The tattoo that I have

This is prompt number 97 from Bryn Donovan’s list of prompts and ideas for writing about yourself. I’m picking random numbers, and I’m lucky I got this because I’ve been waiting to tell this story since the day it happened.

Yes, I have a tattoo. The story of how I got it is quite patience-testing.

For quite a long time, Akka and I (in the end, along with Amma) had been pestering Pappa to agree for us to get tattoos. I didn’t see the big deal. The only scare or concern was the lead content and the needles. I know they use fresh needles every single time, and well, the lead levels in my blood might have increased, but there is joy in getting a tattoo done. It’s like branding yourself and saying “This is who I am”, or maybe reminding yourself to live your life. Either way, it is quite fascinating.

Pappa finally said yes, late in June, probably. Then began the search for the designs. I knew what to get and I had choices to pick from. It was either a Totoro, or the Sun, or the Sun and the Moon together. So, after looking for designs of the Sun and the Moon and being fed up, because I wasn’t satisfied with any of them, I requested Vaishnavi to ketch me some designs. She was so happy to do it, that she by next week, she had sent me three designs of varying simplicity. And each one of them was so pretty! The simplest one was a design with the Sun at the centre, and the phases of the moon on either side of its rays, and I could put it as a bracelet or an anklet. I decided to get that one done, on my right upper arm. So, it was decided for me. And even though Akka said, “It’s not very unique; you should get the other one,” I stuck to what I wanted and went with her to this tattoo parlor in Indiranagar.

Akka was going to get the words “Carpe Diem” on her arm. Where on her arm, she wasn’t sure. I thought “Carpe Diem” was a common enough word, but I didn’t dare say that out loud. She talked her designs over with her friend and finalized the font and all, and decided she wanted a tiny flower with it. Her visualization was actually pretty. But when we went there, everything changed.

For one, this place where we went, which was really famous, looked really cool with its metal decorations and all, but inside, it felt like an orgy. People kept walking in and out, tattoo in their heads, tattoo on their bodies. It was a stifling 10 minutes while we were waiting for a friend’s friend (one of the many tattoo artists) to come out. Akka prodded me first, and then I showed him my design. He said, “This design will not come in the size you want. Is that okay?” I frowned. I mean, Pappa agreed only if we got small(-ish) tattoos, and the size he showed? Way too big. I said, “Never mind,” and he moved on to Akka.

When she said, “I want to get a tattoo of Carpe Diem,” he simply nodded, and went towards the computer. He sat down and asked her to select a font from that list. She already had picked one out, but of course, Murphy’s law came into the picture. He didn’t have it. She chose the closest one, and without further ado, he printed it, tore it, and stenciled it on the side of her wrist, below her little finger. And he led her towards an empty bench and began tattooing.

The only good thing to come out of that was the price discount.

That day, my spirits had died down. I decided I didn’t want a tattoo. For now, at least. But Akka insisted that we get it done for me, too. So we searched for places near Jayanagar when Akka remembered that there was a new one right outside the complex. We hitched an auto and went to Jayanagar.

This was a small place, with just one small room. A guy was just finishing up another guy’s tattoo and was doing one of those “wiping-foam-to-reveal-tattoo” videos. There was another guy sitting on a sofa nearby. When we walked in, he greeted us and led us to the lone computer across the door we just walked through. I showed him my design, and he said, “This will be too big. Is that okay?”

I groaned. But Akka had decided that we weren’t going to go home without both of us getting tattoos. She’s sentimental that way.

So I told him that I wanted the Sun and the Moon, and he Googled designs. I already did that and which was why I had customized designs!

I picked one, and he printed it out, created a stencil, and put it on my arm. The guy was perfectly chatty with me, and I was glad because it distracted me. I was prepared to ask to talk to him, but thankfully, he saved me from that embarrassment. It took him 15 minutes, and on a scale of 1-10 of pain (with 10 being the highest), it was around 3 for me. I got it on the fleshy inside of my left forearm, so it was only noticeable.

As I begin working, I will definitely get myself all the tattoos that I want because once isn’t nearly enough. I want a few more Suns and Moons, and I want a quote or two, and I definitely want a watercolour one, and a Totoro one. Maybe every year, on July 15th, to commemorate the anniversary of my first tattoo, I will get one more on my body. I anyway cannot donate blood, so why not?



Director, producer or actor?

The Show Must Go On

If you were involved in a movie, would you rather be the director, the producer, or the lead performer? (Note: you can’t be the writer!).

Imagining those three as my only options, I’d go with being a producer, because then I’d get to gamble on movies, or in other words, belief in a movie itself, and the people working behind it. It is risky, and I am not a gambler, and with any business experience, my simple, un-business mind might get the crew in trouble. But producer it is, because I lack the other qualifications. For being a producer, you just have to have a lot of money to invest in. You also have to hire an accountant and you get to decide how much each person working for the movie gets! That way, I’d reduce the amounts for the lead roles and distribute is fairly among the crew workers.

If I had to choose an option other than those three, I’d love to be in charge of food. I wouldn’t be able to cook, of course, but otherwise, I’d love to make sure that everyone gets healthy food, make sure not to waste the left overs, make sure the director or the crew members are eating well and on time. It would be a very motherly role, and I would fit well into it.

And, I’m back, attempting prompts. Hopefully, this will keep me afloat.

That lavender coloured frock

Because I have some sort of a writer’s block, or rather, a creative block that is unsettling all the time, I have decided to restart with Bryn Donovan’s 100 prompts on writing about yourself. I won’t do it every day and definitely not in one stretch, but hopefully, I will have attempted them all. This, fingers crossed, will also help improve my memory and help me rediscover myself from a different angle.

1. Describe your earliest childhood memory.

On the left most part of my palm, I have a sort of a skin boil that has hardened very quickly. I have no memory of the pain that was endured, but I do remember how it happened. Sort of, assuming that I didn’t make it up in my head.

I think I was four years old. It was in a house we lived in Srinivas Nagar; one with a large, cemented front yard, with a washing stone on which I had apparently gotten my hair cut. I was wearing this lavender coloured frock that fell past my knees, which I had gotten for my birthday that year. It was Pappa and Amma’s anniversary. We were getting ready to go out, and it was just only about 6 in the evening. The sun set earlier during November, so our pooja timings were also altered accordingly.

I think I insisted on lighting the incense sticks to the door and the Tulasi plant outside. But i did light them myself. And not just one or two of those like I do now, but four sticks at one go. They were lighted and I watched them in deep fascination, as they burned and a fourth of the sticks just burnt in my hand. I still kept watching when I remembered to stick them in the Tulasi plant pot.

I have no idea how i got the scar; maybe i decided to play with the burning tips of the sticks and burnt my hand; I used to be an impulsive, fearless kid back then (lighting up small bijili crackers in my hand and then throwing them up just before it burst; I had great timing). But i do remember me staring at those burning incense sticks very adoringly.

That scar has faded over time, and now it is almost flat against my palm. It has a yellowish tinge, but soon, I’m sure it will fade away.

Trying to write Erotica

As you all know, I attempted J R Rogue and Kat Savage‘s June Writing Prompts, Because Every Summer Is Still Winter, a set of 30 poetry prompts, on my fiction blog. It was such an amazing experience. I really had no idea that I had it in me write those things that I wrote!

The prompt for June 29 was Legacies of Ruin. I don’t know what it means. The first time I read it, I felt all warm and fuzzy inside. So, that’s exactly how i answered the prompt: with something that would make my characters go warm and fuzzy.

I decided a long time ago that my characters are never me, so what was it that made my characters go warm and fuzzy? My characters may not have names or genders or sexes, but they sure have plenty of story and feelings. I made them have sex. A surprise from one of my characters.

I’ve read plenty of erotic scenes in books and writing this was every bit uncomfortable as watching it. And it wasn’t even the whole thing.

And I have no idea why I just wrote this.

I guess I’m just not that prepared for it as I used to be. It is a pitiful situation.

The Little Things

The Little Things

There’s a digital artist and illustrator by name Pascal Campion who makes brilliant sketches of daily life and sometimes, as a bonus, adds little dialogue to it, to make the scene more realistic.

What’s important to me is how these simple little daily moments can bring about emotion in me. Enjoying in the rain, the beach, with a beloved, with your children, with kids, with pets, solitary moments, they all are so much more meaningful. It’s not just his art style; it’s his subject and its ability to reach out to our souls.

Each time I see his sketches, my heart feels. My heart swells with happiness by looking a father being proud of his son, a mother feeding her child, two little duckies playing in the rain (my absolute favourite!); my heart aches when I see sketches of couple because they have so much love written all over that it is damn near impossible to find someone who looks at you like that; I squeal when there are animals involved; I clap when there’s a little story included.

Pascal helped me realize one thing: it’s the little things that matter. The little things that made you cry; that made you smile; that made you look tenderly into someone’s eyes; all of it will end up being the best memories of one’s lives. You may soon forget about them, but these moments are the ones that make you feel that thing called “emotion” hidden deep inside your heart, and you can never forget how it made you feel.

Open Letter Fridays: To a Personality trait that needs to be kept in check

Shape up or Ship out: Write a letter to the personality trait you like least, convincing it to shape up or ship out. Be as threatening, theatrical, or thoroughly charming as is necessary to get the job done.

Dear Mr. Nice,

You don’t need to prove yourself often. If you do keep surfacing, people will assume that I am incapable of feeling anger or pain and keep hurting me over and over again.

Because, you see, in case you hadn’t noticed, it’s already happening and you’re winning.

But not for long.

I am a very sweet person, sometimes funny but other times stupid. I am capable of handling titles such as ‘Ursingi‘ (the Angry Woman in Kannada) or even ‘Moody’. I just don’t like to be called a ‘Nice’ because it just shows that I’m doing an ARK (an act of random Kindness) just to keep up my appearances.

Which I’m not. I am totally, utterly sincere in whatever I’m doing.

Apart from the above stated facts, there’s also another reason why you shouldn’t come as often as you do. Whenever you appear, I tend to push you down, in an attempt to avoid you and that makes me all the things unimaginable: angry, sarcastic (not in a funny way), prone to self harm, searching for the self-destruct button, lack of confidence and whatnot.  And I don’t just harm myself mentally and physically, I harm my family, my friends too much sometimes. And it happens right after you’ve made your little appearance.

So, if you don’t back off this instant, I will kick you where it hurts the most with all my might. Mark my words.



The other way around

Tables Turned. 

Are you as comfortable in front of a camera as behind one? Being written about, as well as writing?

When it comes to being in front of a camera, it depends on who’s taking the photo. Id it’s a friend, I’m unusually not me. If it’s a close friend, one my friends with a DSLR, like Prince, I’ll love being the subject because those photos mostly make be look beautiful.If it’s family, you’ll know.

I love writing about people. I love people, in general. That’s one of the reasons why I started Tuesday Is Talent Day. And so far, I’ve never been written about. Except by myself, of course.


I hate not blogging.

Even though it’s been only two days since my last post, it feels forever. I didn’t want to post today, but felt that it would too long a gap so I decided to write about my latest venture that’s keeping me busy.

There’s a website called PostCrossing, where, if you’re into writing letters and postcards and stuff, you get to send post cards to randomly chosen people from some corner of the world.

I think it is brilliant. The first person I got is from Russia and her postcard will be leaving tomorrow. I made it with so much love :’)

I’ve made several other postcards for other reasons and they’ve come out awesome.

My post crossing journey begins here.

(Forgive me for the bad photo quality!)

You should try it!

Unlikely pairing.

Bacon and chocolate, caramel and cheddar… Is there an unorthodox food pairing you really enjoy? Share with us the weirdest combo you’re willing to admit that you like — and how you discovered it.

This was when my mother learned to make Paalak Paneer. Nobody else in my family eats paneer (cottage cheese), but she makes it for me. So, when I was in school one day, I came home and Amma told me that there was some Chitranna (Lemon rice) was left. I was no big fan and I groaned.

Then she found a small box of palak paneer in the fridge and she asked if I wanted it. I thought things would taste better and that would be more edible, so I said, okay.

She brought me a bowl of the rice and another smaller bowl of Palak Paneer and I slowly took some of the gravy and mixed it with the rice. I made a face at it before eating it—it did look rather unappetizing—and took a bite.

And that is the best combination in the world. It is pure heaven and my dad and I both enjoy it to the fullest.

We’ve tried mixing other types gravies with it: different types of chicken gravies, brinjal (egg plant), including saambaars, if they’re almost over and not enough for one person to mix with rice. And we’ve bonded over that.

Who would’ve thought?

My planet?! My Planet!

Interplanet Janet.

You get to design your own planet: tell us all about your planet — the weather, the seasons, the inhabitants. Go.

One word: Bangalore.

For me, someone who has lived all her life in Bangalore, place is perfect. But I’ll change it a bit: I’ll make my planet just like the old Bengaluru, way before I was born, like sometime in the ’80s.

The people, the climate, the recent poshness (making sure it doesn’t go out of hand), everything.