May 8th. It’s been a year.
A good day to start this blog I suppose.
It was exactly one year ago that I got my first, last and only tattoo. Wow.
I never thought I would do it, get inked that is.
And it’s already been a year.
But then again, as they say…when you know, you know. And with this one, I just knew that I had to get it. I needed it.
It all started with Meluha. Picking up a book that had been on my shelf for over 2 years (a friend had sent it all the way from Bangalore as a birthday gift but I had never picked it up and read it), at exactly the right time in my life… when I needed it, and when I was ready for it. Or should I say, ready for him.
Har Har Mahadev.
We are all Mahadevs.
The book was – The Immortals of Meluha – by Amish Tripathi.
Now all my life I’ve been a Krishna devotee, a Krishna fan… crazy about Krishna basically. And a part of me will always be. Shivji was just always there… and only that. I never paid much attention to his stories, or was curious to know more about him.. he was the destroyer, and basically just someone who didnt interest me as much as Krishna did.
With Krishna, I wanted to know all the stories, I wanted to dance all the dances, I wanted my kathak teacher to make me play Radha in all the choreographies. And I loved it.
And then, along came this book. And as is with most things that change your life… it swept me off my feet. Actually, that sounds too romantic.
Let’s just say…it burst through into my life with a concept and a thought so powerful, I KNEW why I had to wait until now to experience it…
Basically, I wasn’t ready for him. I wasn’t ready for Shiva. I wouldn’t have understood..
…But without going into the book, or getting too philosophical (or dreamy for that matter), here’s a summation of the things I’ve always known, felt, wanted and expected, but never found an embodiment of.
We are all Mahadevs. By virtue of our deeds and actions. By virtue of who we are. By virtue of what we stand for.
This is not about Shiva. He is a representation/embodiment of those qualities.
This is about being the best that you are born to be. Because, as he says, we are all Mahadevs.
What I took away from the book:-
Shiva – The qualities of A MAN:
Kind. Gentle. Loving. Clear & Focused. Clean-hearted. Fearless. Strong – mentally, physically, emotionally. Fights evil and injustice. Stands for what is Good, Right and Just. Accepts without prejudice. Loves Music and Dance. Creative. Knowledgeable. Takes risks. Above ego, pride, jealousy, praise. Lives in the moment. Accepts all responsibilities with happiness. Performs duties with joy. Knows where his “home” is, yet has has wings to fly.
Actually, there IS one fictional character who comes close to this description. Howard Roark. Hmm..
So I decided I had to get Shiva inked on my body. I needed the constant reminder that he is there for me. Always. May sound childish, but hey.. the heart knew what it wanted and why it wanted it. So it had to be done.
I have to give credit to my best friend Menka here. We sat and went through tons of Shiva tattoo pictures online but I just wasn’t convinced. Finally, just as I was packing my bags to leave Hong Kong and head to Bombay, she said to me – “Why don’t you combine both your loves.. Krishna and Shiva, together?” That was the basis of the design.
Shiva facing me. Krishna facing the world.
Over the past year, yes, I’ve received tons of compliments for it. Everywhere I go, people stop to tell me hey awesome tattoo, and ask me about it.
To me, it goes beyond the obvious, ie, the combination of the two – Shiva and Krishna. To me, its about their qualities, what they stand for, embody and signify. It also signifies two important people in my life who stand for all these qualities – my parents. I have their initials secretly coded into the tattoo too 🙂
But to really sum it up… to me, this tattoo is a constant reminder, that no matter what kind of suffering or pain or setbacks I go through in life… the values, the qualities, the belief in the right, the good and the just, cannot and will not falter. I’m not alone in this. And if I’m lucky, I’ll meet more like me.
Har Har Mahadev. We are all Mahadevs.