Look around carefully. There’s a fair chance you’ll find a few Tommy Singhs around. No, we don’t mean doped out, obnoxious rappers, but young men trying to resemble Shahid Kapoor in his last film — with long hair and a tattooed torso. Gaurav Thakur for instance, is in the process of designing a tattoo that looks like Shahid’s winged back tattoo in Udta Punjab. The graphic artist and Sasha fan believes it merges two of his favourite heroes. “I have always wanted wing tattoos on my back because I love the character of Angel in Marvel Comic’s X-Men who actually has wings. When I saw the Udta Punjab poster, I realised that it was exactly how I wanted my wing tattoo to look. Shahid’s tattoo only spans half his arm and runs across his shoulder blades but I want it to cover my whole back instead of half my back.”
Gaurav’s not the only one. Celebrities have been inspiring fans to get tattooed for a very long time. “People come in for celebrity tattoos everyday,” says Vikas Malani of Body Canvas. “They’re mostly kids or youngsters in their early 20s. Bollywood stars, music bands and even cricketers and WWE wrestlers inspire these tattoos. I personally prefer to reinterpret them a little. While some let me do that, others want the exact same thing.”
Alia Bhatt and her tattoo
Alia Bhatt’s pataka tattoo at the base of her neck is a hot favourite, we’re told. 23-year-old Raklaxmi got the tattoo because she is a huge fan of Alia and also because she thought the tattoo would suit her perfectly. “I also got it in Devnagri script like Alia’s tattoo. The only difference is that my tattoo is on my wrist. It just came to my mind and I got it.” Another Bollywood diva who has gotten young women to get tatted up is Priyanka Chopra. For 24-year-old Priya Kamalta, PeeCee’s ‘Daddy’s lil’ girl’ tattoo serves dual purposes. “I am a huge fan of Priyanka Chopra and I always wanted the same tattoo as her. I also have a close relationship with my father so I thought it was perfect.” Although Priya got her tattoo done all the way back in 2012, she is still just as happy with it as when she first got it done.
Apart from these, people tattooing names of their girlfriends and boyfriends on their arms— a la Saif-Kareena style— is a hot trend too. While some are content to copy the tattoo art of celebrities and give them personal meanings, others try to think a bit out of the box and make their favourite celebrity the inspiration for body art. 27-year-old Swarnav Mitra, who has been listening to Pink Floyd since he was a baby, got a tattoo, which mingles two of their albums, Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall. “It’s not complete yet as there are other elements I want to add,” he explained. “I’ve been listening to Pink Floyd all my life since my dad, who has passed away, used to play records even when I was a baby.
The tattoo connects me to the band and to my dad.” Whether you want to play copycat or come up with a unique design of your own, it is imperative that you get it right and are completely sure. “A lot of our clients are people who got celebrity tattoos done at a younger age but want a cover-up tattoo because they don’t like it ten years down the line,” says Malani.
For 35-year old Kunal, who got the tattoo of a leaping lion to depict the ‘Lion of Punjab’, Sunny Deol and 36-year-old Raj Makwana who got the tattoo similar to Sanjay Dutt’s Shiva tattoo, the results were not pleasant. “I did not think that my tattoo was fit for a family guy and a father,” says Kunal. Raj’s story however, is a tale of tattoo disaster. “I got my tattoo done ten years ago from a local guy. He didn’t know that Sanjay Dutt’s tattoo is a Shiva tattoo, so he made something that looks similar but is, in reality, completely different. I finally got it covered up this year because I really did not like the way it looked,” he said....