A café whose customers sit at computer terminals and log on to the internet while they eat and drink is called a cybercafé – though it was only once when I did sip some coffee at one of these places. That if you exclude the initial days at my previous workplace which we referred to as a cybercafé where you’re paid to surf (and the coffee was free).

These places have definitely come a long way from those snaily slow single dialup connection split amongst five (if not more) PCs and that too @ Rs. 120/hour. But something there doesn’t seem ephemeral – the mice with their tails stuck in a box. In no cybercafé that I remember visiting had a small luxury in the form of a wheel between the left and the right buttons of the mouse that perhaps makes web navigation a trifle easier.

It’s not that a scroll mouse costs a fortune more, but the simple economics that without the wheel the customer will remain stuck to his/her seat for a little longer. The time spent being directly proportional to the money earned. But with surfing rates existing at an awesomely affordable rate of Rs. 8/hour, how much extra dough with the café operator knead?

Someone said, “Boond boond se bharta sagar (’tis little droplets that maketh the ocean).”

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