April 30, 2009

Cybercafé Thanks to Indian Railways

It must have been at least two years since I visited a cybercafé.

Tonight, I was to board a special train to Hyderabad from Pune. Procuring a ticket was an adventure in itself. I am sure you have better things to do than read about an idle dork's tales about buying tickets through a travel agent with connections. The climax: I ended up buying my first ever AC II Tier ticket. You all know how good this could be. Instead of squeezing yourself between thirteen sweating men in a cabin with eight or nine berths, you could sit in a spacious cabin with six berths spouting about the sins of politicians with six skinny sweeties (five plus their friend). They don't know that you haven't voted.

Yeah, about that. It didn't turn out that way. After all, it is I and not you in this situation. Even if it were you, cross your hearts and tell me, would six girls have ever listened to you?

My train got delayed by three and half hours. To 0140hrs of tomorrow. I couldn't go back to my apartment because transport at that hour is impossible, unless you counted my roomie dropping me on a friend's bike, which thanks to Pune roads would make you a stupid again. So I decided to spend my time in the railway station.

First, law. I bought a platform ticket. I had to spend twenty-two rupees to get three rupees change and then dropped it in a platform ticket machine, which is another first for me. While sitting on the pavement outside the station -- breeze there -- I saw this "24 HOURS Broadband Internet Cafe".

So here I am. After presenting an ID proof.

Being the careful and conscientious guy I am, I cleaned up the cookies, history, and cache in the browser. Yeah, they still use IE6 but also Quick Heal, a well-known anti-virus product in. No, I didn't check out the address bar for previous addresses, the search strings in Google, nor the usernames in Gmail. Would have been great fun. On top of it, the previous person had used Windows Messenger with a status message "L'amour est le sens de la vie , que c'est beau si cet amour est accorde au Createur" and left without logging out. You're welcome, dude, I won't reveal your username but promise me that you won't forget logging out next time.

Then I heard a woman come in and ask the guy sitting in front of me for five minutes of his computer time. Time is money, so he declined. I offered, she took a couple of minutes to cancel her ticket (she could have been one of those accompanying me in the train), and left.

Too bored to surf, I began tweeting my sob saga. Being a verbose old-fashioned fool, I soon shifted to blogging and finally posted something on this blog after almost a year. Thanks for listening. The girls in the cabin wouldn't anyway because I won't be awake in the train.


  1. Does the Indian Railways operate these cafes or have they been prudent enough to let others do it? Have you been blogging elsewhere, BTW?

  2. Actually, Indian Railways operating these cafés is a beautiful idea. But nope, the one I visited is privately owned.

    I've been blogging for Flex RIA (http://www.flex888.com) since last June. Blogged for That Damn PC (http://www.thatdamnpc.com) for about five months which now merged into Every Joe (http://www.everyjoe.com). Other than that nothing worth mentioning. Too much of time being wasted. :)

    How about you? How's Ph.D.? Gatech? Did the faculty recruit NRP?

  3. Great. I have been polling Flex RIA for some time now. Nice work.
    Am in a Masters program now, without too much inclination towards pursuing a PhD in the near future. NRP was here a couple of weeks ago to give a faculty candidate talk. Guess the decision isn't out yet.

  4. NRP's been offered and has accepted a faculty pos'n at GATech. FYI.

  5. That's cool, Sameer. Thank you for the information.