The great Anil Thakrani was sitting on his chair. It was a Sunday evening and in front of him was his best friend, his typewriter. The typewriter was olive green in color and was one of the Vintage ones. He was just fourteen when he had bought the typewriter, actually, when he had pestered his parents for buying him the typewriter. Right from his childhood, he was very fond of writing and wanted to make his hobby of writing, his profession. And now, he was the author of nine back-to-back bestsellers.
Anil Thakrani looked at the clock on his table and noticed that an hour had passed since he sat on his chair and thought of a topic to write on and the outcome of that one hour was a blank page which was stuck in his typewriter. He got up from the chair and went towards his refrigerator. He opened the refrigerator’s door and poured himself some orange juice from the Tetra Pack container. He then went to his living room, took his coat which was hanging on the armrest of his newly bought sofa, took the house key and went out for having a walk. It was December and very cold in Dehradun. While he was walking, he kept feeling the beauty of nature around him. He had a long one hour walk and then returned home. Anil Thakrani thought that after having a long walk, his mind would open up and ideas would flow through his mind but what happened next proved him wrong. He was still out of ideas. He was going through a writer’s block. He couldn’t think of anything. He searched the whole web about “What to do if you have a writer’s block?”, but all he could get from the whole half an hour search was NOTHING.
He again sat on his chair and now, took out a notebook from his drawer which was under his table. He wrote in bold and capital letters “IDEAS FOR A NEW BOOK”. He held a pen in his hand and started fidgeting with it. He then checked the time and now it was about 11 pm. He stood up and walked towards his bedroom. He lay down in his bed and kept saying, “This time will pass, this time will pass” and then he drifted off to sleep.
When the next day Anil Thakrani woke up, it was already 1130 in the morning. He stood up and served himself a cup of hot tea with some biscuits. He finished his tea and went towards his chair. He hadn’t forgotten about the last day and today he hoped that he’ll get some ideas for a story but his struggle of having a good idea for his next book continued.
The same thing happened for the next five days. Anil Thakrani woke up, served himself a hot cup of tea, sat on his chair, in the evening stood up from his chair (disappointed), went for a walk, observed the people over there, again sat on his chair, at 11 went to bed saying, “this time will pass, this time will pass…” and then drifted off to sleep.
Day by day Anil’s condition became miserable. Now he could not sleep and started feeling that his career was now over.
Whenever Anil Thakrani was sad or disappointed about something, he read a book. So, he went to his study and took out a book from the bookrack. The book was a novella written by an unknown writer. Anil Thakrani remembered how he had bought that book.
He was travelling to Mussorie and didn’t have anything to read. A road seller was selling pirated books at a very low cost. Anil Thakrani was a voracious reader. It didn’t matter to him whether the book he was reading was well known or not. He just loved to read and could read anything. So, he bought a book whose synopsis he liked the most.
Anil Thakrani opened the book and started to read. He finished the book in a day and suddenly an idea occurred to him, “What if I use the same plot and just do some alterations in it and make it published as my new novel? Since it is a book by an unknown author, nobody will know if the plot is mine or not. It’s a great idea, Anil. Just start working on it.” And from that day onwards, Anil Thakrani started to write his new story. He kept the original book beside his typewriter and whenever he had confusions or doubts, he read that part and wrote it exactly like that.
Anil took four months to complete his book and gave it to the publishers. The publishers, without even reading what the book was about, approved the book because they knew that the result of any book of Anil Thakrani would be, SUCCESS.
Three months after the book was published, it became a huge success. It was rated number the number one bestseller in India. Anil Thakrani threw a success party and invited all his friends. It was a big and lavish party and throughout the party, all his friends kept praising him about how he could write such great stories. But only Anil knew ‘How he could write such great stories’. Now, he had a success mantra.
Anil was very happy. Not only because his tenth book was a huge success but also because now he had a great idea, an idea which could help him to write more such stories. So, he went to his study again but this time, he was happier than ever. He went to his book rack and started finding more such books. He took out another book which was again a story by an unknown author and exclaimed with joy, “Aha! I’ve already decided, this is going to be my new book.”
Anil Thakrani wrote four more books all of which were successful. Now, Anil was feeling on top of the world. He felt that he was on cloud nine. He couldn’t believe that he had written five books so easily but he didn’t know what crisis was coming towards him which would tear him and his career apart.
Saurabh Goyel was reading Anil Thakrani’s new book ‘A Journey Full of Mishaps’. He was a very big fan of Anil Thakrani and loved his style of writing. He found Anil Thakrani’s stories very gripping and interesting. He sat on the sofa in his living room and started to read the book.
In a day, Saurabh Goyel had read half the book and now he was tired. He kept the book on the table in front of him and started thinking about the story he had just read. He found something fishy about the story as he had read almost the same story somewhere else. He quickly went to his room, opened his almirah and started searching for the book which resembled Anil Thakrani’s ‘A Journey Full of Mishaps’.
Saurabh Goyel finally found the book he was looking for and started reading it. The book’s name was ‘A Bad Trip’. It was a novella of about 50 pages. So, Saurabh Goyel started reading it. He skipped some pages and completed the book in an hour. After reading the book, he understood that Anil Thakrani had copied a story and was earning money from unfair means. He was involved in plagiarism.
Saurabh Goyel immediately called his uncle who was a lawyer in the Supreme Court. He dialed his uncle’s number and the phone rang. His uncle answered the phone and Saurabh explained his uncle the whole matter about how he had read Anil Thakrani’s story and how it resembled another book. His uncle assured him that he would look into the matter and do what he could do at his level. Saurabh disconnected the phone call and finally felt relieved. He then looked at the clock at it was almost midnight. He lay on his bed and went to sleep. The next day Saurabh’s uncle called and told him that he had looked into the matter and what he said was true. Saurabh’s uncle also informed him that he was going to file a complaint against Anil Thakrani. He also asked Saurabh to come to his office. Without wasting any time, Saurabh went to his uncle’s office.
Saurabh’s uncle’s name was Harish Goyel and was a Senior Advocate in the Supreme Court. So, he was commonly called Senior Advocate Goyel. Saurabh entered his uncle’s office. It was a large spacious room with a large sofa, a table, a huge bookrack (which was filled with lots of Law related books), and a swivel chair.
Senior Advocate Harish Goyel entered the room. He hugged Saurabh and asked him to sit down. Then, together, they filed a complaint of plagiarism against Anil Thakrani and sent his lawyer a notice.
Anil Thakrani was stupefied when he read the notice. His lawyer had visited him and showed him the notice. Anil thought, “How the hell did someone get to know I was doing all this? This is pretty much strange. And who the hell is the person who found out that I was copying? I want to know his name and that’s it. I will leave no stone unturned to kill that bastard.”
Anil stopped talking to himself, took out his phone from his pants’ pocket, dialed a number from his phone and said, “Book a ticket for me in today’s flight from Dehradun to New Delhi” and kept his phone back in his pants’ pocket.
Anil Thakrani’s flight landed fifteen minutes earlier than the scheduled time. He disembarked from the aeroplane and went outside the airport. There, a limousine was waiting for him. The driver opened the door for him and he got into the car. His driver directly took him to a five-star hotel. Anil Thakrani entered the hotel from its back gate (to escape from the fans waiting at the reception of the hotel), and went to the KING-SIZED suite which was already booked for him. He freshened up and then called the advocate himself.
“Hello, Senior Advocate Goyel speaking. May I ask who this is?”
“Well hello Mr. Goyel, this is Anil Thakrani. Are you the one who filed a complaint about me being involved in some kind of copying? I must say, you are quite a brave man” Anil Thakrani exclaimed.
“First of all, yes. I am the man who filed the complaint about you and secondly, you should be ashamed of what you did, Mr. Thakrani.”
“I guess you are having some kind of misunderstanding Advocate Sir. I haven’t done anything that I should be ashamed of. I am a respectable author and am perfectly clean.”
“That, we will see Mr. Thakrani. I have already filed a report in the Supreme Court and am also talking to the author and the publisher of the book which resembles yours. As soon as they get their copyright documents, I bet you’ll be in big trouble.”
“Okay then, be ready to get your socks pulled as, even I’ll leave no stone unturned to prove you wrong and get myself out of all this mess you’ve created” said Anil Thakrani and banged the phone on the floor.
He dialed the number of his lawyer and said, “Catch the first flight to Delhi immediately.”
Within the next five hours, Anil Thakrani’s lawyer was sitting opposite to Anil Thakrani on his couch in his suite. They both started talking about the options they had and suddenly, a positive thought came to Anil’s mind.
“I haven’t copied anything directly from the book. I’ve just used the same plot. How can somebody determine that I have stolen the idea of another book? It is just a co-incidence that our plots are the same. Yes! Now I am safe” Anil Thakrani exclaimed with joy.
But what he didn’t know was that maybe, by mistake, he could have copied some things from the book directly too….
The author of the book ‘A Bad Trip’ met Saurabh and his uncle at a restaurant. They all shook hands and sat. They did all the social formalities about asking about each other and then came to the point.
“So basically, what are the options we have, to get Anil behind the bars?” said the writer.
“We have to find similarities in the book. Of course there are minor ones too but we have to just look at the bigger similarities. Like copied paragraphs or something which shouldn’t have been there” said advocate Goyel.
All three of them started thinking about solutions to this problem.
After a few minutes, Saurabh came up with an idea and shared it with the rest two. He took out his phone, downloaded the PDF forms of ‘A Bad Trip’ and ‘A Journey Full of Mishaps’. He downloaded an application from Play Store which helped people to find similarities between any two texts. They compared the two stories and finally the most wonderful thing happened to them. The application found nine PARAGRAPHS which were exactly the same in both the books.
Without wasting any time, advocate Goyel went to the Supreme Court, talked to a judge and the judge recommended the case to the Delhi High Court. The judge and advocate Goyel sent a notice to Anil Thakrani’s lawyer for their presence in the High Court after two days.
AFTER TWO DAYS
Anil Thakrani’s limousine entered the court and he walked out of it. He went to the room where the court’s proceedings were about to take place. He sat down with his lawyer and the court’s proceedings started. Advocate Goyel called Anil Thakrani to the witness box and started asking him questions. And then, finally, advocate Goyel gave the judge the proof about Anil Thakrani’s plagiarism. He showed him the nine exactly same paragraphs and the judge confirmed it. When the judge asked Anil Thakrani about whether he had cheated or not, he could not hide the truth. He confessed that he was involved in plagiarism. The judge finally said the last sentence and imprisoned him for one year. Anil Thakrani was devastated and broke from inside. He was taken to prison.
ONE YEAR LATER
The prison’s gate opened and Anil Thakrani came out from it. He looked weak and unhealthy. It was three in the afternoon and was quite hot outside. An idea occurred to him-
“Why don’t I write something like Jeffrey Archer’s A Prison Diary?”….