Among other things i dropped my camera (a canon powershot pro1) today. I had dropped it once before and nothing had happened then but today it broke. The 30 cm fall from a table on a stone floor resulted in parts of the casing coming of the body and the trigger casing being broken so that the trigger did not work anymore. (no pictures of the damage here as the camera is broken). Of course it sucks if you are far away from home and have 10 more days to explore the back alleys of Bangalore. But then the same back alleys can give new life to almost any piece of electronic equipment:
For the sake of comparison we first went to the official canon service center form digital cameras somewhere in the vast northwestern extensions of Bangalore city and there i got exactly the treatment i expected. They told me that my camera was broken and needed to be fixed and that they could not do that themselves but had to send it to Delhi which would at least take a week (knowing Canon, that means 6 weeks or more – my last experience with their service in europe concerned getting a replacement battery charger and that would have taken them 6 weeks even though it was a shipping model!). They also could not tell me how much it would cost but they were sure that the entire body needed to be replaced (read: will be very expensive). But as i said we only went to canon for comparison and after this everything else could only be better.
Next we went to national market which is your location in Bangalore if you want to get anything electronic and/or digital. From the latest Nokia phone to last week’s hollywood release on dvd (or last month’s bollywood release as the pirates respect the national entertainment industry slightly more than hollywood and give them a month or so of exclusivity for their theatrical releases). Lawrence had told me about a stall that where it should be possible to get the camera repaired, but the guy only sold cameras. he did however pointed me to a stall in another market around the corner where someone would be able to fix my camera.
At this stall there were two gentlemen sitting in the middle of a pile of cameras in all states of disassembly (and a framed picture of someone in a suit that was obviously taken during the middle of the last century but according to them it was nevertheless ‘the inventor of the camera’). Unfortunately they were to busy to repair my camera before monday but assured me that come monday morning i would get it repaired for rs. 250 and that it would take no more than two hours.
We went back to national market in order to buy some DVDs but on the way back i noticed a sign stating ‘Ajith Camera Repair at the end of a narrow dark hallway. So went to see Ajith who was sitting in a 2 square meter room that was filled with cameras and other electronic equipment in advanced stages of disassembly. Nothing in the room looked like it had been produced in the 21st century, but Ajith was confident that he could fix my camera in 15 minutes for a ‘simple price’. So i left my Camera with him and in exchange he gave us a little booklet ‘Why you must be Born Again’ by Edmonds Owhorode. Shaina asked him if he was a Born Again Christian which he confirmed and i knew my camera would be born again to. Actually it took my camera 3 times 15 minutes to rise from the ashes but the price was indeed simple: a mere 200 rupees which is less than 4 euros.
update (12.11): Lawrence told me today that a friend of his has actually been commissioned a while back by a camera manufacturer to research why the cameras sold in India had fewer defects than the cameras sold elsewhere. They concluded that from the fact that the percentage of cameras brought in for repair is significantly lower than in other countries. I guess this is simply due to the fact that nobody brings them to the authorized service centers because they suck.