As a responsible adult with many teenaged nieces and nephews, I know I will have to face these questions a zillion times in future - Why the need to permanently ink yourself? What is that pressing a need that you needed to express yourself so loud, permanently? What were you thinking?
I love the design I got inked with. It means a lot to me that what it looks like. And this is entirely the reason I went ahead with the tattoo. But there is a slightly deeper reason to it.
I might mince words, smile and pass off the questions or break out the honest answer depending on who asks these questions, but this is one place where I can be honest – Yes, I got myself inked because I wanted to. Simple. If I don’t want it in future, then I will still accept full responsibility to what I did, and deal with it the way I want to.
And no, I am not a rebel. I do not hate this world. I am not questioning the ways of the world. On the contrary, I love the world and my life and everything in it.
Call it the extreme influence of the books I read (Thank you, Atlas Shrugged!) or the very modern-thinking teachers I had in school, having grown up in an orthodox Indian middle class family, I have realized one concept - The only thing a human being wants ever in life is Freedom.
Financial freedom, Social freedom, Emotional freedom. Freedom to just be. Freedom to do what one feels like. Freedom.
The following lines sum it all up for me -
"I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine."- John Galt
Obviously the society we all grew up in does not greatly love this idea of freedom. Since we are social beings, and have to live with one another and not in isolation, it is only valid and logical that we abide by the norms that the society dictates. Yes. Agreed, and entirely valid.
But as women, we face many more predicaments in our lives, which will go against what we want to do or believe in, and we end up doing what the society demands of us. In most situations we are forced to do things we do not believe in, or do not want to, but do it only for the sake of people around us. And most of these happen in home front, the one place where we logically should have all the freedom.
I, particularly still consider myself to be one of the luckiest women I know, having had the kind of free childhood I have had, the freedom I got in choosing my life and the way I want to lead it, the freedom I still have in doing the things I want to do in the way I want it to be done, at home and work and all. In spite of all these, I have found myself stifled couple of times… and that is when the whole desire for freedom crops up all over again.
To be what I want to be.
To do what I want to do.
To say what I feel like.
All without being judged!
I know it is asking for more, given the society we all live in, but the least I can do to assert to myself that I am an independent individual, fully in control of her life is to take a decision on what I do with my body! :-)