Saturday, February 22, 2014

Saga of my Smartphone Screen and Everyday Indianess (aka desigiri)

I had assumed it was as strong as it was smart. Maybe a notion borne out of the fact that its shining armour seemed undettered to my sudden assaults and callous falls. Well, but one fine day, just like that, it gave in; shattering away my foolhardiness along with the touchscreen.

For a moment, my whole world collapsed. (Well, if you can’t imagine why, read about my obsession with the phone!).  But like a sensible desi girl, I quickly got thinking. I asked my go-to facebook group about where to get my smartphone screen fixed. Folks refered me to the authorized service center and some to their trusted repair shops.

You never realize the value of a phone screen until it’s broken! They all quoted me ridiculous amounts to get it replaced. My desi self couldn’t digest this! In fact I asked them why, and the responses ranged from:
You will need to replace the whole display unit. Of course it will cost you 8500Rs.
The service center is going to charge you 8500 Rs., I’m only charging 6500 Rs.
Well, one jaat dude had the audacity to jhaado the famous Radio Mirchi dialogue…”Paise bhi to kamane hai!”

The range of the responses aroused my new-age desigiri: “Don’t Trust, Verify” and “When in trouble, go to God, I mean, the Google God!”  And like with God, if you ask him properly, he will alleviate your troubles. The right keywords and google spit out the youtube link to “replace your smartphone screen at home ” followed with ebay links selling screens from Rs. 500.

Coupled with this Google-backed wisdom and my innately desi convincing powress, I eventually got the screen replaced for Rs.1500. (Of course, I was smart enough not to take the youtube video advice too seriously..it did involve a hair dryer and a blade, after all!)

What I achieved that day was not only the satisfaction of saving some moolah but that of earning those rare-to-come-by moments in a desi’s life when you get to outsmart the oversmarts; something similar to:

When a Haryanvi driver overtakes you aggressively, only to be eye-to-eye with you again at the next traffic light!

Or when some auntyji types slyly scoots ahead of you at the super market checkout line, only to find out that you checked out ahead of them at the newly opened counter!

Or when you haggled the free dhaniya-mirchi out of the sabziwallah, only to find out that he gave you less sabzi for what you paid for!

But what I learnt was:
  • A smartphone screen replacement service is a very lucrative business opportunity (where else would you find such a combination of information arbitrage with a big market size of impulsive buyers)...provided you don't attract smart-ass, nothing-better-to-do, internet-obsessed, desis as your clients.
  • When in doubt, google it out!
  • Finally, you always pay a price! (i.e. if you consider time as your currency)
    • Time taken to do online research = 30 mins
    • Time taken to order the screen from ebay and wait for the delivery = 4 days
    • Time taken to convince the repair guy to replace the screen (and not the whole display unit) = 1 hour 
    • Time taken to write the blog article = 4 hours
    • Money saved = 5000Rs (What was priceless though was the look on the repair guy’s face when I showed him the youtube video!)



  QOTD: You can take an Indian out of India, but you will not be able to take the Indianness out of an Indian.


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