Sunday, February 9, 2014

Book Review : Dongri To Dubai - Six Decades of The Mumbai Mafia

Author : S. Hussain Zaidi

I was eager to read about Mumbai mafia and this book is like an encyclopedia covering Haji Mastan, Karim Lala, Varadaraja Mudaliar, Karim Lala, Dawood Ibrahim kaskar, Chota Rajan, Chota Shakeel, Abu Salem, Anees Ibrahim. Reading through this book, you realize how many films had these sub plots. This is a Mass masala movie. 3 Nagayans, 2 Baashas, 4 Pudhupettai, 3 Thalapathis, Satya, Gangs of Wasseypur rolled into one film.

The story of a brave young boy, whose father was a police constable, was used by Mumbai police to wipe out other gang lords in Mumbai and eventually became their nemesis. The book portrays D larger than life and minutely explains how D changes his game each time. A man created by the system, ended up using the system and its loopholes and manipulated it with his bravado, his lust for power and cunningness to become a larger than life figure.

I liked the initial story sketch of Tamil Nadu born Mumbai dons Haji Mastan and Varadaraja Mudaliar and how they ruled the roost. ManiRatnam later made Nayagan loosely based on Varadaraja Mudaliyar. The scene where Dawood is summoned by Police and Dawood’s father as police constable takes us back to Rajnikant, Raghuvaran pair of Baasha and Mark Antony.

Some personal favorite lines:
'Necessity may be the mother of invention, but it is also the father of crime'
'Keep people’s bellies full and balls empty'
'Offence is the best form of defence and the best way to take revenge is to hit where it hurts the most'
'The human tendency is to become oblivious to other issues in life when the coffers are filling'

PS: I don’t endorse criminality or abuse of power. Just that the book is an engaging read.

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