Things change sometimes for the worse and like I said earlier, these days it seems, for the better. ‘ You sound beautiful, so much more peaceful,’ says Shets. Call it his male instincts or the power of Google but my dear friend has resurfaced. We update each other on the recent events of our respective lives. Of course, he’s not too pleased with the new emergence but he’s as amusing as ever. ‘Do I stand a chance with you?’, he asks giggling like a mad hatter. ‘Not if you were the last man on Earth! You know how I am with guys… I don’t want to lose you by making you a ‘man in my life’, I reply before breaking into peels of laughter with my ‘forever walla dost.’
I’ve been getting a feeling, like something big is coming this way. So, keeping up with the tradition of marking the ends and beginnings of eras, I head to a tattoo parlour.
‘When did you get your last one done?’, asks the designer at the tattoo parlour. ‘A decade ago!’, I reply, thinking about what a terribly emotional day it was for both the artist and I. ‘Didn’t want to get another one made?’, she inquires. ‘Not until now!’, I reply, scowling at a client whose just got a Taapsee Pannu, tattoo replicated. A decade ago, tattoos were still considered a sign of rebellion, the attire of the non conformists, unlike these days, when it’s a fashion statement. Bollywood made it a trend. So from your boy and girl next door to your corporate suit executive, to even a couple of Aunties, everyone seems to be getting inked. Each time a Deepika, Priyanka, Akshay or Ranbhir, showcase their’s on the silver screen, people head to the parlours.
My favourite part about getting inked is not the final product. That’s almost irrelevant. The ascertaining of your identity while you work on the layout, the significance of each tiny element, the sound of the machine and the way it tears into the skin, the sight of the tiny droplets of blood- it’s one of the most exhilarating and intimate experiences. The artist is reticent but has a very gentle touch. After twenty years of experience, under his belt, he nails it. We breeze through the hour, with my whistling intercepting the silences.