Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Tattoo Experience

So I did it. After like 5-6 years of thinking / contemplating / talking to mom and getting over my last minute jitters, I finally got my Tattoo.

Some of my friends with whom I have discussed the idea, know how I wanted to get an "Om" tattoo. So I finally got it done this few days back.

A tattoo has always been of of those things which have intrigued me and some how we relate getting one to being bad ass. For me it was more of a taking a decision and being able to live with it for the rest of my life. Thus I had always planned on few pre-conditions before getting it. The first being obviously talking it out with mom, who surprisingly agreed after a bit of cajoling. Next on the list was getting to an long time achievement / desire, so I decided like a year or so back that I would get it once I get into my PhD. This confirmed a month or so back when I decided to continue for my PhD at UCSD. Lastly a tattoo being a permanent change on my body, I wanted to talk it out with my life partner if and when she came into my life before going under the needle, as somehow I wanted her to be equally cool with it. This fell in place when I talked about it with Atreyi like few months back and she totally agreed with my idea. Thus with the fulfillment of all of my 3 conditions, getting a tattoo was left just to my getting over the nerves and going for it.

Another person I am really thankful for my tattoo is Nick Busan. He is the lab manager for the undergrad labs I have been TA'ing for the last few quarters. He being an ardent tattoo enthusiast had promised to accompany me if and when I decided to get my tattoo.

So after some planning, we finally landed up at Avalon Tattoo 2 with Nick and Atreyi. After some google image hunting for the kind of "Om" I wanted, Chris (the guy who did my tattoo) finally printed out the tattoo stencil with the image I wanted etched on my back. Then started a 30 min ordeal. I had been warned before hand that tattooing would be painful, though the spot I had decided on my back would be comparatively less painful. It started with initially making the "Om" outline on my back, this was kinda painful and lasted like 15 mins or so. At the end I had an outline waiting to be filled. Chris changed his instruments and started the process of filling up the "Om", this was kinda more painful and made me clench my teeth once in a while. Atreyi was sitting there all the time taking pictures and videos once in a while and somehow holding her nerves. Nick continued standing in the lobby looking over all the time. Thus after a half hour painful ritual I was told by Chris that it was all done. I got up and checked the tattoo in the mirror. It sure was a really proud feeling, in spite of it being a bit bloody then. So after the bandaging and receiving the care instructions we came back home.

It been few days now, and it still feels good every time I look at it in the mirror. I have heard it from lot of people that tattoo's are kinda addictive and once you get inked you go for more and more, now that is something I have not felt till now, so lets see as time progresses and if I change my mind.

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