We are a generation of displaced anger and 140 characters.

140 characters by Ankita Apurva

my grandmother tells me in their times⁣⁣
when ‘Mahabharata’ was telecasted every Sunday morning⁣⁣
neighbours crowded in our house from two hours ago⁣⁣
the only building in the entire colony with a black and white TV set⁣⁣
so you had Sardar aunty’s saag⁣⁣
and Aiyyar uncle’s uttapam⁣⁣
with Shreemad Bhagwatgeeta playing in monochrome in the background⁣⁣
and i sit before Netflix alone and ⁣⁣
stare at the screen all day⁣⁣
my grandmother tells me⁣⁣
in their times they never left the people they loved⁣⁣
and always stitched back the holes⁣⁣
in their skirts⁣⁣
waited five months for⁣⁣
the mango pickle to relish⁣⁣
putting it out on the shared terrace⁣⁣
every afternoon under the sun⁣⁣
she says there was no YouTube back then⁣⁣
and recipes were passed down tongues⁣⁣
she says they awaited replies of letters⁣⁣
for two months⁣⁣
without a flinch of doubt of being replaced⁣⁣
and i check my phone⁣⁣
for the tenth time⁣⁣
in an hour⁣⁣
she tells me they cycled miles to schools⁣⁣
which the Britishers had built⁣⁣
and in the barter system⁣⁣
you could get orange candies⁣⁣
in exchange of two hands full of grains⁣⁣
my grandmother tells me⁣⁣
houses back then did not have calling bells⁣⁣
and i have realized love⁣⁣
does not come ⁣⁣
with a barter tag⁣⁣
she tells me they used to walk holding hands with friends⁣⁣
and i carry people inside glass screens in my pocket⁣⁣
she tells me people had less resources back then⁣⁣
and my grandfather still remembers theorems he had learnt forty years ago⁣⁣
every elder in my family⁣⁣
reads the newspaper every morning without the need to prepare for a GK section exam⁣⁣
and my best friend⁣⁣
returned drunk last night⁣⁣
for the nineteenth time in a week⁣⁣
and still does not recognise⁣⁣
her surname⁣⁣
as of now⁣⁣
my grandmother tells me⁣⁣
she has found her long lost friends on the internet⁣⁣
and has been speaking on the phone non-stop⁣⁣
to her classmate she called⁣⁣
after thirty years⁣⁣
my grandmother often tells me⁣⁣
i have started speaking less ⁣⁣
as i have been growing up, and⁣⁣
in a muted whisper i scream⁣⁣
we are a generation of displaced anger,⁣⁣
and 140 characters.