Pritish Nandy Experiments With 140-character Poetry “Stuck on 1/Forty”

About writer and poet, Pritish Nandy's experiment with 140-character poetry 'Stuck on 1/Forty'

Poet, painter, journalist, filmmaker, television personality and an ex-member of the Rajya Sabha, Pritish Nandy, the man of many facets, has launched an anthology in the age of Twitter called “Stuck on 1/Forty”. ((Source: Hindustan Times)) The book of poems is an experiment to express love, loss and loneliness in the 140-character format made popular by Twitter. For the uninitiated, Twitter is a micro-blogging platform that imposes a limit of 140 characters in every post.


Released by actor Ranbir Kapoor, “Stuck on 1/Forty” marks Nandy’s second return to poetry after a two-decade hiatus. He had last released a book of poems in 2010.   Each little poem in “Stuck on 1/Forty” is within 140 characters and can be tweeted easily. Being an ardent follower on Twitter, I have seen Nandy never mince his words, be it politics or current affairs; Nandy is always seen tweeting his curt and frank opinions.

Savour this from ‘Stuck on 1/Forty”: Insolent, angry, wicked that’s me/Or so you say before you angrily look away/Faith is so yesterday/Tomorrow is where I want to be.

As much as I love the brevity enforced by Twitter, this constraint brings out the very best in creative expression. And as Nandy  says, “Brevity is always liberating, not limiting”. I just wish he had tweeted some of his poems from the book for his 2 lakh plus followers on Twitter.

Earlier this month, Nandy had held a quiz with 7 questions where winners would get a copy of “Stuck on 1/Forty” before its release. He had tweeted 7 sentences which were the beginning lines of books. Participants had to give all 7 book names in a single tweet with abbreviations being allowed. This is quite an innovative approach to promoting a book of poems on Twitter.

The idea of using Twitter to create little poems or novels has been around from the time Twitter has evolved and been embraced by a large section of internet users. We have come across many writers, poets, etc. who are experimenting with creative expression within 140 characters. But, Pritish Nandy is perhaps the first Indian to actually publish a book of micro-poetry here in India.

Do also read the summary on Flipkart and let us know if this 140-characters format for poetry works for you.