Published: 05th April 2019
This Thiruvananthapuram artist shows the everyday life of a hijab-wearing woman through her comics
Sherin Mohamed uploads her comics and caricatures on her Instagram handle Ticklesh. Hers is probably the only Indian hijabi comic
Not all superheroes wear capes. Some of them wear hijabs too. Wonder why? We’ll tell you. But first, let’s hear Sherin Mohamed’s story. Sherin had always known that she had a superpower, but this Bruce Wayne thinks that she became Batman when she was pregnant with her first child, six years back. Are pregnancy hormones this magical, she wondered. You can't blame her, because someone who used paper and pencil just to do math problems and accounts has now started using them to draw.
That was just the beginning. Since then, Sherin hasn’t stopped drawing. In fact, she even transformed herself and her dear family into comic characters on her Instagram page Ticklesh. A Chartered Accountant based in Thiruvananthapuram, this 29-year-old is a hijab-wearing Malayali woman, who finds her everyday life to be the funniest thing on Earth. She is the perfect wife, who sings her husband to sleep — except she sings Kannum Kannum Nokia instead of a lullaby. She is that person in the family, who ends up being the only one making a funny face in a selfie, while everyone else puts on their normal smiles. She is also a super mom who knows that the mightiest weapon in the world is a toddler’s cry.
Find a few of them here:
Sherin is the protagonist in most of her comics and she appears in a hijab in all of them. "I don't think I've come across any other Indian hijabi comic character. However, they're quite popular in the states, Indonesia and South Africa," she says. She also wanted to show the world that contrary to popular belief, a hijabi's life is quite normal. "I do get a lot of questions because I wear a hijab. People are mostly concerned about the heat and feel sorry that I don't get to show my hair. But, I just want everyone to know that things are pretty normal," adds Sherin.
According to the Qur’an, hijab refers to a partition or curtain in the literal or metaphorical sense. The verse where it is used literally is commonly understood to refer to the curtain separating visitors to Muhammad’s house from his wives’ lodgings. These days, it is used to refer to a headcloth worn by Muslim women
Even though she began drawing in 2013, she started putting them up on social media in 2017, when she started Ticklesh. (The name just FYI is the sum of TICKLE and SHerin). "Even then, I wasn't that regular in putting up comics online. But I'm increasing the frequency now," she says. Even though she began with comics, she's also ventured into drawing caricatures. Recently she'd posted the caricatures of designer Sana Khader, food reviewer Nusreen and Instagrammer Sharan Nair. But if given a choice will Sherin pick caricatures or comics? "Comics of course," she says. "Even though drawing caricatures are easier, comics let me do funny and joyful things."
Now, do you remember us making a casual Batman reference in the beginning? There’s a reason behind that too. Not many who know Sherin are aware of the fact that she’s the artist who creates the Ticklesh comics. “Almost everyone thinks that I draw for fun and that these comics I share are some other artist’s. They’ll actually be shocked to know that I’m planning to do this further and that I’m learning Photoshop and other skills to make my comics better,” she signs off.