Mumbai, 08thJanuary 2019: On Friday 11th January 2019 at 6.30 pm, Tata Steel Bhubaneshwar Literary Meet (TSBLM) will host veteran creative writer and Honorary Director, Donor Relationships, at Tata Medical Center, Kolkata, Geeta Gopalakrishnan as she launches her book My Grandmother’s Tweets. Published by HarperCollins India, the book is filled with simple advice for a complex world and is a book for our times, when the passing of accumulated wisdom to guide future generations is on the decline in our society.
Indian society is blessed to have an array of folk and traditional wisdom, diverse artistes who help disseminate this and a huge population that seeks out such wisdom through different art forms. These nuggets are so incredibly rich in texture that artistes are able to present different forms and interpretations of them through films, music, drama and dance. My Grandmother’s Tweets encapsulates secular values and universal wisdom, cutting through eras and religions. It is based on 109 adages by tenth-century saint Avvaiyar who lived more than a thousand years ago, but her advice on day-to-day life continues to guide people till today. This book is a tribute to the wisdom inherent in Avvaiyar’s one-liners. Geeta Gopalakrishnan brings Avvaiyar to life for a wider new audience, with examples portraying each of her sayings.
Livened up with illustrations, My Grandmother’s Tweets is a book that will comfort and entertain, just as the original one-liners have done over the centuries.
Speaking about the leitmotifs that the book sets out to explore, the author says, ‘The inspiration for writing this book has come from both my paternal and maternal grandmothers, who exemplified Avvaiyar’s advice on humanity by reiterating her counsel at appropriate moments, as their grandmothers did before them. There was no Twitter in my growing-up years but I received daily “tweets” from my grandmothers, which I chose to encapsulate in this book to raise funds for underprivileged cancer patients.’
She goes on to add, ‘This book is a tribute to all the courageous children fighting cancer with resilience and bravery, many of whom I have known at the Tata Medical Center, Kolkata. Therefore, the royalties from this book will mobilize funds for the hospital, thereby adding optimism to the lives of cancer patients.’
Advance Praise for My Grandmother’s Tweets
‘My Grandmother’s Tweets is a mirror of virtues and values. The wisdom of Avvaiyar may date back to the 10th century but its relevance and context are timeless. My compliments to Geeta Gopalkrishnan for not just compiling the one-liners but also substantiating them with not-so-old real-life examples and quotes, making the book all the more relatable and inspiring. In a world of declining morality, everybody should read this book.’ – Kailash Satyarthi
‘Brimming with modern stories, this fascinating book cuts through eras and religions… Geeta has artfully brought to our people the timeless wisdom of an ancient Tamil poet.’ – Shabana Azmi
‘Geeta Gopalakrishnan has come like a fresh shower to wash away the dust from Grandmother’s tree of wisdom. Every leaf has a shining story to read and narrate. I am sure it will brighten up the faces of children and elders alike. It has done that to me.’ – Gulzar
About the author
Geeta Gopalakrishnan is a creative writer with many years of experience in the advertising industry. During the last thirty-five years or so, she has employed her skills on a pro bono basis to raise funds for children with special needs. She has devoted all her time to raise funds for underprivileged cancer patients. She is honorary director, donor relationships, at Tata Medical Center, Kolkata. The priceless sayings in this book, she feels, encapsulate life’s teachings, brimming with secular values and universal wisdom – they cut through eras and religions.