The Internet Caf

 

This was posted long time ago, but when Jo decided to separate English & BM section, all the comments disappeared. so I'm re-posting it. Just for the sake of comments. ahahaha!!!

Asha was on her way home from her best friend’s house, Kasturi, when she suddenly recognized her whereabouts. `This place surely looks very familiar`, she whispered to herself. Lifting her chin up, she took a glance at her surroundings and forced her brain to recall something. She gripped her bicycle handle and continued her cycling. After a hundred meters, she stopped at a place. In front of her was a building. An abandoned one indeed. No one was there, but still this place meant a lot to her. She maneuvered her eyes to the sign board. `The internet café`. Without any hesitation, she held on the doorknob, closed her eyes and let herself inside with a simple shrug. Everything inside was still the same. Nothing had been changed or replaced. She walked and reached the back of the building. There was a small stage in the end of it. Slowly, she dragged her feet to the stage and sat on it. She saw the same blue and white dusty-chairs, the glamorous lights, spotlights and cables were all still at the same place. She closed her eyes, for a brief moment and when she opened them back, there were a lot of people gathered in the small-open space. They were swaying their bodies to the beat of the music. Some were chatting about new stories and the latest gossips. And then Asha saw him, the face she had missed a lot and loved.

Standing on the stage was Amar. With a smile on his face, his eyes sparkled and were laughing non-stop, Asha could tell he was very happy. This was what Amar had wanted for life. A studio and a net café. Amar had slaved himself to make his dream come true. He had done a lot of part time-jobs as cashier, waiter, salesman, technician - just name it. All for collecting money and raising this place himself. Though relatives were never pleased with the idea but Asha found it cool. The front part of the shop was for ‘The Twinknight Zone”. It is a section where teenagers could surf the net while listening to the music. The back part, which was called ‘Grunge Garage’, was meant for pleasure and entertainment. People could request songs they wanted to hear and Amar as the veejay would take that as a pleasure and play the songs for them.

Asha continued her walk and went upstairs. The empty staircase turned into a busy one with people going up and down. The upper section of the building has transformed into a small studio named ‘Head Banging’. Anyone who was interested to jamm could use this place for that. Amar had always wanted to be an expert in IT but without the proper qualification, he didn’t have a chance to obtain a place in any university. He never forget his ambition then. Everything here was controlled by computer. ’Head Banging’ has its own ‘Apple’ computer with its capability of composing songs and lyrics. People who wanted to request songs in the ‘Grunge Garage’ could do so by clicking and typing out their chosen ones. Amar was the master of his dreams. This place was a hit among teenagers around here. They loved this place. And they loved Amar.

Asha could still remember the day Amar was warded in the hospital. He acted cool, though she knew he was in pain. One thing Asha had learnt form Amar that he kept his words. He once promised Asha this; - he would never leave Asha alone. But this time, he broke his promise and left Asha. He died of lung cancer. Yes! Amar was a smoker and that was the main cause of his death. Asha touched the white-flat keyboard. She reached the dusty monitor of the many computers in the ‘The Twinknight Zone’ and stared into deep space. Remembering the crowd of people coming every day, make it day or night to surf the net. How they felt relaxed being here and how they adored to be here. She closed her eyes again, wanting all the sweet memories to come back. Spending time with Amar here, helping him out, buying his food and hearing grunts and moans on his business handling that place but he never regreted doing that.

When Asha opened her eyes back, her surrounding has turned back to normal. Same old abandoned building, with no one around. It was 6.30 pm and she must be home quick. Mum and Dad would be worried. She walked past the counter in front of the building and saw a board bearing the name ‘Amar Mehra’ . Leaving this place really hurt because Amar really loved it, but when a brother left you unexpectedly because of lung cancer. It was the worst. She opened the heavy door and began to leave that place. When Asha started to cycle her bike, she took a last glimpse of the sign board.’The Intenet Café’. Somehow, she promised herself she would take care of that place. And she would keep her promise. Before she left she whispered a word she wished she could say to Amar before he died, ‘Goodbye Amar'.

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