For most of us, doodling and sketching are pastimes that once on the pages of a sketchbook, are closed off for some time unless thought of again, and revisited. For Nidhi Patel, an artist and lover of all things fashion, a sketch she made of the Hamsa with a mix of other symbols turned out to be much more than a sketch, eventually ending up as the biggest tattoo on her body.
‘It was just a random sketch back then, but it was not just one concept. There are different elements to it, the Moroccan hand, the evil eye, and there’s a triangle forming with the lotus in the middle of it. I have a habit of scribbling and drawing and I ended up drawing this Hamsa and the lotus and the Illuminati triangle. What I love the most is the fact that there are so many elements, and you can’t grab what exactly the tattoo means in the first glance.’
The Hamsa itself is an important Middle Eastern amulet symbolizing the Hand of God. In all faiths, it is a protective sign. It brings it’s owner happiness, luck, health, and good fortune.
Being a creative and thoughtful person ,Nidhi has always thought deeply before she decided on what she should get inked on her body, and the Hamsa was no different- ‘Positive and negative energies and space is important to me, that’s what I do in my job and it is what I have studied in my field. So even if I heard that the illuminati is bad and some say it is good, I don’t know much about it and so I cannot judge it. But it is a part of this tattoo. The lotus signifies purity and internal beauty. The Hamsa and the evil eye are charms made to protect you. My tattoos have provided energy for me, the story of the Hamsa being that I got a great job offer after I got it done. I was just recovering from a bad period in my career, so it is extremely special.’
Talking about her other two tattoos, Nidhi is as excited as the Hamsa. ‘I have a dove on my shoulder blade, it dignifies my freedom and independence. The tattoo was the mark of some very exciting times in my life. The second one is a thread and a needle that goes through my skin and comes back out. It is meant to signify the fact that fashion means a lot to me. So much that I cannot explain it. It is important for me that the tattoo I get means a lot and spreads a lot of energy in me.’
Thinking of a place to get it done was not very difficult. Energy being a very important part of her life, choosing one of the Chakras in the human body, something central was an obvious choice. And so happened the iconic chest piece. Choosing an artist, another task was also not really a road block given that a lot of Nidhi’s friends had gotten their pieces created by Zaheer Chhatriwala (Of Studio Z). ‘I didn’t know Zaheer, my friends recommended him and I checked his work out of Instagram and I felt like he is the one. Energy matters where the person who is tattooing is concerned as well. I gave him my art piece, and I was nervous but he took it completely in his hands and transformed something that started out as a random doodle into a masterpiece that I admire every time I look at it.’
It is true, when they say that the experience gets richer if the energy surrounding the experience is just right. And just like that for Nidhi, the Hamsa drawn by Zaheer continues to be her source of energy and inspiration for all the years to come.