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It isn’t over yet. Amazon just rocks!




Image Courtesy (Amazon)


It isn’t over yet! You may tend to feel that I am biased towards Amazon, but I have to write this. While I was still going gaga over the replacement of my Kindle, I never imagined what more could I expect. To be precise, I was facing this peculiar issue of Kindle getting restarted on it’s own and a faster than normal battery drain. I read on some forums that some people have faced this issue and strangely attribute this to the leather cover for Kindle (non-lighted).

I thought I was in the same boat and decided to call up Amazon customer care again.  In just about 5 minutes:

  • I was refunded the amount for the leather cover.
  • And Amazon offered a US$ 25 promo to purchase the lighted cover.
  • And Amazon offered to refund the customs and shipping costs incurred to get the new cover  shipped to India.
  • And they proved that they are really building “Earth’s most customer-centric company” as they claim.

The cover is already on its way and will possibly reach India before I am there.

What more could I write!


Amazon customer service – It doesn’t get better than this!

The Kindle!

The Kindle! (Image courtesy- Amazon)

I’ve just experienced what might be the best customer service in my life! It is definitely the best so far. The story goes like this. Eyeing an eReader for a long time, I had ordered a Kindle back in November. Since I one of my friends was travelling to India from the US, I got my Kindle delivered in the US. Once I laid my hands on it, it was definitely one of the most prized gadget I ever owned (yes, there are emotions involved).

The Kindle worked flawlessly for a couple of months and I kept reading on and on until that day! Yes, I was travelling to Riyadh and had put my Kindle inside my bag. When I took it out, I saw my screen frozen with some horizontal and vertical lines on it. That was it. My Kindle was broken. And my heart as well. I was in such a state of shock that I didn’t even bother to contact the customer care to get it repaired. Since the Kindle was damaged because of possible baggage mishandling, there was no way I could dream of a warranty claim.

After about a month, once I gathered myself, I simply called the Amazon customer care from India to check on the options of getting it repaired ( of course at my cost). It was like a routine call and little did I expect that it would turn out to be the best ever customer care experience I have witnessed to date (and possibly will ever witness). I explained my situation. And the executive on the other side listened to me patiently. Once I was done he said, let me see what I can do for you. And beyond that, it was like a charm. I can keep writing about it, but let me be precise for the readers:

  • Amazon offered me to *replace* my Kindle free of cost under warranty.
  • Amazon offered to ship my Kindle free (priority International shipping) to India (note that my Kindle was shipped to the US originally.)
  • Amazon agreed to bear the custom clearance formalities, custom duties etc.

As if the above was not enough, Amazon agreed to pay for the shipping charges incurred to ship my defective Kindle back to the US.

I have no words to appreciate this gesture. Kindle is by the the best eReader out there. I might have purchased a new one even if Amazon did not offer a free replacement. But they did. And I am a customer for life!

I have my new Kindle already with me. Amazon has not just replaced a piece of hardware. It has given back a lot more which I can’t even explain.

Thank you Amazon!


Update: I have stopped tracking this post. But it seems that Amazon is still amazing people with its customer friendliness! Here’s a more recent experience from one of my colleagues:

The Rare Case Of Replacing An Out Of Warranty & Broken Kindle (For Free)


My ‘Book Push’ theory!

Although I am not an avid reader like my friend Ankit I do tend to read stuff on and off. While I want to read a lot, lack of time (and lazyness) prevents me to read as much. Also, when I have some free time I use it to decide whether to read, or to watch an astronomy documentry or to watch a movie or……………or to sleep. And eventually I sleep.

So under such flikering conditions, how do I keep myself motivated to read stuff? Over the last couple of years, I have come across a few postulates:

  • At any given point in time, I must have a few unread books else I won’t read any particular book.
  • I stop reading when the number of unread books falls to two(2).
  • There must be two or three junk books with me, which I would never read. These books have been bought by mistake and discarded after reading a chapter or two. However the guilt of buying these books remains until I buy a few ‘readable’ books after them.

So that implies that as soon there are only two unread (and readable) books with me, it is time to order new books! This is what I call the ‘Book Push’ theory! In order to motivate myself to read, I push books onto the stack so that a couple of unread books pop out.

So the planned books you see on the left pane are the one’s which I already have and not the ones which are planned to be purchased.

Although wierd, the theory works for me!  Does it also work for you?  😉


On getting lucky..

I must announce that I won INR 1000 worth’s gift voucher from Indiaplaza(Books) by participating in the ‘Golden Quill 2008’ awards. Apparently the book I voted won the ‘Reader’s Choice’  award. 

Here’s what Indiaplaza has to say about the awards:

Concept Behind The ‘Golden Quill’ Awards

Indiaplaza is today India’s largest online bookstore with over a million customers worldwide and we are launching this awardto encourage Indian writing and also to further our commitment to the cause of reading in India.      

The Indiaplaza Golden Quill will be finally awarded to an author whose work of fiction in English is judged the best among a select lot of titles published in India in the calendar year 2007.

A good initiative to promote Indian authors I must say.

So which book won? Well, the following:

And why did I choose it? Honestly speaking, among the contenders this was the only book I had heard of. I had briefly browsed through it in a bookshop a week before voting. So I was lucky indeed.

I am going to order this one immediately!

Oh, did I forget to thank Ankit who reminded me to vote 🙂

The Tao of Physics : A Review

(Photograph courtesy : Amazon.com)

“Physicists do not need mysticism, and mystics do not need physics, but humanity needs both.”

Fritjof Capra

A couple of years ago, I happened to pick this book while casually browsing through a bookstore in Bangalore. Though I knew a bit of Physics, but I had no idea what Tao is. Little did I know that this book will turn out to be one of the best I’ve ever read (and will read I guess). No wonder it is on the best sellers list even today, more than 25 years after it was first published. While there are loads of reviews on the web, I would keep it very short and quickly mention my point of view. The book attempts to build a bridge between modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism, which are otherwise, pretty  antonymous to each other. A Modern Physicist would always disregard the Eastern Schools of Thought as baseless and unscientific, and an Eastern Mystic would always look down upon Science as being far from the reality. Fritjof Capra, in the most elegant and eloquent of ways, displays the striking similarities between the ancient arts of enlightenment and the modern discoveries in Physics. He has drawn numerous parallels between the two, which would make anyone, no matter what point of view they hold, appreciate them and think. The book starts upon building the concepts in both Physics as well as some Eastern Schools of Thought, draw parallels between them and towards the end consolidates and draws some conclusions. To me this book was simply amazing, not only because of the parallels it draws but because of the window it provides to quite a few concepts, which were alien to me. I had never ever appreciated quantum and modern physics as much as I did while reading this book (If I remember well, I had done 3 courses on these subjects during my engineering days!). The Eastern Mysticism was new to me (I did know in bits and pieces though), but the book gave a good precise overview. To quickly put through, the book provides a window to the following:

Classical Physics

Quantum Physics





More than this, it provokes a new way of looking at things around us and within us too! Fritjof Capra, being a front line Physicist himself and someone who has done enough research on Eastern Mysticism, was in a good position to look at the bigger picture, which can be seen in his work. However, it will take an open mind to appreciate this. The book simply added 15-20 books to my reading list! That is the kind of inquisitiveness it generates. Unless you are agnostic, I would highly recommend this book.