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The Tiger and The Fly

The Tiger and The Fly


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

I always wanted a tiger tattoo. I think tigers are the royal big kitties of India and I respect that a lot. It's also a little bit connected with my grandmother and her Chinese descent, I visualised her as a tiger for a project I worked on.

The Tiger and The Fly


Arzoo Walia, 22

Grew up in Delhi

Recited by their mother, Shikha Walia, in Hindi

"A tiger was resting under a tree when a fly came buzzing need him. The tiger told the fly to go away. The fly asked him, “Why should I go away? I’m not afraid of you”. This made the tiger very angry, and he tried to attack the fly with his claws. The fly flew away, and the Tiger ended up scratching his own face with his claws. He was now bleeding. The fly kept buzzing around him. The tiger aimed at the fly again, this time with his other arm. The fly flew away, and the tiger ended up scratching himself yet again. Now feeling rather helpless, he quietly stood up and started walking away. The fly called out to him saying “My friend, you shouldn’t be so arrogant. Everyone is great in their own way"."

A little bit more About Arzoo’s Grandmother:

Iris Samion

Born on 10 April 1033 to a Chinese father and an Indian mother in Delhi. However, her father later divorced her mother and remarried, and Iris lost contact. She graduated in 1949 from New Cambridge School. In the 1950s, she was the sole female employee working at Bata till well into the 1960s. Here, she met Bhagwan Das, and the two fell in love. 

However, his Hindu family disapproved of him marrying a Chinese Christian. So, she made a deal to stop going to church, abandon Christianity and convert to Hinduism. 

Iris and Bhagwandas got married in 1953 and moved to Turakman Road near India Gate. Their son, Vinay was born a year later on 15 March 1954. 


“I illustrated Iris' growth from birth to a high point in her life through various stages of a budding Iris, later choosing to depict her character as a tigress, which holds a cultural significance in Chinese culture, as a symbol of honour, fierceness, and courage. The tiger represents Yin energy, which is the female counterpart of the Yin and Yang, representing the earth, the dark, the cold, and sustenance. Yang, on the other hand, represents heaven, heat, and light”

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