Tramp Stamp

So True.

I went through a brief phase of wanting to ‘experience things’ when I was in college.

The predecessor to that phase was a phase where I decided for a whole year I would enter every single school inter-house competition. So I did. All of them. The glorious Charasvati had loads and loads of inter-house events, some listed below:

Quiz – I only knew 2 answers. I was so excited that I actually knew something, that I yelped the answer loudly and the table next to us (dastardly and vile, S.V. house) stole my answer.

Dramatics – it was a really really really REALLY bad play. There were many monologues that were meant to be funny. They weren’t. I hate plays.

Rangoli – The art teacher, Jignesh, drew us some hideous lotus on a big board. For the competition you had to fill it in within 45 mins with coloured powder. If you used too many unadulterated colours you were disqualified, but if you mixed too much of the white power that made it easier to sprinkle, it would look bland and you’d lose marks. We came first. Hah.

Poetry recital – What was I thinking??? Holy crap. I have mentally blocked most of the poem part. I only remember a teacher telling me to try look less like a wreck.

Vegetable carving – Yes that’s right, our school had a vegetable carving competition. I had to audition for this; I carved a tomato like a flower and then cut capsicum slices to make lotus leaves and placed it on a small blue plate, which was on a larger blue plate (for the water, see?). The teachers loved it. I have to admit, it was largely my mother’s idea. At the time I thought my Mother was some kind of genius, because I would never think, capsicum slices = lotus leaves. At the end of the competition we dismantled our sculpture and took the vegetables home for bhaji. Not the tomatoes though. I hate squashy tomatoes. A tomato needs to have a nice, crisp body and a firm texture (Ok that came out a little dirty but you know what I mean). I’m a bit of a tomato connoisseur.

So the up-side of this phase was that I got to bunk a heck of a lot of classes. Vegetable carving takes a lot of practice. The downside was I got noticed for being so fucking enthusiastic and accidentally ended up becoming House Captain. (There was some drama involved in this, but that for another time)

I was a terrible House Captain. I had no idea how to lead or organize things. But at least I got to bunk even more classes.

So after this enthu-responsible-vege-carver phase, I decided all of my good behavior was nonsense and I was going to smoke, drink, swear more (It was a conscious decision. I didn’t swear before college) and get a naval ring.

My mother found out about the naval ring and didn’t speak to me for a week. After a week she asked me

“Why don’t you wear shorter tops. I’ll lend you some.”

I told her I wasn’t a slut.

“What slut? You got a naval ring and at least let everyone see it.”

My mother oscillates from one extreme to another. From not talking to me, to ‘can you please be a ho?’

“But don’t you DARE get a tattoo!”

“Ok, Ok”

“I mean it, I’m serious.”

“Haan OK OK. I said OK”

So of course, naturally, I went to Goa with Riddhi & Mads and got a tattoo. It cost Rs. 300 because we haggled down from Rs. 450. We found some totally random dude in what was essentially a tiny, dark, shed, with 2 plastic chairs and one low-hanging lightbulb. His fingernails were black. We insisted he open a new pack of needles.

The tattoo looks like something scratched out by a prisoner with a rusty scalpel and a smuggled ball-pen. A month after I got the tattoo I had all these nightmares about gettings AIDS and dying. I hid it from my folks for 5 years, I figured they’d kill me. The naval ring was bad enough.

So my mother calls me the other day, to ask me where would I recommend getting a tattoo.

“I’m thinking of getting a Celtic tatoo on my lower back. What do you think?”

“OMG Mom! What is this, some mid-life crisis? You can’t get a tattoo on your lower back! That’s a total tramp stamp!”

“But I like tramp-stamps!”

“Tramp stamps are trashy and don’t get a Celtic thing. It’s so 90’s.”

I really don’t like the idea of my Mom with a Celtic tattoo. I’m sorry but regardless of sporting a shit tattoo myself, I’m a tattoo snob and Celtic swirls are so over. Maybe Enya and that bald chick who cries while singing Nothing Compares could get one and look good but I sinceriously (sincere + seriously) doubt anyone else could.

“I like Celtic patterns… maybe on my arm?”

*internal groan* Celtic pattern on arm, like some 90’s lout…

“Don’t get it on your arm. Get one on your shoulder-blade or somewhere discreet”

“Haan, but I want everyone to see it! Ok but tell me, it hurts right?”

“Yes Mom, it hurts”

“But I always ask people and they say no, no, it doesn’t really hurt…”

“They are all liars. It hurts like hell.”

“Haan…ok. Chalo bye”

The hurting part should put her off a bit.

I’m hoping this is all just a phase.

I should send this to my Mom. She'd find it funny.


21 thoughts on “Tramp Stamp

  1. “Vegetable carving”: I was once in an egg-tossing event, partnered with this girl who was always a sorta-friend of mine. We practiced the egg-tossing and everything.

    But noone explained that the concept was to keep the egg from splattering. I thought the point of the event was to hit her with the egg. So I did.

    I was about 12. I’m very slow to pick up these supposedly ‘obvious’ things.


  2. @Miranto: I thought we were just practicing our catch. I think we were using an Easter egg or something; there’d be no point in trying to splat it.

    –We need to talk your mom into getting a bellybutton ring! Let’s make it happen!!

  3. I’m waiting for a burrito to cool in the oven. Wow, synchronicity!

    –Well, the important thing is to keep her away from a tattoo. If she doesn’t like the bellybutton ring she can always take it out later when she’s ready to decide on a major? Plus, think of the jewelry options once it’s healed. [squeals, shakes pom-poms] Project!!

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