By S. Nivedhitha.
A practice called pachai kuthal which played a very magnificent role in the lives of ancient people is now wondered among the people of this technical world. This pachai kuthal which is made in our body with a lot of pain was once started to identify people during days when there were no means of communication. In very ancient days this pachai kuthal was common among people . Generally those days soon after the marriage, the groom goes to make his earning for his new life or go for fight in wars. The names in their hands or any other part of the body are useful to identify the person.
Basically, this is done with a sharp needle which pierces deep into the body. It results in a lot of pain and blood also. Later, it brings a green mark accordingly, due to the green ink used.
When spoken to one Mr.Venkatesh who was the lone person in this field, found in the marina grounds, he gave us many interesting details. Coming from some hilly villages of our country they said “We do this work for years together. Our grand fathers and great grand fathers started with this and we do this for generations. All days we sit here except for the 'thiruvizha' times during when we go to places like Mylapore. "Per day we don't get too many customers. We get some one or two or above very rarely. We don't make a very good profit out of this job but still we do this because our ancestors thought this must not go out of our country"
But in recent days there is something called tattoos when asked about the influence of these tattoos in their work, his reply was "rich people who can afford more money go to big show rooms and do tattoos which are done with electronic machines. People who cannot afford that much of money come to us. We can also make those big and more complicated designs which these tattoos are usually like. But since the pain kills the marrow, people either prefer small designs, their names or only the initials of their names.
There was some design carved on stones. "Sometimes youth prefer temporary tattoos, so we pour inks in these and press these in their body. It is temporary and does not bring a lot of pain. Men prefer in chest and hands while we don't get too much girls. Very rarely girls come and they prefer hands."
It is also said that these pachai kuthal is healthier to bones.