Banda Ho To Zinda Ho - my new anthem

This Zinda Banda track from the new Bollywood blockbuster, "Jawan," has taken over my playlist recently. It's not just Anirudh's peppy music or Shah Rukh Khan's swag. 

What truly speaks to me is the lyrical essence of the song, which has crystallized a powerful epiphany I've had in recent months. A realization that serves as a clarion call whenever I find myself teetering on the edge of self-doubt or an important decision in my startup or life journey.


Banda Ho To Zinda Ho!
If you're alive, truly live!

Banda Zinda Ho To Zinda Nazar Haana Zaroori Hai!
To be alive, it’s necessary to have a lively vision. 

A few months ago, I took the plunge into entrepreneurship, leaving behind the relative stability of a 9-to-5 job. It was a leap of faith into a realm filled with uncertainties and risks. Entrepreneurs, you'll get me when I say the looming specter of failure has often kept me awake at night, pondering whether it's time to pack it up and return to corporate life.

Then came the aha realization, during one late-night worry session. And interestingly, it was through chatting with my startup’s product, Appi.

Working on my startup ignites my soul in a way a regular job could never hope to match. I find myself engrossed and in a flow state for hours on end, so much so that the clock's hands seem to whirl in a delightful blur. It's what I can read, talk, and obsess about around the clock.

I love having my own creative freedom, choosing why and what I work on, how, and with whom. I enjoy the breadth of running a business - from strategy to product to programming to marketing to UX to growth to fundraising. It's like being a composer, conductor, and musician—all in one grand symphony of life.


Himmat Se Nacho Thirak Thirak Yaro
Dharti Hilla Do Thirak Thirak Re
Mati Ka Badal Ufak Ufak Jaye
Ambar Jhuka Do Thirak Thirak Re

My buddies dance with passion and groove
With your dancing, shake the ground
Make the clouds dance with you
Make the sky come and dance with you

Thirak Thirak Thakna Kyun
Tunak Tunak Takna Kyun
Jhijhak Jhijhak Jakhna Kyun
Banda Ho Zinda Ho

Why must you get exhausted when dancing?
Why should we be looking around when dancing?
Why should we be hesitant?
A person must make the most of his life

Yes, it's tough and uncertain. But the path I'm following is the one I desire and makes me come alive. So what other choice do I have? Just choose something easier and less fulfilling in the one life I have?

And yes, I will make mistakes and even fail at the startup. But I'd much rather pursue and shape my own destiny boldly, stumbling and learning along the way, than be afraid to start and live with regrets and what ifs.


Jeena Jane Joh Dil Ki Mane Joh
Kar De Thane Jo Zinda Banda Ho
A living person is one who understands how to live
One who listens to his heart
One who does what he chooses

The point of life is to be alive and follow your heart. Not to play it safe and meek. Because there's no special prize in the end - we will all die and be forgotten. The reward is the journey, in the very act of living. 


1. Doing a startup isn't everyone's spark. Find yours. It's elusive, but when you find it, pursue it and turn the spark into a fire. Inspiration expires if it isn't used. 

2. Some jobs can create a similar spark. I have experienced it at an early stage startup, with an aligned and interesting mission, low bureaucracy, smart people, significant personal upside, and where the leadership was kind and empowering. 

3. My startup's mission also had to be truly aligned with what I wanted to do for me to feel this way. It didn't feel like that when I was working on an idea that didn't personally speak to me.

4. Lyrics and Translations from: