Simply Living Hardly Thinking

Not Always
January 4th, 2016 by bkbirla

Vital Stats of BBG in 2015

We had a great year in 2015 as we spread our wings all over the place. Here are some stats about our FB page.

Daily Page Engaged Users – 54,11,118

Daily Total Reach – 7,19,01,228

Daily Total Impressions – 21,47,30,501

Top Five Posts


ज़िन्दगी तेरे गम ने हमेंरिश्ते नए समझाए

Posted by Bhoole Bisre Geet on Saturday, December 19, 2015


मैं और मेरी तनहाई, अक्सर ये बाते करते हैंListen to the song –

Posted by Bhoole Bisre Geet on Thursday, May 21, 2015



पत्थर की हवेली को शीशे के घरौंदों मेंतिनकों के नशेमन तक इस मोड़ से जाते हैंSee more –

Posted by Bhoole Bisre Geet on Tuesday, May 26, 2015



December 22nd, 2015 by bkbirla

Poem: सब तिरंगे बेचते हैं

Bharat hum ko jaan se pyara hai

A photo posted by Bal krishn Birla (@bkbirla) on

सब तिरंगे बेचते हैं

आज देखा एक बच्ची को
उस गली के मोड़ पे
एक हाथ में चन्द सिक्के
एक मैं कुछ दस तिरंगे
चेहरे पर ना कोई शिकवा
ना कोई खुशी का सुराग
बस एक क्रम ज़िंदगी का
जो बुझाये पेट की आग

सब के है अपने तरीके

और फिर देखा कहीं पे
एक नेता सिरफिरा
ज़िंदगी भर लिप्त था
बस अपनी ज़ेबों को भरा
आग तो उस में भी थी
स्वार्थ की भ्रष्टाचार की
उस आग में दबी आवाज़ थी
जनता के हाहाकार की

सब के है अपने तरीके
सब तिरंगे बेचते हैं

फिर मिला एक वीर से
जो बर्फ़ीली सरहदों पे मुस्तैद था
एक नज़र बंदूक पे
और एक नज़र में देश था
खून उस का जब बहा
तो ज़मीन पर तिरंगा बन गया
जान की कीमत चुका के
वो पावन गंगा बन गया

सब के है अपने तरीके
कुछ तिरंगे बेचते हैं
कुछ तिरंगे सींचते हैं

December 6th, 2015 by bkbirla

One night at Bangalore Airport

So travel always brings along experiences. Some good, some bad and some you just can’t figure out where to put them. So I landed today after a brief trip to Delhi. As I usually do on short trips, I drive to airport and park it there to avoid the taxi hassles. The only think I do in such cases is that I fly early morning and return late night so that Bangalore traffic doesn’t trouble me. Afterall coming from airport to Bannerghatta Road is a journey in itself.

So anyways as I walk out of the airport towards parking and as we are waiting for the cabs to cross, I noticed a girl, must be around 30 wearing specs, with a baby on her shoulder, and a trolley with luggage in front of her. She was struggling to push the trolley as it was going all over the place. I asked her if I could help her push the trolley. She was hesitant but I told her that I will drop her to her destination. She told me that she has to go opposite Taj Hotel as some family she met at airport was waiting for her there to drop her to JP Nagar. On the way we picked up a small conversation. She told that her name was Asha and she is an IT professional. She also told that she came to Bangalore from Kerala to meet a friend and her baby is 3 years old. I told a bit about myself also and we reached opposite Taj where a red car was waiting. And as we reached there we realized that car was too small and her luggage and she could not fit into the car. There was a tall guy at the car and he said I am sorry we won’t be able to fit you here. I told Asha that I have a Scorpio which can easily accommodate everything and I am also driving to South Bangalore so I can certainly drop her if she is fine with it. She said, she will come along and I asked her to wait as I bring my car from the parking.

As I came back from parking at the designated place, I see that lady is no where to be seen. I just parked my car, went around to check if she has wandered somewhere, but no luck. I picked up my car and started driving towards the city and then thought, maybe she might have gone somewhere and might have come back now so I took a U turn and came back to the same spot again. But no idea where she was gone.

Obviously she was not comfortable in going somewhere with a total stranger at mid-night. Even I would not suggest that to anyone in my family or friends. Maybe my bearded looks with shorts ( haven’t shaved for few weeks as I am busy ) gave her signals that I am not the right guy to go with, maybe she told me that she will come along just out of politeness, maybe I should have offered her to drop her to a cab instead of offering her my car, maybe she got into some trouble, maybe….

Anyway as I drove back from airport, I was thinking through. If you see this, just wanted to let you know Asha, you missed some nice SD Burman songs besides obviously a nice conversation and a free drop to your home. Hope you reached your destination safely.

And ya, time to shave…

September 13th, 2015 by bkbirla

Obituary – Kamla Raju – someone who spoke to me in a language called love

She never spoke a word to me, but she communicated so much. We met just three times, and a fourth time after she had breathed her last,  but it means the whole world to me.


It was few months back when I met Gita Raju in a BBG meetup we were doing in an orphanage. She invited us to visit her home and also told us about her mother who is unwell and enjoys Mukesh songs. Shammas, Ekta and myself decided to visit her and do a show exclusively for her. As we entered the home, we see a frail lady lying on the bed and a face which had sorrow written all over due to her illness. As we settled in the home, we saw a family which made us feel so much at home. Srinath was making tea for us and Srini was cracking jokes. As Shammas started his songs, the mood transformed into a melodious one. Her face which was full of pain transformed into a happy one. She would softly tell us songs she loved and Shammas rendered them flawlessly and she rejoiced every moment. Ekta entertained her with all her “Drama Queen” action and she had a broad smile on her face. All I did was just held her hand throughout. Her skin was so smooth and shining and despite her bad health she held my hand firmly. A grip which conveyed so much love. No words exchanged but few glances which conveyed her love for all of us. It was tough for us to control our tears and as we left we saw her clapping and enjoying music.


The second meeting was very similar and third meeting even a bigger one as it happened in Shantla and Srini ( Gita Raju sister and her husband ) home and we celebrated BBG 5th anniversary as well as her birthday. We had lot more people ( Venkat, Shiva Priya, Kumaran, Bhuvana, Vikram, Sugandhi and family members of Gita ) and I did exactly what I had done in two earlier meetings. Just held her hand and sat with her. There was a special bond of affection between us as I used to feel so blessed to hold her hand and sit by her. And the end of this third meeting happened in a way that it will be etched in my memory for a lifetime.


She was tired so she had gone to rest as we continued with food and music. Before leaving I went inside just to tell her bye and she held my hand firmly as if she did not want me to go. She pulled my hand towards herself and her frail body towards my hand planted a gentle kiss. I cried, cried and cried even more. Her eyes conveyed so much love that it just moved me to tears. Little I knew that it was my last meeting with her.


She passed away on 11th Sep, 2015 and my fourth meeting with her was when she was no more. As I watch her vanishing into flames, there is sadness of losing someone I loved and a happiness of not seeing her in pain any more. The circle of life spares none.


I knew her only for few months but I know she had so much love for me. She spoke no words to me but I know her blessings will be with me all my life. Her memories will be with me till I breath my last as someone who blessed me with her love.


PS: If you know of any elders in your family or around who are bed ridden, please let us know if we can entertain them with music at their home. We at BBG take pride in spreading happiness via music and will be happy to come over and perform.

August 19th, 2015 by bkbirla

2nd anniversary of getting fired up

Yup. It is two years now. Precisely two years back I got fired from my own company – my Steve Jobs moment. The reason I write this is not to settle any scores or to vent out but I have realized over the years that this has helped lot of people to understand the startup dynamics better. So many of opened your heart to me and probably felt better after that.

For those who came in late read this before you go ahead

Goodbye from a Zhopper

Entrepreneur interrupted and then resurrected

Celebrating my Steve Jobs Moment


This has become a celebration point for me and probably it will remain so for rest of my life. I dedicate this day to hundreds of you who struggle every day to make a difference and not just money. This day is dedicated to all my fellow entrepreneurs who go through bad days in hope of shining sun. Feel free to wish me on this day. I don’t want to see anyone who got fired from his company or job to feel bad about himself but to fight back in life with energy but not revenge.


So here is what I have been up to in past one year

  1. Back at AskLaila and we have been able to redo our UI and launched it in 7 more countries. Lot more action happening so stay tuned.
  2. Launched a book Life on the rocks with Jaya Jha and struggling as I try to become a writer from a poet. You can read more about my struggle at –
  3. Launched first song of a music album Kaash with Mohammad Shammas and more coming soon –
  4. Launched an online music magazine TheSongPedia and it has already grown to a reasonable size. We have over 2000 stories on this platform and reaches out to over 2.5 lac people per month.
  5. BBG has continued to expand and prosper spreading happiness via music.
  6. Working on two more ventures where one is in the food-tech space and another one trying to solve a social issue using technology. More on them as we get closer to full launches.
  7. Have been mentoring hundreds of startups which has been a very satisfying experience.
  8. Giving talks ( aka bak-bak ) in various events and places trying to inspire people.



And here is a song which always inspires…





July 27th, 2015 by bkbirla

APJ Abdul Kalam – क़ौम का बंदा

APJ Abdul Kalam

APJ Abdul Kalam


वो गीता भी पढता था
वो कुरान पढता था
मज़हबों से कहीं आगे
वो इंसान पढता था


मिसाइल के मसाइल से भी
वाक़िफ़ था बहुत वो
पर चैन-ओ-अमन का कलाम
वो सुबह-शाम पढ़ता था


ना उत्तर से ना दक्षिण से
ना पूरब से ना पश्चिम से
वो क़ौम का बंदा था
वो हिन्दुस्तान पढ़ता था


वो गीता भी पढता था
वो कुरान पढता था
मज़हबों से कहीं आगे
वो इंसान पढता था

July 7th, 2015 by bkbirla

Poem: ऊर्जा और परिभाषा

Rising Sun

देखा है कभी

सूरज को

उगते हुए

और डूबते हुए

क्या फर्क होता है

थोड़ा रौशनी का

और बहुत कुछ


निकलता है सुबह सुबह

एक जोश के साथ

बहुत ऊर्जा लिए हुए

सुबह का संचार करते हुए

हर कण कण में

एक स्वर्णिम चादर

बिखेर तेता है

प्रकृति के

हर आयाम में

प्राण भर देता है

अंधेरों के भी अंधेरों में

पर ध्यान से देखो

उगते सूरज की

परिधि को

कहाँ सीमा है उस की

ज्ञात ही नहीं होता

एक प्रकाश की आंधी

अपरिभाषित सी

ऊर्जा का एक

विसरण करती है


पर दिन को अगर

निकलना है तो

ढलना भी है

नियम है

जीवन का

क्रम है

जीवन का

सूरज भी इसी क्रम से

निकलता है प्रतिदिन

क्षितिज के उस ओर पे

ढल जाने के लिए

पर ढलते वक़्त सूरज का

रंग ढंग ही कुछ और होता है

कुछ गाढ़ा सा

कुछ नारंगी सा

दिन भर की थकान को

अपने भारीपन में समेटे हुए

विसरण की सीमायें

कुछ अधिक परिभाषित होती हैं

ऊर्जा और परिभाषा के

पर्वतों के मध्य में बहता है जो

निरंतर और सतत

वही जीवन है

वही जीवन है


June 17th, 2015 by bkbirla

BBG at 5 – the story so far and the road ahead

BBG First Post

BBG First Post

It happened approximately 5 years back. A usual day at office sparked off the idea of starting a FB page to share songs. Songs which I used to hear with so much as a kid and teenager, and I had not heard in recent past. The vision was very simple. Just share songs with friends which probably they also haven’t heard for a long time. There is something about songs that they are sweeter when you listen to them with friends and that was precisely the idea.


We grew and grew fast. People had memories with every song and those memories were shared and commented on. Slowly we had people who regularly commented on our posts and lot of us started interacting with each other also. By the end of year we had many more people in the admin team as well a community of music lovers.


But we were still a virtual group. In 2011 April, we had our first meetup. Music lovers in Bangalore gathered together and sang for 5-6 hours. It was almost impossible to stop and everyone participated in the event. This event was followed by similar events in other cities. These events helped us to transform ourselves into an offline community also.


The next step we took is when we organized a music event for elders at Adhar old age home in Borivili, Mumbai. The happiness we saw on the faces of elders gave us a new direction and motivation. We discovered our moto as an organization – Spreading Happiness via Music. And we continued doing music shows for various causes across the country touching many lives.


We have emerged as one of the largest music community on internet and it has become an extended family for us. We enjoy music together and music and purpose is what binds us together. We are fiercely non-commercial and we do things with love. We have also launched a music magazine TheSongPedia which reaches out to over 2 lac music lovers every month.


Nothing can be achieved by a single person. It requires a team. Over the years we have grown to a large multi-city family. When we meet, the topics discussed are mostly music and food. A common passion of spreading happiness via music binds all of us. Some of us have grown in our capabilities by organizing such shows, some of us have found happiness and purpose and beyond everything, we have found friends for a lifetime. It will be impossible for me to mention all of them but my heartfelt thanks to the entire team.


Just to summarize all our activities

1. We run a FB page  which reaches out to a large number of music lovers – This works as a social radio.

2. We organize gatherings of music lovers where all of us sing and enjoy together in a very informal environment

3. We have done professional shows where we raise money for various organizations

4. We visit various NGOs and fill them with music

5. We visit bed ridden elders and do personal music shows for them

6. We run an online music magazine – TheSongPedia. We are writing lot of interesting content around music on this platform.


While past has been a happy one, we have challenges for future also. The love and affection which we receive from each one of you also puts the onus on us to expand our wings to spread happiness to more and more people. We are determined to continue on that path.


Few lines which always inspire.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.


PS: Although first post was on 13th Jun we celebrate 18th Jun as our birthday as that coincides with marriage anniversary of one of our admins.

May 2nd, 2015 by bkbirla

Poem: Tum kaun the

तुम कौन थे

जो आये थे मेरी जीवन में
एक झोंका हवा का बन के
कई रूप में
कई रँग में
कभी एक मित्र बन के
कभी एक दार्शनिक बन के
वो सब कुछ बन के
जो मेरे अधूरेपन को
भर देता था
कुछ सुन्दर पलों से

तुम कौन थे

याद है मुझे तुम्हारा चेहरा
जो चमकता था एक समान
अँधेरे में हो या रौशनी में
उस रौशनी में मैं भी
कुछ पल को
अपने अँधेरे भूल जाती थी
वो हाथ जब मेरे काँधे पर
एक विशवास का स्तंभ बन कर
एक प्रेम भरी थपथपाहट के कंपन से
मेरे दिल में धड़कन संचारित कर देता था

तुम कौन थे

और आज मैं बैठी हूँ
तुम्हारे सामने
जब तुम चले जाते हो
जहाँ से तुम मुझे देखोगे
और मैं भी तुम्हें
भौतिक रूप में ना सही
एक आत्मिक खिड़की से
उन कदमों के चिन्हों को
जिन की परछाईयाँ मुझे
प्रेरणा देंगी क्षितिज के उस ओर तक

तुम कौन थे

This poem is dedicated to Prema Attai, aunt of Yamini Kunder

April 10th, 2015 by bkbirla

The curious case of mobile strategy

So who is right. Myntra or Facebook/Whatsapp. As we speak, Myntra/Flipkart are rolling total mobile app strategy and FB and Whatsapp have launched web versions of their popular mobile apps. It is simplistic to look into strategy of large organizations and derive industry trends from that but it is not that straightforward always. Industry players who have achieved a significant marketshare are able to take a very different approach because of their traction, brand and availability of funds. Copying strategy from a large player can be one of the costliest mistake you can make.


Let us go through each of them and understand why they would have probably done it.

Myntra/Flipkart –

They are are already doing over 70% business via mobile as per media reports. But then why kill a channel. I guess the choice to kill the mobile sites is very straightforward. The customer dynamics on an app will be significantly better compared to mobile browser. And they would have analyzed that data and came to conclusion that the loss of revenue will be well compensated by the increase in average basket size as well as customer loyalty on app.

Mobile hardware might have improved but we will still have few limited apps on our mobiles ( unless we build search engines to wade through the apps we have on our mobiles ). Users tend to uninstall stuff they don’t use. Getting a permanent slot on users mobile is what companies are fighting for. That is extremely important for eCommerce companies as they are highly dependent on impulse purchases. If human beings were rational about shopping, the cupboard industry would be dead.


So first think to remember is that they are primarily messaging apps. The users engage with them when they receive a message from friends. And that is the basic re-engagement model. So the case for a mobile app is an easy explanation but what about web. One of the big reason IMHO is that messaging has become so intertwined in our lifestyles that a bigger keyboard is need of the hour. Besides that enough users send large enough files over the messengers which can not be handled by mobile networks.

Other reason is that chat as a feature serves a different purpose compared to Social Network and Facebook might be trying to build them as seperate destinations. Raise your hands if you do want to see messages from your friends from your facebook but do not want to receive notifications about someone’s cat’s birthday which you liked by mistake.


So moral of the story is that you will have to figure out your mobile strategy based on what is right for you. Blindly aping the large brands might not work for you. And always remember that these brands took these decisions when they were at a different scale not other way round.