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Is there a reason you chose to get a tiger tattoo?

My mom calls me tiger lily, I already have lilies tattooed, now I have a tiger too! I think it is just really cool honestly, and I’ve also given a character I designed a while back a similar tiger tattoo.

The legend of Sabarimala


Nikita Menon, 22

From Kerala

Recited the story in their mothertongue, Malayalam

When Goddess Durga killed the demon Mahishasura, his sister was consumed by the need to avenge his death. She performed a penance that pleased Brahma who gave her a boon - only a child born to both Shiva and Vishnu would succeed in killing her. She began wreaking havoc in full confidence after this, considering it to be impossible. But, completely outsmarting her, Vishnu in the form of Mohini is able to entice Shiva and from their union was born a boy whom Vishnu abandoned in the forest.


At the time, King Rajashekaran of Pandalam and his Queen were childless. When the king found a baby in the forest, he eventually ends up adopting him and the child is named Manikandan and is brought up as a prince, loved by his parents and his people alike.


Many years later, the Queen gave birth to a son. She began to alienate Manikandan and wanted everything for her biological son. The king had declared Manikandan to be the heir and crown Prince, but the queen was not happy with that. So, she faked a mysterious illness that she claimed would only be cured if she drank the milk of a tigress, hoping for the young Prince to go to the forest and end up killed by tigers, thus leaving his title for her biological son.


Being a dutiful son, Manikandan accepted his mother’s request and went to the forest, where first he would meet the demoness, he was destined to kill, and he becomes successful in doing so. Later, everyone in the kingdom is in stunned silence when Manikandan returns from the forest riding a tigress and followed by a large pack of tigers. The queen realised that he is no ordinary person and begs for his forgiveness. However, Manikandan gives everything to his younger brother anyway and shoots an arrow which lands in Sabarimala where he decided to stay for all eternity.

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