India’s 1st tattoo collector shares the tale of what’s it like to be heavily tattooed in India

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I want to speak about what it’s like to be a heavily tattooed person in India today.

It sounds so normal when let’s say a friend asks you to meet up for a drink or let’s hang out or whatever. For me, I think I’ve developed this anxiety about even stepping out of my house. I mean every time I feel the need to get out, I have to prepare myself for conversations I’m going to have with complete strangers and deal with apprehension from these people who see me.

For instance, the other day I went to the departmental store to get supplies for the house, and I’ve had a random stranger grab my arm, twist it around and acted like I was this toy up for display and all I could think of is “c’mon man, I’m not here for your entertainment”. Reading this, you’re probably thinking ‘you should have just pushed him or punched him in the face’… but, the point is it happens so much, that I go into this state of numbness, and just try to get rid of that situation.

Darryn Burrows, clicked by Tanya agarwal

If you’re going to comment about a tattoo or tattoos in general, make sure it’s at least sincere, think about what you are saying, don’t ask me who is this one for. And, point at a tattoo and ask what does this one mean? How much did you spend on all of your tattoos?  Do you have your whole body tattooed? And the best one: did you do them yourself? lol…

So honestly, tattoos don’t need to have a deep meaning behind why you want it. It’s like if you like the way something looks or if an image or idea just makes you happy, get it tattooed! I mean what says more about you than you’re interests. Tattoo things for yourself and things that represents you and who you are and what you’re all about.

Darryn Burrows, clicked by Tanya agarwal

I think that when you walk up to a heavily tattooed person in public, it just shows your curiosity and it’s nice, but when you want to know every intricate detail about each of my tattoos, that’s kind of like just randomly approaching someone on the road and asking them what’s your name? Where do you live? Where do you work? Know what I mean?

This kind of stuff happens so much to me that I think I’ve developed this fear that ok that ‘dude’s staring, he’s gonna ask me questions about my arms, legs, neck, head and whatever body part he notices, and I’m gonna have to have to put this mask on and have the same conversation I’ve had so many times about what I do for a living, what are my religious beliefs, are my parents okay with me being tattooed (this one’s so stupid), and basically justify to some stranger why I look the way I do.

Darryn Burrows, clicked by Tanya agarwal

But I’m not completely in the dark about the culture we have in today’s India. I know that people who are heavily tattooed are still considered unusual, and that it’s a its free game for people’s curiosity and judgments about these sort of people are weird or cool, aloof or probably into DRUGS!!

So, the next time you see me,a and you are inquisitive about my tattoos, just be normal. If you really want to know about them, let me be the one to initiate the conversation or just be chill about it. 

Darryn Burrows, clicked by Tanya agarwal

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