‘Dongri to Dubai’ is as close to the Mumbai Mafia world as you can get. Written by Mr. S. Hussain Zaidi, India’s premier-most crime reporter and trendsetter, a journalist who literally started the fashion of Crime-reporting by finding out much more about the crimes and it proprietors than is stated in official police records, the book is again a master-piece and worthy follower to “Black Friday – The True Story of the Bombay Bomb Blasts” (Translated into a film ‘Black Friday’ by Anurag Kashyap). Ten chapters of the book ‘Dongri to Dubai’ have already been adopted into a movie ‘Shootout at Wadala’ directed by Sanjay Gupta.
It is sometimes hard to believe how someone can find out all the details and intricacies given in the book without actually being present at the spot, but being the best has it’s perks- right from street urchins to highest government officials, everyone is willing to share pictures, stories, documents and most importantly-time.
The book traces the beginnings and growth of the Mumbai (then Bombay) mafia over 6 decades. Incidentally, Mr. Zaidi is also the person to have published the last interview ever given by Dawood Ibrahim.
The book aptly starts with the telephone conversation between Mr. Zaidi and Dawood. It goes on to trace the beginnings of Bombay Mafia. It states the inceptions of the first gangs and how they were finished to give way to much more organized gangs. The book goes on to describe various Dons and their modus-operandi, including the growth of smuggler Haji Mustan, and his dealings with various Pathan gangs, Bhaasu dada, Karim Lala; and the much cinematographed meeting of Haji Mustan (dressed in his signature white suit, white shoes, smoking the imported 555 brand cigarette) in jail with Varda Bhai, which formed the base for the much feared “Tamil Alliance”. Discussing the reasons for the fight of Dawood with the “original” don Bhaasu dada, it goes on to state how Dawood destroyed Bhaasu’s gang and pride.
The book goes on to describe, in much previously unheard of details, the ways in which Mumbai Police tried to make Dawood a scrape goat, and how the brilliant don went on to use the Mumbai police itself to fulfill his nefarious purposes. From the biggest bank robbery, to slowly wiping off all other gangs, from suffering pains at the killing of his brother by Manya Surve, to training and presiding over the much feared gangsters like Chotta Rajan, Chotta Shakeel, Anees and Abu Salem. The book describes everything-from the actresses he bedded, the killing of Gulshan Kumar (Creator of brand T-Series), his daring last minute escape to Dubai and Pakistan, to his overtaking of Bollywood and Mumbai property business. The book finishes with probing in great detail the lifestyle of the head of the D-Company, his political supporters, and the clout he has as the 57th most powerful man on Earth (Fortune 500 magazine survey, 2010).
The book captures every great twist and turn in the Mumbai mafia, and presents it in a style that captivates readers till the very last page. With no dull pages or slow-pace parts, the book is a complete manuscript of the history and development of the Mumbai Mafia, with intricate details of the life of each, and is the golden standard against which all future crime reporting books will be compared with. The book does to Mumbai Mafia what ‘Godfather’ did to Italian mafia, and I think no better compliment is possible.