Bhawnpa Saadhwanii, a resident of Orchid Petals in Sohna Road, Gurgaon, is in love with Lord Krishna. So much so that the first thing she does in the morning and the last thing at night is to stare at the Krishna painting she has in her bedroom. Her daily rituals include offering prayers to a tusli plant because "Krishna resides in tulsi plant" and applying chandan paste to the idol of Radha Krishna. A frequent visitor to Krishna town Vrindavan - "I can never have enough of that place!" - she has studied the Bhagavad Gita and believe and live by it. In fact, she has allowed the blue god to play with her life. "I have gone through several ups and downs and that's because Krishna loves doing leelas. He loves teasing his bhakts (devotees)," she adds.
Gurgaon resident Bhawnpa Saadhwanii flaunts her Krishna tattoo
Going a step ahead to declare her love for the lord, last Janmasthami she got herself inked with a Krishna tattoo . Not just anywhere but at a place close to her heart - on the right side of her heart to be precise.
She isn't alone. There are numerous other Krishna lovers who are inking themselves with a Krishna portrait or a motif. “This is something that will stay with me forever,” says Riashree Taneja, a resident of Sector 27, Noida. Just the other day, she sat through two uninterrupted hours of pain to get an abstract image of Lord Krishna tattooed on her right upper arm. “Earlier I thought I would go for a Sudarshan Chakra (Krishna’s weapon), but I couldn’t find a good design for it,” she says. Ever since, she has been receiving a lot of compliments and comments. “The entire office is talking about it and there are a lot of comments on my Facebook page,” she says.
"My hubby keeps teasing me saying how I love Krishna more than him," says Saadhwanii.
When it comes to religious icons, Lord Shiva and Lord Ganesha are the favourites. But of late tattoo parlours in Gurgaon, Noida and other NCR towns have been getting a lot of enquiries about Krishna tattoos. It could be a peacock feather, it could simply be a flute, or even the words Radhey Radhey, Krishna Krishna - things associated with the Lord.
It is faith in Krishna that also made homemaker Lily Sharma from New Kanchan Janga Apartment, Sector 23, Dwarka , go for it. “Lord Krishna has done miracles in my life. It is Krishna who came to my rescue when my husband was down with a spinal injury. My soul is always with him, but I needed a permanent physical connect with my God,” she says.
Interestingly, it is not just Indians or the spiritually oriented who are going for it. Says Mike, who runs Funky Tattoo Studio in Gurgaon, “Many of those who come to me doesn’t seem religious at all. They could be doctors, engineers, fashion designers."
“There are Hindus who make Jesus Christ cross and there are Catholics who get Om symbol and Lord Ganesha tattooed,” adds Mike whose speciality is three dimensional tattoos. However, Taneja warns that “If you are thinking about Sunny Leone all the time, you may not be the right person to wear a Krishna tattoo.”
The upper arm is the preferred spot. It’s easier to cover it up if you want to while attending meetings or conferences. And it could be multicoloured. “Peacock feather demands at least 10-12 colours or more, but artist Ranjit Chaudhury from NAM, a small tattoo parlour in Noida, suggests that for Indian skin, colours aren't really suitable. “We live under a hot sun, the colours look faded because you tan fast.”
So how much does it cost? Anywhere from Rs 6-7000 for a 4 inch by 3 inch portrait to Rs 15,000. Saadhwanii paid Rs 8,000 for hers. And there are precautions to follow: Taneja was forbidden from lifting heavy objects, swimming and work-outs for a while. A special balm has also been given to apply it on the tattooed area.
But that’s not stopping anyone, of course, from proclaiming their love for the Lord on their skin.