17 October 2012 | By: Writing Buddha

Dongri To Dubai by S. Hussain Zaidi!!!

709th BLOG POST -->>

             A fun that lies in reading a book can not be even imagined by those who just think of reading a book. Let a book be a Fiction story or a Non-fictional narration, if the book is good, you are bout to land into a world that is as new to you as to anyone else. And exploring a new world with a road that no one knows will turn where is another fun. I have just finished reading one of my last books of 2012 as my exams are approaching and I'm planning to halt this addiction to novels. :-) Though it's going to be hard but a decision made is decision accomplished. "Dongri To Dubai- Six Decades of The Mumbai Mafia" is my latest read. It took me 4 days to complete it because of regular college but now as I have finished the book, I'm regretting. I want to start it again and enjoy the journey of reading the book once again. Some book shouldn't end, they should be written in such a way that you keep on reading them in loop. :-) A terrific work by S. Hussain Zaidi- a Mumbai based journalist, a veteran of investigative, crime and terror reporting in Mumbai media. He has worked for the Asian Age, the Mumbai Mirror, Mid-day, and the Indian Express. His previous books include bestsellers like Black Friday and the Mafia Queens of Mumbai. Zaidi is also associate producer for the HBO movie, Terror in Mumbai, based on the 26/11 terror strikes. 

            Dongri to Dubai is the first ever attempt to chronicle the history of the Mumbai mafia. It is the story of notorious gangsters like Haji Mastan, Karim Lala, Varadarajan Mudaliar, Chhota Rajan, Abu Salem, but above all, it is the story of a young man who went astray despite having a father in the police force. Dawood Ibrahim was initiated into crime as a pawn in the hands of the Mumbai police and went on to wipe out the competition and eventually became the Mumbai police’s own nemesis. The narrative encompasses several milestones in the history of crime in India, from the rise of the Pathans, formation of the Dawood gang, the first ever supari, mafia’s nefarious role in Bollywood, Dawood’s move to Karachi, and Pakistan’s subsequent alleged role in sheltering one of the most wanted persons in the world. 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. The meticulously researched book provides an in-depth and comprehensive account of the mafia’s games of supremacy and internecine warfare.

             A book based on the history of Mumbai Mafia's 60 years of power and authority tends a reader to expect an out of world experience while reading it. And the expectation rises once you see the cover page twinkling with the face of Dawood Ibrahim. A man who is still in memories of all. A man who is kind of brand ambassador of Dubai for Indians. And the book has been written making him the hero of it. Right from the moment Dawood enters the story, book rises to a different level. You just can't miss a single word of this book by thinking of something else. Initially, when Haji Mastan, Varda bhai, Karim Lala's emergence is narrated, it makes you love these Dons. You start considering them as legends. But as soon as Dawood enters into the surreal narration, you wish to flow with the story till the latest page of the book. Not for a moment will you feel that the book should be finished. And that's a sign of a good book.

              The extreme research and proper usage of words make the book what it deserved to. The several years that Mr. Zaidi took in scripting this book shows the result quite clearly. Though the dates aren't mentioned repetitively, you tend to get lost in between of the story. Author should have mentioned the incidents with the dates or years regularly. That would have made this story more interesting with an imaginary timeline. :-) The rise of every gang, its leader and their enmity with other gangs and then their fall is narrated so wonderfully that for a moment you wish to have time machine to go back to that era of Mumbai, stand on the road and witness all the fights and feud that happened. You wish to be one of them and fight among the gangs. :-) The childhood of Dawood, his relation with his father, brothers, sisters, friends, gang members etc are mentioned with extreme care. One needs gut to write a book about the most wanted criminal with utter honesty. The pinch of fiction that author has added periodically interests you more. The last 50 pages, that is the climax of the book is handled very neatly by the author because till then all the fights and collisions ends which is the USP of the book. So it could have been the worst part of the book but Mr. Zaida has ensured that he ends the story with the same intensity with which he carried the whole book with. The conversations that are mentioned makes you laugh. The usage of Hindi makes it more effective. 

            Some drawbacks- Less mention of dates on regular basis confuses us. Some incidents of which author hasn't given details about. That makes it hard for us to progress with the story. The decline of some men and after-effects isn't stated as it should have been. Dawood's relation with some people is just described in a sentence or two while we wish to read more about his personal relations too. That should have been descriptive too. Once Dawood lands in Dubai, the initial days in Dubai is the worst description by Mr. Zaidi. But overall, I would say a book that everyone should read if you are interested in knowing about Dawood Ibrahim, his emergence and his life. Author has surely raised the level of Non-fiction with his latest work. I would rate the book 4.5 out of 5. 



3 CoMMenTs !!! - U CaN aLSo CoMMenT !!!:

Anonymous said...

4.5!!!!!...I think this is third book you have rated 4.5, if am not wrong!!!!

Will read for SURE...

Keep ON..

Writing Buddha said...

Yes Raja sir, do read it for sure.

Harivansh Rai said...

I had read few things left unsaid and when i heard that Sudeep Nagarkars next book is going to release soon i immediately logged into flipkart and preordered it. That's the way we met... wowww!!! such an awesum title it is. I received the delivery on monday from flipkart and i completed reading it in one go. i couldnt keep the book down. The story is so interesting that it keeps you totally engrossed. You wonder continuously what will happen next. But all your predictions prove wrong as the story is completely unique. Its something that you have never imagined. It has all the elements a book should have. It is a tale of trust,relationships,romance and sacrifice. I would also like to state that for those who have not read his first novel "Few things left unsaid" you can directly go for this one. There is not even a single thing that you will get confused about. The language is superb and the story has an awesome flow. A must read for people of all age groups. These 5 stars given below for the rating are very less. This is fantastic..

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