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Dongri To Dubai: Six Decades of The Mumbai Mafia

Posted on: December 31, 2013

dtdName: Dongri To Dubai: Six Decades of The Mumbai Mafia

Author:  S. Hussain Zaidi

Genre : Non Fiction

Pages : 408

Publication Year: May 25th 2012

Is Review Spoiler: No

 Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)


From ‘Once upon a time in Mumbai’ to ‘Shootout at Lookandvala’ till ‘Shootout at Waadala’ – Bollywood is/was always fascinated about  ‘Mumbai Mafia’ or ‘Mumbai Underworld’.  But there is always a huge difference between the Reel World and Real World – you will realize what’s that huge difference is once you start reading this book.

First of all – I would like to congratulate Mr  S. Hussain Zaidi for writing such a  intensely researched  book which is not an easy task and that too on Mumbai Underworld. He has done great job detailing six decades of Mumbai Mafia from the rise and fall of Haji Mastan and Pathans till the rise of Dawood Ibrahim.

This book follows the events of Mumbai Mafia since it’s inception before/after Independence to current day. What I liked most in this book compared to other non-fiction books of same genre is – this books follows the events in proper order and focusing on all major players including their family background, their lives in Mumbai, their struggle and lot many things – including what caused these bad boys to actually become bad boys.

Mr  S. Hussain Zaidi took seven years to research on this books before penning it down. You will find all the reference at the end of book and everything is authentic and well researched.

The book start from the year 1950 – detailing the Mumbai back in 50’s and the Bombay (in 50’s it was called Bombay) back in 50’s was way different from what shown in Bollywood movies. Bombay was/is a Jadoyi Nagari/Sapnaon Ki Nagari – back then also people used to come to Mumbai for improving their livelihood.  But soon these guys realized that it’s not that easy to get settled in Mumbai without proper education and good family background . The easiest way for these guys were back then was smuggling of imported watches and transistors in order to avoid import duty – from here it all began – the Inception of Mumbai Mafia.

The best thing about this book is – it flows like movies even being a non-fiction book and most the dialogue is in the Hindi and that too in bhai logaon ke style me – boletu ek dam jakkas (no worries if you don’t know Hindi – author has translated these dialogues into English in brackets). You will read the biography of many gangsters of Mumbai in this book including Haji Mastan, Karim Lala, Varadarajan Mudaliar, Chhota Rajan, Abu Salem and last but not least – Dawood Ibrahim – a young man who went astray despite having a father in the police force.

Before this book – everyone used to hear about only one side of the story  from police and media and no one knew about the other side. This book fills the void – here you will read the story of that side of Mumbai which no one tried before Zaidi to pen it down.

As author says:

This story is primarily about how a boy from Dongri became a don in Dubai, and captures his bravado, cunningness,focus, ambition, and lust for power in a gripping narrative.

but along with the story of the boy who become the don in Dubai – this book also covers the story of many other gangsters – some of which appeared in Bollywood movies like shootout at wadala, shootout at lokhandwala and Once Upon a Time in Mumbai.

Overall – the book is extremely fast-paced, intensely researched and it reads like a thriller. I will recommend this book to everyone who wants to know the story of darker side of our society and why it’s so dark out there?


4 Responses to "Dongri To Dubai: Six Decades of The Mumbai Mafia"

Someone recommended this book to me after I read and loved Vikram Chandra’s Sacred Games. This sounds great too, will read it. Like your review!

This is very good book which details the six decades of Bombay mafia. Glad you like the review 🙂

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