Everyone has Wi-Fi and dongles these days so cyber cafes are fast becoming extinct, but there was a time when these internet parlours were a very important part of our lives. We watched over our shoulders as attentively as we peered into the screens because we opened shady websites and watched shady things we didn’t want others to find out about. Thankfully for us, there were cyber cafes in every market and we spent a lot of time there.
Here are 20 memories we have of our time spent in cyber cafes:
1. Walking into a cyber cafe was an achievement in itself. The need for a computer/Internet made us feel important.
2. All our assignments were done in the cyber cafe. MS Word, MS Powerpoint, MS Excel, MS Paint. Remember?
3. It wasn’t all just work. We played games too. Road Rash, NFS FTW!
4. A lot of time was spent on Orkut. The race for scraps and testimonials was a big part of our lives.
5. We preferred cafes with cubicles. Introduction to desibaba.com happened here.
6. Sometimes we pressed the wrong key and had to call the cafe guy to help out.
7. Pop up ads! Mostly due to excess of Point No. 5.
8. Chat rooms! A lot of time was spent chatting with total strangers on messenger.
9. Video chatting! Remember turning the webcam away so we could check out strangers and they wouldn’t see us?
10. After each session, we were careful to clear our browsing history. Just in case!
11. But sometimes we were denied entry because we didn’t have ID cards.
12. Cyber cafes were the best excuse to stay out late. Our mothers would never know where we actually were.
13. Admit it! All of us have peeked into the adjacent computer and checked what the neighbour was up to.
14. Some cyber cafes had a fridge too. We could order a Pepsi or Coke while we browsed…
15. Some lucky ones also made out in the cubicles. So much privacy for Rs 20 per hour!
16. Back then, print outs were too expensive so we wrote everything down into our notebooks.
17. Or we copied data on to a floppy disk or a blank CD.
18. But sometimes, we needed the print out so we had to wait in line. If we needed a print out from the Internet, browsing charges extra!
19. Most cafes charged for every 15 minutes, so you always had an eye at the time on the corner of your screen.
20. But there was no feeling like doing a double. You could start with one hour, and then decide to continue for one more.
Computers at home are much more comfortable but nothing can replace the fun of the cyber cafes. After all, we discovered so many things browsing in those cubicles!