Sunday, August 14, 2011

Tears Rolled Down My Cheeks


When I opened the door of my Cyber Cafe on the day of vacating, March 31,2011, emotions rushed to me like a wave of tsunami. I just couldn't help the tears that rolled down my cheeks, when I sat on my chair for the last time and looked around. It reminded me of the different type of customers that I came across. It reminded me of the difficult times, when my business wasn't running profitably. I had to reduce the number of computers to 5 from 9 in 2004. Added the Sony PS2 to attract kids in the neighborhood. It worked and I could run the business smoothly until the building owner expired in January 2011. Real Estate was doing so well and the rental charge was too high that I couldn't find any suitable place to shift my Business. I also, didn't want to take a risk by moving my business to a costlier place, without knowing whether I can sustain my Business or not. Do you think that I should have taken the risk?

Nostalgic memories
I was just going around to lend a helping hand to my customers, as usual. There was a guy who was sitting next to that customer, was watching my movements. I just ignored him thinking that he would be just another curious customer. I walked passed him, after I done with that customer. He called me by my name, which took me by surprise. I turned towards him and he pointed to his computer monitor. I saw my photograph that I used to send to my chat friends. I, then realized that, that was one of my chat friend who has expressed his wish to meet me in person. He didn't forget to meet me the day before I vacated my Cyber Cafe.

The memories of those nice moments that I spent with my friends, family members and lovers haunted me when I looked around. My Cafe was a sanctuary to me, whenever I wanted a place to sooth my heart. There were days when I needed a place JUST for myself. My Cafe always extended its lovable arms to take solace in. My Cafe was always available to keep me warm in my cold days.

Haunting Memories:
I still remember that sunny afternoon. Two boys walked in and said that they can help me in refilling my printer cartridges at a cheaper price than that I was paying then. I was so innocent to let them take a look at my printer, that they flicked the cartridges in the blink of an eye and ran away even before I realized my stupidity. I, once, was cleaning my computers. My cafe was empty. I was startled by a hoarse voice that said,"Madam, who is the Director here?" I turned around and saw a very short man with an ugly face, reddened eyes. The very sight of him gave me shivers down my spine. He walked towards me from the entrance. I moved back instead of asking him to wait outside.He repeated the question without blinking his eyes. I stood watching him tongue-tied. He said,"I want to meet the movie-director". That brought me to my senses and I replied,"You have come to the wrong place. Please go to the opposite building". He turned around and walked out, leaving me to get a breathe of fresh air. There is a very popular movie Director's office in Sangeetha Apartments.

I just couldn't forget those customers who were so fond of me that they came to meet me, when I let them knew that I was visiting one of my client there in T. Nagar, last weekend. Just couldn't forget the warmth of those elders that came to my cafe to just say hello and those youngsters that found their life partners in my cafe. One of my customer happily told me that, that she felt safe and comfortable, after I took over the Cyber Cafe from the earlier owners in 2002. And she was not the only one who told me this.

The lessons that I learnt in my professional life as a customer co-ordinator in an engineering division of a company, a student counselor in a very popular multimedia training institute and an e-commerce trainer in a very famous e-commerce training institute helped me to run my Business successfully both on and off the field. I still cherish the personal bond that I nurtured with my customers, far and near.

My cafe is closed. But the bond is still strong, between me and the people that I was associated with. But I miss my baby "Millenium Internet Cafe".

Luv u all
Uma
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