Friday, May 18, 2007

Mr. Chandran

A few days ago, I was in Atria buying software. As I was browsing around, I noticed a frail old Indian man at the counter asking about a software he bought. He seemed quite distressed. As I approached the counter to make my payment, he asked me if I could help him. Since I had time to kill, I asked him what was his problem.

He started from the top, and I mean from the TOP! He said his name was Mr. Chandran. Ever since his heart surgeries, he can't sit in front of the computer too long. So he when to a computer shop to scan his pictures into a DVD so he could watch it on his DVD player. The problem was, his DVD players couldn't autoplay the pictures so he wanted to know how to convert the pictures in the CD into a format his DVD player could read. He said the pictures were jpg format and he wanted to change it to jpeg format.

I thought about it for awhile. JPG and JPEG are the same thing. So it wasn't the format that was the problem, it had to be the disk format that was not readable by the DVD player. So I told him, okay I'll help him. I'll take his DVD home and try and convert it for him. I told him I'll be back in Atria in the evening to meet him.

He was over come with joy and asked me if I was going to charge him for it. I said no, I'll do it free for him. I could have said RM200 but when he told me about his 3 heart surgeries, I thought the guy needed the money more than me. That made him more elated. So after tearing myself away from him, I made my way back home, curious to find out what's in his precious little DVD.

I popped it into the PC and opened up my photoshop. I used the script option to to convert it all into jpg and resized it and burned it into a CD. I think I didn't close the CD properly because all I got was crap on my DVD player. Just then, Mr. Chandran called and asked how it was coming along. I said, it was taking longer than I thought. I told him I wouldn't be able to meet him in the evening, most probably tomorrow afternoon at lunch. Time for plan B.

I opened up premiere pro and started editing all the pictures into a movie format. I thought, since I'm already at it, might as well add some music to it. The photos were of him and his wife travelling around the world. I could see he was in Universal Studio in LA; India; and other exotic places. So I put in some Michael Bubble, Frank Sinatra and other oldies music. Total duration of the CD came up to 30 minutes.

I looked at the photos and I thought oh heck, might as well make a cover for the DVD. I did a small photo montage for him and put the title "Memories" in a nice hand written fond. I felt quite pleased with the overall finish, except that I used a 4X6 photo paper that was smaller in size than the DVD cover. It kept slipping out when ever the case was open.

The next day, I rushed to Atria. I was supposed to meet Mr. Chandran at 2PM but I got stuck finding parking in the area. I was 5 minutes late when I met up with him. He seem quite delighted and relieved. He recounted how he called his wife at home numerous times to see if I had called his house. His wife told him to stay calm and not rush someone who's helping him! He even asked the PC shop and the guards if they've seen me. I thought that was quite humorous.

When he saw the CD, he face lighted up. I explained to him, I edited it as a movie and he couldn't stop thanking me and asked me if I was sure I wasn't charging him anything. I told him, it's karma. He must have done something good. He said, the day before, as he was making his way to the PC shop, he ran into a friend who asked how he was doing. He said he was having PC problems and needed help from "The Man" upstairs. He said, maybe the "The Man" upstairs answered his prayers when he ran into me. After recounting more of his health problems, I just stood there and listened for awhile. I understand how sometimes people want to share their experiences, I do that too. He left in a hurry and I when my own way.

Later in the evening, as I was having dinner with Chui Yan he called me up to thank me. He said he really enjoyed the slide show with the music and the music was especially touching to him. I told him, I was glad he liked it. I told him, I did it as a hobby and I normally only charge a nominal fee to cover my costs. If he had other pictures he wanted to scan, I would be able to help him. I told him, I had to go as the waiter was bringing my food.

Well, I guess it doesn't take a lot to make someone happy. It costs me 3 CD's, 60 cents in parking, some petrol money, 4 hours of my time which I would have spend gaming anyway and some brain power. Making Mr Chandran happy... priceless.

1 comment:

xmocha said...

wow, i agree- priceless- well done!