Sep 6, 2010

The Little Plagiarist

With my photographic memory, which I am really boastful of, I still remember the days I went to the elementary classes, so many years ago, with fresh spirit and juvenile enthusiasm. It was my fourth grade, where I was really enjoying the status of one of the smart students in terms of academic performance. I remember that the experience of writing my first story happened there.

That particular day, as I entered the class room, my main competitor (well...friend of course) received me with a surprising information. Showing me a folded single lined paper torn from the notebook, he revealed that he had written a story. A story? I wondered! When asked, he opened the paper and said me to read. 

Here my memory defeats me; I don’t remember much of his narrative. However, the story was about a boy of our age, written following the same style of the popular children’s books. The boy, as per the story went, received some good punishment as a result of disobedience. If my memory is correct, my friend had given a title like, ‘Arrogance is Unwise’ to beautify his story.

I remember the excitement I showed off on reaching my home that day. As soon as reached home, I announced that I was going to write a story. Without even changing the dress, I started writing on a piece of paper. Giving a special care in following the same narrative pattern of my friend, I attempted to write down his exact story. On completion, after giving his same title, ‘Arrogance is Unwise’, despite of some minor changes in the word order and usage, the story was exactly a copy of the one written by my friend.

I now remember, how intelligent I was, for I carefully concealed from my parents the source of my inspiration. My parents read the story carefully, and my first story received with a huge amount of criticism from its first readers. Starting from its unsuitable title, my poor handwriting and my unnecessary usage of certain words also became subject of controversy. According to mother, the suitable title to the story was ‘Disobedience’.

Though my first attempt in story writing went fruitless, after one or two years, I started to scribble on my old notebooks some children’s stories. Since I had a certain kind of hatred towards human beings, my stories had animals as its characters. Sometimes the subject line was how the animals overcame the atrocities of humans. It is to be mentioned that none was meant for publishing, but was written just for the writing pleasure. 

During this period, I understood that, the abovementioned first story writing experience was an instance of plagiarism. Probably, I could be the youngest plagiarist.

I don’t exactly remember at what period of my growth, I stopped writing animal stories, which was a mode of creative pleasure. However, when I noticed my lost interest in writing such stories, I shockingly realised that I was no more a child. 

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