At Aliens Tattoo, we've navigated our fair share of extraordinary events with each client bringing their own unique story to our chairs, but nothing quite like the ones we have shared with the fiery all-rounder Hardik Pandya! We're no strangers to the extraordinary, yet Hardik's maiden visit in July 2019 left a lasting impression on us.
Our tryst with Hardik began when Ishan Kishan, IPL's hard hitting batsman, was at our Malad Studio getting inked and mid-session, was on a videocall with Hardik. As they talked, Hardik's curiosity about our artistry piqued, and he offhandedly mentioned he might stop by to get a tattoo himself. Once Ishan left, the conversation became a pleasant memory until out of the blue, we received a message from Hardik, locking in an appointment. The studio was suddenly abuzz—Hardik Pandya was coming to Aliens Tattoo, and the anticipation was on another level.
In July 2019, Hardik's arrival had caused a stir outside our studio. Word had spread about his visit, and a crowd chanting Hardik's name had formed. They kept chanting his name and the numbers were multiplying. In the blink of an eye, our studio was surrounded by over 200 people.
The only solution was to have Hardik greet them. He graciously greeted his enthusiastic fans, and his presence did calm the storm—after a flurry of selfies, that is.
Fast forward to the next evening, post a marathon tattoo session, Hardik was showing signs of fatigue and the pain of getting such a big tattoo was getting to him. So, we had to wrap up our first session earlier than usual. But despite all of that, Hardik was a trooper and was super kind to his enthusiastic fans; who waited for hours outside just to catch a glimpse of him. He took a ton more selfies and interacted with them, which led to the crowd getting even bigger and out of control. This was when panic began to set in.
Our team attempted to diffuse the situation, but to little avail. The chants for Hardik resumed with much exuberance. Inside, we were strategizing overdrive, looking for solutions to escort Hardik to his car. We improvised a protective circle around him, but it was hardly enough against the passionate crowd. Eventually, we managed to usher him into his vehicle and he safely went home.
When it comes to the tattoo, he opted for a beautiful realistic lion portrait, placed on his forearm. He wanted to tattoo an animal that was as majestic as his persona, which a lion perfectly captures. It served as a symbol of Hardik's own inner strength and fearlessness. Founder and CEO Sunny Bhanushali created a custom design that would aptly bring out Hardik's personality.
Following the unforgettable experience of his initial visit, Hardik was drawn back to our studio for another tattoo. On this occasion, he opted for an eagle, which carries deep and profound meaning for him.
He shared the backstory of his eagle portrait with us. He said he felt like he could relate his life to the “Story of an Eagle,” an old myth that that recounts the tale of a bald eagle in its 40s, shedding its old feathers to undergo a transformative process of renewal, essentially being reborn, and then living for an additional 30 to 40 years.
For his third tattoo, Hardik chose to get a tattoo of a warrior, which embodies his fighting spirit. It was done after the Indian cricketer suffered a major injury in his lower back and needed bed rest for four weeks. Despite the pain and frustration, Hardik saw this period as an opportunity for introspection, healing and personal growth and emerged as a stronger and more resilient individual. This resplendent tattoo was done by multiple award-winning artist Allan Gois.
Every time Hardik plans a tattoo, it's not just about his skin getting inked—it's celebrating the stories of his life, the struggles he's endured, and the victories he's cherished. Each tattoo is a collaborative narrative, a combination of his personal journey and our creative flair. With the broadening of his tattoo collection, the story of our intertwined path deepens—a story not told through spoken words but with the art of storytelling through tattoos, creating shared experiences.