Feb 24, 2011

So, flipkart reverts back to me

It was a pleasant surprise to have found an e-mail in my inbox first thing in the morning from a person working with flipkart. In the e-mail were a 'Thank You' and a link directing to the changes made on the website which will now alert potential buyers to the fact that the book isn't an authentic Jane Austen but it is a version which is 'Retold'.

I thank the individual for owning up to the mistake and for taking proper corrective action.

The changes are the title which now clearly indicates that it is 'Jane Austen's Pride And Prejudice: Retold by W. Sequeira, A. D'Souza (Illustrator)'. The picture below contains the corrections.

And to add to everything else, I even got a phone call from 2 executives at flipkart.com. I was pretty overwhelmed by their gesture. They've promised me a replacement for the book and as mentioned above, the website has also undergone changes. A number was given to me by one of their executives on which I'm supposed to call in case I face issues in the future.

In this world of fierce competition, it feels good to see a company take efforts to delight customers. Despite their initial mistake, my respect for flipkart now has been restored. As the old Hindi saying goes, 'Subah ka bhoola agar shaam ko ghar aa jaaye toh usko bhoola nahi kehte'  .. :)

'Retold' - Does this word seem significant?

Yeah, the title is stupid! But, considering what I've gone through in the last 4 days, it doesn't seem to me as insignificant a word as it seems to you.

www.flipkart.com.. this is where I do most of my shopping for books. And I'm a Bibliophile (read: Bibliomaniac), so I don't order less than 7 books a month. On Feb 20th I ordered the book, 'Pride And Prejudice' authored by Jane Austen. I was always fascinated by her, and I'd read some part of her book 'Emma', years ago as per a friend's suggestion. I couldn't finish it, as she was shifting from her residence and she was a Bibliophile (read: Bibliocentric) herself; so, she went away taking the book with her, as if it was the last copy of 'Emma' on this Earth; and I completely forgot buying a new book. So, years later, some days ago, I decided that I would complete my then-incomplete feat and read all books by Jane Austen. 'Pride And Prejudice' seemed to me, a title apt to start off with. So, I went ahead and ordered 2 books, the one mentioned and 'Sense And Sensibility'. The books came one at a time, the latter preceding the former. (FYI: flipkart provides Home Delivery on COD basis too :) ).

'Sense And Sensibility' seemed in perfect condition. I read a few pages till 'Pride And Prejudice' was delivered. I was at college when the latter arrived on 23rd Feb. After reaching home at 11.30pm, I held the book in my hand. It was a hard-bound copy. I immediately realized my first mistake. With hardback, comes the issue of convenience; and FYI, I carry a 3kg laptop with me everyday (I usually do most of my fiction reading in the local train while travelling).

So, moving on, I opened the book. My first reaction was 'What the FF...'.. !! The book was, to my horror, ILLUSTRATED and the font size was so big that I'd have to strain NOT a single eye-muscle to read it from even THE MOON. :( .. The real problem had not dawned on me yet. I thought at that time, 'It's ok! It looks like a Fairytale book. So what! My friends would laugh a bit. But it's ok. It's our Jane Austen after all. And that's all I want.'..

I started reading the book; carried it to college too.. Friends sneered.. I said, "WTF is your problem!" I continued reading it, but with a sense of skepticism. Why was my dear Austen using such basic English! And why was she so hell-bent on narrating the story in such short sentences! Why wasn't I being given the description of every single feeling, every emotion! And WHY THE HELL was she addressing some Mr. Bingley as 'her'. Mr. Bingley was a Mr. and that makes him a 'him'. I got seriously annoyed; closed the book and returned home from college.

I searched online for Austen, J books and downloaded 'Pride And Prejudice'. I started reading, and to my horror, the language used was so different and so good as compared to the hard copy I had. I opened the book. And KABBOOMM.. On the 2nd page were the words.. 'Retold by W. Sequeira & A.D' Souza'. I got wild, went online, and checked my order. Nowhere was it written that the story in the book was RETOLD. I wrote to flipkart expressing my disappointment, and asking them to replace my copy. It wasn't my fault I believe, yet, the incident made me understand the value of one word.. 'Retold'.. :)

Feb 20, 2011

I know what I did in the last 7 months

So, I'm back again.. back to the world where I had loved living the most.. back to the world which kept me occupied for most of my 'unoccupied' time.. back to the world where nothing required second thoughts.

When I was stamped 'a loser', this world helped me win.. this world gave me a mode to express, a mode to share, a mode to opine. So, this BLOGGING world meant a lot to me. Despite that, it's exactly 7 months that I've blogged. I start again today, and promise myself to never stop again. :)

A lot has happened in these 7 months. I saw the world (literally, the world), that I'd never ever seen before. I saw and met some kind of people that I'd never ever seen before. I saw myself, like I'd never ever seen before. Before you start thinking that I'm giving you some philosophical crap, let me remind you that I'm doing an MBA currently.. :)

I've learnt a lot of new things in these 7 months. A lot many new words (good, bad and ugly, alike :P ) .. scores of new theories, dozens of kinds of human behaviour, names of umpteen brands & their parent companies, dozens of names of all kinds of liquor, tons of names of crappy old CVO movies, new ways of getting work done from people, and last but not the least.. I've learnt how to behave.. behave as if nothing's happened, even if the sky came crashing down.. behave in a rational manner, even in the most irrational of situations.. behave using your intellect, and chuck your heart out of all situations.. behave practically, and leave no room for emotions. In short, I've learnt awesome sense of control in these 7 months, which is the most important learning I've ever got in my life.

These 7 months also were those months wherein I did nothing apart from going to college, studying, finishing assignments, hanging out with only my B-School friends, and being part of adventures I had never thought I would ever take part in. And thus, I was left feeling so tired at the end of the day, that I completely stopped reading and writing. So, starting last week, I made a list of things I'd do in the coming 15 months (till I complete my MBA) and many more months to come, in order  to not lose touch with my literary side. And the first of the things in the list is to complete reading books that I always wanted to, but never got the chance to, either due to unavailability of the book, time or money.

As a finishing note, here are some of the books from my list.. :)

1. Wolf Hall - Hilary Mantel
2. The Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
3. The Tipping Point - Malcolm Gladwell
4. Outliers - Malcolm Gladwell
5. Blink - Malcolm Gladwell
6. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
7. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
8. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
9. Emma - Jane Austen
10. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
11. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
12. The Argumentative Indian - Amartya Sen
13. Gone with the Wind - Margaret Mitchell
14. Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
15. The Satanic Verses - Salman Rushdie
16. Nineteen Eighty-Four - George Orwell
17. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
18. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
19. Atlas Shrugged - Ayn Rand
20. We, the living - Ayn Rand
21. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
22. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare
23. India Unbound - Gurucharan Das
24. The Puma Story - Robert-Herbert Peters
25. Tuesdays with Morrie - Pitch Albom
26. Maximum City - Suketu Mehta

Pooja Menon

P.S.: I realized that I wrote out the 'Regards' above, without realizing that I was blogging and not e-mailing. Yet, I chose to not delete it, to remind myself, that I need to blog more often.. :)