Women in Bhopal are getting tattoos of Goddess Durga to signify women empowerment
Photo by AFP

BHOPAL: A few women in the city have got tattoos with an image of goddess Durga and a famous sloka from the Durga Saptashati made on their backs as a symbol of women empowerment. They say that the tattoo is a warning to those who cast an evil eye on women.

A beautician Sneha Upadhyay has got made the tattoo of goddess Durga along with the sloka ‘Yaa Devi Sarva-Bhuteshu Maatr-Rupein Samsthitaa, Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah…’ on her back for peace and energy.

Sneha who is mother of two young daughters says she is very upset due to the growing number of sexual crimes against women. She feels that she should be strong enough - like goddess Durga - to battle her tormentors. She wants women to become so powerful that no one dares to cast a lecherous look at them.

“Let the tormentors of women be warned that the Goddess- the slayer of the evil men – is looking at them, even if no one else is,” she said.

She says that most of the time, females often have to contend with men commenting, whistling and singing songs from the back when they go out.

“We can’t keep an eye on them. So I have made the tattoo on my back so that goddess Durga protects us from the back,” she says adding that her intention is to get peace and energy.

She is disappointed that Garba is being not organised during Navratri due to the coronavirus pandemic. “So we got the tattoo made and share its photograph on social media to keep the festive spirit alive,” Sneha says.

Similarly, Niraj Yadav, who runs Jovial Makeup Studio, Kolar Road, says that rape cases are growing in the country. People worship nine forms of the Goddess during Navratri. Every woman is akin to goddess Durga and one of the forms of the goddess is Shailputri who is the daughter of the Himalaya. “I got made the tattoo of the Goddess Durga on my back to feel strong like the Himalaya,” she says.

She has been participating in Garba events in the city with her daughter for 12 years. “I decided to make a tattoo, based on goddess Durga, as my way of asserting that women are not weak people whom the men can treat the way they want to,” she says.

Vedi Mahor, Harry Black Tattoo Shop, New Market says:

"There is huge demand for tattoos, themed on the goddess during Navratri, mostly from girls and women. They prefer to get tattooed on their backs and hands. We have made tattoos on around 35 clients from Bhopal and around the city till now. We have around 700 designs of tattoos on the theme. Once the design is selected, we make the tattoo using needles and dynamic ink. The time required and the charges depend on the size and placement. For black and grey tattoos, we charge Rs 700 for the first square inch and Rs 1000 for coloured tattoos."

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