticed that the Occupational Health doctor on duty that day was this drool-worthy guy.So I just smiled and went through the whole thing :D I'm hoping that will be my last. Although, I wouldn't mind if the guys doing the job are going to be as cute as the doctor guy.

I'll shut up now and go dig your archives.

Sowmya said...

Tattoo - It gives identity and a sense of purpose to those who dont have either or both of them...

I can't think of another reason why someone would want a tattoo.

Humanity has an unfailing taste for the irrelevant. Isnt it?

And is that you in the picture? bottle in mouth?

And thanks for not saying cousin sis :)

The Restless Quill said...

Fun post. I liked the previous one better but this one had some laugh-aloud (I hate LOL, ROFL, ROLFNUIHGS, BRB, KSDFHKHS, BHSALDF etc) moments :)
Did you know someone googled you? I think it was Raj from Judy's blog cuz he found your wayn profile and all. How interesting you are :P
BTW, I think tattoos are nice when they mean something and seriously, your sister's dad n mum are there no, to tell her, "Shut up, tattoo ki bachi". YOu should be encouraging it totally.

The Restless Quill said...

And oh, I just noticed. No triptychs this was kinda nice.

HolyTrance said...

HAhAHA...loved the "pun intended" moments. BTW, I have a tattoo too so cant really say they are bad or "very" painful. :))
Interesting blog u have!

kamna said...

Isn't tanu the only member of your family who reads your blog... and then you bitch about her??? some sense of readership retention you must have na idiot... waise khud ki behen ko dog molester kaun bulata hai???

waise why don't you twit... i mean tweet? :-P

Haan haan this was funny and all that jazz... sun sun ke pak nahin gaya???

Sumira Khan said...

Haha... what a sweet bhaiyya you are! Keeping lil sis well protected under your wing. :)

I don't get the tattoo craze either... and the wierd reasons people come up with to justify permanent, self-induced skin mutilation.

notgogol said...

@Posh: Whenever I have a bad day, the folks on the show remind me that there is hope out there; there is more scope for stupidity and people are so bloddy full of shit that they don't even know it! Nice to know you're alive. Please to write lazy bum. Could not spot you in the Maddu papers.

@Prudy: Pre-teen? You think we're going to get so westernized in a few years that Kiara would want a tattoo when she's twelve? Also, I'm strongly considering tattooing an eye-roll permanently on you.

@revs: Clarification time - I have absolutely no problem with tattoos. In fact, I have a secret desire to get a few people tattooed when we're off drinking next. I think it sounds like a fun plan. Am even considering opening a tattoo parlor close to a high footfall pub/bar/club just to see to it that people exercise their right to drunk tattoos.

Are you one of those needle fainters - look at needle and faint types?

Sowmya - Don't be so harsh on tattooed folks na. Its a matter of personal choice me thinks. Its your body at the end of the day na. The least you can expect is the freedom to do whatever you want with it. One man's junk is another man's treasure na baba.

No re. I wish that were me. So hawtt na he is! Though I feel like him at times you know - "Does it look like I have STUPID tattooed on my forehead? Does it?" :)

@Omanwoman: Please expand all those abbrevations. You're making me feel old - I only know the shorter ones. As far as googler goes, there is a word in Punjabi that describes such people - "Vela" and the Tamil equivalent is "Vetti" :)

And she will get the tattoo but I will be screwed at home. Present status is gray sheep of family. I'd like to keep it that way for now. :)

@HolyTrance: Brilliant nick you have. Very oxymoronish - don't know of any "holy" trances really! What rubbish - I'm sure they're painful. Itna tez ghoomne waala needle - tauba! Lahaul vila kuvat!

@Kamu: Waise tu waise bahut bol rahi hai aajkal. Aur hai woh dog molester - blue cross ko complaint karunga ek din - dekhiyo tu! Jail bhejunga usko, Jail :P

Twitting is too much of an effort. and you know how much I love doing things that require an effort na.

@Sumira: Tattoo = "permanent, self-induced skin mutilation"?? :O Itna gussa! As I said in my comment above, personal choice na - so let's leave it at that :) Why judging and all :) Also, please to explain meaning of name.

Anonymous said...

Nah, not a needle-fainter. Doing blood-test is a small part of my part-time job.I'm ok with blood and gore as well.Its just that I'm not okay with unnecessary needle business.Like piercings, tattoo, drugs etc

Raj said...

Yes, the 28yr old googler is vetti and is now following your blog as well :)

Dug up your archives as well. Btw, I wonder if readers do keep track of your dynamism in thoughts. Nice reads.

Judy Balan said...

Well, yes? But pre-teens or teens, doesn't make a difference. My baby always be my baby :|

I had a I-want-tattoo phase in between. But prudishness prevailed - "It would look so ugh and jiggly when gravity catches up with me! Hell, nooooooooo"

@Raj: Why you being nice to him and all? He just called you vetti :-0

Sumira Khan said...

Yeah, I guess you're right. A lot of my friends just adore their tattoos. So if it makes them happy.. no judging and all :) I just find it kind of wierd.

Sumira is a variation of the name Samira which means 'Entertaining companion' in Arabic. Googling enlightened me to the fact that Samira is also a Sanskrit word for 'gust of wind/a cool gentle breeze on a hot summer day'. Cool, eh?

However, it also means that my name (Sumira) has no meaning. :( But it has a nice ring to it, no? :)

notgogol said...

@revs: Like gore? Please to read Chuck Palahniuk's Haunted. He's brilliant.

@Raj: 'dynamism in thoughts' :O what my dear god is that? sacrilege to be so serious out here dude! :) thanks for hopping

@Prudy: good to know prudence prevailed. Also, its been said that tattoos lose shape as the beholder does. Just thought I'd let you know and compliment you on your wise choice! Congratulations :)

@Sumira: How would I know? I don't even have a name. I'm just not-someone-else :( pretty name and all you have :|

Raj said...

No sarcasm yet, in my comments :)

I have never followed blogs till a couple of weeks ago. Thanks to Judy's writing, i have managed to rekindle my interest.

@Judy, I am sure i will square off things one day. Will go sane for now :)

kamna said...

gharwaalon ko jail bhejta hai... bhaad main jaa tu

I wanna wanna wanna know - please explain why someone like you is reading Murakami??? When have you ever read or said or done or felt something simple yet intense in your entire life??? please tell me you are lying :-(

anu kahaan hai tu!! isko kya ho gaya hai :-|

anoushka said...

My 5 cents -

1. I know a tattoo artist personally. I have Tanu's number. Your mom never liked me in any case. You do the math.
2. Please respond to Kamu. Yes, why are YOU reading Murakami?
3. Microsoft excel tattoo? I see a shoe being hurled your way from Spain.
4. Why do you sound like a conservative bitch?
5. How can you buy LIIT for an 18 year old? Isn't it like a criminal offence.

notgogol said...

@raj: Revenge and all :)

@kamu: Rude bitch. Go die!


1. The antique gun you saw at home, still works.
2. Recommended by quite a few people. He's brilliant.
3. I don't think she got it :P
4. cos I am one.
5. Rubbish. I had my first drink when I was 16. Do you see me in Jail?

nadu said...

U jus don't have the balls to get a tattoo urself!


errormsg! said...

i like tattoos, except i havent been able to decide on an image that i'd like on me for a LIFETIME you know? a cassette maybe? or a gramaphone...

*bows gratefully to mentioned sister for inspiring this post.

you may now live :P

errormsg! said...

and dude, you're way cooler than 'star-crossed' Kimberley's Father. tell your sister that.

ek-aani said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ek-aani said...

Funny! especially the bit about LA Ink:-D

I love watching LA Ink..and one-coloured tattoos more than the ones in many colours. of course, on other people.:-)

@errormsg!: gramaphone sounds nice. but, but a cassette? oh okay with the tape flying out, could be nice..but soon a CD would be back-dated. if i had one, i'd like a unicorn, or maybe a seahorse.:-)

Sherry Wasandi said...

A few facts:

1. The woman in the video later confessed that after getting the tattoo done, she realized that "someone-from-her-family-I-don't-quite-remember-who" would give her a hard time for it. So she tried to lay off the blame a little by lying about having dozed off. I remember reading that in the news.

2. Why do people wear stilettos? They are uncomfortable, painful, and known to cause major injury to the spine over prolonged duration of wear. I could cite a million examples here.

Q.E.D. There exists no point to rationalizing aesthetics. And tattoos, in almost every case and instance, are about aesthetics and the need to "personalize" one's prime possession and identity. What's so wrong with that?

3. You do overestimate the risks involved. Or undermine those associated with mundane things like operating a steam iron.

4. The pain isn't much of a concern for a lot of people. It doesn't hurt as much as anyone who hasn't been inked would believe.

That said, apologies if I sound too harsh and vapid. I'm just excessively pro-tattoos.

kamna said...

yes taran? why are u such an anti-tattoo bitch... please respond... we need an answer... why do u undermine a steam iron? why taran? why??????

(hehe. this is going to be so much fun :-D)

@sherry: thanks for putting him in a spot... now let's watch him squirm...

Papaya-Thoughts said...

sooperrr coool....I jus got all my reasons to get tat long delayed tattoo done at tat place which is visible only to a few. Thanx to tat nameless, concerned bro of the cool sister who wants a tattooo... Wink, wink and more winks....

notgogol said...

@Nadu: Perhaps, perhaps not.

@errormsg!: images that YOU could get tattooed - Mughal painting, guernica, big fish eating small fish, king of hearts, faces in shambles.
Gramophone sounds neat though. I promise to buy you the tattoo if you let the guy tattoo H.M.V. below it :P

@ek-aani: u are bagchi's commenter na?
As I said before, watching LA Ink makes me feel so happy re :D
I noticed that the 'on other people' caveat was added later :P
P.S. ek-aani matlab?

@sherry: I have never felt happier while reading a comment. Please be as harsh and vapid (you seem to like this word) as you please. It's just so awesome when someone tears your piece to bits! Brilliant fun. Please do the same with other pieces (not being sarcastic; honest!) :)
And I say it again, don't take me seriously; even I don't. Phew!

@kamu: Lol. Bitch!

@Papaya-Thoughts: Why is your display pic flipping me off? What the hell did I do! Stop showing me the finger, ok! :P

AtomicGitten said...

I personally like tattoos and wouldn't mind getting one for myself. They are art, and the right tattoo truly is a thing of beauty.

Of course the same can't be said for Ms.Galaxy. I guess she woke up to some starry-eyed surprise :P

Sneha said...

had visited ur space earlier, but dont remember laughing so much!

ur writings like, amazingly super cool ;)

but really didnt understand how you liked 'god of small things'

notgogol said...

@atomic: So, what would that tattoo be? Dr. Ames? I would want to know what he'd look like.

@Sneha: Thanks.

I liked it for the simple reason that Roy made incest sound natural, plausible and acceptable. That takes a lot of craft.

AtomicGitten said...

Ng: I'm still looking for the right one; hence the tattoo-less state.
And as for the good doctor, she merely recommends that the needles/equipment be sterilised. :D

ek-aani said...

:-D oh yeah, m bagchi's commenter all right. there's loads i like on other people but not on myself - for example, don't like makeup personally, but yeah, it's cool on others. ah, ek-aani is like the ek-aani, do-aani u know? aani as in smallest of small paisa things. and ek means on ur own, of course.

notgogol said...

aani? I thought that was aana. Ok both my hindi and my vernacular (whichever language you speak) are bad. So :|

ek-aani said...

oh not really. i think it's aana too.(in bangla, which is the lang i speak) but at that time i thought it was aani, and it sounded cool to pronounce, and so.

i tend to mix up words in my head :-P

about hindi, the first logical and comprehensible hindi words i've used in public are 'nazdig' (askin auto wala to take the nazdig way) and 'mehenga' (while bargaining, of course). so now u know :-D

notgogol said...

Ek-aani, ek yahi post padhte ho kya? :)

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