Comic relief

Updated: Mar 16, 2019, 13:12 IST | Karishma Kuenzang

A Mumbaikar is giving the social media savvy a tool to deal with Monday morning blues and anxiety with his weekly comics

Comic relief
Ruhin Chatterjee. Pic/Anuj Mehta

It didn't start with being great at doodling, but as the result of 26-year-old Mumbai copywriter Ruhin Chatterjee taking his overwhelming feelings and turning them into comics with the help of an app last January. His anxiety had got worse, he was burnt out due to his job, and had also had a break-up, which to him seemed like a clichéd rough time. "I couldn't feel sorry for myself because everyone around me is going through the same problems in varying degrees," Chatterjee tells us. And so, a part of him wanted to laugh as his was such an "unoriginal set of problems".

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Thus began his tryst with a sketch app a friend had introduced him to, to create comics about relatable unfortunate situations we find ourselves in, which he then posted on his Instagram and Facebook page, lifewritenow. "I wanted people like me to laugh at the disastrous parts of their life. And Monday morning is when you need to do that the most. Secondly, I wanted to make people realise that they are not alone in facing problems. It's hard for us to understand that someone else could help you figure this out because they are going through the same thing. You need to start talking about things happening to you and not be ashamed of it. It's okay to not know what to do, but it's important not to isolate yourself as that's when we're the most harmful to ourselves," shares Chatterjee.

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This coping mechanism of trying to trivialise his problems is visible in his work, which feature intangible emotions like empathy, fear, anxiety, self-confidence and will power, and life itself, as characters as opposed to people. "The second I take away the serious nature of anxiety from my life, it feels better," he adds.

His latest post, however, is a tad serious as it highlights a crucial issue — loss of people and learning to live without them. "I could never figure out what to tell people. If having a certain person around was a part of an 'okay' scenario for you, you will never have that 'okay' again. And that's something you will have to deal and make your peace with. But I also promise you that you will find the strength to overcome it. It will come from the most unlikely sources. And that will create a new sense of 'okay'," assures Chatterjee.

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