The reminiscence of my childhood is imprinted on the back of my neck. The loss of my grandmother was so devastating and unbearable that I would cry whenever I was alone and constantly blame my mother for not letting me know about her sooner. As a remembrance of her, I decided to make a tattoo of an image of what her name meant.
It took a lot of courage, research and saving to finally come up with a decision and a tattoo design. All my friends were against my decision for they thought it was too soon to take such a step and they thought my parents would be very angry with me for not taking their consent beforehand. Well, they were definitely right about the latter part. But, I had already made my choice and there was no way I was backing out.

Do they abhor tattoos for what they appear to represent in our society? Could I be menacing them with some kind of anarchy by inking myself?  Was I exhibiting a lack of orthodoxy which places me outside what they consider is acceptable for a middle class woman?  Are tattooed people to be feared?  Am I a different person now that I am inked? These are the few questions that were circling in my mind during this journey of mine.

Well, the head turns are certain when one has a design on their body. People react in different ways. They ask a lot of questions. The funniest by far was from a younger friend who said -“Did you do that when you were young and stupid and inebriated?” Umm... No! Only a very few get that it’s not just about style or ‘what’s in’ but , rather a representation of art and feelings blended in such a splendid form that it remains with you till your death bed.
As for me, I would like to remember my tattoo journey as a tiny bit of pain I endured in my grandmother’s reminiscence - like a thank you for everything that she did for me and an acknowledgement that she was and will always remain as the most important part of my life. To people who ask me whether there wasn’t any other way I could find to protect and preserve her memory, my answer would be yes, there were many, but this was the only way I chose.

Initially, I wasn’t a big tattoo fan either but, today when it embraces a beautiful meaning in my life, I want people to remember me as well as my tattoo because this etching has become as much a part of who I am as the sound of my laughter or the color of my eyes. This tribute to my grandmother has given me freedom. Now, when I have her with me whenever and wherever I go, I am liberated from her memories. It is an assurance that she will always be by my side, through every upside down and for every rise and fall.