How is life? It’s OK. One-time watch. Just a little lengthy.
Zindagi mein utaar utaar toh aate rehte hain (Downs and downs are part of life).
All through the course of the pandemic, writer-director Vishal Dayama has been tweeting his ideas, giving vent to the humour, trauma, resignation, sarcasm and irony that many people have been feeling. Two months in the past, these one-liners have been was a group of t-shirts, which appear to be promoting like hotcakes.
“My merchandise accomplice Grow91 and I believed we’ll get together once we attain the 100 mark. We bought 170 t-shirts inside an hour of me asserting the launch on Instagram on September 5. Now after I push a brand new design with tweet-text, it fetches 50-60 orders immediately,” says Dayama, who was the co-writer on current well-liked advert campaigns like those for Cred that includes Rahul Dravid, Kapil Dev and Jackie Shroff, and for Disney+Hotstar with Shah Rukh Khan.
do not cry over small issues when you may cry over large issues
— vishal dayama (@VishalDayama) October 30, 2021
The recognition of his t-shirt line is an indicator of the rising recognition of ‘traumedy’ content material in India, fuelled by the previous 20 months of dwelling with a pandemic. Psychologists outline traumedy, a portmanteau of trauma and comedy, as a style of content material that enables individuals to articulate their trauma and use comedy to launch rigidity, simply earlier than issues get overwhelming.
“Covid-19 introduced the sense of a imprecise menace looming over everybody’s head. Traumedy content material comes as a relaxant of kinds that has helped many acknowledge their unhappiness with out wallowing in it,” says Anshuma Kshetrapal, a inventive arts psychotherapist from Delhi.
Traumedy has been made well-liked by exhibits like BoJack Horseman, Fleabag, After Life and Please Like Me, the place the lead character or characters cope with some type of trauma and use comedy as a protect. “The pandemic has made me select to observe such exhibits,” says Kayem (@atable_forone on Twitter). “During the last 20 months, our social circles have grown so small that we clearly relied on any content material that may make us really feel like we’re not dropping our sanity by ourselves, although these sequence weren’t pandemic-based.”
nothing makes me extra drained than doing actually something
— so unhappy at present (@sosadtoday) November 9, 2021
Meme pages like @SoSadToday on Twitter, and @SirJoanCornella and @Informal.Nihilism on Instagram, which seize sentiments anybody in any a part of the world can relate to have extra followers as properly. “Shoppers have began sending us screenshots from these exhibits for reference,” says Kshetrapal. “They ship posts from these meme pages, additionally known as dank memes, and level to the variety of likes. It permits them to see they’re now not remoted of their despair.” Dank memes are fairly well-liked within the therapists’ circuit as properly.
Dayama, higher often known as @dayamaged to his 28,000-odd Instagram followers, began sharing such memes a number of years in the past not simply to be humorous but additionally to replicate on the fact of our instances. He says he “hates motivational individuals” and posts these notes on social media to counter the flag-bearers of optimism (learn: poisonous positivity) who rejoice each new day as a chance.
Poisonous positivity is “positivity given within the incorrect approach, within the incorrect dose, on the incorrect time,” David Kessler, a grief skilled and the creator of six books advised the Wall Avenue Journal earlier this month. “It’s a type of gaslighting,” defined Susan David, a psychologist and advisor at McLean Hospital in Massachusetts, to WSJ.
Dayama agrees: “Getting up and feeling constructive takes a toll. It’s not regular, particularly proper now.” His Twitter account, which stood on the 10,000 mark for 5 years, has gained 5,000 new followers because the first lockdown.
Niraj Kakade, a 26-year-old media skilled from Pune, not too long ago purchased one in all Dayama’s t-shirts. “It’s my approach of coping with a world that’s stopped in its tracks because of the pandemic. You make enjoyable of the scenario to take its energy away,” he says.
@Philosophy_fix, a traumedy memes account, will get 20% of its 280,000 Instagram followers from India, says Israeli psychotherapist Daniel Chechick who runs the web page. Chechick liberally provides hashtags like #Indianmemes, #Desimemes, and #Bollywoodmemes to attract extra of this viewers. A few of his posts additionally embody bawdy hashtags like #bakch*di and #ch*tiyapanti, Hindi slang that has 7 million posts on Instagram between them.
Like comedy, traumedy has dangerous parts. A superb traumedian’s jokes punch inwards versus mocking another person’s trauma. “I do not even use phrases like ‘despair’ in my posts, to make sure they don’t seem to be triggering for anybody,” says Dayama.
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“Psychologically talking, traumedy is an excellent expertise to your physique to have, so long as it doesn’t exaggerate a pre-existing pathology,” provides Kshetrapal.
Even Twitter’s algorithm appears to push tweets on these traces now, observes Samrat Singh, a Mumbai-based advertising skilled whose despondent and nihilistic tweets get much more traction now than they did earlier than Covid-19 hit the world. “Content material that’s merely humorous simply doesn’t really feel in keeping with what’s occurring round us,” he says.
All this elevated traction, nevertheless, is for worldwide traumedy content material. There’s barely something within the Indian content material panorama for followers of this style. Take the narrative of all biopics on Indian girls in current instances. “It’s targeted on achievers. It consistently forces you to be and really feel who you in all probability aren’t,” says Vijayeta Kumar, a screenwriter. “It’s apparent that we’re drawn to a personality like Fleabag as a result of she is like us, she fails.”
The shortage of native traumedy references in popular culture additionally stops many individuals from expressing their want for any such content material brazenly. Shoppers ship screenshots of traumedy memes to their therapists in personal as an alternative of reposting them from their social accounts. Individuals purchase Dayama’s t-shirts and ship him an image of carrying one at house, however most received’t submit these pictures on Instagram.
It is because we don’t speak about our unhappiness, our despair, our traumas and our tragedies, as brazenly as we rejoice life as a tradition, says Priya Malik (@PriyaSometimes on Instagram), a preferred spoken-word poet. “As a society, we’re used to laughing on the apparent, the slapstick style of comedy,” she says.
The scene is altering, although. Two months in the past, Malik, a long-standing fan of the style, wrote and carried out a poem titled, “I discovered his head within the washer” which may be very a lot within the traumedy style. The likes to dislikes ratio on its YouTube video (3500:47) makes us bullish on traumedy’s prospects.
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