Is there a reason you chose to get a tiger tattoo?
"I never usually go out of my way to get tattoos, I have only one other that I got done years ago. I am an animator too; I liked the idea of having a frame from an animation tattooed on me."
Pivari Kejriwal, 23
From West Bengal
Recited the story in Bengali
I’m going to tell you a story in Bengali, but neither am I Bengali, nor is this a story about a tiger. I grew up in Calcutta, so Bengali culture is very close to me. I love Bengali music, art, food, and Ghosts. Bengalis believe in a lot of ghosts, to name a few there shakhchunni, peshach, petni, meshowa bhoot, and begowa bhoot.
This story is about begowa bhoot, the word begowa comes from Bagh which means tiger. This ghost originates from the villages of Sundarbans, it lives in the forest and mimics other tigers. Its intension is to scare away the people who earn their livelihood in the forest, collecting wood and honey. It is said that these ghosts are the spirits of people who were killed by tigers, they roam the earth to fulfil a purpose. They are angry spirits, they destroy things, make loud noises, but it is believed their existence is for a reason. Normally they are only seen as terrifying spirits but I’ll tell you a story that shows us what they could’ve possibly been there for.
In a village in the Sundarbans there was one man, who like others who would go to the forest looking for wood and honey. One day he wandered off a little too far away, lost track of his friends and surroundings and was suddenly confronted by a tiger. It didn’t take even a second and he was gone. No one heard from him again, no one found his body, he just disappeared. It was assumed and rightly so that a tiger took him because it was quite common in the forests of the Sundarbans. He had a wife and three sons, His wife was termed as a bagh bidowa, which means the widow of a tiger.
The eldest son had to take up the responsibilities of the house, he had to quickly learn how to do his father job, and he learnt well. He started doing quite well for himself and his family.
One day, just like his father he wandered off a little too far into the forest and was confronted by a tiger. The tiger and the boy stared at each other, he knew what was about to happen, we all know what happens. He knew there was no hope, he couldn’t move he was frozen, waiting for the tiger to come at him. Suddenly, another tiger appeared, as if from thin air. The boy didn’t hear the second tiger coming at all. This tiger attacked the other tiger, saving the boy. This second tiger paused for a second, looked back at the boy, and then vanished just as it had appeared, into thin air.
It is believed that this was a begowa bhoot, the spirit of that child’s father, who’s purpose was to save hi son from death in the future.