Short form

Jul 21, 2018, 07:02 IST | Suman Mahfuz Quazi

Unpacking a popular micro-fiction platform's new book of poems

Short form
Anuj Gosalia and Chintan Ruparel

We are living in an era that is as strange as it is exciting. One moment, we are the voice of reason transcending social, cultural and gender norms. The other, we are a 180x180 pixel photograph with a semi-poetic 10-word-long caption. But the people at popular micro-fiction platform Terribly Tiny Tales aka TTT are looking at the brighter side of things.

It all started in the summer of 2013 when co-founder Anuj Gosalia shared a short story on a black template using the Helvetica Neue Ultralight font. This would go on to become something of a cult with content designed for, of and by the social media community.
Five years down the line, they are ready to unleash their second book, titled Ninety-Seven Poems (Penguin India) — a compilation of 97 hand-picked poems.

"Over the years, we've built a community that celebrates words and embraces this beautiful coming together of poetry," Gosalia tells us. Whereas Chintan Ruparel, the other half of the organisation, says, "Back then there were just memes and jokes on our timelines. Nobody was doing anything meaningful. So, we repackaged short fiction for the new audience on a new medium."

Speaking of the book Ruparel states that putting it together wasn't easy. A team of content curators pored over 4,000 entries and shortlisted 600, which is when Ruparel stepped in and "suggested something crazy". "We drove off to Lonavla and stayed cooped up in a bungalow for four days. By the time we left we had further culled out 100 to 120 picks, from which we selected the final 97," he explains. "The next book's theme is Valentine's Day and chat fiction," he adds.

For an initiative that is tailored for social media, why go back to books? "Even though we are all used to the convenience that social media provides, we have grown up reading books. There's a simple magic to holding a book in your hands, seeing it on a shelf and gifting it to someone," Ruparel says. We couldn't agree more.

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