Mar 7, 2010

It's not Plagiarism, its just 'Collective Research' !!

People who work with me and those who I communicate with frequently have lauded the way I write.

For a person who is aiming to be a bonafide writer worth his salt, I believe I have a long way to go. This belief keeps me grounded and very receptive to my critics.

Ofcourse, I have not always been as prolific or fluent as I am.
I have at one point of time, struggled with grammer. I would have been an Architect or a Scientist (following in the shoe prints of my Dad).

But for my 10th grade English Faculty, I would have languished in a lab.
I remember after a particularly tough session on 'Conjunctions', as I was hurrying towards the Physics laboratory, I bumped into the chubby frame of my English lecturer. 
Been a sufficiently chubby and suitably minute person that I was, I lost balance and bounced off the wall. 
As kids of my age, you can bully yourself through the term if you score well in your term papers.My average grades qualified me to growl at her.

Interestingly, I remember she apologised. I grinned at myself. I can get used to this, you see.
Our school tried hard to inculcate the reading habit into their wards; with moderate success.
Later that day, we had the same lecturer 'mind' us while the nerds among us buried ourselves into TinTin and Hardy Boys. I was engrossed in doing nothing. Libraries are for losers. Now I don't remember her name, but I remember what she told me at that moment. She walked over, and told me how gifted I am (Gee, I know that. Tell me something new) but knowledge should never have a saturation point. 

I don't know whether I really started reading then, but 18 years after that comment. I still recall that statement every time I hit a Writers Block.

I gravitated towards English and literature and found how much more amazing and fulfilling English is than any amount of dissection or chemical formulae.


'English is such a language which is so easy to speak incorrectly, but difficult to speak correctly'

I have been a poet, essayist and an editor since then. I have had spectacular faux paus and breath taking leaps.

If you are still wondering how the title applies. Yes, it does. 
Sometime ago, as we all do tend to forget lessons learnt. I became complacent and arrogant with my writing. 
Allow me to recollect one of my spectacular faux paus..

I happened to chance upon an advt in an extremely popular technology magazine calling for Content Writers. Needless to say, I applied. They required me to write a 1000 word article on a cell phone. Don't Copy Paste. Piece of cake, I thought.

Ofcourse, I had the article ready. Emailed it. Already confident that I would be selected, I counted my chickens before they hatched. In this case, even before the hen was born.

One week later, I get a mail from the Chief Content Editor.
A very scathing remark that read: 
'We thought when we said no copy/paste, that implied no cheating. Your article is a blatant attempt at plagiarism.'
They also sent me a copy of all the websites and the searches that I could have run to get the article. I was embarrassed beyond belief. More than that, I realised that I'd let myself down.

I have come a long way since then. Have worked for several Content Writers churning out 
articles that were uniquely researched and exquisitely written.

Yes, I do understand that this is no one's utopia, but atleast wake up and smell the BT Brinjals and the Sex Scandals, people.

Why do we forget the lessons of our past.
Why do we get so complacent?

We take pride in mediocrity. The result? We end up making a fool of ourselves in front of the world.
We take pride if we are able to cheat the system. We jump the traffic lights if we don't see a traffic cop standing round the corner. 
We cannot bear to wait for the lights to turn green, but we don't mind waiting for Sachin to hit that six or to wait in that line to catch that blockbuster.
We cannot tolerate to be treated with any less respect but dont mind making our servants - our bonded warehouse property.

We cannot tolerate Pakistan feeding terrorists, but don't mind 'poly-ticks-ians' sucking the sap out of our country.
We cannot stick to our Gandhian principals of living, because we need to give that 'bribe' to get that 'favor' done
We cannot tolerate going to war with the Pakis and the Chinese but don't mind the Shiv Senas (and like scum) dividing and ruling us.
We cannot bear to see Kashmir being invaded by the Pakis, but don't mind the Russians molesting our children in Goa.


"It's not Plagiarism, its just 'Collective Research' "
Thank you for visiting. Please come again

We are like this only.

1 comment:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...