Posted by Praveen

Plagiarism rules the roost

This has been a season in which plagiarism and controversies related to it have hodged the limelight. First came the case against celebrated author Dan Brown, alleged of copying parts of ''Da Vinci code'' from ''The Holy blood and the holy grail'', written by two unknown guys. This case can be seen as no more than a publicity stunt by these 2 authors. And it has to be said that they somewhat succeeded in that since their book sold a large number of copies after this. But, ultimately, and rightly so, Dan Brown won the case.
Last week, a young Indian writer, Kaavya Viswanathan, was caught in the eye of a storm in USA. Her national bestseller ''How Opal Mehta got kissed, got wild and got a life'' was found to have striking similarities with teen fiction writer Megan McCafferty's books '' sloppy firsts'' and ''second helpings''. Kavya, reacting to this allegations, said that the similarities were 'unintentional and unconscious'. According to her, she had grown up on these books and they had influenced her so much that the language and situations accidently came to her pen. But the publishers of McCafferty's books have refused to buy this explanation.They said that there are more than 40 passages in kavya's book, which use similar language or situations. Infact the stories are almost similar. According to latest reports, the publisher's have withdrawn her book from the stores. The literary world is waiting with bated breath to know what happens in this case.

And now comes plagiarism of a different kind. The affected party this time is none other than the crusader, the author of this blog. Two days back, my good friend Akhil send me a blog link and told me, ''Hey buddy, Checkout this link''. The blog name was mexxian. I started reading and found out that the topic was similar to my last post in this blog, the one about my 1st vote. As I read on, to my astonishment, I realised that these were the same things that I wrote in my blog. Yes, the post was completely copied. I can't explain the kind of feelings that came to my mind. I was hurt deeply because this was a post which I valued most because it dealt with one of the most important moments in my life. And this guy unashamedly copied this and made it his own. The most astonishing thing is that he posted this in his blog, barely 4 hours after I published this.
Then I wrote a pretty long comment in his blog explaining how this whole thing is against the spirit of blogging and how it hurt me deeply. My friends Swapna, Meenu and Akhil gave me a lot of support during that time. The next day he removed his post and send me a message in orkut - ''I wrote only what I felt. Hope u got my mail''. But until this moment, I haven't got any mails. Also what puzzles me is that he could still say that he wrote what he felt, when all he did was to blatantly a post from my blog and add 2 sentences of his own. I hope he clears the doubt soon. If u watch closely, u could see some paralells between the reaction of kavya and this guy. And this made me think about a theory that ''when caught, all copycats act alike.i.e. Copycats copy other copycats.''
Last but not the least, a special thanks to Akhil for bringing this to my notice. Otherwise, atleast somebody would have thought that am a copycat[which according to me isone of the worst possible ways to describe an individual]. Be original...That is the mantraa...Lets all fight plagiarism together......well, this is only a tip of the iceberg that is plagiarism. If we move on to films and music, I would get topics to write on forever. So am stopping here....waiting for ur valuable comments
with love, your crusader Praveen


Posted by Praveen

Crusader Casts Vote

Today is one of the most important days in the life of the crusader. Today, I cast my 1st vote and now am proud to say that am a part of the democratic setup of this country. All these days i been a passive spectator to the whole election process. But today I got the chance to excercise my franchise. And lemme tell u one thing, it was really a one of a kind feeling when i pressed that button.
But, the problem was that making a choice on whom to vote was really tough. And standing outside the booth in the queue, I started reading the list of the candidates from a board kept outside. The big round belly of a policeman standing there was blocking my view and i had to strain my neck to get a view of that board. There were total 8 candidates. The usual suspects representing the 3 big parties in Kerala and rest independents. And the choice of symbols of these independents really made me laugh. Some of them are Banana, bucket, torch. Even a person wanting to cast vote for them would turn back when he sees those absurd choices.
oh, now its my turn to vote. The agent sitting there with the list took my id card and started searching the list. He had some problem with his eyes, the man sitting near him signalled to me. O my god, the photo in that identity card is such that even a person with perfect sight would find it difficult to identify me. Yes, my fears were coming true. The man adjusted his specs and started this excercise of staring at me and the card alternately. And he couldn't find my name and picture in the list. Atlast i had to point out it myself. So that part is over.
Now the next part. Putting the ink on my hand. This was really funny. I held out my right hand, as my left hand was full with my stylish sun glasses, bike key and the id card. He pulled at my left hand and I was puzzled. Then i understood[4 ur info, am a tubelight]. I put all the things in my hand on the table and held out my middle finger. Oh no, wrong again, its the index finger. I had heard that they would put a dot on your finger. But this guy was doing something like a canvas painting on my finger and gave this long line across my nails and on to the skin.God only knows, if this would be gone from my finger by the time of next elections.
The next part is taking the photo. Heard that this a novelty this time around. Anyway, the guy taking photo gave me an uneasy look. He can't be blamed for that. Who else would wear a weird t-shirt and jeans, best suited for a rock show to a polling booth. The linkin park thing really made him think who this mad guy is. Well, he took a snap of this beautiful,glamorous, handsome face[hee heeee]. Now the formalities are all over. Its time to voteeeee.....
I went behind the screen and took a glance at the thing ..only seen on tv and print before. now, i ran through the list of names. And pressed the button...Oh, were u eagerly waiting to know whom I cast my vote for? Sorry, I couldn't reveal that. Its against the law, as told by my dear friend yesterday night, when I asked him whom should I vote for. And if achuthananthan or Oomen Chandy is reading this, sorry sir, no hard feelings ok. I won't tell whom I voted for..he heee
And, now am out of the booth. I walked back to my bike with a proud feeling of having played a part in deciding the future government. Its another story whether the candidate who got my vote would really win the election. Hopefully, the 1st vote from crusader won't go waste....
with love, your crusader Praveen


Posted by Praveen


U all might have heard of blogthings and may also have did some of those crazy tests urself. But, I for one, even after doing many tests, always dismissed this as crap. But today, after getting an amazing result, that opinion may change sooner than later. This is one is a test on which is my song for 2005.....and guess what, they selected my most favorite song of one of my favorite bands green day. Last year and this year too, I listened to this song and album a million times. Still, wondering if this blogthing guy is the same guy who smiles at me from next door.Otherwise, how could he have known this...Hey...Blogthings really rock.....

Your 2005 Song Is

Boulevard of Broken Dreams by Green Day
"My shadow's the only one that walks beside me
My shallow heart's the only thing that's beating"
In 2005, you bummed everyone out. Like you care.

so guys and gals....go get into blogthings and go crazyyyyy

with love, your crusader Praveen


Posted by Praveen

As my mind opens up
On my way to deep slumber
Oh, my thoughts wander
Where am i going, I wonder
Yes, its a question to ponder.

Am on an aimless journey,
Miles disappear behind me
Faces passing by as in a reel
And suddenly, one seems stuck
Now it all seems so real.

The heart melting smile
And the mind soothing words.
The all healing touch
And the sweet scolding looks.

Walking hand in hand,
with words remaining unsaid
The silence speaking more
than the eloquence
Our minds are asking questions
The answers to which are the same.

As we stand there on the hilltop,
With heart and mind as one,
A thought arises within me.
And I ask myself.
Will it be like this forever?
Will it all be gone,
As I awaken from my slumber?


with lots of love, your crusader Praveen


Posted by Praveen

Vizhinjam port...the dream of a nation

In the last few posts, I concentrated on music and sports. Now, lets get on to something serious. Its now a pretty busy time with the elections coming up and all the polictial parties are busy convincing the voters of the good things they are gonna do once they get to rule. And almost all the parties have released their manifestos. Its actually a pretty funny excercise to read those manifestos. These are epitomes of sugar coated lying. And the funny thing is both the political parties as well as the voters know whatever is mentioned in those are nothing more than pure lies. Jokes aside, manifestos give a clear picture on the line of thinking of the party. And it came as a surprise when CPIM released their manifesto, the Vizhinjam port was mentioned in just 2 sentences. And this is a project which was hailed as the one which will change the face of the nation.

Vizhinjam is one project which has faced innumerable backlashes from the time it was conceived almost half a century back. Most of the time other states would do something to derail the proposals that kerala put before the centre. This is because they know that once the port at Vizhinjam becomes a reality, then ship traffic to their own ports would decrease. The advantage with Vizhinjam, as u all know, that it has a natural depth of 24m when nearby ports like mangalore has only 10m or something. So it doean't need massive digging operations to achieve depth. Also it is situated 20 km off the international shipping route. Such a transshipment terminal with all these natural advantages needs to be promoted.

But, alas, that is not the case here. The other states trying to lay roadblocks for the projects can be understood, though in the larger picture of the country, its a crime. Here, its our own politicians and beaurocrats who are playing dirty games to make sure that Vizhinjam transshipment terminal doesn't become a reality. Its known that there is a section of highly placed secretariat officials, who are using all their connections at the centre to derail the project. And the stone laying of the project was postponed 2 times. Atlast, elections were declared and as per existing rules it became impossible to lay the stone for this new project. And this was exactly what this officials wanted.

Also, the people associated with Vallarpadom container terminal at Kochi is also playing a major part in delaying the project. They know that once Vizhinjam port is in working condition, then the purpose of vallarpadom itself will be questioned. And the Union ports minister T.R.Balu is also against this project. Whenever a question on Vizhinjam is put to him, he puts the matter of Vallarpadom forward. He once even went as far as asking ''how many ports does a state want'', clearly implying that since vallarpadom is already sanctioned, don't even dare to dream about Vizhinjam. But the state government has to be commented for taking the initiative and calling a tender from private agencies to build the hub. The tender was won by a consortium of chinese and Indian companies, experienced in this field.

Now, everything is in the hands of the next government. Whoever, wants to come to power must convince the people of kerala, that within the next 5 years Vizhinjam port will become a reality. And lets hope that doesn't just remain in words and manifestos, but be converted to action....waiting 4 the gateway to open...for kerala as well as India....So all Indians join in support of this noble cause...dont' bring petty regionalism into this matter. Because, the fruits of this are for the whole country to enjoy...
Those who want to have an active participation in the discussions on this project, join this groups..
with love , your crusader Praveen