Saturday, April 29, 2006

How O 'Pal' turned foe!

Last week has been a week of happenings for Kaavya Viswanathan, a Harvard undergraduate, who faced a ripping pall of gloom as her work How Opal Mehta got kissed, got wild and got a life was alleged to be plagiarised from Megan McCafferty's books, Sloppy Firsts and Second Helpings. The net result was a total contamination of her reputation that had skyrocketted a couple of years back, thanks to the 500,000$ deal she had made with Little Brown and Crown Company, one of the oldest and prestigious American Publishers. She was caught on the wrong foot with over fifteen passages bearing a striking resemblance to the original works. Her explanations to the ongoing saga has been very conclusive from her evading remarks - she did lift the passages from the original works. Before the book received any sort of review, Dreamworks jumped the gun and bought the rights to turn it into a movie.

No doubt, her name is the keyword that is getting a lot of hits in google, but I am sure that this is not the kind of fame that she would have expected. The news has hit the stands and has evoked considerable response in the internet, what with a multitude of blogs and articles written about her in thousands. Copyright infringement is a strict no in the United States and literary plagiarism is equivalent to robbery, and the authors before writing a book take extra precaution to prevent any accusation being hurled at them over these issues. Kaavya Viswanathan can do nothing now to rectify her situation, as the publishers have found clinching evidence to nail her, comparing the original work to her passages and publishing across the front pages all the leading ezines.

Kaavya Viswanathan has really made a mess of her enviable life, and it would really require a lot of guts and courage for her to face this episode, and though considerable disrespute has been brought to her through her own doings, she will require a mountain of will power to come back to the literary arena with a tarnished reputation.


  1. Kavya's writing may be good.. but she sucks at plagiarism.. Trust me, plagiarism is an art. And call me proud, but I am good at it. All through Engineering, I copied and condensed eighteen page assignments written by classmate girls into 3-page summaries which, if one read would seem so different from the original. Not even with Kosbar's detector (I've only heard of it.. coz i haven't got to take a class under him).

    But with Kavya's work, she has horrendously copied scenes and phrases from the originals. In fact, Priyadarshan's work is better!

  2. Surprising man, the indian media hasnt hyped up this episode "upto the mark".

    i used to get depressed whenever i came across Kalpana chawla, Bobby jindal etc....why bother abt some ppl of just "indian origin".

    may be because she is a failure

  3. check out my take on the Opal Mehta thing.. I tried to make it humorous and relevant to us guys!

    it's on my blog..