Why I don’t like it when someone copies me? I guess nobody likes it. But why? I did some soul searching and realized that not only that I do not like it, I feel enraged. I feel so strong about it that once I stopped wearing my favourite sweater after seeing a stranger wearing it. I thought there has to be some deep rooted reason for this. I delved deep into my psyche. And voila! Found it. Once I saw these movies, “Single White Female” and “Talented Mr. Ripley”. Anybody who has seen these movies will understand how, creepy it is, being copied. And it becomes creepier when the person who is copying you is otherwise friendly with you, close to you. You can’t even point this out to that person out of modesty and fear of causing harm to the relationship.
I love Christie’s Poirot and Ms. Marple. I told the story of “Nemesis” to someone, just four – five sentences. So after few days, I was hanging out with few people and one of them asked me which Agatha Christie book he should read first, I was about to answer, but before I could say anything, suddenly that person jumped and grabbed the opportunity and said, you should read “Nemesis”, its good. That is the first time I came across the occurrence of the term irritating copycat. After that I started keeping a watchful eye on things I said and them being stolen and used as thieves’ own. Maybe it is harsh to use these words in this otherwise silly simple context but that is how much strongly I feel about this. I will give some more examples to clarify my exasperation. I swear by midnight snacks. I don’t sleep before four, so I need some sort of food even after dinner. I made a bad habit of making sandwiches at night. I used to take two slices of bread, two slices of cheese, a poached egg, few slices of cucumber, tomato and onion and made this heavenly (and heavy) sandwich at night, time is very integral to make this sandwich, the main ingredients of this sandwich are insomnia and mid night. It has to be made after 1 o’clock at night and only by psychotic bibliophile insomniacs. Once I took few photos and showed them to some people, making fun of my gluttony. After few days I came across a photo of a sandwich, exactly like mine! Actually this is what bugs me, somebody is copying from a person and then taking all the credit, sometimes that copycat may have a better plate or a better camera, (who cares!) Similarly once I took a photo of a tea cup, my shades, my purse lying casually on a table. It was a spontaneous photo, and probably that’s why it came out so good, because spontaneous over-flow of any feelings is always good. I posted that photograph on facebook. After few months saw a friend posting something similar. But more ‘likes’ cannot make an idea or a spontaneous perception of someone else’s yours, right? This is very childish to put so much thought to something so teenageish and trivial. So if we change the sandwich to a short story, or a plot of a 500 paged novel? Will it be so trivial then? What to do when after a boyfriend gives his girl a stemmed rose or few lilies or a bunch of orchids on different occasion and at the end of the month a friend post a photo of entire flower shop on her dining table – with those same lilies, roses and orchids – ruining the aesthetic subtlety altogether? Should one feel sorry for the girl! Just a memory flash – remember that scene from “Mona Lisa Smile”, where Betty (Kirsten Dunst) will go on insulting her friend Giselle (Maggie Gyllenhal) for being a philandering, promiscuous on the verge of becoming a whore? But Giselle will not mind but rather hugs Betty because she knows the true reason of Betty’s unhappiness. Hmmm. So suppose one likes to have cross body bags, but stops carrying it like that for a while, in the meantime others start, so now if that person goes back to her old habit, others think she is copying. Nobody can clear the situation, because if you put these in words, they sound silly. What to do when someone copies your way of talking, your certain choices of words, your habit that makes you, you? So many times it happened to me when I expressed my views, shared them with people, and later found out those people xeroxing my said words on those given topics to a hoard of listeners. And the painful shocking part is they pretend they come up with all those opinions on their own. They do not say, “I heard my friend saying this, and I totally agree with her”. Watching an advertisement, I told someone “see this is an intelligent ad”, few days later I heard her pointing out the ad and saying, “see, this is an intelligent ad”, and I am right there, man! Can’t you see me, you moron! Again it sounds silly when put it like this, but now imagine instead of a line, a habit, a way of your talking, it was your new scientific invention for which you have applied for a patent and someone else take your research papers and publish them and get a patent and the praise? Make a cup of tea, and think!
Please be bothered with a P.S. – I do not stop wearing my favorite sweater anymore. No point in depriving yourself of a good thing. Hold your ground, always.
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