Simply Living Hardly Thinking

Not Always
March 24th, 2014 by bkbirla

Change the world… Welcome to AdalBdal

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci


And here we are after months of work on a simple product which has the potential to change lots of things.  And when I say lots, I actually mean it. We have a simple platform for you to exchange stuff you don’t need any more –


First of all let us get our pronunciation correct. It is pronounced as “A Dal B Dal”. Do it right or you will be punished by atleast 10 PJs from me.



Aren’t we in a race where we keep producing more and consuming more depleting the resources available to us. Look around, how many things you have around you which are of no use to you but can make perfect sense to people around. It might be old books, old mobiles, old clothes, stamps, coins and many more. Isn’t it time to put them to use, if not for yourself, for somebody else.


So go ahead, first upload stuff which you don’t need any more, find stuff you might need and meetup and exchange. The platform works anywhere and everywhere. It is location aware and shows you how far things are from you. It has a built in spam protection for you as the person interested in your product will not be able to message you till you have decided to engage. Messaging will enable you to figure out the logistics of meeting and exchanging.


And another major question which I hear from friends is that how do you ensure that the two items you exchange are of equal value. Look value perception is a state of mind. We enjoy soft drinks for Rs 13 which are made for probably less than 50 paise, we buy hand bags for thousands which are probably made in few hundreds. So come out of the standard “value perception model” and build an eco-system to reuse more and more stuff. It’s easy and it can be lots of fun.


Happy AdalBdal….


March 4th, 2014 by bkbirla

SEO aur Mayavi Chudail

February 13th, 2014 by bkbirla

I am BAL

BAL = Back at Ask Laila






OK, so that sums it up. Starting another inning at AskLaila. It was fun creating this brand long time back and I still feel that there is a lot more we can do with this. Over the years, we have done few things good, few things bad and few things outright ugly. The idea is to increase the percentage of good things. I can’t spell out the entire agenda here, but certainly will be happy to listen to your inputs. Coffee is on me if you have any feedback on what we can do better.


And as part of this, I am looking at rebuilding the team. So if you are passionate about the internet and startup scene, just ping me. Looking at building a short and sweet team. Ooops, we can’t call ourselves startup after 7 years. So we call ourselves a restartup ( Thanks Rahul for coining this word ).


A lot more things coming up from Asklaila soon….. Stay tuned.

February 10th, 2014 by bkbirla

BBG Show to raise funds for Indian Cancer Society




Words fail me today as I write this. Poetic expressions and language are not enough to express the flow of emotions and feelings. But let me try to write in as simple words as possible.

It all started 5-6 months back. One of my friends, Akhila, was in a Ayurvedic place getting treated for some pain and she suggested that why don’t we do something at Karunashraya. And then the world conspired to make it happen. A chance meeting with Bharat led to me attending Diwali Celebrations at Karunashraya and then we discussed this idea of doing a fund raiser. And from no where I got connected with the fabulous team whose commitment levels were amazing ( no more awesome ).

And I realized very soon that this was a very different organization and the cause they work for is so noble that even if we contribute to it in any possible way, we will be the privileged party. But then we had never done a ticketed show. We at BBG take pride in being totaly non commercial. We love music and love spreading happiness via it, that is the reason why we do it, nothing more, nothing less. But then when I put across the idea to do a fundraiser I had support from the BBG gang. Shalini and Falguni as always were eager to make it happen. And then started discussions with artists. Shammas was one of the first one I talked to and he as always was enthusiastic not only to sing but also help in organizing. Nanu, Mathangi, Kumaran, Vikram, Malvika, Chitra, Kunal, all of them did not bat an eyelid before confirming to donating their talent for the cause. It was so nice to see these accomplished artists were so excited about the cause. I am so touched by their support and makes me feel proud to have them in BBG fold.

As the show preparation started, the tension was clear on my face. I guess everybody around saw it. And so many people offered to help. Anu, Ekta, Mahantesh and Chetan to name a few of them. The team at Indian Cancer Society was always supportive. Ritesh from Mumbai penned down some great lines for me to host the show. Some awesome music lovers came over from different parts of the country to just attend the show. Lata from Mumbai, Rajani from Hyderabad and Kalesh from Chennai to mention a few of them. Vinod and Praveen made sure that the memories of this show will linger on with their insightfull photography.


And then as the music unfolded on the stage, my thoughts were wandering thinking of patients who have only few months of life left. We sometime hold life so tightly that we almost suffocate it. May be we could lead a life holding it gently. Letting it loose sometimes and holding back in another moment. May be we could live every moment. Just like a cruiser biker who enjoys the travel more than destination.

This was our first attempt at doing a fund raiser. We might have made mistakes and we thank you for being gracious enough to forgive us for them. All we promise is that we will continue to work hard, we will continue to be 100% non commercial, we will continue to spread happiness via music. BBG has given lot of us an opportunity to find a purpose in life.


Stay tuned…


December 29th, 2013 by bkbirla

How do you esacape leg scissors of a 6 year old boy

This is not a post about wrestling, this is not a post about self defense either. This is story of a kid. I don’t know his name. I don’t even remember his face clearly as it was covered with a cloth. But the interaction I had with him is a life time memory. Something which will be engraved in my memory all my life. Something which will inspire me when I am down. Something which will remind me how life blossoms in the face of adversity.

So here I was on a stage with probably 30-40 kids who were suffering from cancer were and were in different stages. We at BBG take pride at organizing events which bring happiness to various people and this was our effort to bring smiles to kids via music.

So here comes a kid, who is probably 6-8 years old, hell bent on making it to top of my head. And as I pick him up, he quickly makes it to top of my shoulders, ready to play Tabla on my head. And the dancing on the stage continues. So my 40 years of lack of exercise shows on my face. I am a bit tired, requesting him to get down, but this guy is a tough nut to crack. He plainly refuses. Oh boy, how do I get him down. I am getting tired. Tried all forms of persuasion and may be mild force. The only thing I could get him to do was, got him down from the shoulders and in my hands and this is the position where he got a wrestler style leg scissors on my legs. This was going from bad to worse. Holding him in my hands and he had a nice grip on my legs. Now what do I do. Short of options, I asked all the other kids around for help.

And they figured out the most innovative way to help me. Yes, they tickled. Ya nothing else, they tickled the kid. And his grip on me became softer. And these memories will linger on and on and on…..



December 1st, 2013 by bkbirla

Ground Rules for a Startup

I had written this in 2006 before taking plunge into the startup world. Somehow that document came up again while searching some stuff. Do let me know if they still make sense to you.

- Maintain strict confidentiality about salaries, stocks, work we do, investors, customers
- Be a business owner, not just an employee
- We will have epsilon useless meetings. All meetings start with an agenda and end with identification of action items
- If you find something wrong, fix it, don’t crib
- All deadlines are strict, if you are going to miss them, communicate in advance
- Focus on customers, customers and customers

- Unit test the code
- Get code reviews done

- Think destructively
- Put yourself in the customer’s shoes of all sizes

November 25th, 2013 by bkbirla

Baba aiso var dhoondho: Wanted Kickass Programmer


As always, music first.

So hope you get the idea. The tryst for a good programmer is much more difficult compared to looking for a bridegrrom. Look marriage is an old institution. People have figured out over the years what to look for and what to stay away from.


But startups, still a nascent concept. What is takes to make it big is still undefined. But let me take a shot at what I am looking at and what is important.


- Passion drives you and I am not talking about the bike passion. You are passionate about something. Not necessarily programming but you are used to the idea of being irrational and follow things which may or may not have an end.

- You should bleed GOOD code. No management BS but yes. If you are the kind of guy who writes code in mind as I talk features, if you have been coding away to glory in your college days, if your dreams consist of debugging, you are on.

- If you can laugh with a team member on their bad jokes, if you don’t mind extra coffee just because another guy in the team wants one, if you come to office to have fun not just work, talk to us.

- If you are lost it is OK. But if you are lost and you think you are not, it is a big issue. So a realistic understanding of yourself is essential. BTW this ensures you continue to evolve and learn.


Perks of the Job

- Can’t pay you much. Infact probably zero is what you end up with.

- You build something which can have a global impact.

- You build something which is good for earth and mankind ( thoda zyada phenk diya kya )

- You work with amazingly smart people ( apni baat kar raha hoon yaar, how modest is that )


So if you want to have a rocking ride, do let me know.  And no hiring email ids here. If you are desperate enough, you will figure out. Please respond WITHOUT your resume and feel free to share it with others.


October 25th, 2013 by bkbirla

बेसबब लिखता हूँ मैं

बेसबब लिखता हूँ मैं

ज़िन्दगी की चाल को
कौन समझा है यहाँ
कोई आता है
कोई जाता है
कुछ निशान छोड़ कर
कोई पहचान छोड़ कर
एक उजड़ी हुई बस्ती मैं
एक टूटा हुआ मकान छोड़ कर
ना आने का कोई सबब तेरा
ना जाने का कोई सबब है
इस लिए

बेसबब लिखता हूँ मैं

कभी हैं कदम बहुत हलके
कभी बोझ हैं बलाओं से
कभी रात कटती है इक पल मैं
कभी ख़त्म न हो क़यामत तक
नहीं जानता सहर का पता
नहीं जानता वफ़ा का घर
बढे जाते हैं कदम ये
किसी ओर किसी कारण से
और बढे जाते हैं कभी कहीं भी नहीं
बोझिल से और बेसबब
इस लिए

बेसबब लिखता हूँ मैं

ज़िन्दगी है नाव सी
कोई सागर मैं जो है गिर गयी
न कोई रास्ता न साहिल कोई
न है माझी और न पतवार ही
ये जो लहरें उस को छू रहीं
वो ही उठा रहीं और डुबा रहीं
न पता है मुझे अंजाम का
न पता है सुबहो-शाम का
कहीं पहुंचा तो वो भी बेसबब
और डूबा तो वो भी बेसबब
इस लिए

बेसबब लिखता हूँ मैं

October 17th, 2013 by bkbirla

How about #NetaDotZip?

How about compressing our netas. The idea is simple. We take few letters from their first name and few from middle and few more from last and we put it together to make something funny. Please use hashtag #NetaDotZip to express your creatives. Here are few examples to explain you what I mean.


Narendra Modi = NaMo #NetaDotZip

Manmohan Singh = MaSi #NetaDotZip

Kapil Sibal = KaSi #NetaDotZip

SushilKumar Shinde = SuShi #NetaDotZip

Harish Rawat = HaRa #NetaDotZip

Jairam Ramesh = JaRa #NetaDotZip

Kamal Nath = KaNa #NetaDotZip


So bring it on guys…….

October 13th, 2013 by bkbirla

टूटी किश्ती

इस रास्ते पे चले आये
बहुत दूर तक बिना सोचे
या शायद कुछ सोचा होगा
पर याद नहीं क्या था
कोई सैलाब आया होगा
कोई आंधी भी आई थी शायद
कुछ उड़ा के लिए गयी
और कुछ बहा के
पर कुछ तो बच ही गया
थोडा सहमा हुआ थोडा टूटा हुआ
हिम्मत कर के मेरी ओट मैं
खुद को छिपाए हुआ
पर जो रह गया
वो ज़रूरी था
जो बह गया
वो नहीं
ख्वाब चाहें उजाड़ गए हों
नसीब चाहें बिगड़ गए हों
हो अँधेरा चाहें हर ओर मेरे
हो निराशा चाहें मुझ को घेरे
जो नहीं गया वो मेरा विश्वास
जो नहीं गया वो मेरा जूनून
और न ही जाएगा वो
किसी आंधी से डर के या कोई सैलाब से
कह दो जा के इन तूफानों से इन हवाओं से
टूटी किश्ती को भी किनारे लगाने का हुनर हम को आता है
टूटी किश्ती को भी किनारे लगाने का हुनर हम को आता है