Wednesday, June 28, 2006

I read the verbatim copies

.. on the Harvard Crimson.

After Wriju's comment, I did go and read the verbatim passages - on the original source.

You want to know what the verbatim passages are about?
Here goes:
1. A girl needs to be either brainy or pretty.
(Whats original about that thought?? Jane Austen said it!!)

2. To have a best friend who lives closeby was good enough till we got older and she had her boyfriends.
(Wow! hallelujah!! No one ever knew that we make childhood friends like that and it gets complicated as we grow up. What a Eureka discovery!!)

3. From page 237 of McCafferty’s first novel: “Finally, four major department stores and 170 specialty shops later, we were done.” From page 51 of Viswanathan’s novel: “Five department stores, and 170 specialty shops later, I was sick of listening to her hum along to Alicia Keys....”

(You decide what is so original about departmental stores and shops.. other than the magical figure of 170. That matches, yes, but i didnt know anyone had the copyright to 170. hey, please tell me all the other numbers under copyright!)

4. He was invading my personal space(in a car) and Kaavya puts it in a room.
(Guys, all psychology text books and books on PD with concepts of personal space, are out!)

5. The guy wants me as a platonic friend.
(when was the last time someone wanted someone else as a platonic friend?? Let me guess... every book on Chic-lit.. and yes, The bridge across forever has a passage where Richard Bach is convinced that Leslie is a perfect platonic friend and that is how he wants it. )

The point is this: All the so called "copying" is nothing but common nouns juxtaposed in an even more common grammatical formation. How else do you say these things?? I would like the originals to comment.. how do i say it if i want to say we went shopping and finished all the shops on an avenue.. maybe close to 200!! then, will you say that the difference between 170 and 200 shops is not enough.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The post I could get killed for

Note: Please be patient with this post. Its long, but do read the point.

I cannot remember names. Just cannot remember them. Who came up with what theory, who said what... no names! I know Einstein invented the electric bulb and Edison the theory of relativity, but that's about it.

I like to think that it is genetic to Indians. All our paintings, even as recent as 300 year old ones, do not carry the landmark signature. Though I left my history long ago, (what hope did I have with such spectacular memory of names. My memory with dates is even better), I do remember that in India, it was considered sacrilegious to attach your name to a creation.

To us, all creation is nothing but the message of Saraswati, the goddess of learning and wisdom, and repository of universal Gyana (wisdom). We are but messengers. And therefore, how can we claim credit for creating something that we are merely delivering? In our tradition, we don't even know who wrote the vedas!

Books are identified, even today, by the method of the writer including his name, if at all, in a devotional passage to the god/dess of choice, terming him/herself as the "das" (servant) asking for blessings before embarking on the task ordained. Most poets and writers do not put it, and then we depend on references made by other writers to their work, to identify who the writer was. That was how the original name of Vatsyayana was discovered - ONLY through references in other works. That is also the way we found out about Aryabhatta and Leelavati Beej Ganit - the fore-father of all algebra books.

Ustad Mansoor, the legendary painter in Jahangir's court, also did not sign his paintings. That is our tradition. Ideas do not belong to anyone. They are just things we pick up from the ocean of universal wisdom. Some of us present them to others as messengers.

Now, my question is, name one original idea in the world today. The Monk Who sold his Ferrari is plagiarised from the Geeta. As are a lot of Shiv Kheras and the rest. Of course, the fact that Buddhism presents the ideas of detachment that I also found in the Geeta makes the whole concept of plagiarism a little... well, historic.

Given this, does Kaavya Vishwanathan deserve what she got? In a book full of .. What? 2000 paragraphs or so, we are raising a storm about 40 passages? Are we saying that these ideas have NEVER been written about by anyone else? If they have been, does that mean that the "original" authors raising a hue and cry themselves deserve to be pulled up for plagiarising? What is the similarity between a girl who discloses all to a man in a plane, and a girl who decides to get a life to get into Harvard? The opportunity to create a little issue, and to sell some more copies of the book, that's what!

Well folks, be very careful, bcs the first person to put "Don't give me gyan" to his college buddy, over a cigarette in the college canteen, in a novel is going to sue you for similar passages if you write a book - ever! It doesn't matter that chicklit can depend on some very familiar themes.

Incidentally, I have found a project: Am going to look for plagiarised content in all the Mills and Boons series. And I am going to find out all the passages where Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys have borrowed from the Famous Five. AND, I really MUST find out who else has stolen from the Geeta and the Vedas.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Is a Blog protest movement effective at all?

Really.. what did we achieve by fighting the reservation battle in cyberspace on blogs? Did Dr. Manmohan Singh or MADAM so much as raise a brow on our all consuming blog protests?

Is blog protesting worth it? Another worthless question, i know.. but I ask nonetheless.. Is there a point to all this? ? To using blogs to protest ?

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Application rejections

Baxter Conners
Vice President
Company 203203
Wall St.New York,
NY 10015

Dear Mr. Conners,
Thank you for your letter of February 17th. After careful consideration I regret to inform you that I am unable to accept your refusal to offer me employment with your bank.

This year I have been particularly fortunate in receiving an unusually large number of rejection letters. With such a varied and promising field of candidates it is impossible for me to accept all refusals.

Despite Company 203's outstanding qualifications and previous experience in rejecting applicants, I find that your rejection does not meet my needs at this time. Therefore I will initiate employment with your firm immediately following graduation. I look forward to seeing you then.



Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The Nerd Herd Club

Bebasi, bekasi, bekhudi de gaya,
Kuchh naye tajurbe, ajnabi de gaya..

Sochne ke liye pal ki mohalat na di
Aansuon ke liye, ik sadi de gaya..

Uski saudagari mein bhi kuchh baat thi
Zindagi le gaya, Zindagi de gaya..

Kheench kar le gaya jism se jaan ko
Haan magar rooh ki tazagi de gaya..

बेबसी, बेकसी, बेखुदी दे गया,
कुछ नये तजुर्बे अजनबी दे गया

सोचने के लिये पल की मोहलत न दी,
आंसुओं के लिये, इक सदी दे गया

उसकी सौदगरी में भी कुछ बात थी
ज़िन्दगी ले गया, ज़िन्दगी दे गया

खींच कर ले गया जिस्म से जान को
हां मगर रूह की ताज़गी दे गया

To the girl who taught me this song.. I know she probably does not read blogs.. but one can only hope..

To the one who knows who taught me this song.. please come back!

The Nerd Herd Club wants its founder members BACK!! Complete with the Code of Conduct!

Was looking for all the words of this song, and bumped into this classic Javed Akhtar piece:

jaate jaate vo mujhe achchhii nishaanii de gayaa
umr bhar doharaauu.Ngaa aisii kahanii de gayaa

us se mai.n kuchh paa sakuu.N aisii kahaa.N ummiid thii
Gam bhii vo shaayad baraa-e-meharabaanii de gayaa

sab havaaye.N le gayaa mere sama.ndar kii ko_ii
aur mujh ko ek karatii baadabaanii de gayaa

Khair mai.n pyaasaa rahaa par us ne itanaa to kiyaa
merii palako.n kii kataaro.n ko vo paanii de gayaa
- Javed Akhtar

जाते जाते वो मुझे अच्छी निशानी दे गया
उम्र भर दोहराऊंगा ऐसी कहानी दे गया

उस से मैं कुछ पा सकूं ऐसी कहां उमीद थी
ग़म भी वो शायद बराए मेहर्बानी दे गया

सब हवायें ले गया मेरे समन्दर की कोइ
और मुझसे को एक कश्ती बाद्बानी दे गया

खैर मैं प्यासा रहा पर उस ने इतना तो किया
मेरी पलकों कि कतारों को वो पानी दे गया!

- जावेद अख्तर

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

I am never more lonely
Than when i am with you.