Creating a place in the crowd, Terribly Tiny Tales pioneered the wave of microfiction in India.
Can you tell a story in a line or two? The answer is a resounding yes. There is nothing that can replace the warm, fuzzy feeling of reading a good book on a lazy day while sipping some hot tea, but it’s difficult to resist the charm of these crisp, two lines stories that hit you with a flood of emotions in a matter of seconds. One such brewer of these powerful stories is Terribly Tiny Tales.
Catering to the new age digital bibliophiles, Terribly Tiny Tales was founded by two Indians, Anuj Gosalia, and Chintan Ruparel. What started as a Facebook page in 2013 has more than two million followers on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter today.
In India, Terribly Tiny Tales brought in the wave of microfiction by penning stories in and under 140 characters, a concept alien to most at that time. The art of telling stories in concise, limited words, often soaked in intense emotions.
“Terribly Tiny Tales borrowed from the brevity of Twitter, the impact of flash fiction and the social web’s opportunity to easily collaborate. Also, the packaging of the tale into an image made it visually attractive and easy to consume,” Anuj said in an interview.
These hard-hitting tales have become the voice of diverse writers penning down stories about the deafening silence of unrequited love, muffled screams of loss, chaos of the heart, resounding voice of women trapped in the ideals of society, the battles within ourselves, the gentle warmth of love, the taste of freedom and everything in between and beyond.
Following the popularity of Terribly Tiny Tales, other microfiction platforms have mushroomed in India. From Scribbled Stories to Commas and Half Strokes, young writers are letting the microfiction wave take them in.
But the advent of micro fiction doesn’t necessarily indicate the fade out of books. Addressing the concern, Anuj said, “Books are not suddenly going to die. But, there’s a large audience that wants something on the go—bite-sized, snackable. We’re trying to address that community.”
We live in a time where everything is instant with no time to spare. With social media becoming an integral part of our lives, we prefer having everything at our fingertips. Microfiction addresses that need. These short stories also score high in terms of relatability. Many a time even though the words might not be ours, the emotion might be little too familiar which instantly creates a sense of solidity with the writer, an unsaid connection.
Microfiction has also opened the doors for those who are brimming with stories but don’t have the time or words for books. For some, limited words might be challenging but for some, it might be liberation. Most importantly, this new form of writing has opened the doors for each one of us who has found magic in words.
Terribly Tiny Tales has expanded from short stories to short films under the banner, Terribly Tiny Talkies. Their films are just as poignant and explorative as their short stories.
Aisiri Amin (she/her) is an independent journalist specializing in gender, culture, and social justice. She is a struggling optimist, trying to understand the world through cinema, books, and travel.