On Sunday, 30-year old Ankur Thakkar did something writers on Twitter do all the time — he told a short story. The difference? This Chicagoan did it through the medium of Bollywood — using a series of screenshots to share a narrative as part of #TwitterFiction, a five-day virtual storytelling celebration held entirely on Twitter. The Aerogram reached out to Thakkar to ask him about the project.
Why this? Why now? Why not? I’ve been keeping a folder of funny Bollywood screenshots for years, and when the festival began accepting submissions, I thought why not try to tell a story through visual tweets? It was almost a dare. I didn’t know if it was possible but it was certainly exciting to try to make it happen.
Which movies did your screenshots reference? I primarily used Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and Break Ke Baad, but there are a few others sprinkled in there that I’m sure your readers will identify immediately.
What was the response from desis v. non-desis? I was actually surprised at the level of interest from Indian publications — I saw it as more geared toward desis in America. I also learned who of my non-desi followers are secret Bollywood fanatics. My friend Jana asked me what I was doing, and then told me to keep going.
Favorite old-school Bollywood flick? Modern? Old-school goes to the original Devdas 100 percent (sorry SRK). As for the newer films, I’m really into what Zoya Akhtar and Anurag Kashyap have been up to, particularly in the last five years.
How did you explain this stunt to your mother? My Mom is super hip to Facebook, but Twitter is still a bit of a challenge. I think I’ll send her a link to this story.
How often do you watch Bollywood movies? Generally as soon as new ones appear on Netflix. After this, however, I need a serious break.
Kishwer Vikaas is a co-founder and editor of The Aerogram. Follow her on Twitter at @phillygrrl or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.