<%-- Page Title--%> Reflections <%-- End Page Title--%>

<%-- Volume Number --%> Vol 1 Num 119 <%-- End Volume Number --%>

August 22, 2003

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Professor Me and her (very brife)Literary Career

Nabila Idris

Professor Me read somewhere that J K Rowling had been pondering about the characters and plots of Harry Potter from her high school days. The Prof (proud bearer of the Miss Lazy crown from days of yore) didn't think highly of this unnecessary intellectual exertion, until she chanced upon a report stating that Rowling would be retiring with about 1 billion pounds. Aha! That touched an artery somewhere in the Prof's cardiac organ. Detailed discussion with her inner soul revealed that all desires pointed to one direction and the Prof adopted the Monetary Policy. The Policy revolved around the core theory that exertion was permissible as long as it served some pecuniary aims. The Prof therefore dared to indulge in a feat of pondering. She thought that pondering about un-dreamt of plots would not be difficult, if not outright easy which goes to show just how weak her thinking prowess is, was and will be.

Agatha Christie had recommended for budding writers the excellent practice of observing fellow human beings. The Prof tried it. With dire results. Homo sapiens as a rule dislike being stared at, and at times have been known to resort to violence to discourage the rude habit. Though lucky enough to escape without a physical black eye, both the mental ones assumed the colour of a full-moon night, minus the moon. In spite of this setback, the Prof had enough presence of mind to categorise her victims, and put it all down in lucid terms, in her highly scientific research paper titled Humans. An extract from that informative thesis will no doubt interest the readers.

1. Baffled Beings: Majority of the population are classified under this head. Upon noticing my eyes riveted on them, they carefully scrutinised their attire, and patted their hair to make sure it was in place harbouring the mistaken notion that something was very wrong with them. Finding nothing out of the ordinary, they glanced again at my gawking self. They became totally convinced of the wrongness of the elusive something and invariably departed for the washroom to make use of mirrors.

2. Indignant Individuals: Faced with my bulging eyes, they did not spare their apparel even one furtive peek. On the contrary, they tried to fob me off with contemptuous glances. Seeing, that that tactic had no visible effect, they sniffed and either went away or turned their backs to me. It should be noted, that this is the group responsible for the mental black eyes mentioned earlier.

3. Equal Elites: This brave group would not be outdone by my rudeness; they had their own adequate share of it. And we spent many happy hours, staring straight at each other, until one of us remembered a fictitious appointment.

4. Flattered Few: Mainly composed of simpering Misses or (allegedly) macho hunks, this group appeared to take my staring as a form of compliment. They very carefully avoided looking at me directly, and proceeded to observe me out of the corners of their eyes. And in a trice, they had me fall victim to the confusion displayed by Group 1, and thus hastened my departure ...

Prof Me gave up the observing habit. Well, duh! She now resorted to imagination, a move criticised by many, since and I quote a critic here “the lack of grey matter would undoubtedly prove to be a substantial snag in the proper functioning of imagination” . While acknowledging this as a speed-breaker, the fearless Prof valiantly vowed to carry on nevertheless. You see, the future financial gains were an incentive impossible to ignore. But as we shall presently see, imagination was also to no avail. Some examples of her plots, characters and catches will clearly illustrate the difficulty.

However, before proceeding further, it would be wise to clear up a few points. The Prof is a staunch supporter of the proven Theory of Plagiarism, which states: Given that plots are a finite resource, and consumers needs infinite, it is an accepted procedure to recycle them by taking the salient features of an age old plot, and casting them in a slightly-similar/very-similar/identical setting. Application of this is seen in Plot no. 1. The other source Prof Me turns to for plots is the newspapers: contemporary international politics (Plot no. 2).

Plot no. 1. Romeo-Juliet & Leonardo-Kate scenario. In the words of Jerome K. Jerome, “there was a lass, and there came

a lad”. The girl came from a family who were die-hard Brazilian fans, and the boy came from a family who were die-hard Argentina fans. They met in a stadium, during half-time. Love at first smell she used Elizabeth Arden, he used Ralph Lauren. Later they met at the balcony of the hotel she was staying at. The conversation contained sentences like:
“With love's light wings did I o'erperch these water pipes”, says boy.

“If they do see thee, they will make thee worship Ronaldo”, says girl, referring to her kinsmen.

“Alack, there lies more peril in thine eyes than twenty of their Ronaldinhos”, says boy, skilfully tackling Ronaldo.

Faced with numerous perils, they both decided to escape to the USA, and boarded the HMS Gigantic. Fate intervened, and the ship struck the tip of an iceberg. And they slowly sank to their watery graves, with a heart-touching rendition of 'My heart will beat on'.

Plot no. 2. Oil, Bush & Saddam Triangle. Far more notorious than the Bermuda Triangle, this triangle caused one of the bloodiest chapters of human history. Miss Oil lived in Iraq. A delicately nurtured female, her value could not be measured in USD. Everyone was interested in obtaining her, but the main rivalry existed between Mr Bush (bullying hooligan + homicidal maniac) and Mr Saddam (brainless moron + jealous boyfriend). After an intense propaganda war, Mr Bush resorted to active combat. Assisting him were his henchmen Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell, Blair, Howard, Sharon, Jose Maria and the lot. They overruled popular opinion, and the word of law delivered by the UN (United Ninnies). Mr Saddam held his own, for a considerable time, but disappointingly toppled, statue and all. And Miss Oil became Mr Bush's property. Then came the problem of cleaning up the mess created during the hostilities. Mr Bush refused to, and started to invite innocent spectators to clean the mess up. The book ends on a questioning note will the bystanders be as dumb as to collapse in front of Bush pressure or not?

Prof Me heaved a sigh of relief. Two passable plots done. As you may have guessed by now, this only heralded further trouble. Upon publication of these two, there was mixed reaction. Plot no. 1 earned her a reputation as a copy-cat. However much she denied this baseless allegation, and pointed out the excellent Theory of Plagiarism to the public, it was useless. They were not to be moved. Plot no. 2 earned her a term at the inhumane Guantanamo Bay. She is at present pending court martial, with a confirmed death sentence as the verdict, unless she can somehow become a British citizen. Her fate may then very well be altered in this highly democratic world.


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