This is a book with a difference. My Grandmother’s Tweets, published by Harper Collins, encapsulates secular values and universal wisdom. This book, gushing with insight with every word is authored by Geeta Gopalakrishnan—veteran creative writer and Honorary Director, Donor Relationships, at Tata Medical Center, Kolkata. However, it is not about saccharine sweet advice by the writer but instead offers simple advice for a complex world. In no uncertain terms, this is a book for our times,which passes accumulated wisdom to guide future generations.
Cutting through eras and religions, the book 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 traditional 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 themes 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.”
This book is in honour of all the courageous children fighting cancer with resilience and bravery, many of whom the author has known at the Tata Medical Center, Kolkata. “The royalties from this book will mobilize funds for the hospital, thereby adding optimism to the lives of cancer patients,” she says emotionally. Considering Geeta Gopalakrishnan has employed her skills on a pro bono basis to raise funds for children with special needs for around thirty years now, it must definitely mean a lot to her. She has devoted all her time to raise funds for underprivileged cancer patients.
Meanwhile, the book has garnered enough praise from those who matter. For instance, Kailash Satyarthi had this to say: ‘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 Gopalakrishnan 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.’
While actress Shabana Azmi said, ‘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.’
Poet and lyricist Gulzar was generous in his comments about the book when he said,‘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.’