It was Taran Adarsh’s birthday yesterday. He received 175 birthday cards!
Now, interestingly, I do not live in the same house as Taran. I don’t even work in the same office as Taran. But I do know he got 175 birthday cards. The whole world does. How, you ask?
He got those wishes (equivalent of a birthday card in the offline world) on Twitter… people tweeted their birthday wish to him.
Like most people, Taran wanted to respond to each and every wish and thank them. He did. But, oddly enough, instead of simply replying to the tweets, he quoted every one of the 175 wishes to thank them. Yes, he quoted each wish, showcasing each wish to the world and then showcased his gratitude to each of those folks to the world.
This is very similar to displaying all the 175 birthday cards on the outside wall of his home (for the world to see).
There are some nuances about Twitter worth exploring here.
1. This is a ‘reply’ on Twitter. Incidentally, Ajaz Khan is the ONLY person amongst all those who wished Taran yesterday who got a ‘reply’ on Twitter, meaning… Taran did not broadcast Ajaz’s wish and thanked him in public. Taran thanked Ajaz directly.
2. This is a standard/average birthday wish Taran received yesterday – notice the fact that Sooraj broadcast the wish instead of telling Taran directly (@taran_adarsh would start the tweet, in that case).
Taran’s response to Sooraj was this – notice that this was a broadcast, unlike the Ajaz Khan’s reply from Taran you see above. This means Taran showcased Sooraj’s wish, and his gratitude for the wish to all his followers.
3. Dino’s wish is ‘ideally’ the way you tell someone something on Twitter – you start the tweet with their handle (in which case the tweet appears in the timeline of only those people who follow both these gentlemen)
Taran’s reply to Dino was… (literally means, ‘Hey world, take a look at Dino wishing me on my birthday. And take a look at me thanking Dino’).
Merely seeing these few tweets above, it may look like this is a nitpicking exercise. But there’s a LOT more from where this came from… 175 more! Sample these,
Now, I do wonder why someone would do this. Here are some possible reasons.
Taran doesn’t know the difference between a reply on Twitter and a quote-tweet. He hasn’t cared to know the difference and was perhaps genuinely thinking that this quote-reply is just a normal reply. Early in the day, when he had started the quote-reply tsunami, I did tag him and explained how odd this was, but he perhaps chose to ignore that and continued quote-tweeting to 150 more.
2. Badge of honor?
He perhaps wanted to showcase that he got birthday wishes from industry stalwarts like Karan Johar and Khushboo. Now, this is a perfectly valid reason, but for the tiny detail that Taran did not quote-tweet stalwarts’ wishes alone – he quote-tweeted wishes from aam aadmis (not the political party) too, besides Sudhanshu Pandey’s wish.
3. My Twitter handle, my wish
This seems like the most probable case, I suppose. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it – if Taran’s followers do not complain, or they survive this onslaught of birthday wish-gratitude chain without uttering a word, then obviously it is completely normal.
As for his followers (I was one, till yesterday), they are all richer with the awareness that 175 people wished him on his birthday.