It’s like waiting for The Deathly Hallows, times a thousand. After months of speculation and postponements the final book of Amish Tripathi’s Shiva Trilogy hits the stands on February 27. It’s a bittersweet moment for a generation that has been captivated by the idea that Gods, as we know them, could in fact be distinctly human and definitely relatable. And many fans are unafraid to wear their new-found adoration on their sleeves, permanently, with Shiva tattoos being quite the rage now.
Tejasvini Govindraj, tattoo artist at Skindeep, is certain that it is the book that has spiked the request for Shiva-themed tats recently. “The interest in these tattoos has definitely gone up because of the trilogy. I am doing loads of trishuls, Shiva in meditation, calm and angry faces. Recently a client wanted an image on the book cover of The Immortals of Meluha tattooed on his back,” she says, “In fact, even as we speak, a gentleman in the studio is getting a shiva tattoo done,” she adds. Vikram, who has got the ‘Shiva’ (in Indus Valley script as represented in the book) tattooed on his arm, says, “I worship Mahadev and I wanted to tattoo the sign on me.” Another fan, Ganesh Kambli, says, “I loved the book so much that I decided to get a tattoo done.”
“I think that the tattoos that people are getting is a representation of the passion that they have for Lord Shiva. He is the kind of God who excites immense passion. He even got a creatively challenged person like me to write an entire trilogy about Him!” he says.
Satish, who has been working as a tattoo artist in the city for the last five years, says Shiva had always been a popular theme. “I would put the people who request for Shiva tattoos into two categories. The first lot want Shiva depicted as a powerful destroyer,” he says. All muscular and testosterone fueled. “Then there is the hippie crowd for whom Shiva stands for something different.” he adds.
Girish, a senior tattoo artist at Brahma Tattoos, witnessed a surge in the popularity of these tattoos, by almost 20 percent, as the book became a best seller. “But more than images inspired from the book, I did a lot of traditional depictions of Shiva as described in the puranas. It’s not just this book, popular comics like Ramayana 3392 A D have also driven the interest for mythological tattoos,” he says.
So how will Amish wrap up this series. “Well, what they can expect is the end of the story!” he jokes.