saif ali khan and kareena kapoor

Saif Ali Khan seems ready to announce his love for Kareena Kapoor to the world. The award-winning Indian actor and son of the Nawab of Pataudi and the actress Sharmila Tagore has been inspired by the like of football superstar David Beckham to have his lover’s name inked onto his body.

Reports suggest Khan has “Kareena” tattooed in Devnagari script on his forearm. Trends, however, show that name tattoos inked in the midst of a relationship can sometimes be cause for concern once the passion slows.

Tattoo artist Pradeep Menon agrees - “I get at least two customers a month asking me to tattoo their lover’s names on their bodies. Almost 80 per cent of them come back later asking for the tattoos be removed,” suggesting that it is simply an impulsive decision.

In showbiz especially, name tattoos are as short-lived as some of the relationships. There’s Johnny Depp’s ‘Winona Forever’ arm tattoo that has been edited to ‘Wino Forever’.

Pamela Anderson’s ‘Tommy’ finger tattoo reads ‘Mommy’ after their split. And Tom Arnold has no choice but to look at his ex-wife Rosesanne’s face inked permanently on his chest whenever he takes off his shirt. Angelina Jolie has had several tattoos lasered off, the most talked-about being Billy Bob Thornton’s name.

“People have always got tattoos of their partners’ names to express their love. It’s just that now that Saif has it, it’s being talked about,” says tattooist Sameer Patange. But most tattoo artists say they discourage customers from getting name tattoos. “

For some people, it’s forever. Like hairstylist Kevin Billings and his wife, who both have each other’s names tattooed on their arms. “I got my wife’s name tattooed even before marriage. My wife got my initials tattooed much later. A lot of people think it’s stupid, but if you believe in the relationship, why not?” asks Kevin.