Ink to paper is thoughtful,
ink to flesh, hard-core.
If Shakespeare were a tattooist,
we’d appreciate body art more.
People get tattoos for many different reasons, while some do it ‘just for fun; others often get tattoos for more personal and meaningful reasons.
Even though tattoos predate the birth of Christ, their use as body art can be traced back to the Polynesian Era. As the saying goes, a good tattoo is never cheap and a cheap tattoo is never good, The Express Tribune talks to celebrities about the goodness that their body art has brought to them and how tattoos bring out their individuality.
Former model-cum-event planner
Frieha Altaf is very open about her tattoos. She got her first tattoo 16 years ago on the birth of her son in Canada. “When I was going to get my tattoo my mother said that this is haram and my namaz will never be accepted so I shouldn’t get it done,” says Altaf. She went to Urban Primitive, world famous tattoo artist Daemon Rowanchilde’s salon. Altaf says she is very eastern and wanted to represent Pakistan on her body, “I took a shawl I had and made the artist copy a paisley from the shawl on my left shoulder.”
Daemon Rowanchilde began tattooing in 1983 and went on to complete a programme in Experimental and Fine Art at the Ontario College of Art in Toronto. Frieha formed close relations with Daemon and his wife Raven and visited them again for her second tattoo. “One day Daemon called me and said he had found some calligraphy that was really speaking to him, I told him to bring it over only to find that he had brought a chart of the 99 names of Allah,” says Frieha. She then offered him a book that highlighted the meaning of each name and a history of Islam. The couple got so fascinated by the religion that she ended up giving them a copy of the translation of the Holy Quran. Soon after, Frieha got a call and was asked to come to the mosque only to discover that the tattoo artists had converted to Islam. “I told my mother that if I had never gotten a tattoo, this would have never happened. Even though people might call a tattoo haram, it led me to show people how beautiful our religion is which inspired them enough to convert,” stated Frieha.
VJ and TV show host
Another celebrity who dons body art is Mathira. She talks about her tattoos, “I got my first one on my chest from Malaysia which is a Chinese symbol for luck. My second one is all the way down my spine and it has different Chinese words that motivate me.” Mathira wholeheartedly believes that her tattoos bring about the elegance in her personality and give her class. “Only a person with brains can get a tattoo because your body is a canvas so you have to plan and put the art on it,” she says.
Tapu stays rather standoff-ish while discussing his body art, “I have a horse on my upper shoulder blade, I love the idea of the horse and the beauty of it is that no one will ever see it!” The second tattoo resides on his ankle: “Deepak Perwani, my friend Cheeku and I were on vacation in Thailand and we decided to get tattoos. I wanted to get a Dragon and Deepak loved the idea so much that he ended up getting one too.” Tapu also insisted that “Tattoos are private and no one will ever tell you why they got them.”
Model and singer
The musical sensation happily talks about her tattoos: “Currently I have two and one is a Mandarin symbol that represents good luck and prosperity.” Placed on her upper arm, Meesha believes it brings luck to her life and gives her a positive attitude. Her second tattoo matches with her husband Mehmood Rehman’s, “All of our friends call us M&M because of our initials and hence we both got M&M tattooed,” says Meesha, who feels it represents them as a couple.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 27th, 2012.
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