Thursday, May 04, 2006

Why Kaavya Viswanathan should go ahead, get corrected and make a career

I did not want to be the nth person to talk about Kaavya Viswanathan and this is not a criticism about Kaavya, the young author's writings - I would still prefer to call her an author! - But a little research into how this all happened made me think that I should blog about this.

(Photo courtesy -

The Harward Independent, the student online weekly poses the question - Did Opal Author Plagiarize or Was It Her Handlers?

"I was surrounded by the stereotype of high-pressure Asian and Indian families trying to get their children into Ivy League schools," she told the New York Times on April 6. caught unawares, the Viswanathans sought the help of a professional college-counselling firm, IvyWise, which costed "$10,000 to $20,000 spread over two years."
They hired Katherine Cohen, founder of IvyWise and author of "Rock Hard Apps: How to Write the Killer College Application."

So one needs an agent to write the college applications in the days of companies like writing your CVs for jobs!

Kaavya started cello lessons at the age of five, studied four foreign languages beginning at the age of six, had near-perfect SAT scores and was president of three honours societies in high school. She has been writing as a passion, even from her school days. No doubt, she is talented. And some of her former professors agreed that she "had enough talent to become a teenage author"

Then why plagiarise?

After the charges of plagiarism were all out, Kaavya said she had read McCafferty but called herself "the victim of a photographic memory"

I would call her - the victim of faulty education system, the victim of parental pressure, the victim of engaging paid agents for admission to top-notch colleges and a typical misguided youth.
Mr. Chip Scanlan, please pardon this kid!
And the latest news is that 'The Record' is all set to investigate the two dozen articles she wrote as a summer intern at the newspaper in 2003 and 2004! And they have plans to vet her articles through LexisNexis, a public records database!
I would like to go back to my earlier posting.

If it is not Ivy League, it is not the end of life. I believe each bird has its worm in this huge world and each one of us is created for a specific purpose.
And in the language of any religion in this world, we have the right to do the duty and not to expect the benefit.
Let us teach the younger generation that they all have talents of their own and never they require to do anything which is not their cup of tea!

Come on Kaavya, you have your own space in this universe and there is always success after failure!


anoo said...

Hi Revathy,

Kaavya will surely succeed but might never become famous. She might become a well paid journalist or may freelance for some very good newspapers. What she did wrong was try the shortcut to success. There is no doubt that she has talent but she or rather her parents should have waited until she found her own thing...


R. Balaji said...

Yes. Hope she gets a second chance.