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Archive for the ‘Mumbai’ Category

Byculla to BangkokByculla to Bangkok by Hussain Zaidi

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another good book by Hussain Zaidi.

This book covers three main gangs and one gang partially. It covers the D company partially since many of the other gangs overlap with this one. The first one is the BRA gang of Arun Gawli, Rama Naik from the Dagdi Chawl, and Babu Reshim. The second is the gang of brothers involving Amar Naik and Ashwin Naik from Byculla. The third is the Chotta Rajan Gang from Tilak Nagar area.

There are mention of other gangs, but they are not as elaborate as these three or even as elaborate as the D Company.

After reading the book it saddens the heart to see so much violence and so much corruption in our country which is supposed to be one of the peaceful ones. One shudders how a violent country would be if this is the state of affairs.

It will be great to see a book of his in chronological order combining all his books about the Mumbai Mafia.

A good read for the fans of Hussain Zaidi and for those who wish to understand the Mumbai Mafia.

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Daughters of the Red Light: Coming of Age in Mumbai's Brothels (DAWNS Global Humanitarian Storytelling Book 2)Daughters of the Red Light: Coming of Age in Mumbai’s Brothels by Shanoor Seervai
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Shanoor first took up an assignment to understand the life in the Red Light District of Mumbai when she was graduating. She again got herself to look into the life as a journalist. She was much mature and knew how to go about.

A book that gives a very good insight into the Red Light district of Mumbai. It specifically highlights the life of a girl child growing up in the area.

The book ends in a positive note by highlighting the way Kranti, an NGO which works very differently with the girls from these areas and how one from these girls has been granted admission in one of the University in the US. See… for more details.

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Another wonderful book from Hussain Zaidi. The book has been written as story being narrated by Rahul Bhatt, son of Mahesh Bhatt and as narrated by Headley himself to his interrogators from the Intelligence Bureau of India.

David Coleman Headley or Daood Gilani carried out multiple recces of Mumbai and other cities and passed on the information he gathered to Lashkar-e-Toiba which helped them engineer the 26/11 attacks with just a 10 rookies. It brought the city of Mumbai to practically a standstill for a few days. It taxed the famed Anti-Terrorist Squads, Rapid Action Force and National Security Guards of India and took the lives of more than 250 people.

The book gives the background of Headley and why he came to hate India. It also describes how he was groomed and trained by LeT for the job. It also speaks about the nexus between LeT, ISI and Al Queda.

It also raises a few questions on why the US is unwilling to extradite Headley to India for questioning. Apparently one of the reason seems to be the fact that Headley has helped the DEA in the past to ferret out the drug dealers with whom he used to cohort and then cooperate with the authorities to get away with a light sentence. He has adopted the same stance after his arrest before he was to bomb the Jylands Posten office in Denmark for publishing he cartoon of Prophet Mohemad (Peace be unto him).

The other story of Rahul Bhatt is about this strained relationship with his father, Mahesh Bhatt, and how he came to look upon Headley as a father figure and how he was ditched by both of them.

What is surprising is that the US still turns a blind eye to activities in Pakistan despite the proven fact of nexus between the ISI, Pakistan Army, LeT and Al Queda.

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It was morning 5:30 AM. Vishal was riding his bike back home to his home in Mumbai from Navi Mumbai. He was sleepy as he had spent the whole night finishing up the presentation along with his colleague.
For the first time in his 10+ years of riding bike he lost control and fell, fortunately on the side of the road. He lost his consciousness. Two policemen who were in the area saw him and took him to the nearest police station and took his details.
His phone did not have a lock, so the policemen started sending messages on WhatsApp giving the members an indication of what had happened. They also called up the recently called numbers, which luckily happened to be those of his friends with whom he had been through the night, and told them about the situation.
They took Vishal to an hospital in Panvel and got him admitted. They also called up his cousin who was in Singapore and told him about the situation. They took possession of his ring and necklace that he was wearing and his wallet.
Soon his friends arrived at the hospital. The police handed over the jewels and wallet to his friends and having done their job went on their way.
We tend to ridicule the police and find fault with them most if the time, but on this occasion but for them my nephew Vishal may not have got the immediate attention that was required.
I take this opportunity to thank the policemen who played the role of the good Samaritan. My Salute and Best Wishes to you. Hoping that there are more of your kind in the police force. We need you.
Mafia Queens Of Mumbai:  Stories Of Women From The GanglandsMafia Queens Of Mumbai: Stories Of Women From The Ganglands by S. Hussain Zaidi
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Another fantastic book by Hussain Zaidi. In this book he delves into the Queens of the underworld. He covers Jenabai Daruwali, the empress amongst the queens, the original queen of the underworld. She had Haji Mastan, Dawood and all others coming to her for advice and help.

The second is the burka clad wife of Ashraf Khan who is killed by Dawood and his demure wife takes to arms to avenge her husband’s killing. She almost succeeds in her attempt. How one wishes she had, sigh…

The third is Neeta Naik pushes her husband Ashwin Naik to become a don. She later joins the Shiv Sena to legitamise the ill gained profits, but is eventually hunted down killed by her own husband who suspected her of infidelity.

Then we have the Gangubhai Kothewali, a woman with the soft heart and iron hands who reigned as the queen of the brothels at Kamathipura.

The wife of Chota Rajan, Monica Bedi the muse of Abu Salem and more are covered in the book. A worth read for those wishing to understand the underworld of Mumbai.

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Dongri To Dubai: Six Decades of The Mumbai Mafia Dongri To Dubai: Six Decades of The Mumbai Mafia by S. Hussain Zaidi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An honest book to say the least. A very interesting account of the mafia in Mumbai. Starting from the post independence era, the book traces the history of how the Pathans ruled roost and when their menace was going beyond control Dawood was hoisted by the police themselves to oust the Pathans. In process the police did not realise that they were giving rise to a mafia worse than the one they were trying to dislodge.

Kudos to Hussain Zaidi for writing this book and more importantly the manner in which it has been written makes the book unputdownable. It offers a deep insight of the other side of the law. It provides the motives which drive the mafia to pickup the gun. It underplays the role of corrupt police officials and politicians in the nurturing of these gangs. One only finds references to these underhand dealings. It is but natural as these are the people in power and can do anything they wish and get away with it.

The book ends with details of how Dawood continues to be under the protection of the ISI in Pakistan and how duplicitous the US is in its dealings with India. On the one hand they bring out a notice saying that Dawood has assisted the Al-Queda and hence needs to be punished, but nothing needs to be done, now that Al Queda has been emasculated. It does not matter that the ISI and Dawood continue their activities in India. It is an internal matter between the two countries and US is thankful to Pakistan for their assistance in helping them quell the Al Queda which both of them put together setup in the first place.

A goodread for all lovers of Mumbai.

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Looks like the rain gods are ready to relent and listen to the woes of Mumbaikars. After having rained through the long monsoon, it looks like they with to treat Mumbaikars with a little more of their show. The last two days they have started hurling their thunder and lightning over Mumbai and this has been followed with heavy rains.

This is happening probably because just this Sunday I packed all the umbrellas and kept them in the storage under the bed assuming that I was through with rains this year. And I do not have my umbrella today either as I thought yesterday was one off and I will get it tomorrow under the assumption that today is one more one off.