Tattoos and the List of Tabooed Desires.

“I am going to the mall. Will be back in an hour,” I shouted through the door. It’s standard operating procedure. Before I leave the house, I must tell the ladies where I was going and how long I’d be gone. It makes me feel like a teenager; it claws at my self-respect; but it keeps them happy. So why not.
“Which mall?” mom shouted back. We Punjabis can’t talk without shouting, especially when we don’t have to keep up appearances – for instance, at home.
“Does it matter?”
“Yes. If you are going to The GIP mall, I’ll come along,” she called back waddling out after me. Only my mom could’ve waddled out fast enough to have caught me. Trust me, I am really nimble on my feet. But then she’s my mom, and she’s spent years running after sis and me. So no big deal.
“Mom, I am going to be busy. You can’t tag along,” I tried again.
It’s virtually impossibly to escape when mom has her heart set upon wheedling out information from you. She can chuck her hand into your throat and reach right down to your gut, and pull it all out – and one of her tricks to accomplish it is – Punjabi.
“Puttar, ki gal hai, tu mainu das!” (Translates loosely to “Son, what’s troubling you? You can tell your mom.”)
You’d say that after thirty-some years, I should’ve smartened up enough to see through her ruses by now, but I fell for it. Once again. Lock, stock, and barrel.
“I’m going to get a tattoo,” I mumbled.
“A tattoo.”
Gudna?” She translated it into Hindi – as if translating it would change its meaning. Well, the meaning didn’t change, but suddenly it stopped sounding all that funky and spunky!
I tried again.
“It’s fashionable, ma,” I said. “It’ll make me look smart, ” I sighed. “Please mom, just one tattoo on my shoulder,” I whined.
Sometimes, mom gives in to my whims. I waited – wondering whether this would be one of those times.
She thought long and hard.
Then she smiled and said, “OK.”
My heart grew wings and it soared. I was finally going to get a tattoo – a Pirate Tattoo – one that would have skull wearing a cap and smoking a cigar! I had always dreamed of getting one of those.
“Thanks mom,” I said, my emotions constricting my throat… I wanted to hug her and tell her that she was the best mom in the world!
But she wasn’t done.
“As long as it’s Om. Anything else, and you’ll see me dead!” she said with an air of finality, threw me a victorious look, and waddled back inside.

So tattoos have now got added to my ever-expanding list of tabooed desires.

(This post was written in response to the Daily Prompt “Tattoo…you?”)

If you enjoyed this post, find more of my Quirky, Snarky, Malarkey in The QSM Magazine.

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About Anand

Parodist, Humorist, Caricaturist, Nerd.
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31 Responses to Tattoos and the List of Tabooed Desires.

  1. Vibrant says:

    Hahahaha Desi Gudna lol 😀
    Are you a Jat? I had a Jat friend. 🙂

    Ek omkar satnam 😛

    Your posts are fresh air of breeze–i don’t feel time fleeting–when I read mine I have to wade through heaps of words and I am thinking “how are readers feeling about it? So much text?”

    Have a nice evening Anand 🙂


    Liked by 3 people

    • Anand says:

      Temperamentally I am but then most of us from this region of the country are. Glad you find them refreshing. I am sure that mom would send me out to get some fresh air if she read the stuff I am writing. This would be one thing that will bring wifey and mom together.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. koolitzable says:

    We Punjabis can’t talk without shouting, especially when we don’t have to keep up appearances – for instance, at home. “Does it matter?” — I know 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lula Harp says:

    I’m so glad to know mothers are the same the world over!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anand says:

      They are all this manipulative?!!! (Sorry, but I am still smarting from her attack!)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lula Harp says:

        Oh yes! Jewish mothers use guilt. Oh… You’re going to wear that? You’d look so much prettier if you wore the one I got you.

        I’m fairly certain it’s a genetic thing that happens when a baby passes down the birth canal 😄


      • Anand says:

        Jewish and Indian mothers must be sisters in spirit. But you are right about that birth-canal business. I guess they feel that we’ve got to pay the toll. (Wear what? A t-shirt with a pirate-head drawing?)


  4. Peggy Guiler says:

    Found it – Thanks for the giggle. I can see your mother’s face. I had a similar response to my children wanting tatoos. Now I am going to get one for my granddaughter and myself. Shrug? Smile 🙂


  5. Your blogs assure me that no matter where we live in the world our lives are very similar. I so wish other people would understand this. Thanks always Anand for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. devilrockz says:

    FYI South Indians can’t do much talking without shouting either.
    And we can’t get tattoos that aren’t Om either. Unless its a Ganesha. Or a Trishul. Oh wait – we have wayyy too many gods we are allowed to get tattooed.
    Fancy a turtle tat…?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anand says:

      Aha.Wonder then why we are the most maligned lot? Honestly, a Trishul would look good with my pirate – but if I so much as mentioned the idea at home, I’d be sentenced to a dhaba-dinner! (For the world minus Indians of all ilk: Trishul: Trident, dhaba: an Indian roadside diner.) Thanks for the valuable insight. Can’t wait to meet my South Indian friends!


  7. Kyly Sheldon says:

    That was so funny. I love your style of writing and choice of words.


  8. Hey Anand … guess what? …. I found the comments ha ha ha 😀 Being Australian I find our mothers are not nearly so funny to write anecdotes about …. well many of them anyway. I am finding myself drawn to Indian culture and to movies etc set there as I love the humour and colour in them. I love the way you can laugh at yourselves too but still respect your traditions with good humour . I think I am going to enjoy reading your blog posts .


  9. Gradmama2011 says:

    Anand, I LOVE your sense of humor…you are very funny indeed. That’s good…and I feel now that I know your wifey and mama personally… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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