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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.
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
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.
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
At the end of it I felt a bit shortchanged reading the book.
The book is in two parts, Part 1 deals with the history of organized crime in the city and how the Don's we have all heard about started out and the clout they had, the Don's of the past Varda Bhai, Haji Mastan, Karim Lala even Gawli to some extent carried a certain mystique about them, and their stories are just a collection of various news reports from the past stitched together. Any good old time Mumbaikar will be able to tell you much better stories about these Don's and many other small time Bhai's of the various localities. Zaidi did not bring out anything new but still Part 1 of the book has a certain flavor and is certainly worth a read.
My grouse is against Part 2 of the Book, Zaidi unsuccessfully tries to portray the BIG D as some sort of demigod who was Omnipresent in the 80's, for sure he changed the crime scene the BHAI of the 70's was replaced by the savage ruthless D in the 80's the role of Chotta Rajan in his rise is but a footnote and if Chotta Rajan reads the book it will certainly not sit will with him, had Zaidi investigated and researched the history of Crime in eastern Mumbai Chembur, Navi Mumbai, Kurla, along LBS Road he would have known much more about Chotta Rajan and he wouldnt have written him off completely as he has done in the book.
The attack on Chotta Rajan's Life came after Chotta Rajan had delivered body blows to D Company by killings of Sharad Shetty and Sautya in D Company's stronghold in Dubai, they were strongmen D Company used after Chotta Rajan parted ways with D Gand this aspect is completely ignored by Zaidi he has caricatured Chotta Rajan as some small time upstart who has shooed away by D Gang which is certainly not the case.
Part 2 of the book reads completely like a FANBOY hero worship of D Company which Zaidi may have indulged in to save his own skin and make D Company look great. Even the role of the encounter specialists of Mumbai Police which literally wiped the many Bhai's in the 90's is completely ignored. Zaidi makes it sound as if the Police never existed and Daya Naik, Sharma, Salaskar the encounter specialists were nobody's and they get ZERO mention in the book. Part 2 of the Book is dedicated purely to massaging the ego of the D Gang and for Zaidi to keep himself in their good books.
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.
First of all thanks for the great service to Flipkart.
When I ordered this book, I never expected this book with a great writing style or anything like that. We cant expect a book written by a journalist more than this, I ordered this book only for the information and the book delivers. It gives a lot and lot of information on mafia, how it is started and how the members are involved. Zaidi pours all his life-time investigation in this book and you will never get bored. One may ask the authentication of the information, but as I said he is the most seniour journalist who worked explicitly on mumbai mafia. However, its very difficult to maintain the grip with this type of book, b'coz there are a hell lot of characters (even more than Mahabharat :) and so many sub-plots to deal with. Yeah, there are some low-points too, like, abrupt end to Haji Mastan and Karim Lala's characters and I expected more about 92 riots and 93 blasts (as we all know, Zaidi worte a book on 93 blasts, called "Black Friday"), and bollywood connections with D-Compnay.
Overall if any one interested in knowing mumbai crime from 50's to 90's, its the best book to read.
This book was recommended to me by a friend and after reading a lot of reviews, not to mention that this book being the inspiration for Shootout At Wadala, I had to buy this.
As I had learnt that S. Hussain Zaidi was a respected journalist and had a few well-known books already to his name, I was sure that the facts and information provided would be unmistakably authentic and verified. But, in my humble opinion, I was a bit disappointed by the way it was all put across. Maybe it was because my hopes were ridiculously high, or maybe because I expected a fast paced-thriller, I didn't enjoy it as much as I wanted to. At some points, it even felt that the author didn't give us the complete picture. I also expected a more thorough history and understanding of Dawood Ibrahim.
The style of writing and my personal disappointments aside, this is an excellent book to make yourself familiar with the history of the Mumbai Mafia. Read it for the information, not for an insight into the mind of the 3rd most wanted man in the world.
Hussain Zaidi is a journalist and not an author, and this fact is apparent throughout the book. He is definitely not a story-teller as well, which is a pity. The book is full of countless small stories that make up part of the different dons' lives. A lot of these stories would also differ from what people would have read or heard about. And in my opinion, since a lot of these stories are second-hand, one could probably think and doubt some of the incidents' exact verity?
One would think that the entire book is about Dawood. However it isn't. There are loads of details about the other characters who are also related to people around Dawood. Some times these small stories distract oneself from the main story. Unfortunately there is not a lot of material for the main story. This is why you have detailed stories of Sabir, Samad Khan, Baashu dada and more. However when you come to the big D, the details are pretty less.
Why? Was Zaidi scared to offend the don? Or was he too impressed by the don's demeanour during his past encounter(s). Zaidi frequently talks about Dawood's love for riches and fast women. Other than the one story that every news rag has printed, there are no names about either the objects that the riches bought or the women for whom Dawood had a fancy for. While there are few subtle hints, there are no heavy details about the people in Bollywood who have been connected with the mafia.