I remember the year we created email accounts (which, of course, we used more often than not to send forwards). There was a cyber café at the gate, and we used to go at least once a week to check our mail and feel excited.
Every year, we went to Bangalore for our summer holidays. That year, we felt a little lost without our precious email, so we scouted around for a nearby internet centre and found one, fairly close to home. We told our grandparents that we would like to go the cyber café for an hour in the evening.
“Go where?” asked my grandmother. In Bangalore, we will always be children. Even now, I don’t go out without telling my grandparents exactly where I’m going and for how long.
“The cyber café,” we explained. “Internet. For email.”
“Where is it?” asked my grandmother.
“Just here, down the road.”
My grandmother wasn’t too sure about sending us there by ourselves, but she agreed since it was so close.
Five minutes later, we had a similar conversation with our grandfather.
“Cyber café,” we said. “Internet café. For email.”
My grandfather frowned and said nothing.
I realised what the confusion was only much later. My grandfather asked my grandmother when we were in the next room, “Why do they want to go to the coffee shop? Can’t they have coffee at home? And what is this internet coffee shop?”