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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in bjbalaji's LiveJournal:

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Tuesday, April 6th, 2010
6:03 pm
Alt F4
Given that I hate leaving things in the loose, this is a formal notice that I shall no longer be blogging here..

considering that it's been almost a year since I posted anything anyways, I doubt if I am doing anything earth-shattering..as I said, this is more to satisfy the OCD in me..an online clean-up if you will.
Thursday, July 16th, 2009
7:05 pm
General Update...
While I've never been the active type on blog, I think I too should cite the usual excuse that regular bloggers give nowadays for their infrequent postings...with micro-blogging having caught on, I have just been very active on facebook and completely neglected good old lj...of course, even otherwise, i doubt if it would have been any different considering the paucity of topics i have to make up a decent post.

anyways, as the title suggests, this is just a general update...over the last 6 months, i have:

1. watched around 10 movies, despite the industry strike..in fact, most weeks have been boringly routine with 5 days of 10-9 office hours, an informal half-day of office on saturday, getting drunk (sometimes with a hangover) on saturday nights and spending sundays either slouched in front of the TV or needlessly blowing cash at one of the malls in mumbai. Now you understand why the friday viewing of the latest film release becomes an important aspect. Unfortunately, while I've had awesome musical experiences with slumdog, dilli6, devD, luck by chance and even kamabakkt ishq, no movie has really stood out. Perhaps the second half may be better.

2. had my first vacation since starting corporate life and an awesome one at that...a big in-your-face to all those sceptics who never ever thought i would do it..:)

3. started falling in love with my bandra house and have finally started considering it home..hopefully, i will start feeling the same way about mumbai as well...the only notable thing so far has been the final fulfilment of my life-long wish to commute by train everyday...if only, i get more free time to explore this city..

4. gotten over my cheap phone mentality and gotten myself an awesome sony w595..while it's a far cry from the n series and iphones my friends wave around me, am loving mobile browsing, impromptu photo taking, transferring files to and fro my phone through this thing called bluetooth and the overall smart phone experience.

5. taken two mini-breaks to ooty and a camp, two wedding trips to chennai and kerala

6. have done super major rebonding with my family during my brother's wedding and thoroughly experienced the joys and occassional pains of a full-fledged tambrahm wedding

7. been stunned by the emergence of brawn in formula 1 and since steadily lost interest at their inevitable victories race after race while simultaneously marginalizing mclaren more and more till finally, red bull's challenge has rejuvenated the interest

8. been torn over the mumbai monsoons with total joy at the pitter-patter i hear through the night and complete frustration at having to navigate slushy roads and never-drying clothes

overall, while i hate to sound pessimistic, these have just been some eventful happenings in what has otherwise been a pretty frustrating half-year...details of those will not be revealed here..:)...anyways, looking ahead, i see an unbroken 5 months of 6-day weeks punctuated by 2-3 mini breaks, lots more movies, more fun sundays if F1 maintains the interest levels like it does now and some personal developments.

And come december, looks like wedding season will be on in full swing as 3 of my super close friends get married in quick succession...man, i sure will feel old by the end of january..:)
Friday, March 27th, 2009
2:20 pm
Weird Corporate jargon...
so apparently, in consultancies, when you are in between projects, you are supposed to be "on the beach"...

while, the same phase in a software company is called as being "on the bench"...

weird inconsistency....is it supposed to signify that a consultancy is superior, in some way whatever, to a software company...after all, wouldn't one rather be on the beach than on the bench??..:))

or are they totally unrelated?
Tuesday, February 24th, 2009
11:09 am
Am i a NERD???
Am one according to this website:


but er, i practise the same on almost all things beginning from my trash can to my laundry bag to even my savings account...what does that make me??
Wednesday, February 4th, 2009
3:48 pm
Arbit cateist rant...
recently had an interaction with an acquaintance who i knew from chilhood which got me thinking...what's the overriding emotion for a tambrahm??..

jealousy at the welfare of others?? or

satisfaction at provoking jealousy in others??

aah god save my community!
Wednesday, January 21st, 2009
3:38 pm
A dot and a letter are...
..all that seperate my corporate email ID from my company's registered email ID..while this is not going to benefit/affect me in any way, it was still weird...was looking at a company document today and the company header had the complete contact details of the company..at first glance, wondered what my email id was doing in the company header and then realised my oversight.:)
Thursday, January 15th, 2009
2:28 pm
I live in a funny city...
i travel to office by train everyday taking the train from bandra to andheri..as most people familiar with the city will know, this is against the traffic and hence the crowd is much less...also, the train usually terminates at andheri and then goes with the traffic towards the downtown area..

something which tickles me everyday is the behaviour of commuters as the train approaches andheri..we all get together near the entrance but stand away from the door, usually collecting together at the opposite door..and as the train enters the platform, the mad traffic crowd fights each other and gets into the compartment scrambling for seats...only when all incoming commuters have entered and settled down do we disembarking commuters make our way to the exit

i always imagine the plight of a first-timer..he would go near the door as the train reaches the last station and wonder why all these morons are standing at the other door when it is clear the platform is on his side...aah, let the mob be unleashed and then the lesson is learnt...:)
Thursday, January 8th, 2009
1:44 pm
Stealing the thunder...
So while the whole country was going ga-ga over the confessional statement written by raju, looks like the last day of the australia-south africa test match was overshadowed...lord, what an awesome match..following it on cricinfo.com from office was exciting enough for me...the way the 8th and 9th wicket pairs defended for such a long time and then graeme smith coming out, broken hand and all, to almost take the team home to safety...truly, the man deserved the ovation the SCG gave him...but somehow fitting that australia won the game on their own merit at the same venue where a west-indian dodder gifted them another match last year.

interestingly, i wonder if these matches are staged...almost co-incidental that test matches have suddenly gotten so exciting over the last 12 months as the soccer-mania type of passion has struck the world of cricket thanks to 20/20 and IPL.
Monday, January 5th, 2009
4:42 pm
The year that was...
what does it say about the festive mood i was in if i chose to spend new year's eve at home with a couple of friends watching TV and getting drunk?..i can blame it on the security threat, the fact that my usual friends had their own plans but i cannot deny that the past year has been like a demand graph..sloping downwards to the right on the time-scale.

yes, the year began on a high...professionally, i'd had a great 2007 and i knew that i would get to reap the rewards of those in 2008..:)..also, there was a high-stakes deal to look forward to in the new year...and the knowledge that i would be changing jobs during the year and probably moving to mumbai lent a certain excitement...things cooled off by april-may however with the deal going nowhere (as has so often been my experience in IB) and my job change plans putting me into exit mode...by july, these had begun to take shape..then came the soap opera phase...options wrestled with counter-options as i went through huge mood swings and change of heart....put in my papers at Pwc but could not reveal where i was going..then came another job offer and so confirmed my resignation but now with the company name revealed..then came the internal dilemma leading to my reverting to the original company..finally, served out the notice period and started this new job in december...in my nascent professional life, i can say without a doubt that thanks to the economic slowdown and the job change, this was the least fulfilling year for me workwise.

given how much of an importance work plays in my life, am surprised that i had one of the best years personally...had a great social life (yeah yeah, people who will feel smug upon reading this can deservedly feel so.:))...weekends were filled (the twice monthly trips played a huge role in this..:)), evenings had something to look forward to, some nice trips were planned and executed...too bad that these best months in the year were the same months when i had to go through the whole uncertainity wrt my job...however, to my two bangalore friends and one other person, here's sincere thanks for the past year...i guess the realisation that it all came to an end in december when i moved cities contributed to the year-end downcast feeling.

in other news, my bro got engaged in november thus clearing the way for me in more ways than one..:)..several of my friends went through/are going through stretches of being jobless which also depressed me at the end of the year...i spent the whole year vainly trying to lose weight and have finally decided to give up the battle as a new year's resolution.

that was 2008 then...i know that 2009 will be a very eventful year for me personally and if it's professionally atleast half as exciting as it would be personally, i will count it an awesome year...:)..happy new year to you all.
3:19 pm
Nice working with you..keep in touch: YOU BET I WILL!!
Well it's been over a month since i quit PwC and am yet to receive my final settlement..apparently empirical evidence states that it usually takes around 2-3 months before they send the cheque...and this is in fact an improvement over the past when it usually takes close to 10 months..

was just getting started on bashing the company and communist bitching (look up PwC's registered office in India and you will get the connection) when a friend of mine, who quit from a slot 0 consulting company last year told me she got her final settlement a full 9 months after leaving the company...considering that your final settlement usually includes your last month's salary, i feel this is ridiculously unprofessional...how would you feel if i refuse to part with my laptop and any of my office files till i receive my final cheque???

note that am not cribbing coz am nearing bankruptcy and is going around mortgaging all my possessions for the next meal...am just commenting on the sheer unprofessionalism of it all...just because he is an ex-employee does not mean the final amount you are paying him is charity...it's a service which has been already rendered which you need to pay for.
Saturday, December 20th, 2008
2:47 pm
Should we brace ourselves...
..for a Rahul Dravid retirement announcement at the end of the Mohali test?...the proverbial swan song has been sung, an encore might be heard in the second innings...so is it goodbye to the bangalore boy?
Friday, December 12th, 2008
3:38 pm
Writing in from Mumbai...
so am live and kicking and getting used to life in the metro...how have the last 2 weeks been?...honestly, i have felt nothing...i did not get the euphoria i did after my first day in bangalore...perhaps it's the fact that i've been coming to this city so often in the last few months and so have still not gotten used to the fact that am in a new job and a new city...and working with the same boss on things somewhat similar to what i was doing in pwc means there is nothing new there either...ok, i have a new comp and i don't wear ties to work anymore (i feel overdressed even dressed in my formals when compared to the media wear some of them sport..:))...but otherwise, it looks like it will take quite a while before all this sets in.

ofcourse, some things are different...where i used to spend 15 minutes in an auto commuting from home to work in bangalore, here it's 20 minutes in a cab, 30 minutes by train and another 15 minutes by bus/auto before i finally reach office..and perhaps it's the initial enthusiasm or the fact that this is how life is here, am not really feeling the pain or stress of it...

thankfully, one major stress area for any newcomer to this city is the housing problem which i have managed to avoid as i had ready digs waiting for me here...my current roommate is moving out this weekend and i shall then start looking for a replacement...

so there it goes...similar work (so far), same boss, familiar city, familiar social network...heck, has my life changed at all?...watch out, a crib post might just be on its way.
Friday, November 21st, 2008
9:33 am
The changing positioning of i-Pill..
No one would have missed the advertisements for the i-pill contraceptive from Cipla..but i wonder if the slow change in the positioning of their advertisements is deliberate.

when the product was first launched, the ad showed a 30-something couple living with two kids and elders in the house and worried about getting pregnant again..then came the ad showing an obviously new couple worrying on the morning after...after that came the agony aunt woman consoling her friend by phone in the middle of the night...perhaps not even the morning after but right after you-know-what...and now comes the ad with a helpless girl skipping breakfast with her middle-aged middle-class parents and rushing with her friend to an abortion center.

ok, first ad was a safe "we already have kids we don't want any more" message..second was a slightly controversial "we are newly married, we wanna enjoy life and not have a kid already"...third was even more controversial "we fooled around and we don't want to pay for it"..and the latest is a blatant "what's done is done, perhaps we'll do better next time"

Now, I am not judging here...am sure it is a godsend to lots of couples, married or otherwise...and the ads are still effective in sending out the message that there exists a solution...but with all the moral policing in this country, i wonder if Cipla realises they might be ruining a good thing by trying to reach too far.
Friday, November 14th, 2008
5:11 pm
Finally..the official update..
I will be moving to Mumbai at the end of this month to join Balaji Telefilms in a strategy role...and I plan to make it my life's ambition to create a story out of the events of the past 3 months of my life and make it the top-rates show on TV ever!!!

Anyways, my last two weeks at PwC are on and then, it's on to the financial capital of the country.
Monday, November 3rd, 2008
8:20 am
One of F1's biggest "I was there moment"...
Karun Chandok drowning out Steve Slater's voice saying, "hold it, Lewis Hamilton has won the championship, he has overtaken Timo glock at the final corner"...2007 was consigned to history as hamilton finally took the championship. though even for me, pity at massa overshadowed hamilton's stunning coup.

final words...ferrari deserved it, massa did not and chadok should just leave his gp2 car and get behind the mike.
Wednesday, October 29th, 2008
1:46 pm
Belated Diwali Greetings...
this is just THE family festival...be it gorging on home-made sweets and namkeens, shopping for clothes and staying up late on diwali eve to apply the tikka to the new clothes or letting off fireworks, to me, diwali is about being with your family...perhaps it's mush induced by the fact that my full family was at home this year but i think this is probably the only time of the year when i'd rather be at home than be on my own.

hope you all had a blast...I sure did.
Thursday, October 16th, 2008
2:46 pm
well..the footnote insert at my last post a month back has given me a subject to write on and tide over this notice-period induced (more on that later) bout if idleness...hehe, try figuring out what that sentence meant..:)

anyways, as i had stated in my earlier blog, a large reason for my happy existence over the last two years is this awesome city i live in...for someone like me who loves to go on long walks and generally have a placid lifestyle, this city is an absolute heaven...nothing beats the high of walking on MG road generally admiring the stores and lights on any given evening...and even otherwise, there are so many things about this city which i adore to the point of being homesick for it whenever i visit chennai (duh, my actual home)

for one thing, the weather...i don't remember any city being as windy as bangalore...rare has been the day that i have seen the trees on the road idle...in fact, a foreign client who once visited commented that bangalore is almost like chicago (and i know that is called the "Windy city")..aah the joy in sitting in a brightly lit place where the sun is wrestling with the cloud to come out and get the full blast of the wind on your face is just indescribable...sure, i crib about the temperature in march and april when all i want to do i strip down and sit in the bathroom but hell, all that literally gets blown away come june and the wet-windy season.

moving on to the malls and ccd's...i maintain that no city beats bangalore for yuppies...it has all the cosmopolitanism and metro hipness of mumbai at almost half the cost...you can spend hundreds at the street-a-one CCD's, the never housefull movie halls, the round-the-world cuisine providing restaurants AND live in a big roomy apartment with your own individual room and not feel the pinch..no wonder the IT crowd just flocks to this place..

done with the weekday pleasures?...what about the weekend house parties?..as a kid, i used to be excited whenever i got to visit the neighbourhood foodworld in chennai...the excitement is of a totally differnt variety when i go to the foodworld here and spend my time at the exclusive booze section stocking up for the saturday night...and you find it is beyond midnight and you are out of booze?...visit some choice street corners and you will find a drive-in pub with illicit trade in the smirnoff and bacardi that will ensure the weekend begins with a hangover...

and ofcourse when you decide you need to spend the cash you have saved up, there are pubs galore to enjoy the evening away...and the late night empire restaurants ensuring you don't go to bed drunk on an empty stomach.

yeah, i know this sounds like an elitist view of bangalore with enough disposable income to splurge on eat-outs, movies, booze, coffee shops, bowling alleys, go-karting tracks but hell that's what this city is..as i said, the coolest, hippest and yuppiest metro in India.

of course, there are auto drivers to spar with, traffic jams to battle, dancing bans to crib about...but i walk to and from office and live close enough to MG road that an auto is anyways a convenience..and yeah, the recent ban on dancing in pubs sucks..but given that most pubs were veering towards playing mindless house and hip hop shunning the desi punjabi and hindi tracks, i don't think iam gonna miss it that much when i do my next trip to a pub.

of course, the heart grows fonder with things that you know you are going to lose soon..and same's the case here as my time in this city is inexorbaly closing to an end..where to next and when?..as i said, more on that later!!!
Thursday, September 4th, 2008
5:20 pm
Monster, Naukri, Jobstreet...Where are you???
I finished two years in PwC last thursday...Imagine!!!!..me, the guy who got his third job offer within 6 months of graduating from b-school has spent 2 years in the same company!!!!

P.S: Please to not be taking the satirical sense of this post literally and wonder about my depression with my company...Am as happy as the average MBA two years into his job (which is not saying much), a large part of which is due to this awesome awesome city i live in and love so so much...hope to put a long senti post on how much awesome i think this city is soon..:)
Monday, July 7th, 2008
4:01 pm
Arbit Rants...
Annoying...when people keep their phones on loud ring mode and then leave it unattended and go somewhere...

More annoying...when the aforesaid people do the aforementioned things early in the morning when other people are trying to sleep

Most annoying...when the aforementioned incident occurs in a flight taxiing for take off, some 5 minutes after the inflight attendant asks you to "kindly keep your mobile phones and all communication devices in the switch off mode"
Monday, June 30th, 2008
8:49 pm
Almost 10 ka dum for Dasavatharam
After Alavandhan, I was understandably skeptical about the latest magnum opus offering from Kamal, with the justifiable fear that this would be yet another self-indulgent fare that would just end up bankrupting the producer. And the early reviews were just proving me right.

But after three viewings, I’ve gotta admit…the movie is different and not just for the record-breaking number of roles. Be it the 12th century rangaraja nambi showing us the class act of a velu nayakar, the gult-tam balram naidu bringing memories of indran-chandran, the chaste-tamil speaking grandmom or the ultra sinister fletcher, this is one movie where I admired Kamal for more than just his comic skills (which is what I used to like in his acting in all his prior movies). Even the seemingly irrelevant sub-plot of Vincent Boovaraghan (which I felt was totally unnecessary during the first viewing) gradually grew on me and has eventually ended up rounding off a thoroughly enjoyable fare.

A taut screenplay, excellent dialogues, a surprisingly pleasing Asin (yeah, she does becomes a bit too blah towards the end but what the hell, this is any day better than the song-dance-bubbly rut that she was lately getting into), hummable music (I may be unique here but I actually thought the Avtar Singh bhangra song was the best of the lot), topping it all off with that brilliant albeit outworldly connection to the tsunami, I think this is one movie which deserves atleast 4-5 viewings before getting stale.

Having extolled the virtues, I gotta concede some of the put-off’s too….granted that some cinematic excesses are admissible but the gun-shot induced cure for cancer???...that was the one moment when I felt this was a K.S.Ravikumar potboiler rather than a Kamal Hassan essay. And for all the talk about taking tamil cinema to the global level, the special effects were a huge turn-off. The slow-panning of the two Kamal’s during the chase in Chengalpattu, the chopper chasing the car in the U.S amidst a bunch of box-shaped high-rises and a huge silver screen masquerading as the tsunami and washing over puppets shaped like the Thiruvalluvar statue, the Chennai lighthouse and assorted autos and lorries? Just not done.

Net-net, forget the hype over 10 different characters (they were just ten different roles with most not calling for much by way of acting prowess), forget the much acclaimed special effects, forget the talk of the movie traversing the sands of time from the 12th century to the 21st (seriously, what was the link to the 12th century at all?). Shorn of all these distractions, this is one bad guy chase good guy thriller with good dollops of comedy, action, dance and drama thrown in. Definitely worth multiple viewings on the big screen and a leisurely zip back and forth viewing on the comp.
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