Anbrin Naqvi

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In our ever changing world the idea of temporary tattoo templates appeal more and more to me. As we grow, so do our preferences, and as an immigrant I have learnt that it is OK to unlearn everything and make space for something new. This is one of my reasons for selecting temporary tattoos.

South Asians are already known for their henna tattoos that are purely herbal and last only a couple of washes. Now I have chosen to wear the forehead tattoo, also known as a 'bindi', which is also temporary and herbal, but is worn almost everyday as a cultural/religious ritual.

My history with the mid-forehead temporary tattoo goes back to my preteen years when my family had a friendly Hindu (Indian) neighbor on one side and a recluse single Russian on the other. Through my neighborly intermingling with the Indian family, I was introduced to the tradition of applying a 'bindi' (a red dot) in the middle of the forehead. I hesitantly questioned my mom on the reasoning behind not wearing the forehead dot in our house. In fact, being a Muslim household I secretly feared receiving a severe bashing on the question raised.

Her answer surprised me. She said, “you can wear a black dot on your forehead to ward off evil eyes”.

I imprinted a black dot (temporarily) on my forehead for the Eid Festival and proudly adorned it all day long. Fast forwarding, I have chosen a mandala temporary template for my forehead, which according to some cultures symbolizes the 'third eye'.

In other texts the mandala represents the universe or a spiritual journey. Accordingly, there may be days that I won't be feeling spiritualistic or ritualistic, therefore the freedom of not having any imprint on the forehead is equally awesome.


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