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Zaidi has done a remarkable job in tracing the history of the Bombay underworld. But, I am sorry to say that like all other Indian biography/history books it is incomplete and so saying half truths. The author traces the life of Dawood's father with meticulous detail that would give him five stars but not of others! Especially the Hindu Dons and their honchos are left rather softly. Also names, where are the names of the film stars, politicians and police that attended Dawood's famous parties? There are no details of how extortions were carried out and who were the people in Bollywood and Bombay business that were contacted. How did they manage to get off the hook, how did they succumb to the threats and what WERE the threats? How did the underworld get their hands on weapons, where did they source them, who were the people behind the operations? Most frustrating is that the the entire book is soft on the Bombay police force and big politicians. Without their connivance no underworld could exist anywhere. Where are the rogue cops? Where are they now, what happened to them and their wealth? These obvious gaps left me rather frustrated. I bought the book the instant I saw it on the stands trusting Zaidi will tell the whole truth. But it is not so.
Sixty of the organised crime syndicate summarized in one book.
The entire book is based on facts and when you are attempting such a work of non-fiction, it takes a lot of courage and good writing skills to keep the reader interested.
And trust me you won't feel bored even for a single page.
Its thrilling and its fast paced.
What I liked the most is how the author has described, most of the things with minutest of details and given his views on the incidences.
If you are a fan of gangster flicks, you will be able to visualise many scenes which have been adapted in a lot of movies like, Satya, Once upon a time in Mumbai, Company, Shootout at Lokhandwala, etc.
A nice read.
Zaidi is back with his superb research and great storytelling. He has succeeded in chronicling the history of the Mumbai underworld since the early 50s. The book is full of nail-biting incidences and anecdotes. The author has refrained from including inconsequential information as well. Surely, the first book to refer to, if you want to know about organised crime in Mumbai. Though, at times, you may feel the underworld is glorified, it doesn't affect the flow and experience of the book.
I have been an avid reader and my mind goes tick-tock every time I see books on the shelf. My hands are always itching to grab those books and read at leisure, be it Khushwant Singh's conversational style or narrative style of William Darlymple or even the realistic snapshot of events by Zaidi amongst others. And then the thought crossed my mind, can I take on the role of a critic for myself and post my version or my take on specific books that I have read over a period of time. And I enthusiastically answered myself, Why not?
Apart from reading my interest is travelling, photography, movies and food. And since I have made up my mind about being a regular blogger, all of you will experience flavors across these subjects and I hope that you will enjoy reading this blog as much as I am excited about writing it.
So, here I am, sharing the first account of "From Dongri to Dubai" which i read couple of weeks back.
Seemed like a thick book (not that size matters when it comes to books) but I was a little apprehensive with the fine print but when i started reading it. However, the narrative style took me by surprise and before I realised I understood the psyche of some of the notorious ganglords of Mumbai mafia, be it Haji Mastan, Vardarajan, Lala whom we have also seen in our Bollywood movies like Sarfarosh or Once upon a time in Mumbai. While in movies, the characters have been larger than life with definitely an item number to characterize mafia man’s lecherous behavior, Zaidi has successfully shown their personal and the so called professional life in a much more realistic manner. The book not only takes you through some of the religious beliefs that we love to follow for example how a peer baba (religious man) announced that Ibrahim’s second son would grow up to become powerful, known, learned and which is why Dawood was put in an English medium school while his siblings went to
a local school. Little did everyone realize that while the prophecy came true, Dawood came nowhere to being known positively. Such a contradiction as Dawood’s father was immensely respected even by the ganglords as someone who was extremely honest and stood up for “what he thought was correct” despite anyone’s seniority or level, be it police or ganglords.
In his fabulous narrative style, Zaidi transcends to various facets of Dawood’s personality, as a protective brother beating the hell out of Pathan or a docile son bearing the beatings of his father or an extremely egoistic and vengeful person who waited for the right moment to strike and create an impact on people (who opposed him), mentally and physically.
I suggest that people who love reading and are inquisitive about police mafia nexus, this book is a must read as not only does it simplify the beginning, how from goods smuggling at the docks, mafia was hand in glove with the environment and moved on to creating black money market, drug business and defied their virtual pact of not touching/involving the families.
Zaidi is an amazing writer and his experience of being an investigative journalist comes through candidly.
After reading his previous two books BLACK FRIDAY AND MAFIA QUEENS OF MUMBAI,there a huge expectations from S.Hussain Zaidi's third much talked about book and i was really fascinated by this book. The book largely indicates the rags to riches story of Dawood ibrahim, one of the most notorious and dreaded gangster in the Mumbai underworld but also shows the growth of the crime in the city. Hussain zaidi's books are always found to be of beat and yet very commercializing and always manages to grab the attention of the readers. the book is engaging,fast paced and a visual treat from the author to his readers. The foreword written by the veteran writer Vikram chandra set up the book very smoothly and the moment when you read the interview of Dawood, you feel not dropping the book even for a moment. The hard work put by the author clearly shows in the book.It clearly shows the growth of Mumbai underworld from the bootleggers to shooter, from the destruction of one gang to the formations of another gang, from the start of a brutal rivalry to loss of an elder brother,from the biggest deal in the history of underworld to killing of a iconic music tycoon of the country. The book clearly shows the the emotions of greed,power,lust and willing to do anything to be the ultimate GODFATHER of the business. ALL IN ALL A MUST READ BOOK....IF YOU HAVE READED PREVIOUS BOOKS OF S.HUSSAIN ZAIDI..YOU WILL SURELY ENJOY THIS BOOK
Zaidis attempt to chronicle the history of the underworld in mumbai is worth reading..the filmy way narration will be loved if u are a fan of underworld flicks..the acumen ,composure, luxury of don dawood is nicely depicted..Zaidis attempt to portray dawood as Secular and Mumbai loving may be the gratitude of him for the exclusive interview dawood given him..lot of unheard criminals for new generation are also in the book like manya sarve,bashu dada,david pardesi..since its all about underworld its a great task to chronicle about the hidden world..zaidi has done it well..Khudos.
Was waiting for this book for too long. S Hussain Zaidi has chronicled the entire history of the biggest mafia in the world, i.e. The Mumbai Mafia. Master storyteller, Mr. Zaidi has painstakingly researched and recreated Mumbai Mafia history right from its inception in the 50s to its current situation. The book is exciting, bold and is an absolute page turner. Its just screaming to be made into a Bollywood blockbuster. If Black Friday was good, this is better!
This is a remarkable book. Excellent written. Eye opener, Never knew such things happened. Lucky enough to have read it. Author has explained the real happenings quite clearly, It took me 7 days to complete it. And i'll recommend it to everybody i know. I also recommend some light love stories here-
Two states- Chetan bhagat
Chockolate Sauce- Arpit Vageria
That's the way we met- Sudeep nagarkar
I too had a love story- Ravinder singh
Well, anybody who grew up or studied in Bombay during the 80's will find it hard to believe many of the incidents. I would certainly not believe in at least the fact that Haji Mastan, Vardharajan and Karim Lala were goons and notorious. These were individuals who made it big during the licence raj by smuggling- Not harming the common people at all.
"Samad was killed by Dawood!!"-What nonsense. Zaidi hasnt researched or googled at all. It was the Rama Naik team that gunned him. And Yes- I dont believe in the Reasons why Babu Reshim was killed.
Zaidi has not done justice to many facets.He cannot distinguish between Robinhoods and Terrorists.
Many of the underworld ganglords never even pinched the common Bombayite. It was very safe during those days.
Author has created a hype about a terrorist who has killed 100's of ppl in mumbai blast.Our utter failure of not being able to catch of this petty theif murderer extortionist has been kept
aside and author is praising sordid deeds of this criminal, he is not the kind of man we should read about calling him a "DON". He is coward man who fleed his own country after spilling the blood of innocent men & women who were his own country men . Please i would request for god's sake not to potrait him as a hero of some sort . By potraiting his cunning and henious acts as heroic we are not only being a stupid but also insulting the family members who have lost their loved one's in the blast.Thats not the place were we should be using our writing skills.