2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Fast, dramatic, well researched and unputdownable
10 July, 2012
Dongri to Dubai presents a feature expose of Dawood Hasan Ibrahim Kaskar, the charismatic and suave boss of the dreaded D Company. In this masterpiece, with Dawood as protagonist, the author has re-created sixty years of Indian underworld right from it's inception. And that too in gripping detail.
The book starts with stories of genuinly good people turning into small time crooks in turn metamorphising into some of the most feared and powerful mafia lords in Mumbai. From small central Mumbai neighbourhoods to far flung suburban satellite areas like Bhandup, Ghatkopar, Virar, Thane, etc the mafia loops in everyone and everything that reeks of money or power. The meticulously researched book provides a comprehensive account of the mafia's dark games of supremacy and fratricidal warfare. It successfully exposes the underbelly of the Indian and South Asian politico criminal conglomerate. These sixty years seem like the dark ages from Lord of the Rings when the world is engulfed by the evil's darkness. The details on misuse of the system and government machinary along with the intermingling of the black economy with the white in developing countries is nauseating.
But most importantly, the book gives a first rate description of Dawood's rise from a minion to a global power icon (he was ranked 57th in Forbes list of powerful people in November 2011). It is intriguing to read how a smalltime fake watch peddler turned into the fearsome Bhai due to his sheer daring and a scheming brain. He survives in the gruesome landscape pockmarked by gangs led by stalwarts such as Haji Mastan, Karim Lala, Varadarajan Mudaliar, and Pathan don Ahmed Khan aka Baashu Dada. He outsmarts all of them with his wit and guts, deccimates and amalgamates their empires, and they fade away into the far recesses of popular memory while he assumes mythic proportions.
Zaidi portrays that it was the police who created this David to boot out the Goliath (pathan mafia) from mumbai. Little would they have known, not even in their wildest dreams, that their protege would later become their worst nemesis.
In this book, Dawood is shown to be as unforgiving as Michael Corleone, as ruthless as the Solntsevskaya Bratva and as sly as Vito Corleone.
The book also showcases the might of the Indian Intelligence agencies which force Dawood to flee to Dubai. His linkages with the ISI, subsequent role in the 1993 Mumbai blasts, fallout with Chota Rajan, final shift of base to Pakistan and globalization of operations have been described in sordid details.
The research seems exhaustive and thorough, the narration is dramatic and the pace is fast which makes the book unputdownable. Just make sure that when you read it, be open for surprises.
I would rate this book a 4/5. A good read
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