Tattoo is a design on the skin, achieved by changing pigments of skin. The process is done by repeatedly pricking ink into the skin using sharp needle. And because it is done inside the dermis layer of the skin it can’t be erased unless done surgically. The technology of removing tattoo hasn’t yet been introduced in Bhutan and therefore to have a tattoo removed could cost fortunes.
Why am I talking about removing tattoo, when everybody does it for keeping? Well I have learnt from experience that at one point in life you would die to get them removed. You would look at it each day and wish if you had never done it. I know you won’t believe me today, because I didn’t believe them then.
I was just like anyone of you, if not naughtier. I was full of energy, energy waiting to explode and there were always choices ahead of me. I made many wrong ones amidst my youthful excitements. And you could land up doing your share of wrongs too, which as you grow up and as you realize, time will forget and forgive. But there are certain wrongs that would last beyond our realization, beyond our righteousness and beyond our repentance.
One such wrong is getting into drugs. It’s addictive and destructive. It gives you an illusion of happiness and stops you from growing. It clouds your judgment and forces you to multiply your wrongs beyond your intentions. Every morning you wake to find that one more person has left your life, and yet you keep moving away from your family and friends. If you are lucky to receive a timely help you may be able to jailbreak but I have seen how the ghost of the past visits your happy home in future. Just when you finally overcome the addiction and decide to settle down, have family and play with your kids then you realize you aren’t left with much life. You had already damaged so many vital organs in your body to live a normal life. Then you feel the unforgiving grip of your youthful wrong holding you back.
While drugs problem is talked about enough there is a subject equally important that didn’t receive much attention. The aggressive love for tattoo is another youthful folly, which literally last forever. At one time you don’t find anything wrong with tattoo because you see so many celebrities showing off their designs, you see all your friends having them and because you probably think you will never grow up. But you have to grow up and you have to know that those celebrities have millions of dollars and that your friends are wrong too.
Technologies with which celebrities create their tattoos are medically safe and the tattoo makers are professionals, they know what they are doing. Do we have professionals? What type of tools are we using? Last year a student of mine tried a tattoo on his neck and landed up infecting some nerves inside. He couldn’t move his neck and had hard time talking; it took over a month of treatment to regain his speech. He was lucky that it was just a normal infection and not tetanus. There are other infections associated with careless pricking that could ruin your life.
Surviving the infection is just the first stage; living with tattoo is another challenge. My tattoos didn’t give me infection because I sterilized the needles I used but tattoo itself is an infection, more so when you are someone responsible in society. People associate tattoo with drug addicts and gang members but I am a teacher and I don’t like to be assumed that way. How could I change that way people think?
When you are young you don’t care a thing about the world. Tattooing your body is just another mischief you try among hundred others. To gain little extra attention you tattoo strange designs and shamelessly find it cool. I have seen arms and legs filled with vulgar words, phrases and signs displayed openly in public. But someday you are bound to change, and you can’t read your future. Look at me; I never thought I would hold this respectable position in the society. All my youthful follies are forgotten with time except these tattoos on my arms but I am very grateful to myself for not having filthy and disrespectful symbols and words.
Your future is waiting for you with greater opportunities and you could be someone everybody looks up to. And from where you are then you can’t afford to show your tattoo and escape wrong assumptions. Future can’t lie in the tattooed arms. Even if you choose to lead a quiet life you have to become a parent someday and when your little child points at the sign of middle finger on your arms and ask you questions, how would you explain the vulgarity of your designs? Therefore, if you don’t yet have a tattoo, don’t bother about having one. You don’t have to keep a permanent record of your temporary mischief.