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The Blackberry brigade

The working professional’s tool, the Blackberry, is now the collegian’s demand too.

mumbai Updated: Apr 05, 2010 01:13 IST
Kiran Wadhwa
Kiran Wadhwa
Hindustan Times

The working professional’s tool, the Blackberry, is now the collegian’s demand too.

Across city college campuses, the understated instrument devoid of myriad colours and embellishments, is replacing the ordinary mobile handsets. The high-end phone is enabled with the push technology, which routes emails directly to a cell phone.

This — Blackberry Messenger for the uninitiated — is the new way for Mumbai’s youth to connect.

Sahil Chabria is part of a BMS (Bachelor in Management Studies) group on his Blackberry with 11 batchmates at a Bandra college. He dumped his iPhone two months ago for the Blackberry.

“It is just so convenient. The messenger service is free and we are connected all the time,” said the 18-year-old. “You are always online. You just sign in and sign out and you can set up to 13 accounts on your phone. It takes 10 seconds to update your Facebook account.”

Of the 60 students in Chabria’s class, 20 of them have bought Blackberrys in the last six months.

While for students the Blackberry culture is new, professionals have been stuck with it for sometime now. Ashwyn Misra, a lawyer, was given a Blackberry two years ago by his firm. He agrees that though the instrument is indispensable to his work life, it tends to trouble his private life. “When I first got it new, I was pretty excited but within a month I figured how intrusive it could be. For example, if your boss mails you, you just can’t ignore it no matter what time of the day it is,” said the 30-year-old. “But it is very convenient when you working on something and need to go back and forth. And you don’t have to wait in office.”

The Blackberry, insist students, is more than just a tool to connect socially. They use it to post news about lectures, tests and solve doubts before exams.

Madhu Uttamchandani is the class representative and also part of the BMS Blackberry group. Earlier, she would send mails to everyone in class, but now, for the group members a quick update is put up.

“The BBM group opens up conference chat for its members. So, we put up syllabus doubts before the exams and even take pictures of mock question papers or notes so that no one needs to copy down things,” said Uttamchandani.