Getting my nose pierced in India, has always been a sort of dream of mine… This evening I had the opportunity to make it a reality! 🙂 After meeting with Bodyguard, his sister and his niece, we made our way into the depths of the market. It was so much busier than I expected. Bodyguard did a pretty good job of pushing me out of the way, when traffic got crazy, and I witnessed two boys almost get run over. It was so crazy – and it was the evening, so sometimes you couldn’t see where you were walking.
The shop we were headed to was actually closed, but Bodyguard and his sister had a back-up plan. We went to the house of some man and his family, came inside and sat down. They spoke to each other for about 10 minutes, in Hindi. The only thing I understood was “American” and “Hahaha”. I’m guessing they were all confused and amused at the same time.
The man who greeted us at the main gate, opened a box and pulled out two gold pieces. He asked us to follow him, so we did. We walked through the market, around the corner and down a narrow alleyway. We approached a shop and Bodyguard and his sister began talking to the man sitting behind the counter. He invited me to sit down. Bodyguard’s niece sat beside me, smiling. She’s so sweet. ♥
I watched as the man took the gold pieces (they were thin and long, like needles), and began shaping them with a small sort of hammer, on an anvil. Soon he had one of the gold pieces into a semi-circle. He then sharpened one of the ends… That’s right… He was going to pierce me with the ring itself.
He then sterilized the ring thoroughly, marked my nose (he let me check it out and adjust as necessary) and pierced my nose with the gold ring. It actually hurt a lot less than I thought it would. Bodyguard’s niece couldn’t bare to watch, she was scared. 😀 But when she saw that I was okay, she seemed okay.
The man took a set of pliers and twisted the gold to the right shape and adjusted the size of the ring, before clipping off the sharp end. When all was said and done, I paid him, thanked him and we left.
I asked Bodyguard about the price. He told me that we only really paid for the ring itself. I was a bit confused as to why.
Bodyguard then said: “They say that getting your nose pierced, or ears pierced is a form of happiness. So instead of asking for money, he simply requests a gift in return. That gift can be money, or something else. Other than paying for the ring, we gave him a little money as a gift. Since he considered you a guest, he would not have accepted more than what we gave him.”
I smiled. That’s so cool. ♥