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



Varshitha H, 22

From Karnataka

Recited the story in their mothertongue, Kannada

"My mother told me this story growing up.

In a small village in Karnataka, there is a cow herder. He has 11-15 cows and one of the cows is called Punyakoti. After a lot of hardships, Punyakoti is finally blessed with a calf. One day, while the cows grazing in the field, a tiger was hiding and waiting patiently to capture a cow and have a large meal.

When he punces to attack, all the cows scatter and run for their life. Punyakoti loses her way and gets cornered by the tiger. He happily exclaims “Finally I can have a good hearty meal, I have so much meat to eat!”

Punyakoti asks the tiger to let her go back and feed her calf one last time before she meets her death, and ask the other cows to take care of him. The tiger accuses her of lying to him to save her own life.

Punyakoti responds saying “Truth is all I know, Truth is my parents. I know nothing but the truth.”

Hearing this, the tiger lets her go. Punyakoti goes back, feeds her calf, teaches him some life lessons, says her goodbyes, and as promised comes back to the tiger.

The tiger is astonished that she came back. He tells Punyakoti “if I eat such a truthful soul, god will not leave me alone.”. He is very upset with himself and jumps off the cliff, ending his life. Punyakoti is free and goes back to her calf."

"The tiger is a reminder of my mom, since she’s the one who told me this folktale growing up."

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