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Mafia Queens Of Mumbai: Stories Of Women From The Ganglands

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  2,523 ratings  ·  199 reviews
Smuggling, gun-running, drugs, terrorism for many decades, Mumbai has lived under the shadow of the Underworld. Dawood Ibrahim, Karim Lala, Varadara- jan Mudaliar: these are names that any Indian would recognise. Analysed in print, immortalised on film, their lives, their gangs, their 'businesses' are out there for anyone who wants the information. But there have been wome ...more
Paperback, 1st Edition, 290 pages
Published April 15th 2011 by Tranquebar Press
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Average rating 3.79  · 
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Vishnu Chevli
Jan 26, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: listen
Well I cannot accept glorified version of real life gangsters.

Still the book has given me some new information.

Detailed review may follow.
Ronak Gajjar
Nov 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
That the female of the species is deadlier than the male. - Rudyard Kipling
I stumbled upon this one in 2013, as a reference for the evident research subject and it swiped right into the Mumbai loving space of my mind. The underworld connections always intrigued me well enough weaving within the political layers.
Guns are more attractive than roses. – Vishal Bhardwaj
I completely agree with reading this one. The language of Mr. Former Investigative Journalist - Mr.Zaidi is sharp-clawed and elucida
Samir Dhond
May 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Having lived in Mumbai for many years, I have never encountered or witnessed, thank god for that, the underworld and their dealings. However, as I grew up in that city, I have read, heard many stories about the underworld. The lives of gangsters were in the open whenever one of them was caught. The stories haunted us for days together until we got back to normal life on the streets of Mumbai. When I look back at those years, I realize that Mumbai is quite a safe city for an average citizen of th ...more
Ravi Prakash
May 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I found this book gripping. As soon as I started I was hooked up and finished the whole in just two sittings.

Male villains are interesting, but the female ones are more interesting, that's what Vishal Bhardwaj tries to convey in the preface, but as I proceed through the stories of these underworld women, I find in them a lot of innocence, good nature and a bit of cunningness and grey shade. Most of them were helpless by the situations.

Only a few were real villains.

This was the first time that I
Mar 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the corner of a graveyard in Mumbai lies an unmarked tombstone of a woman who was revered as godmother by you-know-who himself. Somewhere else, many years ago, an alone, sick and pained woman was stabbed multiple times in her private parts because she dared to stand up for her beloved departed and many more years ago and still remembered as a deity by few was a sex worker who'd put today's feminists to shame. True stories of women who made their own footing in the dangerous and bloody of Mumb ...more
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I don't read a lot of books about gangsters, but the ones that I have, all revolve around male gangsters. In Mafia Queens of Mumbai, lives of women who were part of the mafia have been told so well by Hussain S. Zaidi. From Jenabai to Pappamani, from being narco empresses to mobster molls, the stories seem unreal when you first start reading them, because we (or maybe it's just me) have never seen/read stories of women from the ganglands. The stories themselves have been narrated so well, it's d ...more
Aug 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011
Wow! wat a book! i picked it at 0040 AM today, thinking it'll lull me to sleep - and instead i sat up till 330 and finished this at 1 shot!

Def 1 of the most riveting pieces of journalistic writing that i hv come across in a long time, and the author has manged to keep it succinct, yet filled with tidbits to titillate our never ending fascination with Mumbai and its underbelly!

Go read it!
Vivek Tejuja
May 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Yes it is true, behind every successful man, no matter what the profession, there is always a woman. A Woman who is not only strong-headed but also sly enough to accelerate the man’s thoughts and decision-making process, in the direction she wants to. And yes women rule the roost (though for some men it is hard enough to accept the fact) and that’s true.

The reason I say this is because I have just finished reading Mafia Queens of Mumbai, a realistic and hard-hitting portrait of women who were t
Raja Subramanian
Nov 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Most human beings hate crime and would be appalled at the violence and depravity often displayed by the underworld. But few can claim to be completely disinterested in reading about the underworld or watching movies made around the underworld. I guess I am not an exception. I keep buying books and read them even as I abhor the utter lack of morals and the mindless violence that go with the territory.

The Mafia Queens of Mumbai by S Hussein Zaidi written along with Janes Borges makes for a fascin
Apr 13, 2016 rated it liked it
S. Hussain Zaidi & Jane Borges has thrown some lights on the lives of Mafia queens of of Mumbai. Though there are numerous books and movies on life of underworld dons, mafia queens who can / are running underworld are unknown to normal people.
In men's world underworld, it is very difficult to make and sustain a position for woman. The ladies like Jenabai, Ashraf, Mahalakshmi Papamani made Mumbai's don under their control. Even dons like Dawood, Karim lala respected these ladies and their suggest
Apr 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
Women are amazing indeed. The book throws light on some prominent women in the world of tuffest men..the Underworld! Captivating read. Fascinating to no extent. Realized that for some, society, men and family are not everything. Hussain Zaidi did a wonderful job of penning down somethong that's not spoken out loud. Visualizing all that was written in the book excited me... then I thought how would those women have lead the world..facing and living everything that was written?

A t
Abraham Lewik
Jul 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime, real
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Whilst not every story is equally gripping, there are quite a few gems in this melange of journalism and fiction. It’s an interesting genre that I haven’t been all too familiar with—I say this with regret for I have only, now, understood the grey vibrancy (oxymoron, intended) of my own city and its crime culture.
Ajitabh Pandey
This is an excellent book introducing the role some of the women played in the Mumbai underworld. The best part about this book was the narration by all three narrators, their style made this listen a very interesting one.
Nayonika Roy
Jan 19, 2019 rated it liked it
The best part about this book is that it does not try to form an opinion. This is a pure research based book that gives insights into many god mothers who established themselves in the world of crime mostly to make their ends meet! The only disappointment is the writing style. This is a book which definitely needs a strong editor!
Savio Sebastian
Jul 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, 2019
I loved listening to this book. It gave a glimpse into the life of women who led gangs in Mumbai - what led them into crime and how they reigned. The author does a great job telling their story, letting the reader feel their emotions and experience their world in small ways.
One the best reads this year. This is so interesting and informative to read. I wish this was made into a series. Rudyard Kipling had it right, The Female of the species is more deadly than the male.
My favourite stories were that of Sapna, Gangu and Jenabai.

Easiest 5 stars.
Vaishali Gupta
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Like all the other works of Zaidi, this too is a result of an extensive research and years of real world knowledge of the ganglords. The beauty lies in the narrative written in first person that rouses empathy and gives it a fiction like quality. Engrossing, revealing and a must-read!
Aug 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Precise, meticulous.A definite read.
Devika Das
Apr 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have read the book twice. It is an interesting read.
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
I somehow missed reading this when it came and then when Audibles launched in India thought it was the perfect way to *read* this one
Kulpreet Yadav
Jul 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a fabulous book. Stories of women, all from Mumbai, who chose the path of crime, a few by choice, and a few because they were not left with any choice. Latter, yes you guessed it right, for love.

The writing style is experimental: a few chapters where the first person alternates with the third person, even though divided into chapters, but from the same story nonetheless, and that's bold I would say. Does it come in the way? No, and in case if you are wondering how did I spot it then, we
Pooja Sibal
Jan 10, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

I believe it takes great courage for a common man to commit a crime, and cunning to get away with it. I guess thats why a lot of people are fascinated by crime. How did he do it? How did he get away? How was he caught?
He? Not here mister. It was a She.

Women who unapologetically made their way in crime world of Mumbai. Set in the time when Underworld was a word everyone was scared off, the book is a set of narratives by a criminal journalist.

"That the female of the species is deadli
Shalini Goyal
Apr 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I remember rifling through the pages of Dongri To Dubai : Six Decades of The Mumbai Mafia almost six to seven years ago. I had found the book in the back of a shelf in my college library. Dog-eared with pages scrunched up and stained yellow here and there, the book had the mark of a well used book, read by many people, albeit its inhuman treatment.

Up until then, I had lived a very sheltered life, where the news channels were changed when any news of mafia, gangsters or their illicit affairs had
Apr 11, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Mumbai underworld, or the Mumbai Mafia is as much a part of the city as Bollywood is, and as much a stuff of legends. The well known stories from this murky world are all male-centric. Haji Mastan, Dawood Ibrahim, Varadarajan Mudaliar, and Karim Lala, to name a few. Thirteen true stories of black marketeers, prostitution ringleaders and trained assassins hit the pages of "Mafia Queens of Mumbai" with a convincing splatter. Sure, critics may call it trade paper, but this is pulp at its graphi ...more
Sep 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
We've all heard and read about the men of the Mumbai underworld. Many have been portrayed in screen by our favourite heroes as well. But what of the women? Hardly do we come to know of them. This book is an attempt to right that wrong. It was wonderful in an albeit perverse way to read about the women whose names have been forgotten in the murky waters of the Mumbai underworld. Women who, for whatever reasons, decided to take the plunge into a life of crime and paid for it.

Loved the fact that t
Feb 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
As they say behind every successful man there is a woman. So true. And those women are more strong as compared to these men. Its non fiction but didn't feel like it. Very interesting novel. Made me wonder what went wrong with women these days. In those days women used to be so strong and a single woman could handle an entire gang of men. My favorite characters were Gangu and Ashraf. Loved reading it.
Disha Naik
Nov 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: readathon
Dongri to Dubai was my first Hussain Zaidi book - and I couldn't help getting hooked! I absolutely love how he keeps you on your toes from the first word to the last. You just can't help but feel restless until you read and finish the entire book. The language is plain, simple and just perfect. He explains the workings of Mumbai mafiosi with such ease and comfort - it's amazing. I've already got My Name is Abu Salem from the local library - and I can't wait to start.
Jun 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
AMAZING !!!! Never knew that females had played a brilliant role in the Mumbai Underworld.Thanks to the author for this well researched genuine fiction..
It would be even better and enjoyable if we can watch it as a movie..
Its time for me to grab another work of the same author "Black Friday".. I have already ordered it from Flipkart but not yet received..

Jun 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
I'm destroyed by this book - not because it's so good, because it isn't, but because it's so close, and underneath the pulp it's so bleak. It's filmic because it's real; it happened. It's happening.
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S.Hussain Zaidi is India's most prolific crime writer. Discover books he has authored, mentored, choreographed and presented under the aegis of Blue Salt imprint.

Zaidi began his career in journalism while working for the newspaper The Asian Age, where he became the Resident Editor. Zaidi later worked for several other periodicals, including The Indian Express, Mid Day and Mumbai Mirror. His in-de

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