Kaustuba, a former punk rocker, described himself as a “textbook bad boy” who used to intentionally oppose every wish of his parents. They neither cared for the pins coming out of his skin, nor the multiple tatoos interspersed on his body parts. He has taken up construction work, renovating and hair-cutting as his career pastimes, and he developed tameness through his Krishna consciousness. His life-experience thus far has been transformational. I'm very happy for him.
We both meandered along the creek amidst autumn – pretty hardwoods near Hillsdale Avenue where is located Prabhupada Manor, the home of Dayal Nitai / aka Don Foose, another punk rocker who still does his gigs now and then. Dayal also met his metamorphosis some years back when he became a devotee of Krishna.
At his weekly home gatherings, it has been a few times now that Dayal plays priest to the havan (fire ceremony) when new candidates become initiated. Dayal is twice initiated as a priest and it is part of the spectacle to see his fully tattooed torso complemented by the strong Vaishnava clay markings.
The Cleveland community, which I visit twice a year, is to me the warm tattooed family. Atmaram, also a brahman priest, is also deep-blued with markings of images from Bhagavad-Gita pictorials. There is also handlebar mustached Ram. Altogether, these blokes, if you will, could form a unique human tattoo art gallery.
Be that as it may, they and their find female partners are all terrific human beings and great Vaisnavas. I love them.
As Kaustuba and I made the return journey by the creek, he asked, “Maharaj, do you have a tattoo or would you ever think of getting one?” I indicated that I would stick to my washable tilak clay marks. Maybe in the next life. I know I would give it a consideration. I'm content for now.