AS TOLD TO BC PIRES
My name is Shaun Ghany and I’m not bashing anybody else’s preference or the tattoo community but I regret my tattoo.
I come from the east, between Trincity and Arima. A small family, two parents, me, my younger sister.
I went to Charis Works Christian Centre and Curepe Junior Sec, but I wouldn’t really say school was something I liked. It feel like a prison to me. They was REAL strict. Especially my primary school. I completely finished school, but it was more something I endured than enjoyed.
I enjoy my food. The whole burger combo: burger, fries, coleslaw, milkshake. Everything.
In local food, it would be curry goat and dhalpuri. Wrapped, eh. One hand.
My family is all Roman Catholic, but our parents didn’t baptise us, they wanted to give us the choice. My father’s family is supposed to be Muslim but he’s not a practising one.
I was real heavy into Christianity because I went to a Christian school. I know everything about it.
But then I get older and start to think different, start to question religion and the truth about the world.
I’m not totally dismissing it or saying it’s not true. but some things are not what they seem.
My beliefs are very far “out there.” I believe in energy, consciousness that keeps going. I think of us as infinite beings. I look at reincarnation as a trap that keeps you going until you learn your lesson, ascend, and get out of it. All my past lives, I might have forgotten but the mission is (nevertheless) to get out this time. Or next time. Your higher self is your true “you” that you have to get in touch with. This physical world is just conditioning (and) reactions.
I want to get out of this cycle of (repeated lives), and I don’t mean any insult to the tattoo community, but I also want to get out of my tattoo. My personal experience is I regret it.
I got it in 2007 so it’s 12 years. but I really don’t want it. I mean, “tribal” (-style tattoos) are totally out of style, for one.
I play drums, bass and guitar.
I think part of wanting to get a tattoo was that it was part of the rock culture, seeing all my favourite bands, when I was younger, like Slayer, Megadeth, Iron Maiden, Metallica – all of them covered in tattoos.
I still play heavy music professionally, but when you get accustomed making that music, you don’t want to hear it in your free time. I listen to a lot of folk, indie-rock, very soft, light music.
Originally, I’d got the tribal tattoo part because, in other cultures, it is a form of becoming a man. A tribal tattoo, as simple as it looks, is the most painful and painstaking thing to go through.
During getting my tattoo, they almost had to call an ambulance. I sat down for eight hours and my body couldn’t take it any more and I started to go into shock. I don’t know how I came out of it naturally.
That’s why part was never finished. I had to stop because it was life-threatening.
I had to sit through four tattoo processes in the same eight hours. The first was the outline, the second to colour between the thin lines with a smaller cluster of needles. The third was to colour in and the fourth was to pass over the whole thing again, to cover all the little spaces.
I endured all of this and the whole tattoo wasn’t even completed.
When I started to feel the sickness from it, I regretted it. It’s a horrible feeling to have that toxicity in your system.
I couldn’t go in the sun with my tattoo, or it would have totally blurred out and got ruined. I had to stay inside for two months. My arm was swollen for a good while.
I mean, I did overdo it. Other people would do (that kind of tattoo) in parts, in four sittings. I wanted it in one.
Even after all that, I got another tattoo, the rabbit hole from Alice in Wonderland. My girlfriend at that time was a tattoo artist and she wanted to practise. I keep it simple, though, just a silhouette.
I always advise people not to get tattoos. I mean, it’s cool, is part of culture – but is wrong to do your body the trauma, the toxicity. And it going to look bad in a few years.
If you have to get one, consider, consider and consider again. Be mindful of the design you choose, know the risks with inks and unsafe needles and unprofessional people.
My left arm could be dry and I wouldn’t have to cream it. The one with the tattoo, I have to cream. The slightest bit of dryness (in the skin) and it shows. And sometimes it itches. And the skin on it ages faster.
Motorbike is another bad idea. No second chances with that.
I wouldn’t say there was any good thing about having my tattoo.
A lot of people prejudge you. Say you just sitting down in your car in traffic, when people pull up, if you have your (arm) on the car window, everybody would look at you. I don’t like that kind of unnecessary attention.
You get a lot of problems with jobs. Even when I was going to work offshore, I had to wear a long-sleeved shirt.
You can’t give blood for years, because they 'fraid hepatitis.
I don’t feel unsafe in Trinidad. but I feel uncomfortable. The tolerance level in the country is zero. Even the most decent people you meet, everybody on the edge. Even an old lady will give you a bad-drive now, because she fed-up of what going on in traffic.
I try to break the cycle, so it don’t come right around. If they do me something on the road, I say, “You know what? Let it slide.”
The country is on a bad cycle now: anger; hate; closed-mindedness; intolerance.
The world is on a bad cycle, yes, but, for a Caribbean country that’s supposed to be on peace and fun, you would think it could be better.
A Trini is anything you could imagine yourself to be. We’s reach all over the world, you find us doing anything, everywhere.
TT means a beautiful melting pot of chaos and love. It’s everything in one.
Read the full version of this feature on Wednesday at www.BCPires.com