"The Cool Story Behind My Tattoo..."

Five real women let us in on their personal stories, immortalised in ink.

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Meher Ahmed, Stylist

The Tattoo: A 'katana' or the sword of the samurai, on the upper half of the back, pointing towards a prayer, 'forgive my sins', written in Arabic (from top to bottom).

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The Meaning: "I've always been  fascinated by the Samurai way of life—their passion, dedication, and discipline. It's quite similar to the Hindu philosophy of 'karma is dharma'. I swear by this manifesto when it comes to both my art and the way I live my life. The words below are a plea to the Universe to forgive me for all my vices. I want live a life free of judgement."

Conchita Fernandes, Writer

The Tattoo: Hummingbirds in flight.

The Meaning: "Around the time I got inked, I was going through a lot of emotional stress and felt trapped in my own body. This was followed by a period of low self-esteem. I needed a pick-me-up—a little something that would remind me of how beautiful I really am. A friend suggested I get a tattoo of hummingbirds, while the artist set them in motion. I found myself breaking free—literally and figuratively, thereafter."

Roxanne D'Souza, Blogger

The Tattoo: A stanza  from Ode To A Nightingale.

The Meaning: "I studied John Keats in school, but I hadn't really fallen in love with the guy yet. A trip to Rome changed everything. I suddenly found myself re-reading this ode, and enraptured by everything he said. After a dear friend passed away (my boyfriend at the time), Keats' words found a whole new meaning. My tattoo roughly translates to, 'Eventually I will fly to you, not with the help of any substances, but my poetry and words. And my mind might be dull at times, but I'm already there with you'. The reason the font is somewhat illegible is because the tattoo is very personal to me."

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Ragini Ahuja, Designer

The Tattoo: Professor Banerjee and The Brute

The Meaning: "I have commemorated each one of my collections with a tattoo. Geometric renditions of leopards and foxes formed the blueprint of SS '13, my very first collection, while Prof Banerjee is one of the fictional characters that defined the AW '13 display!"

Parul Soni, Advertising Professional

The Tattoo: A quote by Edgar Allan Poe, "There is no exquisite beauty without some strangeness in the proportion" brought to life by a character drawn by artist and musician Brandon Boyd.

The Meaning: "A fiend crouched under an old, weather-beaten tree plays the flute. As the notes travel upwards, the tree starts blossoming again. It is this strangeness that's so beautiful to me. And the underlying message for me, given my past experiences and interactions, is that no matter how I look on the outside or how others perceive me, I can give rise to great things. It's a deeply personal reminder to stay confident and self-assured, and never be too proud or too afraid to experiment and fail."

Photographs: Mrinmai Parab, Ambarin Afsar, Archisman Misra

Writer: Karishma Rajani

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