Monday, March 11, 2013

This and that.

The last few visits to my FB page left me oscillating between feeling irked and flattered. I discovered one of my pictures, the one I clicked of the river and bridge in my home town, doing rounds on a community web page dedicated to the river. The first time I saw it, I was very tempted to leave a comment, claiming the ownership of the photograph. But the fact was that it was not watermarked, copyrighted or protected otherwise and it was put up on my cover page. I was reminded of the many occasions I do a google image search to lift the picture I want to adorn my FB cover. In the age of internet, copyright doesn't really make any sense. To delve deeper, I was kind of  remotely aware, for the first time, of the plight movie makers go through when their works are pirated and put to rounds on the world wide web..I recollected the one occasion where I watched this pristine version of "Jodhaa Akbar" the next day after its release. I remember my kid brother express his astonishment over the fact that we caught a visibly expensive movie for free while it was fresh out of the oven. Food for thought it is, since this is virtual stealing nonetheless. If pirating is bad, plagiarism is much worse. Back on track, it would be a good practice to source our quotes and pics on social networks etc..just so we give the credit where it belongs rather than slyly leaving it to the imagination of the viewer, thus holding an advantage of making them assume it as our original work. I consciously do it, where ever and when ever I know my source or acknowledge them as 'source unknown' when that's the case.

And then you encounter a variety of inspiration, which is borderline copying...many months ago, a young man made into my friend's list on FB...I said made into, because he came there miraculously. I saw a couple of mutual friends but till date, it remains a mystery as to how he made it to my list. One day, out of curiosity, I clicked on his profile to discover that his description about himself was eerily similar to mine, though I should credit him for not copying it as it is. This could be another version of inspiration I thought and promptly deleted him from the list and moved on with my life. But the godmother of all inspirations came in when I recently got a friend request from a lady whose profile looked like I could know her, though I wasn't able to place her in an instant. I clicked on her page to see my description of myself, copied as it is. What really baffled me is the fact that this woman copies from me and then sends me a friend request :-D The way I felt following that is a little hard to describe. I had, over the years of growing up and learning, imitated a lot of people that influenced me. Even to this day, I use certain expressions that my teachers used in my grade school and every time I use them, I recollect the instance when they were originally used. I get many inspirations out of others works and often find myself trying to sound like a certain person I look up to and admire - but do I ever lift something the way it is and use it as my own? No, I don't. I felt sorry for that woman. When one describes oneself, I think one has to be honest, not clever or impressive. While I am totally in favor of getting inspired, I think I am also for being myself, and reflecting what I truly am with everything I do and say. I declined the request and moved on with the joys of the world wide web. Between inspiration, imitation and plagiarism  there is a fine line that needs to be defined loud and clear. While I cannot really claim to be a through and through original, I do have the lines defined the way they are supposed to be.  I think, more than anything else, we have a responsibility to be true to ourselves, be it mediocre, good or really awful.

“Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else.” 
― Judy Garland


  1. I also saw a man in my friend's list whom I do not know and have never added.I still did not delete.He does not comment or uplift anything from my page(Not that he can see something worthy of uplifting).He seems to be non-nonsense guy.Now I am in doubt whether to delete or not? I also sometimes copy some pictures but leave a courtesy :xyz etc.I watch pirated movies however.So there is a culprit in me

  2. That's so weird, those people copying your 'about me' section. Of all things that are individual, it would be that, so why in the heck would they copy that? Strange.

    I came over from the A to Z challenge...looking forward to reading your posts :)