Last week was exciting. I had bought few books that kept me occupied. My old self returned seeing me carrying the books wherever I went last week. The books were Dongri to Dubai and The Krishna Key.
Dongri to Dubai – Six decades of the Mumbai Mafia.
I am not a big fan of non-fiction. But this book somehow caught my attention. Written by Mr. Hussain Saidi, who was behind the movie Black Friday by Anurag Kashyap made me curious to order this one through Flipkart. The service standards of flipkart was simply awesome. Two of three books ordered were delivered within 48 hours. The book starts of with a picture of life the Don Dawood is leading right now and the interview of the author with the Don when outlook published him as traitor. The book then goes back to pre-independence Mumbai (then Bombay) and how things were smuggled out of docks.
We are awestruck by the work the author had pulled the details of age old gangs and the weapons they used to terrorize the public and extort money and smoothly transitioning to the lives of Haji Mastan. One could distinctly compare the lives of Haji Mastan and the character of Amithab Bachan in the movie “Deewar“. Right from the way they both started as humble coolie to overpowering the pehalwans who were collecting money from the coolies. Then come our hero of South India, Varadh bhai.
The book is a racy thriller to say the least. The editors should have worked overtime ensuring the readers dont yawn at the middle of the book. Be it the little facts of what kind of car the mafia men used and how it changed from Fiat to Ambassador and then BMWs. Reading the book the reader will know about the growth of mafia and what bonded them and what made them rivals. And also one can wonder whether these incidents were made into movies or these bad asses were inspired by the movies. Though sometimes author go overboard in his narration of how a particular hit man was involved with a woman and extended details about the love affair of Dawood’s brother Shakeel which got him killed eventually. The book then narrates how Dawood consolidated all the businesses and establish the D-Company.
After seeing the movie, Shootout at Lokhandwala I always thought the prime target was the gangster Maya Dolas. But the book proves otherwise and the main target was Maya Dolas’ sidekick Buva. And the first even encounter of Mumbai of Manya Surve is explained in detail and this part of the book is soon to be a major Bollywood film.
Thinking of why the South India mafia, didnt grow as much as Mumbai, one could say the gangsters over here never left their comfort zone. They were happy to have police and politicians in payroll to let them run their small businesses. The major ambition of a gangster or crook in South India would be of getting into politics and that too only to avoid the encounter style ending from the police. One of the best gangster movies that has come in Tamil I would say is not Nayagan, but Pudhupettai. One should see to understand how and what kind of life the gangsters down south lead.
The next book I laid my hand was The Krishna Key
My brother was so enthusiastic about ordering the book after seeing the trailer (Yes, Indian novelists do that now). After reading the preview chapters I concluded that the novel is Indian version of The Da Vinci Code. However Ashwin Sanghi proved me wrong.
The novel is a rip off from various Dan Brown novels like Davinci Code and Angels and Demons. A scholar is on the run for killing a historian who had left some information about path breaking discovery. The scholar was killed by brainwashed killer who act on a religious faith. On the run with the scholar is a girl. In the chase is a cop who is trained to look and read between the lines but lets the suspect escape three times. And then four more scholars are killed by the brainwashed kid with branding on their foreheads. Finally when they conclude where the secret lies, its exactly a different place.
Dear Readers, the above said story is not Angels and Demons or Davinci Code, it is the story of The Krishna Key. Read this book if a friend is kind enough to give it to you. Or otherwise its not worth the money. The author attaches importance to every single numeric of Alphabets and brings all the kings of the world in Indian bloodline. As a fiction it did not keep me engaged.
Right now, I am reading The Prague Cemetery by Umberto Eco and will be back with a review soon.