Is The Good Wife Unhappy?

Moving to Marathahalli from Jayanagar has been a pain in more than one way. It isn’t the whole packing and moving that’s causing the headache, but also finding new “regular” places – the salon, the grocers, the chaatwala, etc. Marathahalli to my eyes is a desert in every way possible, after the green poetic landscape that was Jayanagar. But nevertheless, one must find one’s regulars, and during one of my many hunts, I chanced upon this dark and dingy looking salon. I had a job to be done, and it didn’t matter now where I got it done. I stepped in and was greeted by this really friendly woman. It didn’t look like she got a lot of business, but she was quite chatty, and funny too.

As they often do, my tattoos started off yet another conversation with a stranger. A woman with tattoos often intrigues people. It’s a little disturbing what some lowlifes seem to think of us, but Bangalore is a lot more accepting in such matters. After asking the usual questions – what do they mean, where did you get them done, how much did they cost, when did I get them done, the salon lady asked the one question that everybody asks – but invariably only at the end – do they hurt? I responded with the answer perfected over the years – it does a bit in the bony areas, but areas like the arm, it does not hurt a bit.

Most people smile at that answer. You can see the workings of their mind, imagining someday they would also sport something on their arms, now that they knew it did not hurt. Some look so excited you want to ask them what they planned to get. Some ask me if I would accompany them when they went to get it done. Some would simply shake their head and say “Hmm, but maybe they’re not for me.” But this lady looked and sounded really disappointed that tattoos did not hurt. “But they inject ink, right?” she sounded almost hopeful when she asked this. I replied in what I thought was an encouraging tone, “They inject it just below the skin surface. It’s not like the doctor’s injection that you might be imagining.”

“Hmm,” she responded quietly. “I’ve always been scared of the pain, that’s why I never got one done. Otherwise, there are so many tattoo parlors in Bangalore that the rates have also gone down.” I nodded.

I noted later that she kept stroking the tattoo on my wrist. Longer than necessary while performing the job at hand. And her eyes held a wistful expression. I thought perhaps there was more to the “Hmm” than I was reading. Not wanting to probe, I said, “You can get one now that you know it does not hurt so much. There’s a parlor right next door. She does it well too.” And to that she answered what I had not been able to read in the “Hmmm”:

“My husband would never allow it. He says tattoos are useless and women, especially, should not get them.”

Aaaaah… the husband… the Indian husband, under whose thumb he expects his wife to be. And the good wife is the one who is content to live under that giant thumb. 
Dear women, do not get them useless tattoos.


2 thoughts on “Is The Good Wife Unhappy?

  1. Parul July 6, 2015 / 4:54 PM

    Oh these husbands. Why do they have to influence so much! On a side note, from Jayanagar to Marathalli must have been painful..Hope all is settled now!


  2. Sreesha Divakaran July 7, 2015 / 5:45 AM

    Oh these wives. Why do they have to be influenced so much!
    No, Parul!! It's been 2.5 years, and even now we go to Jayanagar every now and then to cool off and reminisce and whatnot. Marathahalli is so hot and so dry. There's not a single park anywhere nearby, nor anything worth visiting.


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