Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Najibabad. Internet. People.

Today, 4 pm, Bharat Complex Cyber Cafe, Najibabad.

It was not a new thing for me to go to the Bharat Complex. I have been there so many times for internet when I didn't have a broadband connection even though the Rs 30 per hour the guy there takes wasn't right from any standards, I thought.

Still, today I needed to go there as I needed the print out of my Dell Laptop quotation so that I could tell bank how much it cost me.

I went there and told him I needed to get a printout from my mail. After 5 mins he got me a system. I logged in. I got the mail, downloaded the PDF and said, let me check it. By the time I could complete my sentence, he had clicked sign out. Of course, he had no time to check it.

Well, he launched himself into the printer room with the PDF in his hand, in a pen drive. By the time I got in, he told me it was 8 pages long. Pretty fast, considering I'm not slow by any standards. I was sort of shocked and asked him not to print it all and just give one page when he told me he had already given the print command.

I thought it would not be much of a problem as it'd cost me Rs 16 at max and since I hadn't asked him to print, he might consider taking a bit less too.

Guess I was wrong. Not just wrong, but actually shocked when I asked him how much I had to pay and he said Rupees 40!

Rupees 40 for eight, black and white A4 pages' prints which actually I didn't want because I could fetch the price of my commodity on a single page. Seriously speaking, I had to control my anger and I was sort of showing my magnanimity when I handed him the money. The interesting thing is that when I asked him that I and he both knew how much these eight pages really cost, I got an answer that he only knew as he was the one earning. Well, the logic was quite okay but I still wonder how I could justify Rs 5 for a printout.

After half an hour when I was chatting with my dad about the printouts, for the first time it occured to me that buying a printer was a much better option as the guy could buy a printer with the margins he got on every pack of 500 A4 sheets. (500 pages x 5 Rs per page=Rs 2500, almost the cost of a printer) In fact cartridges too could be bought in that much.

I think Najibabad is a pretty self dependent place now, as far as internet is concerned as I can see many people with net connections now, but if you need to go for printouts, and the guy in your mind is the Bharat complex one (as it's one of the best running cyber cafes), consider buying a printer. The same thing as I am doing now.

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