- From: Sach Kohli
Subject: Plagiarism within Mumbai Mirror and Bombay Times
To: Times of India Big Cheeses
Dear Big Cheeses,
I'm a subcriber of the Times of India in Bombay, and Mumbai Mirror comes with it. I actually think the Mirror is quite fun, but yesterday I was home early from work and had a bit of time to read it a bit carefully.
I did the quiz "Do you Fight Fair" (visit the Mirror site, use "Select Prior Issue" at top right to select the 30-10-2006 issue, scroll down to the "Do you fight fair?" link near the bottom). Some of it looked odd and a bit familiar. So I just googled the title to find it remarkably similar to one composed by Tracey Porpora that I read here at the website of Ladies Home Journal belonging to the Meridith Corporation.
Well I dismissed this as a one-off aberration but I still had thirty minutes to dinner. So I picked up Saturday's (October 28) edition of Mumbai Mirror and I turned to the quiz "Do you have a devoted hubby?" (follow same procedure as above, but select the 28-10-2006 issue, scroll down and click on the grey "Relationships" link). One of the options to a question reads "b. Yes Boss: He had you at hello... but you're still confused about how he feels." Yes Boss? Wasn't that Jerry Maguire talking?? So I did a single google search and found the original article here at Online Cosmo. What was most entertaining was the effort that the writer had taken to 'adapt' the quiz to Mumbai Mirror. The 'guy' was replaced with hubby and of course the sheer genius of replacing hollywood titles with bollywood ...
So now dinner was looming but still about ten minutes away, and I idly leafed through the day's Bombay Times (October 30). Nestled among the usual garbage sprung this headline The Tip: How do you clean your trumpet?. Hmm how interesting and different I thought (naughty, naughty). By chance, I know a bit about trumpets and was pleasantly surprised that Bombay Times, of all newspapers, was writing about trumpet playing! So I read it and well, once again, it seemed soo familiar. A quick google and bingo.
And then I ate dinner.
Anyway, beyond the sheer entertainment value of that evening, I find all this super mindboggling! Surely, the reporters and editors of the famed Times Group can come up with quizzes by themselves? Besides, by leaving out the trumpet cleaning story, would you have deprived thousands of Bombay Times readers of a richer morning read? If I could detect three cases in an hour of casual reading, how many more such cases are just begging to be discovered? And for heaven's sake, if you care so much to tell people about trumpet cleaning or advise them on how to be devoted husbands but don't know who to ask, why don't you just pay for the article or at least acknowledge it?? Or don't run it at all.
Anyway, it's lunch time now.
And the result of our previous email conversation is here.
Addendum: For some other similarly delectable morsels, you may want to take a look at You left out dazzling and Congratulations, Virender Sehwag!
On the same theme, check this song from 1961. What current Bollywood song from a terrific film does it put in your mind?