30 December 2013 | By: Writing Buddha

Headley and I by S. Hussain Zaidi with Rahul Bhatt (Book Review-RECOMMENDED)!!!

1002nd BLOG POST -->>

    The pleasure that non-fiction books give me is indescribable. Though fiction books have another amazing charm to it but the extreme power that a non-fiction carry is unmatched. And if you ask me to be more specific, I would say Autobiographies and Biographies are the best thing to read if ever you want to read and improve yourself, personality and character. The amount of message that such books give can change your life completely. I always credit these books for whatever little bit of kindness, goodness, leadership and loving spirit for life I have. Even if you are reading autobiography/biography of a man who's a villain to our society, even it teach you what not to do in life. I am speaking so much about this genre of writing because I'm just done with reading S. Hussain Zaidi's "Headley and I" that's written along with Rahul Bhatt, the main protagonist of this book. 

 About the Book :

       For most of his childhood, Rahul Bhatt did not know a fathers unconditional love a vacuum that the advent of David Coleman Headley filled for a while. David Headley: the dashing, intriguing Pakistani with one brown eye and a green one, a man who could pass himself off as American quite easily, a charmer of men and women alike.

       Headley inveigled his way into Rahuls simple world and, in no time, swept him off his feet. It is only when ten men made a mockery of Mumbai in a well-planned act of terrorism, that Rahul realized how close he had come to being a part of the careful plotting and the innumerable recces that Headley carried out.

       This is a complex tale of human relationships and the deceit therein. It is the story of Rahul Bhatt, an aspiring Bollywood actor, and his encounter with David Coleman Headley, the man who was responsible for a ruthlessly executed carnage, in which 166 people were killed and over 300 injured in the fifty-nine hours that brought Mumbai to heel and shook India. 

        A pulse-racing narrative, told in the voices of Bhatt and Headley, Headley and I traces the months leading up to the horrors of 26/11 and the long months of interrogation that followed.

About the Author :
   S. Hussain Zaidi is a veteran of investigative, crime and terror reporting in the Mumbai media. He has worked for The Asian Age, Mumbai Mirror, Mid-Day and Indian Express. His previous books include bestsellers like Black Friday, Mafia Queens of Mumbai and the more recent Dongri to Dubai Six Decades of the Mumbai Mafia. Zaidi is also associate producer for the HBO movie, Terror in Mumbai, based on the 26/11 terror strikes. He lives with his family in Mumbai.

           Coming to the review, I must say that the only author whom I trust to love if I pick up his book is S Hussain Zaidi when it comes to this genre. The confidence that he has developed among readers whenever it's concerned with his books is par excellence. He's a genius and knows how to write complicated tales of real world in easy language and narration for his readers. He does not use words that leads a reader to open dictionary and refer. He never tries to show how much he knows about the insight of underworld, gangsters and criminals. Even in his writing style, you will find a humbleness that he carries in his personality too. Extremely unique style of writing and narration. I am proud to have such a writer in my country, India. 

           Coming to the book- It would have been a big injustice if this story would not have come open in public for Indians through this book. This book was indeed necessary for people of India and society. I am happy that author took courage to write it because this book is a reflection of amount of uncountable meetings with various personalities and officials with whom S Hussain Zaidi would have had to sit with and discuss the timeline of events. The way he has written Headley's revelation tells how good the author is. Rahul Bhatt's part tells us about how bad Mr. Mahesh Bhatt has been to him. Rahul Bhatt's hatred towards his father throughout his childhood is quite visible in the words that he has chosen to display it. 

            Another surprise is that Mahesh Bhatt has chosen to write foreword in the book even when it's basically based on his son's hatred towards him for all the wrongs he did with him and his mother. Amazing! Kudos to Mr. Bhatt for this! The anger towards India that got developed in Headley's mind since 1971 war between India and Pakistan, the way Pakistan is involved in collecting funds to attack India openly in public, the way Islam is wrongly constructed by some fake mullah, the way hatred speeches are been given in the masjids over there etc is something that clearly shows the reality of Pakistan to us. The way Headley has used Rahul Bhatt and his friend Vilas, a Shivsainik, shows the intelligence the people involved in terrorist attack does. Even the question whether Headley worked for US in the climax of the book is the best way this book could have ended. 

             The reason of being a fitness buff of both- Rahul Bhatt and Headley generated curiosity in me to read more about them. The America connection and mother's tale of Headley is another intriguing part of the book. The way Headley commented over Mumbai's security and worst security system tells us how insecure and unsafe our country is. The corrupt passport of Headley which could have been easily identified by the Indian officials in the first attempt itself but neglected because of our official's lazy attitude tells how we, ourselves, let 26/11 happen to us. Even Headley had said "Indians are Chutiyas" while telling everything about his journey. The next plan to attack Copenhagen and the idea of killing people, beheading them and throwing their heads down on road from the building tells us how in the name of Islam, certain Muslims are preaching terrorism and hatred. In all, I must say that go and get this book today itself to know what exactly leads into attacks like 26/11. From my side, perfect marks to this book.

 Thanks a lot.


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