On Twitter, a parallel world where users belt out rapid 140 character updates for the world to see, there’s a class of people that really stands out. It’s not the Bollywood jet set or the cricket stars. It’s common, everyday folk who have no real claim to fame other than being twitter celebrities. With their multi thousand follower counts, they have informed, entertained and regaled you over the years. Their tweets make it regularly on your timeline, retweeted by their dedicated and large fan followings, and help shape public opinion on the internet.
But behind all the jokes and the thought-provoking titbits that stream from these nameless, faceless entities, lie real human beings, with jobs and careers. Outside of their twitter existence, they lead normal, successful lives, and go to office like us normal folk. While the frequency of their tweets might cause you to think otherwise, tweeting isn’t really a full time job.
In a never done before feature, we bring you 12 of Twitter India’s most popular names, or rather, handles, and reveal their real lives and jobs, and their thoughts on Twitter.
“Amateur humorist, blogger, medic. Loves to click, cook and travel. Generally interested in all things wild.” says his bio.
As his bio reveals, @roflindian is Sudipto Chakravarty, a medical doctor in practice, who usually tweets about politics, culture and cricket and also enjoys sharing funny tidbits from his personal experience as a medical professional. Not only have his tweets gone viral, but Big B has even shared some of his sketches on his page. Yes, when he’s not saving lives or tweeting about the laughable affairs of the country, Sudipto is doodling a mean sketch or two.
Probably a twitter personality only next to the God himself in popularity, Trendulkar has bowled you over with the funnies with his cricket tweets. But behind this famous Sachin caricature, is the charmed life of Apoorv Sood. A BITS Pilani engineer who’s had a stint in merchant navy and “has traveled the world by 22”, he is now on his way to stepping into the corporate world. Currently studying at a B school, Apoorv will soon be joining an ecommerce biggie in its marketing dept.
And other than a deluge of RTs on most of his tweets, Apoorv’s other twitter achievements include winning a car in an influencer activity run by Tata Motors.
She’s charmed you and had you warm up to her with her honest tweets, her curation of art across the world and her stand on social issues. Ghaati Ninja is Mumbai’s girl next door Anisha Sharma. She studied broadcast journalism in the UK at the University of Sheffield and now spends the better part of her day writing and helping friends in their ventures. She also runs a digital film production startup called owlbythewindow.com that makes films for brands.
“Having the number of followers I do comes in really handy when I’m looking to find people to work with, an interesting story or even create a database of talented people in Mumbai, and across the country”, she says when asked if having a large following on Twitter helps with work.
You know Viveskms as the guy who always tweets about books (and as one of the few remaining real book readers). Not surprisingly, Vivek works at Flipkart, Bangalore as Customer Engagement Manager for Books! Vivek was the brain behind the 55-word stories on his blog, and is today one of the most known people on Twitter India, due to his heart warming tweets on love, reading and LGBT rights.
Everyone’s favourite funny boy next door, with a dedicated fan following. But behind all the LOLworthy tweets, there’s 25 year old Pankaj Sinha, an IIT-Roorkee engineer, working as a senior design analyst at Pininfarina who joined Twitter out of boredom and today uses it to “crib all day”.
Does he tweet at work? “Yes. I talk to internet people so that I dont have to talk to people at work. Helps a lot. Everyone should try. Twitter is like therapy. It’s just that your therapists there also need therapy”
“28| engineering-dropout-out-of-choice| philosourpher| antiwordist| pseudofunny| former poet| ex-journo| lazy human| lazier blogger| YNWA| opinionated| marketeam”– we knew this much from his bio, but when we contacted Shakti for this feature, we were prepared to not get a reply.
However, to our surprise Shakti replied and how. One of the most iconic personalities on Indian twitter, Shakti is famous for his quick, one line witticisms, and NEVER replying on a tweet!
So imagine our surprise when we got to know that Shakti works at Zomato, Gurgaon as a communications specialist
Another mystery with multi thousand followers on twitter, Bwoy Blunder is Gaurav, who’s a chartered accountant in practice!
For someone with 20K+ followers, Gaurav is also actually quite the introvert and feels comfortable opening up only to a select few.
However, on the professional front, Gaurav has taken his super successful tweeting career about current affairs, news and cricket to another level. Along with a few others, he’s started opindia.com, where his piece on Praveen Swami and Terror Boat theory became huge. “Mentions were so crazy I had to go offline for a while for everything to settle down”
A household name on twitter, known more commonly as etard, Srinivas Rao wanted to start an eatery and joined Twitter to know what was up. “I got so addicted and spent so much time tweeting that i never opened that eatery” While the restaurant may not have materialised, today Shrinivas Rao works as an Account Manager in a Pune based digital agency called Xebec.
Does twitter help at work?
“It also helps connect with influencers, bloggers, or even organizations and even get them in touch with clients for a campaign or activation. Apart from that I have met a lot of like-minded people via twitter, some of them have even become close friends. Only a matter of time before I land a job via a twitter DM”
His tweets are loud, dark, and the kinds that’d get you lynched.
i request all muslims to donate me foreskins of their kids after circumcision so i can sew them up and make a nice warm blanket for myself.
— Udaas Priest (@UdaasPriest) March 22, 2015
While he was unwilling to be identified, UdaasPriest revealed that he quit working 6 months ago and plans to pursue higher studies or start something of his own. He says that he’d tried to keep this tweeting career a secret at work, but someone happened to glance at his computer one day and word soon got out. Those people are “still trapped in his basement screaming for food, water and medical supplies.” He says that his workplace and his boss was a ripe source of inspiration for his tweets, given that he “just needed to let the world know how you have absolutely no self-respect and you continue to work under a human equivalent of a penis.” No wonder then, he guards his privacy as fiercely as he does.
No, no, she’s not a kaamwaali bai in real life. In fact she’s not even a she.
Meet Wilson Pereira, the man, ahem, behind the adorable Maushi on twitter. A B.A in English literature, Wilson now manages social media at an ad agency. People at his workplace know about his popularity on twitter, and of course should he be seen shirking work, regularly pepper him with comments like “Din bhar twitter par marta rehta hai, isko kuch kaam hai ya nahi?”
Now with tweets like these, who wouldn’t want to have a thing for this androgynous bai?
It’s not everyday that you come across an anonymous but famous Twitter account that also runs a successful venture beyond Twitter.
On a strong request for anonymity, “H” informs us that he’s an entrepreneur who cofounded campusghanta.com. He did most of his schooling in Bihar, and naturally his tweets are mostly hilarious extensions of his own experiences growing up in that state. “And like most of my brethren, moved on to Delhi to find greener pastures. Studied from Delhi University (Whenever a D.U grad fails to mention his college, you should automatically assume he is a pass out from College of Correspondence)”, he adds.
He is also a student of aviation, history and has a keen interest in politics.
And of course, how could the A-list of twitter celebs be complete without the inclusion of the famous @gabbbarsingh?
Boasting of a mighty 238k followers, @gabbbarsingh is one of the most recognizable names on Twitter. The man behind the profile is Abhishek Asthana, an engineer turned MBA who currently works with Freecharge.in in Bangalore. He started his career working as a Lead Engineer with Samsung R&D for 3 years, but left when he felt he wasn’t getting enough credit for his work.
“That is when I decided to do an MBA, so that I have greater control over things and ultimately become a marketing manager“, he says. He went on to do an MBA from SIBM, Pune.