My grandmother, the tweeter

I awoke this morning with a question: would my grandmother have tweeted?

She passed away before twitter was even a germinating notion and before email was as ubiquitous as it is now. The most prevalent form of social media were the conversations during which she and I would dissect plot and motive from a recent episode of “Murder She Wrote” or “Hunter.”

But she was a correspondent. True, she had a readership of just one: her younger brother who lived in India. But to him she told the news of the day, of the goings-on in her corner of the States, and general musings about her quotidian observations. She wrote in Tamil, a script I only recognized by shape but whose meaning eluded me. Sometimes my grandmother would translate what she was writing; only now does it occur to me that she could have been lying! I doubt it, but…

If she were to tweet, I bet she would have adopted a less publicly public persona. That’s not to say her tweets would be protected. But they might be somewhat disguised, and her twitter handle would likely hearken back to the days of early email usernames when people relished in concocting absurd monikers for themselves, a time when anonymity reigned supreme (rather than the branding and self-marketing that marks today’s norm).

Some options:

@Kalpathi4eva (she was born in the village of Kalpathi, and so…)
@Hunterfan (self explanatory)
@Breadupma (would take too long to explain)
@Loosekanji (so would this)

As for the content, I wonder if her tweets would contain bits of song she would often invoke to underscore a point, draw out unexpected contours of experience, or simply as an excuse to break up the afternoon. Or might they be quotes from the Bhagavad Gita or the Ramayana, two books she read and reread incessantly? Or perhaps, if she were to continue with her flaneuse-like tendencies and resume circumambulating our childhood neighborhood as once used to do, perhaps she would recount odd bits of conversations that caught her as she passed by — below, snippets I overheard during last night’s walk:

 [Young man to a young woman he was walking with]: “Do you smell that?” deep breath “I love the smell of late evening in the spring.”

[Teenage girl crossing the street with two girlfriends]: “Omigod, I am fat. No, I am. I am! I am fat.” Over her friends’ protestations: “That’s rubbish.”

[Young woman sitting next to a young man on a bench in the park]: “I’ve never had a one night stand.”

[Two men standing on the corner smoking cigarettes, the one with worried eyes did the talking]: “Have you heard anything? Has there been any communication?” The other shakes his head.

So, would grandma have been a tweeter? I can’t say for sure, but given the way the platform keeps people in the forefront of my mind’s eye, I’d like to think so. 

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10 Responses to My grandmother, the tweeter

  1. tdj says:

    this is one of my favorite posts. so enjoyed it, especially after seeing the city through my grandma’s eyes this past weekend — and watching her incessant texting habits!

  2. Veena says:

    Breadupma! This made me laugh out loud.

  3. kniyogikim says:

    what a lovely post, vache. I bet lalth’umma would get a kick out of it 🙂 wonder what my grandma would tweet about…

  4. Suzy Victor says:

    hahahhahahaaaa!!! Yes me too had a kick reading this post of yours.. the best part of her dialogues were different anecdotes for different situation.. once I was visiting my mom and something happened and I went off on a tangent on this particular anecdote and she goes ” O my god.. you sound just like your mother in law” I realized how much I had gotten used to it and adapted it so easily.. Yeah lalithamma would have tweeted, I would like to think she would have enjoyed skype so she could talk to her brothers and nephews and tell them about the curry or the sambhar she had made and how many times she read the ” soundarya Lahiri” the poem on the goddess so on .. 🙂 and also be on FB.. have her own group of mami’s and mama’s for friends.. :-))

  5. Suzy Victor says:

    Loosekanji was hilarious.. :-)))

  6. E says:

    Love this post. Think you’ve got yet another idea for a book!!

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