RJ Balaji
RJ Balaji

RJ Balaji

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Balaji Patturaj (born 20 June), popularly known as RJ Balaji, is an Indian radio jockey, presenter, comedian, director, cricket commentator and actor based in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. He is best known as the host of the 92.7 Big FM shows The Night Show with RJ Balaji, Take it Easy and its now defunct segment Cross Talk, where he made prank calls to unsuspecting victims. Although mainly a radio jockey, Balaji is also active in other fields; he is known for his association with the television shows Ungalil Yaar Adutha Prabhu Dheva and Why This Kolaveri, and for his performance in the films Theeya Velai Seiyyanum Kumaru (2013), Vadacurry (2014) Naanum Rowdy Dhaan (2015) , Pugazh (2016) and LKG (2019) and Mookuthi Amman. He has also been a presenter at many inter-school cultural events in Chennai, a cricket commentator, and has contributed to many social causes, such as providing relief support to the victims of the 2015 South Indian floods along with other actors.

Early life

Balaji was born on 20 June, and was raised in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. He has four siblings, one younger brother, three younger sisters. He said that his father abandoned his family at an unspecified point. Balaji said in a 2013 interview with The Hindu that he changed 24 houses and 11 schools while growing up in Chennai, because his "mother just cannot stay in one place. She would move from Perambur to Thiruvanmiyur to Mylapore... no place close to each other." When he was in college, Balaji realised that his strength was in interaction and that the attention and acclaim he received in his college cultural gave him confidence and he realised that he had to be in the media.After completing his BSc computer science from the Kumararani Meena Muthiah College of Arts in 2006, Balaji joined the Amrita School of Communication in Coimbatore for a Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism, because he wanted to become like his cousin who worked at NDTV, but when he was asked to write a report on his hostel's canteen, the 56-word report contained 47 grammatical errors, and he soon realised that English journalism was not what he was interested in. At that time he saw a newspaper advertisement of a radio station (Radio Mirchi Coimbatore) that auditioned for radio jockeys and he applied for it, though he "never knew what an RJ was back then". He said that he almost did not get selected then when he sang a gaana but was finally selected in November 2006. He has not completed his journalism course since.

Other works

In December 2011, Balaji participated in "Namma Ooru Website Creation Competition", an initiative jointly organised by IIT Madras' Rural Technology and Business Incubator and the National Internet Exchange of India to disseminate village-specific information and create an identity for villages. In March 2014, he claimed to have been a presenter at Sangarsh, an annual charity concert that raises money for people suffering from various diseases. The same month, he gave an intro in "The Madras Song", a tribute to the 375th anniversary of Chennai, formerly known as Madras.In November 2014, Balaji created "Panjumittai Productions", a YouTube channel where he uploads short videos dealing with contemporary issues. The first video uploaded to the channel is "Kai Phone Video 01: RJ Balaji’s Biriyani!!!", featuring Balaji distributing parcels of biryani to impoverished people on the road. The second, "Kai Phone Video 02: RJ Balaji’s 501 Views Success Party!!!", is a satire on the "success parties" that production companies host to celebrate the apparent box office success of their films. The third video, subtitled "RJ Balaji Abusing Sachin Tendulkar..!", has nothing to do with Sachin Tendulkar, but instead features Balaji asking the viewers to spread word so that a heart transplant patient named Kavya could get a heart donor. The video was deliberately titled misleadingly so that the message would spread sooner. On 12 December, less than two weeks after Balaji uploaded the video, Kavya successfully got a donor.

Personal life

Artistry Balaji describes "nonsense humour and nonstop talking" as his unique selling proposition. He also describes conversation as his strength, and states that his humour comes out of talking to people. Although he frequently talks about films on the radio, he never entertains gossip on the personal life of actors, due to his lack of interest in the same. He is notorious for his attacks on the English language and his jocular criticism of Tamil films, but popular for his irreverent sense of unique humour. According to photographer Bhargavii Mani of The Hindu, the frequent echoing of the words "Ada" and "Cha" on Balaji's radio shows make them "exciting". Although known to be vivacious, loud and funny in the media, Balaji has also maintained a "rather soft-spoken, shy" personality. In a 2013 interview, Balaji said that he inherited his sense of humour from his mother, who he called "the funniest person I know ... I have only 10 per cent of her comic ability".

Other works

In December 2011, Balaji participated in "Namma Ooru Website Creation Competition", an initiative jointly organised by IIT Madras' Rural Technology and Business Incubator and the National Internet Exchange of India to disseminate village-specific information and create an identity for villages. In March 2014, he claimed to have been a presenter at Sangarsh, an annual charity concert that raises money for people suffering from various diseases. The same month, he gave an intro in "The Madras Song", a tribute to the 375th anniversary of Chennai, formerly known as Madras.In November 2014, Balaji created "Panjumittai Productions", a YouTube channel where he uploads short videos dealing with contemporary issues. The first video uploaded to the channel is "Kai Phone Video 01: RJ Balaji's Biriyani!!!", featuring Balaji distributing parcels of biryani to impoverished people on the road. The second, "Kai Phone Video 02: RJ Balaji's 501 Views Success Party!!!", is a satire on the "success parties" that production companies host to celebrate the apparent box office success of their films. The third video, subtitled "RJ Balaji Abusing Sachin Tendulkar..!", has nothing to do with Sachin Tendulkar, but instead features Balaji asking the viewers to spread word so that a heart transplant patient named Kavya could get a heart donor. The video was deliberately titled misleadingly so that the message would spread sooner. On 12 December, less than two weeks after Balaji uploaded the video, Kavya successfully got a donor.Balaji has also played in the 2015 edition of the Celebrity Cricket League, for the team Chennai Rhinos as an all-rounder. In May 2015, he was a speaker at the first edition of TEDx Mylapore. In August, he joined Ananda Vikatan and Raghava Lawrence's campaign "Aram Seiya Virumbu". During the 2015 South India floods, Balaji and actor Siddharth provided relief support to many of the floods' victims, through a movement known as "Chennai Micro". For his actions, Balaji received the CNN-News18 Indian of the Year award in the category of "Public Service". In January, Balaji was featured in "The Most Important Job", a four-minute video by the Murugappa Group that pays tribute to Indian farmers. Following the March 2016 suicide of Abhinath, a student of Sri Sai Ram Engineering College whose suicide was attributed by the college's authorities to him being unhappy about studying engineering, and protesting students claiming it to be the result of his treatment by the authorities, a video of a speech by Balaji was released in the internet; in that speech he urged corporate firms to "go beyond pass percentages and exam results when choosing colleges for campus recruitments". The video received over 180,000 views. In January 2017, Balaji participated in the pro-Jalikattu protests. The following year, he worked as the Tamil cricket commentator for matches played during that year's Indian Premier League.

Personal life

Balaji was married at the age of 21 years, and has two sons. Although known to actively perform social services, Balaji does not consider himself a social worker or disaster manager: "I am just someone who wants to help people, and I will just do that." He has always believed in only one thing: "To be good and do good work rather than be famous. So whatever I am doing, be it professionally or working for a cause, I intend to do my best."
Source: Wikipedia

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