Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Tattoo - A Love Story!

Today’s is my Phoenix tattoo’s birthday!! :))
Exactly a year ago I’d gotten my tattoo! I’ve always wanted to get a tattoo, well, at least as long back as when I was in the 10th grade. Something about tattoos just fascinated me!
At first I wanted to get a scorpion tattoo since my sun sign is Scorpio. But when I saw that every Tom, Dick and Harry had a scorpion tattoo, I didn’t want something so common. I broke my head trying to decide which tattoo would be just perfect! My mother had said that there was no point thinking about which tattoo to get, as she would not allow me to get one anyway. I said that I’d just save up money on my own and get it done. Of course, Ma disapproved even more!
Anyway, once I got to live in Bombay I decided that I would start saving up for a tattoo. Then I found out how much a tattoo really costs – anywhere from a 2000 bucks to 15,000!!! I was slightly discouraged and had even wondered if it was really worth it. And a funny thing happened at that moment. One day I was flicking through channels on the TV and landed on the Hallmark channel. A movie was just about to start and I decided to check out if it was worth watching or not; and when I saw the title I knew it sure would be worth it! The title was “Tattoo – A Love Story”!! It was a sweet sorta movie about this prim and propah schoolteacher and a tattoo artist who rode bikes. She gets him interested in sushi and such fine things and he helps her loosen up. It ends with the schoolteacher getting a tattoo done. In between there were interviews of people who had tattoos, talking about why they had decided to get a tattoo (or two) and why they had chosen the particular tattoo.
I totally enjoyed the movie! And it got me back on track; I definitely wanted a tattoo now!! GO 92.5 FM; the radio station I listen to used to play ads for a tattoo place called Illustrated Unlimited. I’d saved the number on my cell, waiting to call it as soon as I’d saved up enough.
By this time I’d decided which tattoo I was going to get. I’d read a bit of Linda Goodman’s book ‘Sun Signs’ in which she had written that the phoenix is one of the symbols of the Scorpio because of the (ahem!) wonderful quality we possess of rising out of our own ashes, metaphorically speaking, of course! :D So now even the problem of what tattoo to get was solved, the only problem remaining was that of money. I was on a strict budget and not able to save all that much.
Then something happened! I don’t want to be a drama queen and call it a miracle, but let’s just say that it was close enough!
That rainy 14th September I’d just gotten home in a bad mood (again!) and was listening to the radio. The RJ then announced that a daily contest ‘Why me?!’ was about to start. In this contest listeners could call in or sms about what a wretched day they had had. Well, I’d had a particularly bad day! This was when I was still very home sick and longing to run back to Hyderabad. Ah! The irony that is Life! When I was in Hyderabad I couldn’t wait to run off to Bombay, and now when I was finally in Bombay, all I wanted to do was to be in Hyderabad!
Anyway, I digress. I rushed off an sms detailing my bad day. The RJ then called me and told me to retell my story on air. Then two other people got to relate their stories. Then it was left to the rest of the listeners to vote for the person who had had the most miserable day. I was hoping and praying that I would win! Because the prize was a gift voucher from Illustrated Unlimited!!! But before the name of the winner was announced I went off somewhere to do some thing, and for the life of me I don’t remember what that was now! So anyway, I had no idea who had won.
But the next day, a woman called up from the GO office and as all of you must have already guessed, pronounced me the winner! YIPPEEEEE! YAY!!! I was delirious with happiness!!
And here’s my award-winning story:

It was a horribly dull, rainy day and I was late for college for the nth time! There was a long line before the elevator, so I ran up all eight floors to get to my class. I was completely exhausted by the time I reached the 8th floor and staggered into the class with a ready excuse. But the class was empty! I was wondering if the class had been shifted when I saw a friend of mine walking toward me. She said that the class for that day had been cancelled!! I might as well have taken the goddamn lift!! I was sooooo annoyed! I then suggested to my friend that we should do something, catch a movie maybe, but she was even more home sick then me (she too is from Hyderabad) and didn’t feel like doing anything, and she didn’t care much for movies anyway! I was just incredulous! How can anyone not like to watch movies??! Anyway, we walked through all the disgusting slush to the station and left for home. I had planned to go to Big Bazaar to buy some stuff to eat, but since it was raining quite heavily by then, I cancelled my plans. So anyway, I trudged all the way home through the filthy mud and water (this was before I’d discovered that there was a bus that could drop me off right at my door-step!). I was soaked to my bones when I reached home, was greatly annoyed, completely miserable and totally ravenous! All I could do was curse at the rains!

So then, I rushed off to the office to collect my voucher as soon as I could. There I found out that Illustrated Unlimited was just 10 minutes away. So I made my way down there at once and met up with Ben, who owns the place. When I saw him for the first time I nearly did a double take! He bore a strong resemblance to the actor who played the tattoo artist/biker in “Tattoo – A Love Story”! The same French beard, the same sparkling eyes, the same rotund figure! If I believed in destiny I would have thought that this was meant to be, but, well, I don’t!
I went through his photo albums searching for the perfect phoenix tattoo. But I found only 3-4 phoenix tattoos and didn’t like them too much. So I decided to search on the net myself and came across quite a few interesting phoenix tattoos and pictures. At last I decided on the one that you can see displayed on the right hand corner! I’d first picked a drawing of a colorfully resplendent phoenix. But unfortunately I would have had to pay a lot more on top of the voucher. So I had to settle for the completely black one. I persuaded Ben to add a touch of colour to the two tail feathers and he obliged and filled them with blue.
The whole process took a little over half an hour. When he first started whirring the needle over my arm it didn’t hurt too much and I thought, “This is not bad at all!” But after a while it started hurting a hell of a lot more! At times I thought that I was going to pass out! All the muscles in my body were clenched and it was all I could do from not screaming out continuously! At last it was complete, my arm was bandaged up and I was ready to go!
Despite the unbearable pain (my pain threshold is really low!) I was very pleased with myself. :)
The most frequent question that I’m asked about my tattoo is: “Did it hurt a lot?” Well, du-uh! How would you feel if a sharp needle was driven into your skin again and again?! Not a pleasant sensation obviously! In the beginning I would proudly say that it hurt a lot, but it was all worth it, but now it’s starting to get a li’l bit annoying!
But the fact is, all the pain was definitely worth it. I’m the proud owner of a beautiful phoenix tattoo. It is another thing that most people think that it is a peacock or some other bird!
So if any of you people want to get a tattoo, do not waste any more time! Get it at once! And go to a good tattoo artist, not some aira-gaira. I recommend Illustrated Unlimited strongly if you are from Bombay.
And to those who feel that getting a tattoo is like scarring yourself for life, then here’s my response: *sticks tongue out* :D
I’m sure that there will never be a moment in my life when I may think that I shouldn’t have gotten a tattoo. I chose it carefully for that reason alone. In fact, I’m planning on getting at least two more!


Anonymous said...

hey affy!!

you know, that movie watching bit is something you never told me!
Thats why i decided to comment on this post coz i hadnt already heard abt it. Good luck with winning more contests from radio stations to fund ur tattoo dreams!

but then, u have never needed it!!

AmitKen said...

oh, cool...
so u too r a scorpion.. u said right about the quality of scorpions ;-)) cant agree more.
though i never knew about the connection with Phoenix.. Linda Goodman types never appeal me anyway.

btw.. while i was in b'bay even i won 1000/= cash from Go radio.. and the question was about explaining the wirdest thing one has done in life :D

and finally Happy Birthday Tatoo!!

Phoenix Rises said...

Hey A!
I hope I do!! Thanks!

Hi Amitken!
So you too are a Scorpion? Good, good! :))
You didn't elaborate on the "wierdest thing" part! I'd like to know! Maybe you can talk about it on your blog!
And thanks for the "Tattoo wishes"!! :))

Squared said...

Phewww!! What a story! In fact, somebody can make a movie on that!!

I too am now proud of you. Way to go!!

Manish said...

ohh i am late here!
Interesting story of ur tattoo! Waiting to see which contest helps u to get the next one!:)

The man in the box said...

the real question is..where??

AmitKen said...

i saved that for a future post on my blog :))

Arz000n said...

Your story has just inspired into something...
I need a car with ma luv of ma life in it

Ingredients reqd:
1 FM radio,
A terrible terrible day
and a good writing skill to put that terrible day on paper :)

Phoenix...pass on ur luck to me now :))


Awesoem post phoenix..I didnt knew someone will be so inclined into getting a tatoo. I want a tatoo too, but I dont wanna go thru tht pain...boy, heard its too much

Anyway.....good to know about tht story behind ur phoenix tattoo..Awesoem

Me said...

Happy birthday tattoo.....:)

Phoenix Rises said...

Hey Squared!
Hehe!! Thanks! :))
Once again, fantastic pics of the Serengeti! Just loved them!

Hi Manish!
Aapke muh mein ghee shakkar!!! I really do hope they'll have another tattoo-winning contest!! :D

The answer to your question is very tame! It's on my left arm! Heehee!! :D

Hi Amitken!
I'm really looking forward to your "wierdest" post! :o)

Hey Arz000n!
Thanks a lot! My pals do say that I am damn lucky at times!! Godd for me na? ;) And I hope that some of my luck does rub off on you! Best of Luck!

Hi Avik!
My Phoenix Tattoo says, 'Thanks a bunch!!' LOL!!! :o))

Arz000n said...

Pass on that Tattoo address to me na...
And since u have done so much of research..if you know any cheap but good tattoo-wala gimme addr of that too.

I dont wanna spend more money in getting a good one on ma shoulder too.


Thanks in advance Phoenix

Phoenix Rises said...

Hey Arz000n!
The place I went to is Illustrated Unlimited in Tardeo. It's about a 15-20 minutes walk from Crossroads, Haji Ali. It's situated in the basement of this building called Arun Chambers. Unfortunately I cannot pass on the phone numbers as they don't seem to be working anymore! My brother wanted to make an appoitnment for a re-touch, but we couldn't get through.
Hopefully this info will be usefull to you. And all the best! :)
I really don't know about any other tattoo places in Bombay. There are a couple in Bandra like Funky Monkey. But I recommend I.U. for it's excellent post-care!

Arz000n said...

Oh yeah...
Thats a nice info Phoenix :)

Me was planning to drop by there in Haji Ali after I return back to Mumbai..lets see, will go there with ma bro on his bike.

Yup...yup... I come...hehehe

Will atleast get a small one done on ma shoulder ;)

Thanks Phoenix :)
Take care

IdeaSmith said...

I liked this story. I have a tattoo too and wrote a post on it. And someone referred me to this blog after reading that one. I totally and completely agree with you on every single thing....and yeah, I was planning on getting a phoenix next :D

Phoenix Rises said...

Hi Ideasmith!
Thanks for visitng my blog.
Not many people, heck! hardly anyone at all could understand my reasons for getting a tattoo, they just saw it as scarring my body. So, I'm kinda glad that someone thinks along the same lines as I do. :)

niki yokota said...

OMG!! wat a coincidence!!(^o^;;;
thru ur good writing skill, i could imagine that awful pain...OOUCH!!!!!
ur very very lucky amazing girl!!!
(i can never get tatoo. never...) ooouch!!!!

Phoenix Rises said...

Hi Niki!
Thanks a lot for your compliments! I think the pain was worth it in the end. :)