IF YOU thought you were making a style statement with cell phones, here's a serious challenge. With mobile phones gaining fast popularity, the exclusivity, earlier tagged only with a class that were a proud possessor of mobiles, is lost.
Competition getting cut throat and consumer turning into a king, the mobiles have rather turned into a necessity for all — class and mass.
Concurs Salim, the betel shop owner from Kareli: "My wife calls up on my cell to find out when I'm returning home or what I need to get for my school-going kids. Armed with a cellphone for the last 6 months, I realise they are surely a necessity these days."
Tea shop owner in Civil Lines, Munna, too agrees. "My parents live in Bihar and they might need me at any time. Moreover, I get a lot of work-related calls on my cell.
Those who need tea and snacks call me up on my number even during the night and I assure that I get business through my cell."
With cheapest set available at around Rs 1,000 and all services going cheaper by the day the things have become much easier for people like Salim and Munna.
But, what about those old users, who had shelled out exorbitant amounts at some point of time to own cell phones?
"Carrying the gizmo is no more a fashion statement," react businessman Rohit Ganguly to the cheap accessibility of mobiles.
Ask him whether cell phones have permanently lost the exclusivity battle to small and cheap sets, Ganguly is quick to quip, "The only way if you want to have an edge over the rest is by spending more moolah on your mobile set.
Perhaps, grabbing a touch screen can still make a fashion statement.
If you have what others don't, then that puts you in a better position, doesn't it?"
Student of same school of thought, Kamlesh Kumar, is now planning to get hold of an N series set, just to consolidate his position among his colleagues.
From a flaunting gadget to a necessity and again back to a status symbol, we can surely assume that cell phone have come a full circle?
"If you want to keep in touch round the clock, cell phone is the best way out.
There isn't much of a difference between my need and that of the paan wallah," a 20-year-old college-goer, Ashish puts it.
Now, if you want to get into the debate, in whose hands are they comfortable, you have to ask poor cells.
Wish they could speak their hearts (SIMs) out!