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Fire and Ice – Robert Frost

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.

From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.

But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great

And would suffice.


Intelligence — Rumi

There are two kinds of intelligence: one acquired,
as a child in school memorizes facts and concepts
from books and from what the teacher says,
collecting information from the traditional sciences
as well as from the new sciences.

With such intelligence you rise in the world.
You get ranked ahead or behind others
in regard to your competence in retaining

You stroll with this intelligence
in and out of fields of knowledge, getting always more
marks on your preserving tablets.

There is another kind of tablet, one
already completed and preserved inside you.
A spring overflowing its springbox. A freshness
in the center of the chest.

This other intelligence
does not turn yellow or stagnate. It’s fluid,
and it doesn’t move from outside to inside
through conduits of plumbing-learning.

 This second knowing is a fountainhead
from within you, moving out.


The Fay & The Peri – Victor Hugo

Beautiful spirit, come with me

Over the blue enchanted sea:

Morn and evening thou canst play

In my garden, where the breeze

Warbles through the fruity trees;

No shadow falls upon the day:

There thy mother’s arms await

Her cherished infant at the gate.

Of Peris I the loveliest far—

My sisters, near the morning star,

In ever youthful bloom abide;

But pale their lustre by my side—

A silken turban wreathes my head,

Rubies on my arms are spread,

While sailing slowly through the sky,

By the uplooker’s dazzled eye

Are seen my wings of purple hue,

Glittering with Elysian dew.

Whiter than a far-off sail

My form of beauty glows,

Fair as on a summer night

Dawns the sleep star’s gentle light;

And fragrant as the early rose

That scents the green Arabian vale,

Soothing the pilgrim as he goes.



Beautiful infant (said the Fay),

In the region of the sun

I dwell, where in a rich array

The clouds encircle the king of day,

His radiant journey done.

My wings, pure golden, of radiant sheen

(Painted as amorous poet’s strain),

Glimmer at night, when meadows green

Sparkle with the perfumed rain

While the sun’s gone to come again.

And clear my hand, as stream that flows;

And sweet my breath as air of May;

And o’er my ivory shoulders stray

Locks of sunshine; —tunes still play

From my odorous lips of rose.


Follow, follow! I have caves

Of pearl beneath the azure waves,

And tents all woven pleasantly

In verdant glades of Faëry.

Come, belovèd child, with me,

And I will bear thee to the bowers

Where clouds are painted o’er like flowers,

And pour into thy charmed ear

Songs a mortal may not hear;

Harmonies so sweet and ripe

As no inspired shepherd’s pipe

E’er breathed into Arcadian glen,

Far from the busy haunts of men.



 My home is afar in the bright Orient,

Where the sun, like a king, in his orange tent,

Reigneth for ever in gorgeous pride—

And wafting thee, princess of rich countree,

To the soft flute’s lush melody,

My golden vessel will gently glide,

Kindling the water ‘long the side.

 Vast cities are mine of power and delight,

Lahore laid in lilies, Golconda, Cashmere;

And Ispahan, dear to the pilgrim’s sight,

And Bagdad, whose towers to heaven uprear;

Alep, that pours on the startled ear,

From its restless masts the gathering roar,

As of ocean hammering at night on the shore.


Mysore is a queen on her stately throne,

Thy white domes, Medina, gleam on the eye, —

Thy radiant kiosques with their arrowy spires,

Shooting afar their golden fires

Into the flashing sky, —

Like a forest of spears that startle the gaze

Of the enemy with the vivid blaze.


Come there, beautiful child, with me,

Come to the arcades of Araby,

To the land of the date and the purple vine,

Where pleasure her rosy wreaths doth twine,

And gladness shall be alway thine;

Singing at sunset next thy bed,

Strewing flowers under thy head.

Beneath a verdant roof of leaves,

Arching a flow’ry carpet o’er,

Thou mayst list to lutes on summer eves

Their lays of rustic freshness pour,

While upon the grassy floor

Light footsteps, in the hour of calm,

Ruffle the shadow of the palm.


     THE FAY.


Come to the radiant homes of the blest,

Where meadows like fountain in light are drest,

And the grottoes of verdure never decay,

And the glow of the August dies not away.

Come where the autumn winds never can sweep,

And the streams of the woodland steep thee in sleep,

Like a fond sister charming the eyes of a brother,

Or a little lass lulled on the breast of her mother.

Beautiful! beautiful! hasten to me!

Colored with crimson thy wings shall be;

Flowers that fade not thy forehead shall twine,

Over thee sunlight that sets not shall shine.


The infant listened to the strain,

Now here, now there, its thoughts were driven—

But the Fay and the Peri waited in vain,

The soul soared above such a sensual gain—

The child rose to Heaven.

Desire – Rumi

“I want to sing like the birds sing,

not worrying about who hears

or what they think.” ― Rumi

Longing- Amir Khusro

The cloud rains, and I am separated from the Friend.
How can my heart be separated from the Friend on such a day?
The cloud, the rain, I – and the Friend taken away.

I am alone, crying, the cloud is alone and the Friend is alone.
Greenery, newly-sprouted, joyful air, a green garden.

The nightingale, disgraced, remains separated from the rose-garden.
O, what are You doing to me, with the root of every hair
Of Your tresses, bound together?

I am enchained by being tied up, and all of a sudden, alone.

–Amir Khusro

Karna Parva – Mahabharat

Karna Parva is when Karna takes over the Kaurva Army to fight, many below lines are conversation during those time and challenges each character faces. Again, I will thank Abhinav Agarwal for being my guide to narrow things down to understand them.

Below are my favorite quotes from Bibek Debroy’s Mahabharata which Abhinav has reviewed. I had left this personal project unattended for long, since 2013. Mahabharata is my favorite book in Indian mythology, teaches a lot about various relationships, addresses Dharma and Duty. I will keep this as a priority and finish the characters analysis which I started, it would be helpful, If the reader pitches in with their comments, to guide me on better reading versions of Mahabharata.

Quotes Below

“Passion, engagement, skill and policy – these are the means to accomplish objectives.”
[Ashwatthama to Duryodhana , Karna Vadha Parva, Karna Parva, Ch 6]

“Brahmanas are subtle in settling disputes. Kshatriyas are coarser, resulting in victory of defeat. Because of your folly, you have asked for excellent and divine hospitality from Partha. Now be patient and receive what you have asked for from Pandava.”
[Arjuna responds to Ashvatthama , Karna Vadha Parva, Karna Parva, Ch 12]

“If one makes such a person subject to the commands of an inferior one, one commits the crime of confusing the inferior with the superior.”
[Shalya, as Duryodhana tries to convince him of becoming Karna’s charioteer, Karna Vadha Parva, Karna Parva, Ch 23]

“O Maheshvara! We will not be able to bear half of your energy. But with half of our united strength, you can kill the enemies.”
[The gods to Shiva , Karna Vadha Parva, Karna Parva, Ch 24]

“Arjuna is like a cloud among men and you are croaking back at him, like a frog. From its own house, a dog barks at a tiger that is roaming in the forest.”
[Shalya to Karna, morning of day seventeen , Karna Vadha Parva, Karna Parva, Ch 27]

“You have always been devoid of qualities. How will you know the difference between qualities and the lack of qualities?”
[Karna to Shalya , Karna Vadha Parva, Karna Parva, Ch 27]

“Women who are intoxicated by liquor cast off their clothes and dance around. They do not follow restraints and indulge in sexual intercourse, following the dictates of desire. O Madraka! You are the son of one such.”
[Karna to Shalya , Karna Vadha Parva, Karna Parva, Ch 27]

“O crow! There is no doubt that you will fly in one hundred and one different kinds of ways. I will however fly in the only way that all the birds know.”
[Shalya recounting the story of the crow to Karna , Karna Vadha Parva, Karna Parva, Ch 28]

“Everyone is always skilled in detecting another one’s faults. No one knows his own faults, or knowing them, is confounded.”
[Shalya to Karna , Karna Vadha Parva, Karna Parva, Ch 30]

“You possess the strength of the brahmana and are devoted to studying and the task of performing sacrifices. O Kounteya! Do not fight again and do not advance against brave ones.”
[Karna to Yudhishtra , Karna Vadha Parva, Karna Parva, Ch 33]

“He is established in the strength of the brahmana, but he does not possess a great deal of strength of the kshatriya variety.”
[Krishna describes the fighting between Yudhishtra and Karna, Karna Vadha Parva, Karna Parva, Ch 43]

“For the sake of victory, how can one be victorious if one is dead.”
[Arjuna to Krishna, Karna Vadha Parva, Karna Parva, Ch 45]”.”

“Whether I was awake or sleeping, Karna was always in front of me.”
[Yudhishtra to Arjuna, Karna Vadha Parva, Karna Parva, Ch 46]

“A person who is always based on truth is but a child.”
[Krishna to Arjuna, in Yudhishtra’s camp, Karna Vadha Parva, Karna Parva, Ch 49]

“There are many other people who hold that dharma is only what is in the sacred texts. I will not contradict this, but everything is not laid down there.”
[Krishna to Arjuna, in Yudhishtra’s camp, Karna Vadha Parva, Karna Parva, Ch 49]

“Today let Soubala know that my arrows are dice, Gandiva is the box used to throw them and my chariot the spread on which the game is played..”
[Arjuna to Krishna, Karna Vadha Parva, Karna Parva, Ch 52]

“On seeing the two Krishnas together on a single chariot, both fear and valour are generated in my heart.”
[Karna to Shalya, Karna Vadha Parva, Karna Parva, Ch 57]

“He grasped an extremely sharp sword and placed it against the throat of the trembling one. He tore apart the breast of the one who had fallen down on the ground and drank the warm blood. He repeatedly savoured the taste.”
[Bhima kills Duhshasana, Karna Vadha Parva, Karna Parva, Ch 61]

“Those who are learned say that there are four kinds of friends – those who are natural friends,those who are made such through conciliation, those who are earned through riches and those who are subjugated through power. Towards you, the Pandavas are all four.”
[Ashwatthama to Duryodhana after Duhshasana’s death, Karna Vadha Parva, Karna Parva, Ch 64]

“It is fortunate that you remember dharma. Quite often, when they are immersed in hardships, inferior ones censure destiny, but not their evil deeds.”
[Vasudeva to Karna, Karna Vadha Parva, Karna Parva, Ch 67]


Raj Dharma Parv

Some of the below Quotes are my favorite from Raj Dharma in Bibek Debroy’s Mahabharata. Abhinav Agarwal’s blog is a major help in narrowing it down.

“There cannot be a treasury without oppression and without it, how is it possible to have an army?”

“When a kingdom goes into decline, the life of that king is one of shame.”

“There is no livelihood that exists without violence. Even a solitary sage, active and roaming in the forest, cannot manage to do that.” 

“What is said about dharma is true – it does not exist where there are no riches.”

“Dharma is stained by jealousy. Artha is stained by secrecy. Kama is stained by excessive addiction.”

“The foundation of the body is dharma, and artha is based on dharma. Kama is said to be the fruit of artha.”

“Dharma must not be made to decline, but nor should one come under the subjugation of the enemy.” 

“If the king’s treasury is exhausted, his army will decline.” 

“It is rare to find a petitioner who is satisfied with what he has got.”

“It is rarer to find a person who does not disrespect a petitioner.” 

“There is nothing that is as emaciated as hope.”

“The dharma of kshatriyas is special. … All the other dharmas are immersed in this dharma.”

“Dharma of vaishyas – donations, studying, the performance of sacrifices, and the accumulation of wealth.”

“If one is destroyed, one can perform no act of dharma.” 

“When those who are separated are brought together, there is neither love, nor affection.”

“The greedy hate the poor and the weak hate the spirited. Stupid people hate learned ones and poor people hate the wealthy.”

“Some are punished for their crimes. .. But many more virtuous are harmed because of false accusations.” 

“Lineage is created by conduct. The ashrama is not an indicator of dharma.” 

“… when one consorts with wicked people, uttering a lie is superior to speaking the with.” 

“There’re are some who say that dharma is that which is laid down in the shruti..but.. everything is not laid down there.”

“One good acharya equal to ten learned brahmanas. One upadhyaya is superior to ten acharyas and the father is superior to yen upadhyayas.”

“However, a mother is superior to ten fathers.” 

“Signs of wicked people. … When others praise you, he is silent and reluctant. … He is gracious in public and ungracious in private.”

“Use sama, dana, bheda and danda. One should not use these one at a time.” 

“When the enemy is delighted at your hardship, I think it is a more severe sorrow than death.”

“Destiny determines this in advance and men are goaded by time.” 

“You must know about two kinds of wisdom – the straight and the crooked.” 

“Impose taxes so that both the king and the producer have a share in the outcome of the work.”

“Like a turtle draws in its limbs, one must protect one’s own weaknesses.” 

“There are are virtuous ones who are constrained by a sense of shame.” 

“When many are guilty of the same crime, they can unite and blunt a thorn.” 

“Blind trust can completely destroy dharma and artha. However, not trusting anyone is also worse than death.” 

“A brahmana who does not study and a king who does not protect are … useless…, like a cloud that does not rain.” 

“If a brahmana becomes a thief in a king’s kingdom, learned people think it is the king’s crime.” 

“A kingdom is always based on proper dispute resolution.” 

“When a person is disrespected by his own people, the enemy disregards him.” 

“The learned day that someone who is not engaged in his own talks is not to be trusted.” 


Charles Bukowski and Wife Linda Lee

there is enough treachery, hatred violence absurdity in the average
human being to supply any given army on any given day

and the best at murder are those who preach against it
and the best at hate are those who preach love
and the best at war finally are those who preach peace

those who preach god, need god
those who preach peace do not have peace
those who preach peace do not have love

beware the preachers
beware the knowers
beware those who are always reading books
beware those who either detest poverty
or are proud of it

beware those quick to praise
for they need praise in return
beware those who are quick to censor
they are afraid of what they do not know

beware those who seek constant crowds for
they are nothing alone

beware the average man the average woman
beware their love, their love is average
seeks average

but there is genius in their hatred
there is enough genius in their hatred to kill you
to kill anybody
not wanting solitude
not understanding solitude

they will attempt to destroy anything
that differs from their own
not being able to create art
they will not understand art

they will consider their failure as creators
only as a failure of the world
not being able to love fully

they will believe your love incomplete
and then they will hate you
and their hatred will be perfect

like a shining diamond
like a knife
like a mountain
like a tiger
like hemlock

Their finest art


A nice Narration for those who wish to listen.

Love Story – Rumi

The minute I heard my first love story,
I started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.

Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere,
they’re in each other all along.

-Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi

Where are you, my beloved? Are you in that little
Paradise, watering the flowers who look upon you
As infants look upon the breast of their mothers?

Or are you in your chamber where the shrine of
Virtue has been placed in your honor, and upon
Which you offer my heart and soul as sacrifice?

Or amongst the books, seeking human knowledge,
While you are replete with heavenly wisdom?

Oh companion of my soul, where are you? Are you
Praying in the temple? Or calling Nature in the
Field, haven of your dreams?

Are you in the huts of the poor, consoling the
Broken-hearted with the sweetness of your soul, and
Filling their hands with your bounty?

You are God’s spirit everywhere;
You are stronger than the ages.

Do you have memory of the day we met, when the halo of
You spirit surrounded us, and the Angels of Love
Floated about, singing the praise of the soul’s deed?

Do you recollect our sitting in the shade of the
Branches, sheltering ourselves from Humanity, as the ribs
Protect the divine secret of the heart from injury?

Remember you the trails and forest we walked, with hands
Joined, and our heads leaning against each other, as if
We were hiding ourselves within ourselves?

Recall you the hour I bade you farewell,
And the Maritime kiss you placed on my lips?
That kiss taught me that joining of lips in Love
Reveals heavenly secrets which the tongue cannot utter!

That kiss was introduction to a great sigh,
Like the Almighty’s breath that turned earth into man.

That sigh led my way into the spiritual world,
Announcing the glory of my soul; and there
It shall perpetuate until again we meet.

I remember when you kissed me and kissed me,
With tears coursing your cheeks, and you said,
“Earthly bodies must often separate for earthly purpose,
And must live apart impelled by worldly intent.

“But the spirit remains joined safely in the hands of
Love, until death arrives and takes joined souls to God.

“Go, my beloved; Love has chosen you her delegate;
Over her, for she is Beauty who offers to her follower
The cup of the sweetness of life.
As for my own empty arms, your love shall remain my
Comforting groom; you memory, my Eternal wedding.”

Where are you now, my other self? Are you awake in
The silence of the night? Let the clean breeze convey
To you my heart’s every beat and affection.

Are you fondling my face in your memory? That image
Is no longer my own, for Sorrow has dropped his
Shadow on my happy countenance of the past.

Sobs have withered my eyes which reflected your beauty
And dried my lips which you sweetened with kisses.

Where are you, my beloved? Do you hear my weeping
From beyond the ocean? Do you understand my need?
Do you know the greatness of my patience?

Is there any spirit in the air capable of conveying
To you the breath of this dying youth? Is there any
Secret communication between angels that will carry to
You my complaint?

Where are you, my beautiful star? The obscurity of life
Has cast me upon its bosom; sorrow has conquered me.

Sail your smile into the air; it will reach and enliven me!
Breathe your fragrance into the air; it will sustain me!

Where are you, me beloved?
Oh, how great is Love!
And how little am I!

Then there are the enemies of Thomas Shelby, which are numerous in numbers

  • Inspector Chester Campbell
  • Darby Sabini
  • Billy Kimber
  • Alfie Solomons
  • Luca Changretta
  • Oswald Mosley
  • Father John Hughes
  • Grand Duke Leon Petrovna
  • Jimmy McCavern

Out of all the nemesis Thomas Shelby had, I liked Inspector Campbell, Luca Changretta and Jimmy McCavern, for their ruthlessness and bending of rules. Jimmy McCavern’s smirk is something I really like; with the devil may care attitude. Whereas Oswald Mosley , another notable character certainly has been portrayed well, as the devil with the black shade.

Inspector Campbell and Luca Changretta are both driven by the principles, one to serve the nation to utmost devotion and other having loyalty towards his family, Italian- Sicilian thing. They are without doubt two characters who push Thomas to the wall, he seems to be loosing to them, till the last moment, when he pulls out the trump card. Inspector Campbell has been assigned the task to identify and collect the lost ammunition, whereas Luca Changretta is out to avenge the death of his father and kin.

Inspector Campbell can be accused of soliciting the prostitutes and coercing Aunt Polly into having sex with him (to get Michael released from prison). However, it must be noted that situations do create most ‘deviant of souls’ to honorable personalities. He pushes Thomas to do killings on behalf of the crown, uses and manipulates IRA to get his work done. Cleans the police force in Birmingham of the corrupt police officers. Here, we have an audience romanticising a character Thomas Shelby who is serial killer, drug peddler, master manipulator, smuggler, killer of lover’s husband, financial exploiter, regular among prostitutes and pathological lawbreaker. Whereas an honest cop is being shown as an exploiter and negatively for doing his job.

Luca Changretta is no different from Thomas Shelby, both value family, have illegal business, ruthless men who kill, seek revenge, violent yet calculated and money oriented. The difference is Luca is more organised till, his most of blood loyal kin are killed and then money outweighs his life. Thomas Shelby gets him killed by buying all the men with him, smart move. Out of all the gangsters which I saw in this series, Luca Changretta takes the cake. The way he just walked into Thomas Shelby’s office and showed the ease of getting job done was nicely portrayed in the scene. In order to show “hero” in good light, you need have a strong villain character. But, If we look in the series, there are no hero or villains just ‘Anti-Heroes‘ which is the reality of the world. Someone maybe a good son like Luca Changretta but then can be a lousy husband, bad student, or killer of other people’s sons. Same could be said about all the Shelby brothers, it is just animal kingdom rule to fullest, strongest of all, taking everything.

Till now, by season 1-5 which I have binged watched, Thomas Shelby has become MP from Birmingham and has for OBE (Order of British Empire), will see more seasons 6 and 7, since Netflix has renewed it contract till then. A possible movie is also in pipeline for this series.

I can’t help notice a similarity of the character in latest Bollywood action packed drama movie- KGF. Character’s rise from bottom, ruthlessness in killings, great ambition, need for public recognition, womanizer, poverty a catalyst in getting into Organized crime, asked to kill powerful personalities, and becoming leader of masses. The Bollywood flicks just make a shock and awe spectacle, but most of the logic among stories seem to be same. I recommend people to watch it.


Let’s address the women in Thomas Shelby’s life which is the focal point of discussion

  • Grace Burgess/Shelby – His 1st wife from an aristocratic family
  • Lizzie Starke/Shelby – 2nd Wife (ex-prostitute, but later employed in Shelby Corporation)
  • May Carleton (Rich Horse trainer)
  • Princess Tatiana Petrovna (Mad Russian royalty)
  • Jessie Eden (Communist Leader of the Unions)
  • Grace Burgess/Shelby comes as an undercover cop to get information on Shelby brothers and instead falls for Thomas Shelby. Inspector Campbell who was trying to woo her, losses her to Thomas Shelby. At the end of season 1, She goes away and then comes back into Thomas Shelby’s life in season 2. Shelby’s get her husband killed (make it look like an accident so that Grace and Thomas can marry) and make a widow ready to be taken. She eventually marries him, but her illustrious family of Cavalrymen wears uniform on the wedding day, to show case their achievement, much to the dismay of Gypsy Shelby’s who loathed the World War I, where they were the infantrymen. She tries to legitimize the Shelby business via Foundations and all, but gets killed. Thomas Shelby has a son through her.
  • Lizzie Starke/Shelby – She is prostitute when Thomas meets her. At one point his brother John wanted to marry her, Thomas doesnot give permission, since she is a public woman and been sleeping with him. He later employs her in his office as a secretory, asks her to stop being with other men for money but uses her to honey trap and kill senior army man. She eventually becomes pregnant with his girl child, then he marries her.  Not entirely a fairy-tale love story, Lizzie is a matter of convenience for Thomas Shelby.
  • May Carleton is pure fascination, a high society woman with whom Thomas Shelby enjoys a fling or two, while she is training his horse for the race. She has got class and statue, I believe above Grace Burgess, but seems to be looking for some companionship. She is the most level-headed of the lot, not letting feeling mixed much, keeping it to the point. Very mature in handling unwanted situations.
  • Princess Tatiana Petrovna is a work and pleasure situation. Aristocratic Russians need to get a job done and they are willing to give princess also, to ensure its success. She has a wild side which is brought out and pushes Thomas to the edge, post their fling she updates him that there is man waiting for her in Europe. Thomas rightly puts, “poor man“, since having such a woman around permanently is an undesirable situation.
  • Jesse Eden – It is surprising that Thomas Shelby did not marry her, as she seems to be a genuine soul, I liked her the most. Thomas Shelby uses her completely to get more information on communist and at the same time bed her to make a more intimidate connection. She has knowledge of his past and tries to leverage into using it against him. However, Thomas uses information about her past to get her in his side, she had a boyfriend who had PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) from world war I and shot himself dead. Jesse seemed to have compassion and empathy for a long-lasting relationship, along with feistiness to fight for her rights.

Now if you wish to marry such a guy, then either you will die or you will be used your entire life, like Lizzie is being done to. Not sure what is the female fascination or attraction, I have tried to list down few based on my understanding

  • The ultimate bad boy fantasy
  • One who cannot be tamed
  • One who will not share anything or thoughts with you ladies, hides emotions well.
  • He may manipulate you to get what he wants from you, and women love that thrill.
  • Self made man, Money via self-effort (but then men who follow rules and earn well should considered)
  • Women Wish to sin with the sinner
  • Desire to reform the sinner
  • Social climber
  • Cold and calculated
  • Grabs the opportunity when it comes
  • Loyalty towards family
  • Some women have Fascination towards violent men
  • Automatic protection from unwanted attention, by being in relationship with such men.
  • Liking for Alpha men.


For the longest time, I had seen advertisements and memes of this show on many social networking sites, but it was the recommendation of a close friend which made me intrigued and convinced to watch the British show which started in 2013.

Peaky blinders, a BBC and Netflix production is a part real and part fiction, post world war I based show. Before 2nd World War, there were many gangs working in the United Kingdom and some in the late 1890s. This story is inspired by them. It is written by Steven Knight, a veteran writer but Peaky blinders being the most famous show for him. It is highly rated in the IMDB around 8.8, so that does suffices the need to watch it.

My main curiosity was female attraction to the character and things this TV show and timelines symbolizes.  Main protagonist is Thomas Shelby, a decorated world war I war veteran with PTSD syndrome, although I doubt it was diagnosed such in those days (1919). He is a gypsy and has 3 brothers, 1 sister, 1 Aunt, 1 cousin (who gets later added) and 1 Uncle help him run the Shelby corporation.

It is a bookmaking, gambling, pub owning corporation which has hidden influences and interest in rioting and public control, acts as a cut throat Birmingham street gang, working for the powerful elite in United Kingdom in return for huge sums of money.  Thomas Shelby is good at manipulating people, making deals and has entrepreneur streak. His ambition for himself and his family makes them earn more money and get himself public recognition.

The series represents a character which is seen as an underdog and comes from humble beginnings, such characters are a favorite of masses as they represent class struggle and individuals who wish to rise up the ladder of socials class (either way, by out-maneuvering others and taking risks, getting involved in illegal activities) and at the same time exposing obnoxious behavior of ruling elites.

The Shelby family Characters list are as follows

  • Arthur Shelby – Hot headed Eldest Bother
  • Thomas Shelby
  • John Shelby – 3rd Brother
  • Ada Shelby/Thorne – Head strong sister
  • Finn Shelby – Youngest Brother
  • Elizabeth ‘Polly’ Grace – Aunt, confidant.
  • Michael Gray – Son of Aunt Polly
  • Charlie Strong – Uncle Figure to Thomas Shelby
  • Linda Shelby – Arthur’s wife (I really find her fascinating, how she tries to steer her husband into right direction)
  • Esme Shelby – Wife of John Shelby

Thomas Shelby appears to play a man, who can do everything on his own. He thinks out of a bad situation, his luck plays a part, he is shrewd and intelligent, pits his enemy against each other etc. However, if you look closely, he is nothing without the support of his family.

His brothers Arthur and John work as enforcers for him, doing most of the thug work and killings. Arthur being the more emotional and ruthless one takes control of the things, which Thomas Orders, Arthur is a good executioner. John works alongside to support Arthur. It is Arthur’s temperamental behavior which prevents him from carrying on as the head of Shelby family corporation and Thomas Shelby takes over. Linda and Esme Shelby play minor role in influencing their husbands, but I really liked Linda’s approach to get more for her husband and guiding him towards “proper path”.  She negotiated more money for Arthur and herself from Thomas, that scene is truly pleasing, her intelligence was well shown, she outfoxed Thomas Shelby.

His Aunt Polly Grace is his emotional support, in the times when he needs a confidant, Thomas reaches out to her. Aunt Polly is also the treasurer of the company so deals with everything financial, a reason she is aware of the money. Aunt Polly’s son Michael runs the finance of the company, but during the 1932 Crash losses everything of the family (for not listening to Thomas).

Ada Shelby an equally head strong woman like her aunt, pushes Thomas in seeing things differently but gets work done for him. She is not as influential as Aunt Polly but is next in line of succession. Ada is marries Freddie Thorne a known communist leader, against the wishes of Thomas Shelby and has his baby.

Charlie Strong who gives him advice as uncle on the risks associated with the business and giving him an outside perspective. He cautions Tommy but seems to be a silent spectator for most lot since, he is getting paid money for doing is job.

Any General is as strong as his army, Thomas Shelby’s family is his army. Imagine you have every idea but no one listen, nothing can be achieved.


your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.

be on the watch.

there are ways out.
There is a light somewhere.

it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.

be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.

know them.
take them.

you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.

and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.


your life is your life.

know it while you have it.

You are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.

Soul – Shams Tabrizi

“Nothing kills the soul that commands to evil like seeing the beauty of the heart.”

“Don’t search for heaven and hell in the future.

Both are now present. Whenever we manage to love without expectations, calculations, negotiations, we are indeed in heaven.

Whenever we fight, hate, we are in hell.” —- Shams Tabrizi

Topics to write

Given the time we have in hand due to this Pandemic COVID-19, it is an opportunity to write; as we are mostly struck inside the house. There are many topics we come across to write, I was searching online to identify those for my blog. Some of them are pending from my-side, such as the list of characters from Mahabharata, (a Mythological story which I love). The major hurdle becomes the inspiration to start the topic and, in some cases, reading material at your disposal seems to be not good enough.

However, in order to keep yourself disciplined, I read, one must finish the task started. This goes well with the pending list of Characters which I need to focus on. Apart from that, the topics which a blogger or writer can focus on can vary, will try to list them down below. I hope it helps fellow bloggers too.

  1. Current affairs – Opinions related to the latest occurring
  2. Places – Traveled and in Bucket List
  3. Food
  4. Movie/Web Series Reviews – Actors, addressing good scripts or movie clips
  5. Mythology – I enjoy mythology, I guess being Indian it is part of our daily life. DevDutt Patnaik is a good teacher for me. Netflix has got a good show DevLok.
  6. Romanticism
  7. Renaissance
  8. Gadget reviews
  9. History – Indian, European, Middle Eastern and Asian fascinates me
  10. Music – Genre which I Enjoyed or essay on an artist
  11. Blog – How to improve the blogging experience
  12. Psychology – Usually one needs to go through some magazines such as Psychology today or books associated with topics, which may excite you.
  13. Book Review – I have done a few in the past, but I can start on them again
  14. Space – Items related to recent discovery, space exploration or space technologies
  15.  Genetics – I am a massive fan of genetics study, although I never studied Biology but this field inspires me tremendously and I wish to enhance my knowledge.
  16. Poetry – Although this is an English blog, but one can try and feature poetry from various languages
  17. Teaching – Many thinkers of past, would certainly inspire future generations, their ideas or views can become a source of teaching.
  18. Writing – Tips to improve writing, it is a fun activity. Allows one to focus on writing style or specific use of words, to make it more impactful.
  19. Mahabharata – The Quotes, Characters, storyline etc, everything is just amazing.
  20. Sufism – Music, Literature, Thoughts, lifestyle, thinkers. Sub-continent is heavy influenced by Chisti and Qadari Sufism.
  21. Leadership – Considering our world has become a small place owing to technology, we can connect to many people and know about many forms of leadership. Writing about those who inspire you to be a better version of yourself, would be fun and step in the right direction.
  22. Satire – If a person has a knack of raising serious topics with a pinch of comedy then, one must try this. I allow one to put across topics and issue which may not be generally be discussed.
  23. Video Blog – Last 5-6 years the trend has shifted from writing the blog to rather just recording the video and putting to on social media platforms. Writing about them would be fun.
  24. Things to do, before you die – I think everyone must a bucket-list of the things one would do, before they die. This helps one keep motivated and focused towards our goals.
  25. Language one is learning or like – The new words or sentences one can try. (Have a new dedicated blog for it)
  26. Photography – For this too, I believe one should have a dedicated blog, use a good camera and post it.
  27. Technology – The field that one works on, one can write about it and enhance work profile.
  28. Bullying/cyber bullying – A major occurrence in this digital age
  29. Sports
  30. Politics – Although I think this also needs a separate dedicated blog. I really like people Video Blogging on these issues on YouTube. It is more interactive, I think few people like to read nowadays.
  31. Economics – Reviewing Economics books and occurring in market will be fun.

If I missed out on any point, please feel free to add them or give recommendations. Writing is form of a meditation, when you are alone with your thoughts and allows you organize your mind and focus on the tasks which needs attention.

Wings — Amir Khosraw

Love came and spread like blood in my veins and the skin of me,
It filled me with the Friend and completely emptied me.
The Friend has taken over all parts of my existence,
Only my name remains, as all is He. —— Amir Khosraw

Mittar Pyare Nu – The beloved friend, is originally a Shabad in Gurbani (Holy verses in sacred text of Sikhism) written by the 10th and last Master Teacher, Guru Gobind Singh, in forest of Machhiwara where he is alone and separated from everyone, post battle with Mughal Army.

Earlier in the day, he had seen his two elders sons being killed in battle with Mughals (other two younger sons are also killed by Mughal forces later) fighting for their beliefs of Khalsa Panth/Sikhism. The verses are as below taken from Sikhiwiki forum.

ਮਿੱਤਰ ਪਿਆਰੇ ਨੂੰ ਹਾਲ ਮੁਰੀਦਾ ਦਾ ਕਹਿਣਾ ॥
ਤੁਧੁ ਬਿਨੁ ਰੋਗੁ ਰਜਾਈਆ ਦਾ ਓਢਣ ਨਾਗ ਨਿਵਾਸਾ ਦੇ ਹਹਿਣਾ ॥
ਸੂਲ ਸੁਰਾਹੀ ਖੰਜਰ ਪਿਆਲਾ ਬਿੰਗ ਕਸਾਈਆਂ ਦਾ ਸਹਿਣਾ ॥
ਯਾਰੜੇ ਦਾ ਸਾਨੂੰ ਸੱਥਰੁ ਚੰਗਾ ਭਠ ਖੇੜਿਆ ਦਾ ਰਹਿਣਾ ॥

mithr piaarae noo(n) haal mureedhaa dhaa kehinaa ॥
thudhh bin rog rajaaeeaa dhaa oudtan naag nivaasaa dhae hehinaa ॥
sool suraahee kha(n)jar piaalaa bi(n)g kasaaeeaaa(n) dhaa sehinaa ॥
yaararrae dhaa saanoo(n) saathhar cha(n)gaa bhat(h) khaerriaa dhaa rehinaa ॥

Tell the beloved friend (the Lord) the plight of his disciples.
Without You, rich blankets are a disease and the comfort of the house is like living with snakes.
Our water pitchers are stakes, our cups have edges like daggers.
Like the suffering of animals at the hands of butchers.
Our Beloved Lord’s straw bed is more pleasing to us than living in costly furnace-like mansions.

Alternative translation:
Tell the condition of the believers to my Beloved friend.
[Tell Him that] Without You, using bed sheets is like a sickness and like living as being wrapped by snakes.
The pitcher is a thorn and the glass is a dagger which are like tolerating being butchered.
Death bed with my Beloved is better than body burning [living with vice] without Him.

Many well known and renowned singers have sung these verses in past, but I never observed or listened to them till 2017. When it was sung by Punjabi Folk legend Gurdass Mann. I follow him, listen to his songs and Sufi poetry, he is a Sufi teacher to me, educating me on many aspects of life and helping me create moral compass through his songs (even though like every student, I do fail sometimes).

The concept of the video showcases two major recent events in Indian history from the perspective of a Sikh man, namely the bloodied partition of India (which killed millions and 1984 Sikh riots in Delhi, which was post assassination of then Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi, a grave political miscalculations on her part.)

The emotional quotient added and scenes showcased in it are truly heart-wrenching and moves one deeply. There are particular few moments to point out for me.

  • The moment when, the 1971 Indo-Pak war martyr’s son is burned alive by the mob in Delhi in 1984. The widow of soldier tries to convince rioters that the father of young boy was true Indian patriot by bringing his war decorated photo, begging that her son must be spared from the killing.

  • Young girl blindfolded so that she cannot see the carnage

  • A young Hindu boy helping old Sikh man(Gurdass Mann) push the struck van caring old man’s dead son, showcasing all people are not communal and youth especially.

  • There are flashes of Pakistan partition, when a Muslim couple is butchered and their toddler is crying alone. Gurdass Mann’s young son is shown giving away his toy to console this orphaned Muslim boy.

  • Old Sikh man, placing his dead son’s hand on his toddler grand-daughter’s head who is not aware of the seriousness of events, that her father is no more.

  • A neck locket being shared by 3 generations of the family.

  • The walk to Delhi in 1947 in hope of better future and walk in 1984 holding hand of baby girl among the burning and killings in the background.

  • Finally, this baby girl grows up and becomes Indian ambassador giving a speech in London on futility of fighting each other and killing in the name of communalism.

The verses are particularly significant in today’s scenario, in which the entire world is affected by despair, anxiety and people are dying in thousands. Leaving many loved ones mourning over them and thinking about unfulfilled future.



My friend, I am not what I seem. Seeming is but a garment I wear–a
care-woven garment that protects me from thy questionings and thee
from my negligence.

The ‘I’ in me, my friend, dwells in the house of silence, and
therein it shall remain for ever more, unperceived, unapproachable.

I would not have thee believe in what I say nor trust in what I
do–for my words are naught but thy own thoughts in sound and my
deeds thy own hopes in action.

When thou sayest, ‘The wind bloweth eastward,’ I say, ‘Aye it doth
blow eastward’; for I would not have thee know that my mind doth
not dwell upon the wind but upon the sea.

Thou canst not understand my seafaring thoughts, nor would I have
thee understand. I would be at sea alone.

When it is day with thee, my friend, it is night with me; yet even
then I speak of the noontide that dances upon the hills and of
the purple shadow that steals its way across the valley; for thou
canst not hear the songs of my darkness nor see my wings beating
against the stars–and I fain would not have thee hear or see. I
would be with night alone.

When thou ascendest to thy Heaven I descend to my Hell–even then
thou callest to me across the unbridgeable gulf, ‘My companion, my
comrade,’ and I call back to thee, ‘My comrade, my companion’–for
I would not have thee see my Hell. The flame would burn thy eyesight
and the smoke would crowd thy nostrils. And I love my Hell too
well to have thee visit it. I would be in Hell alone.

Thou lovest Truth and Beauty and Righteousness; and I for thy sake
say it is well and seemly to love these things. But in my heart
I laught at thy love. Yet I would not have thee see my laughter.
I would laugh alone.

My friend, thou art good and cautious and wise; nay, thou art
perfect–and I, too, speak with thee wisely and cautiously. And
yet I am mad. But I mask my madness. I would be mad alone.

My friend, thou art not my friend, but how shall I make thee
understand? My path is not thy path, yet together we walk, hand
in hand.

Tata Mumbai Marathon 2020

For Your failure teaches you how to succeed

It has been more than a month, since I ran Tata Mumbai marathon(TMM) 2020 on 19 Jan. It is one of the grandest events in India and it draws many runners across India and Globe. I was too drawn towards it due to the limelight and recommendation from my runner friends. I had in year 2019, run 10 Half Marathons and 1 Full Marathon, hence I thought I was prepared for my first TMM

The BIB collection centre for TMM was well organised and with good add-ons for those who prefer to buy them such as shoes, T-shirts, running socks and glasses etc. It had nice game activities and food stall too, I took my BIB in the last hour, so nearly missed it.

Although, they have started to give T-Shirts only for Full marathons, not sure the reason when people are willing to pay the amount. The registration fees charges are on a higher side, than most other marathons in the country.

TMM is always billed as the biggest marathon of the year which needs/boosts participation, more on the scenes of party atmosphere in which the entire Mumbai descends on the streets to either Run or Cheer.

For the record, I usually run in Pune, where the weather is colder and less humid than Mumbai, in short, a good running atmosphere. I am still an amateur runner, since I started my running journey in August 2018.

I eventually ran my first 10km race in College of Military Engineering (CME),Pune on Sep 2018. I have learned that every race teaches you something and TMM 2020 was a learning experience.

I realised that major thing that went wrong in this marathon was the discipline before the race which was not adhered too, in a full marathon one need to maintain it for 1 week before the race to start. I was taking things causally even 1 day before the race, doing things which might have affected muscle strength and stamina.

I thought after completing my first full marathon in CME in 5:20 hr (a very pedestrian time), I will be able to improve it to under 5 Hours easily to target 4:30 hrs in next full marathon.

However, before giving the exam if your preparation is not right and student is blithe, then the result will most likely be a disaster. Although last few months have not been that well (professional and personal), so I took this failure in my stride.

For when you embrace your failure, you empower yourself and focus on overcoming your shortfalls, in process allow yourself for thorough analysis of unwanted outcome. Hoping that this case study can be helpful to other fellow runners.

Few points I released went against me, as follows

  • Overconfidence
    • I ran Powai Half Marathon on 5 Jan 2020 on an easy pace with completion time of 2:12 hrs.
    • Ideally the full marathon time is supposed to be 2(half marathon time) + 30 mins.
    • Hence, in my case I thought 2(2:12) +30 mins nearly 4:55 hrs.
    • The catch being the temperature on 5 Jan 2020, was Pune type.

  • Discipline
    • Did not follow the tried and tested process of hydration with plain water, a day before race.
    • Protein loading for muscles was not done, day before the race.
    • Casual attitude entire week before the race

  • Electrolyte overloading
    • This I think became a major drawback, since in my zeal to improve my time and prevent cramps. I drank entire pouch of electrolyte in a 1 Litre copper bottle (still not sure if copper bottle played a negative role)
    • Post this intake, before bed time, I went for glass of Milk (for boost in energy).
    • Due to this misadventure, I had all the symptoms of electrolytes overloading which includes nausea, vomiting, stomach upset.

  • T-shirt for the race
    • When running a full, make sure your T-shirt is light and well ventilated.
    • Otherwise after 14-17 km, the body will start to heat up and a non-breathable T-Shirt will spike the heart-rate, which happened with me. I had to slow down and pause in the race multiple times due to this.

2 hours before race I was not sure if my body was race ready. I dreaded the situation since, I was running 42 km and not 10 km, additionally I did not want to wait for entire year to run TMM again (Who knows what shall happen then?)

I knew, it will be tough race and true test of my character and will. The night’s mishap had left me with no stored food to run on and little weaker. I took few medicines off the counter from 24×7 medical shop, along with 5-6 Snicker chocolates and 1 Litre water bottle to hydrate.

I took the cab from my residence and it arrived at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus or CST as it is called around 4:50 am. The race started around 5:30 AM for us, post 15 mins scheduled time. I was clubbed with C group runners, based on my 21 km time submission for 42km application (it was 2:20 hr with target time of completion as 4:45 hr, and boy the target time was going for a toss).

For the initial section of the race, I ran with the comfortable pace, till we reached Bandra-Worli Sea Link, it was around 17 km from the start point that things start to become difficult for me. My heart rate spiked and T-shirt was not helpful, I took a pause and clicked few pics on the sea link as others were doing, got some hydration.

I was purposefully avoiding the electrolytes, the race supporting staff offered. However, I knew the writing on the wall, in spite of my spirited start, it will be a downhill now, I was not able to match my initial 17 km pace till end of the race.

I was trying to maintain a 6:30 min/km pace to finish it in 5 hours, it is a very comfortable pace for me, as I have completed 10km in 54 mins which amount to 5:30 min/km speed (trying to improve my time). In the case of 42 km we need to save energy for long and cannot sprint run in it.

I found the support system on the race day wanting, the nutrient support was not good, I got the first fruit post 27km and there were no dry fruits or Dates (which are highly recommended for such runs).

I was missing everything which was available in my first full marathon in college of Military Engineering, Army does take good care of you. I observed that most of the participants were in 21km run and they started their run from Bandra Worli SeaLink start point, it seems that due to the mismanagement of nutrition the marathon runners did not get fruits, dry fruits etc till 25-27km.

During the run, I had to stop at medical shops three times in entire duration of race, due to some or the other reason. There were ice packs provided post 30km, which were helpful since I started to have cramps on my right calf after it.

During the last stretch, post 34 km things went bad to worse and I stopped pushing (fearful of injury), but when 5-hour flag runners came I tried to match their pace. It became tough to even jog at their pace, they marched on leaving me behind.

The same pattern got repeated of 5:15 hour flag bearers and final death nail being me unable to keep up with 5:30 hour flag bearers.  

There were Mumbai residents providing last mile support, bringing water bottles and food items for the runners, covering up for the lack of items provided by the organizers.

I completed 36km in 4:55 hours but the last 6km became really tough and with no one to push or support the running, the motivation started to die down for timing.  In the last 3km, my right calf became worse and I started to limp, I had to stop and massage it for few minutes, apply spray kept with race volunteer staff.  

At the time I got call from my college friend who had completed 21km marathon earlier inquiring about my race status. He motivated me to finish this 42 km at all cost and not stop, some much needed pep talk.

I walked and limped the last 3km with nearly the speed of 11 min/km, in short finishing last 3kms in 33 mins.

It became more like a long walk picnic as most of the people near me were walking/limping last 2 km, with some attempting to jog. 

Going for the last km

When I reached the final point, it was 11:30 am, the sun was up and burning bright. I just took the medal, food pack and left for room. I had partially fulfilled my dream, by completing TMM full marathon.

I completed my first TMM 42km full marathon in 6:03 hours, an awful time and way below my targeted time of 4:45 hours, which I had planned few months back.

TMM was also full of elite runners, who ran at an awesome speed and clocked under 2:30 hours for both women and men section.

In Indian category too, the runners ran well and below 3 hours for both gender. Proper training and nutrition takes you to great heights.

Post the Run we took the famous Local trains to our respective residence, traveling in a local train to is an experience and fun (if you get the seat) .

Most importantly post the race, the charges of the Ola and Uber cabs were substantially high, which included sharing services.

Taking a 10-30 rupees Local train seemed more practical option from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus.

That is life, things we desire the most and with all our heart, tend to slip away and you cannot do anything but watch in despair, because you were not disciplined enough.

However, like every fighter/runner/athlete, one must take it on the chin and move forward, for every failure pushes you to succeed and offers you many more opportunities to change the narrative.

Looking forward to, many more TMMs in my life and improving my 42km timing in Mumbai. Cheers !!!

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