Saturday, December 27, 2014

Autobiography of a Plagiarist

Disclaimer - This blog post is a work of fiction.


Some say truth triumphs! I had never experienced it until last winter! This change cleansed me and transformed me into a good individual. Some say that there is no difference between people who steal others things  and those who snatch others ideas. I had been doing that for my material gains.  Google turned out to be my best friend for it provided me everything that I desired. Being a blogger and an amateur writer, my mind constantly required to produce and reproduce several ideas. Most of the blogging sites that came up with  different blogging contests often came up with attractive and lucrative prizes  - iPad, iPhone, Kindle, Mac Books and various electronic gadgets. I seemed to have been blinded and smitten  by these prizes that I resort to snatching ideas. 

5th November 2013 – was the day when blogger.com came up with a PAN level blogger contest. The winner of that contest was to be awarded an iPhone. ‘Human Heart Vs Human Brain – Measuring conflicts. What does the heart say when the brain says no?’ It was a  topic that had to be dealt with utmost sensitivity. I usually suck at writing such articles.  The prizes attracted my eyeballs. Gluttony hurts, it  kills!
I started thinking over the topic and my brain couldn’t conceive constructive ideas relevant to the theme of the contest. I was disappointed at the fact that I was turning creativity handicap. It was indeed challenging. Any writer wouldn’t succumb to an act that I did! I typed – Heart Vs Brain on the Google Search bar and I received numerous web links. I went through the websites one by one and accumulated points.  I jotted down the points and tried to put it on my own words.  While exploring few of those websites, my eyes grabbed the attention of a blog written by an American Teenager - Brenda Anderson.

“Heart is symbolic of emotions, feelings; attachments. It has its own reasoning which the mind may not approve of, probably because it lacks the evidence or arguments that prove it to be right. But has an understanding that assures it of not being wrong.
At times, the high EQ (emotional quotient) may overshadow the strong IQ.
The reason for it is simple when faced with a situation; our heart pulls us to one direction and the mind to the other. We don't know which way to go this gives rise to a conflict that interferes with our ability to think rationally. There is no direction, just a dead point. We feel lost and our mind stops working, stops thinking and then we become totally dependent on what our heart tells us, after all, it's our last resort.”

This was something that I was looking for! Spot it! I copied the entire post on my document and started working on it. I meticulously made good use of the thesaurus and changed meanings of certain complex words. I made its vocabulary easy to understand. I optimized it for an Indian audience.  The deadline for the blogger contest was approaching. Brenda Anderson was indeed a blessed girl. I explored her blog and it was the repository of literature work. Her works dealt with the highest level of art and literature. I envied her for some reason. She would have won several blogger contests if she were in India. Perhaps, at that moment, I never felt guilty publishing someone else’s article under my name and that too under PAN India level. I was feeling jubilant when I posted the link to the blogger page. I was quite sure that I would win. I had no traces of guilt in my heart. Weeks passed and even months!  The contest results were about to be announced.  Many people had appreciated that article that I had lifted from Brenda Anderson’s blog and no one had even the slightest doubt that it was a stolen one. I had received over 100 comments for that single blog post. People enjoyed reading it and they had scribbled genuine comments for that. It did make me smile! But that night, I couldn't sleep peacefully. My conscience knocked me hard to make me feel that I had done the biggest mistake of my life. It indicated me that this was a big shame. How could a person fall down to this level? It wanted to correct my mistake. I contemplated and thought over my act! But it seemed that the results were already announced. I was declared as the winner. I was entitled to get an iPhone. I was feeling guilty and my greed for material products had to be reprimanded. I was feeling low and disappointed.  Finally, I listened to what my heart said to me and contacted the organizers. I spilled the beans! I informed them that I had lifted the article from an American girl’s blog and modified it as per my needs. But that was an honest confession. I had tears in my eyes when I spoke all that to the organizers. The organizers discussed and decided to go with the results as announced. They had awarded me the prize for my honesty. I could have simply opted to conceal the truth, but my conscience didn't let me sleep peacefully. For years to come, my heart would have been heavy with the guilt that would often remind me of the scar that it had left! But I acknowledged my conscience by doing something that it desired.  But it would have been inappropriate if I had accepted the prize. The organizers didn't budge and I had to accept the prize.


Image is taken from here 
All the 100 plus comments that the blog post received belonged to that girl. It was the efforts of that American girl who deserved so many appreciations. I had just been a channel. I quickly added the link of her post to my blog post and added a line that my post had been inspired from Brenda's blog post.
I quickly inspected her blog for her contact details. “You may want to let me know how you feel about my blog posts :) How?  Write me at brenda.anderson7@live.comIt was mentioned at the right sidebar of the blog. 

“Dear Brenda,
You might be wondering who this is. I would like to call myself as the greatest fan of Miss Brenda Anderson. Yes, I am a huge fan of your writing. I bumped across your blog through Google and I’m glad that I found it. Your articles have touched me deep! I would like to say something important. Last month I took part in a PAN India level contest and I had won it.  Please don’t get me wrong when I say that I had stolen ideas and points from your blog. I had lifted it. I’m feeling ashamed because of my act. Check this link – virtualstroller.blogspot.com/heartvsmind. All the comments on this blog post are meant for you.  Kindly forgive me. Please provide me your address.

Yours Truly,
Sankit”

I waited for her reply. Finally, two days later she replied me.

“Dear Sankit,
I’m so happy that you won the blogging contest. I’m indeed very happy for you. Thank you for all the kind words in the last email. That was sweet of you :). You don’t need to be sorry. You had taken my blog post and I’m glad you won it. It was nice going through the various comments in the blog post in the link that you had sent me. You are a nice soul, Sankit! Please do not say that you had stolen my blog post. : )  I have blog rolled you and consider me as a regular reader of your blog. You too do the same and yes whenever you read my post do leave some nice comments :P And my address is –
2411, Andersons Avenue, AV, Green Park, GA, Atlanta 30301, USA

Stay in touch, Sankit! Xoxox
Take Care,
Brenda ”

I was so happy to read all that. I quickly parceled the iPhone to her. I was not the right owner to that Apple product.  Initially, she refused to accept it. But after insisting she accepted it. We soon turned out to be good friends.  Yes, Truth indeed Triumphs! Sometimes you just need to be true to yourself. Sometimes you just need to listen to your heart. It's an offense to steal others creativity!
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Friends, many times we knock Google’s door for ideas when our brain refuses to produce adequate necessary desired ideas. I feel disheartened to see and hear such things. My heart hurts when I read my blogger friends writing statuses on Facebook citing their plagiarized blog posts. Trust me that it is something that hurts any blogger. Who would like their blog post to be snatched? Remember that a plagiarist is no different than a thief. The difference is that a plagiarist steals others ideas while a thief steals products.  A plagiarist could steal someone’s blog post, but they can never steal someone’s creativity! Dear Plagiarists – Please do not hurt creative souls here. Your conscience will hurt you and you would live a life of guilt! If you go on to get inspired by someone's work then do let the article owner know about this and you could link their blog post to yours. That would be a kind gesture. While using an image from Google, do give credits to the  image owner. This blog post might be a work of fiction, but this might be true for many of you out here! Stay blessed my creative people!


8 comments:

  1. Great post... Nice point of giving at least a link to the original post. Plagiarism does no good for anyone...

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  2. Wonderfully written. Touching story.
    Can never understand why people copy. Looks like many don't have any conscience & never feel guilty... Owning up, like Sankit in the story, needs courage. He is a nice soul indeed.
    People steal even tweets & ideas even when there's no contest! Wish everyone was original & nice soul...

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  3. This is such a touching story. I had an experience and it was really hurting to see my writing in someone else's name. I contacted that person either to remove or to give me credits. and well, that person apologized and chose to remove. While another blogger got inspired from one my stories. He translated it in his regional language and gave me credits. Later he also contacted me to tell about it. I was so happy to read his adaptation. Let's be original and inspire others. Keep writing, Ste! :)

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  4. This is a different perspective.. Nice narration and nicer thoughts.. The confession part and contacting the author, sweet twist. But my favourite part of the post is Brenda's response. What a reply! Her portrayal is just awesome!! :)

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  5. Like the letters. Its quite sincere. Good job at raising this issue. The Dos and Don't s. Is the email id real though?

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    1. You can try sending her the mail.. If you get a reply then its a real id if you don't then its fake ;)

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