Mission Delhi – Benjamin Haswell, Central Delhi
One of the one percent in 13 million.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Fanciful tattoos abound, don’t they? Some folks have gods embedded into their arms, or even the names of their parents. These days hipsters often show off some profound Truth-is-Beauty kind of quotes in Sanskrit or Hebrew.
But his wrist features something different—a long wavering line as though symbolizing a river.
“No, in fact it’s a mountain range.” explains an amused Benjamin Haswell, 35, enjoying a cappuccino in a Delhi café. A visiting architect from London, he explains that the tattoo represents the Pedra da Gavea mountain range in Brazil where he seriously injured himself.
Two years ago the Londoner was hiking in the range when suddenly he slipped, causing grievous injuries. “I had a hairline fracture in my skull, broke my wrist, and severed my left ear.”
Mr Haswell again shows his wrist. The long and delicate tattoo terminates at the scar.
But in fact the tattoo also commemorates something far sweeter. On that fateful hike he was accompanied by Wesley, a Dutch friend,“and he rescued me from certain death by providing rapid assistance.”After Wesley’s death last year Mr Haswell traveled to Amsterdam, Wesley’s hometown, to obtain the tattoo “to remind me that he saved my life.” The beautifully etched line serves as a kind of incarnation to one man’s good deed.
This minimalist tattoo entrances. Mr Haswell smiles,remarking that he has other body tattoos as well, “and they are wilder.”
[This is the 276th portrait of Mission Delhi project]
A line of beauty