That stain has a meaning –
dash of ink and circumstances, 
needles dancing on the fearless flesh-
meaning that is perhaps lost to most. 
The soul drenched in black, 
a symbol of facts that were once there.
Like the shooting stars, 
these memories won’t come back. 
All that is left now is the stain,
with a lost meaning and bottomless hope. 

Getting something permanent on one’s body is an idea that has always been very repellent to me. Since the beginning of times, I have been taught that everything on this planet is transient. While living in such a temporary world, where you know that even your thought process has to change with the situation, the idea of inking your body is preposterous to some extent. 

But then, I decided to get one. I have always believed, like many do, in the idea of giving your emotional pains an outlet to leave your body. Instigating physical pain to you, in a constructive manner, of course, is one of the best ways to do that. Trust me, I have seen myself in positions where I have done that – running, sweating and not able to identify if the drop of water running down my cheeks is my tears or the sweat. 

While sitting in front of the tattoo artist and seeing him drill through my skin, I knew this pain is not something that is going to make me cry. And you know what? It did not. 

My emotional breakdown happened once I came back after getting the tattoo done. There it was – swelled up, bleeding – permanently resting on my wrist. With this, I know I have let many things leave my system- things which I thought are permanent and are going to haunt me till I breathe my last. But no. They say it right – nothing is permanent. 

The situations in life are always going to change. I saw it all. All the things that made me an escapist are either not there anymore (with or without my will) or are changing, for my good. Yes, I will always remember these times- when I prayed and prayed for a life where I can breathe with a smile – but now they won’t haunt me. 

Psychologically, I have let all those things go with the li’l amount of blood that I shed, the tears that I cried and the pain I experienced. This tattoo will always have the connotation of my being a free soul from all the things that once tied me from looking beyond the things that have happened and are happening. 

The tattoo is the name of the most important guy in my life because after he came into my life I knew everything good has to happen. A new being in your life instigates a lot of faith in the power of the universe. That is exactly what he did to me. And thus, this tattoo will always remind me of my being free and independent. This will always remind me of the emotional battle I once fought, which I could never win yet survived because winning was not important. For once I knew that losing it was all I needed. This will always remind me of believing in staying what I have been. No matter what I do, I will have this reminding me that I can come out of it, no matter how bad it might get with the hope that nothing will go bad. Why? Because I won’t let myself fall for something harmful. Again. This will always remind me that if I can break free for once, I know I can do it whenever I need to. 

Doing something that I always detested gave me the closure I always sought. 

Author’s Note
No matter what all apprehensions I had, I wanted to get a tattoo. For many years, I had “Timshel” in my mind. It translates to “you always have a choice”. The reason I never got it inked on my body was that I knew somewhere deep down that yes, I still have a choice.

One fine day, I just got up in the morning and I knew what I had to get tattooed. No, it was no obligation. Neither it’s a fad that I have to have a tattoo. This just happened. I went to the best-known tattoo parlour around and got this inked.

It is my nephew’s name. This baby is always going to be the most special baby of my life, no matter how many babies come. He is the first. He is one of my horcrux if I have to put it that way. My love for this boy is something I can never express. But this is my gift to him and to me. This one has let me free. And you, Mr Azad Verma, will always be a free man with wisdom and sense that matters and an aunt who has always got your back.

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