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Witerati: Festival greeting and divided tweeting

Not only did mouths meant to fast (à la Janmashtami) swallow confusion, but things also got out of hand for Tweeple torn by the texting dilemma over whether or not Janmashtami clashed with I-Day.

columns Updated: Aug 20, 2017 15:34 IST
I-Day,Twitter,Twitterati
Half of India was celebrating Janmashtami on August 14, the other half on August 15 with I-Day. (Shutterstock)

Festivals may be dividing not just India but also Instagram India. Dividing, not in terms of faith, following or fervour but in the context of calendars and carpal reflexes of Tweeple.

This week saw a split wide open on the social media, thanks to the maha clash of calendars. The uncertainty about whether or not Janmashtami was slated to go hand in hand with the other mega celebration, Independence Day, spelt double trouble for another hand: the texting hand. Not only did mouths meant to fast (à la Janmashtami) swallow confusion, but things also got out of hand for Tweeple torn by the texting dilemma over whether or not Janmashtami clashed with I-Day.

This calendrical convergence of two celebrations could have been a pain in terms of losing out on a national holiday, but spelt a gain for social media messaging. Felicitations for both festivities could be texted together, which promised to be a boon for the country’s collective carpal muscles “pressed” into the service of Tweeple.

Alas, India stood divided over the festival. Half of India was celebrating Janmashtami on August 14, the other half on August 15 with I-Day. Quite reminiscent of watching a “Mahabharat” or “Ramayan” episode first on Doordarshan’s Sunday slot of yore and viewing a repeat telecast next day once more!

The festival also divided Instagram India, the way an India-Pakistan cricket match splits audiences. Ironically, festivals that are meant to unite, themselves stand divided, calendar-wise, what with Incredible India seeing two Holis, two-in-one Ashtami-Navami and such calendar confusion galore. (Not to forget reports that Udupi’s Sri Krishna Mutt will celebrate Janmashtami on September 13-14, driven by their own planetary permutations, making it three birthdays for Lord Krishna this year!)

Even Tweeple — cricketers to cinestars — stood divided over Janmashtami tweeting. Players like Harbhajan ‘Turbanator’, Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag & Co took to Twitter on August 14, in tandem with tinsel town Twitterati Rishi Kapoor and Anupam Kher, while Arjun Rampal & Co posted the next day many a Janmashtami greeting.

Though not many Tweeple could put their finger on the perplexing planetary permutations propelling the partitioned festivities, their fingers were figuring out fast reflexes to face the double texting workload it entailed. Hitherto, these Twitterati fingers were taking it easy, hoping they’d enjoy a texting holiday on August 14, and have one working day on I-Day to text both greetings galore.

It was an astrological clash between the solar calendar on the one hand and lunar almanac on the other hand that spun things out of hand for Tweeple’s texting hand and also handed out puzzlement for palates poised to fast. Good lord, Janmashtami eve saw less tweets and more theories trending, espousing saintly, non-saintly and sundry factors for celebrating Lord Krishna’s birthday ahead of free India’s birthday!

Among these “couple” of theories, was one that came riding on relationship status as a criterion for calendrical configurations — those enjoying ‘grihastha’ or non-single status could erupt into ‘Govinda Aala’ bonhomie on August 14, while swamis, seers, singletons and creatures celibate got August 15 to celebrate.

Presto, hitherto holidaying carpal tendons of certain Tweeple suddenly had on their hands a “single” agenda: preponing felicitation texting to the 14th. After all, relatively speaking, happening jodis (or happened jodis) inhabiting Instagram India couldn’t be seen dead celebrating Janmashtami along with celibate India.

A festival meant to unite thus divided Tweeple. Blame it on the stars, seers or statuses celibate driving configurations about when to celebrate.

chetnabanerjee@gmail.com

First Published: Aug 20, 2017 15:32 IST