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Dongri To Dubai : Six Decades of The Mumbai Mafia

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  9,394 ratings  ·  875 reviews
Dongri to Dubai is the first ever attempt to chronicle the history of the Mumbai mafia. It is the story of notorious gangsters like Haji Mastan, Karim Lala, Varadarajan Mudaliar, Chhota Rajan, Abu Salem, but above all, it is the story of a young man who went astray despite having a father in the police force.

Dawood Ibrahim was initiated into crime as a pawn in the hands o
Paperback, 408 pages
Published May 25th 2012 by Roli Books
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Siddharth Sharma
Jul 17, 2012 rated it liked it
I have always been pretty eager to read about the Mumbai Underworld, and S Hussain Zaidi has somehow helped me alot in quenching my thirst about the mumabi mafia through his earlier books Black Friday and The Mafia Queens of Mumbai. I picked up 'Dongri to Dubai' with lots of hope,thinking that it is going to be a great sequel to the Mumbai Mafia trilogy,sadly, the I found the book below my expectation levels and here are the reasons for that:-

1. The book is repetitive at quite a number of instan
Jun 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
A book like this was long over due. It is a veritable encyclopedia on the Bombay underworld written by the best amongst the lot - Mr. S. Hussain Zaidi who has previously given us Black Friday and Mafia Queens of Mumbai. Along with Shantaram and Maximum City, this book attempts to define a bewildering megalopolis that defies any easy classification... Meticulously researched over a period of six years,it draws, for the first time, not only the careers of the most dreaded gangsters like Dawood and ...more
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime
"necessity is the mother of invention and father of crime"
an excellent book to learn about mumbai's underworld and the rise of dawood .The story begins with rise of smugglers like haji mastan, musclemen like karim lala,varadarajan mudaliar.Then it talks about dawood, his gradual rise from armed robberies in the 70's to smuggling,organised crimes in the 80's and radicalization during the 90's after babri masjid.
all along the way hussain guides us throughout bombay's underworld history.
it shows th
Lit Bug
This was my first read about mafia - and while I was deeply interested in how Mumbai gave the mafia a chance to flourish, I also noticed asking myself a crucial question more frequently during the latter half of my read.

What should a nonfiction on mafia ideally convey?

Should it be an “objective account” that boasts of not commenting on the ethics of mafiadom to present an “unbiased chronological account” of the phenomenon? Or should it be a critical venture where, by exposing the murky machi
Jan 28, 2021 rated it really liked it
S. Hussain Zaidi's description style is repetitive, and many chapters were incomplete. The book also has some spelling errors. But this is the kind of book I read for the first time, and besides its mistakes and the author's judgemental tone at some points, I feel like this novel provides the details that you're not going to find online, especially at one place. This book is an eye-opener, and if you're interested in reading the Mumbai mafia's history, this book will give you a good start. I def ...more
Shipra Trivedi
Jul 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Dongri To Dubai is not just a book. It’s a journey of few people who changed the history of Mumbai over the period of six decades after the independence.
The book simply tells you the stories of local mafias and how they operated their networks with the help of some police officials, politicians, celebs and influenced personalities. The author has narrated very interesting stories of almost all the ganglords who indirectly ruled the economic center of India.
As far as storyline is concerned, it is
Kali Srikanth
Power n.: Ability to cause or prevent an action, make things happen; the discretion to act or not act. Opposite of disability.

A Society is made up of people from various cultures, creeds, colors and walks of life. Within societies are poor, middle class, and very prosperous individuals and families. Society has its own government, rules to abide by, laws to follow, courts and other controlling factors to make people who live therein, safe. People have careers, jobs, schools, commercial and resi
Arun Divakar
Oct 02, 2013 rated it liked it
There is a morbid fascination we associate with the darker shades of the society who are referred to as the 'underworld'. Seeing things from such an angle has also helped me understand the immense popularity movies like The Godfather trilogy, Scarface and Goodfellas have enjoyed. While most people cannot or do not want to grow rich in this fashion, they relish watching from the sidelines as a small section of their society does things by their own rules. Like any other nation of the world, India ...more
Gayatri Sriram
Mar 28, 2013 rated it it was ok
A book on the Mumbai Mafia was long overdue,I just wish it hadn't come from Mr. Zaidi. He might be the undisputed king of crime reporting, but a storyteller he is not.

The timelines are awry, the characters are developed and scattered in a haphazard manner... There are over fifty characters and hundreds are mentioned through the book, tiring to say the least when there is (almost always) nothing memorable about them. The dialogues sound like some cheesy b grade movie, possibly due to the poor Hi
Salil Kanitkar
Mar 21, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: english, 2016
Should a Non-fiction book about Mafia be a factual, textbook-ish, non-judgmental piece of writing or should it have a moral lesson that paints the gory, bloody side of the criminal life & highlights the ill effects, the illegality and the moral turpitude of the mobsters ?

In my opinion, the second option is better - but there is absolutely nothing wrong in going with the first.

What a Non-fiction book about Mafia should Not do is glorification of the criminals, the romanticization of the power th
Mar 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
S. Hussain Zaidi is master in detailing the life of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim. I finished this book within 3 days & never wanted it to get end. Really, his hardwork of 6 years definitely made this book worth reading. He chronicles the details of not only dawood but also about others before him who started the smuggling & others illegal activities in mumbai. Though, you'll feel few dialogues in the book to be *cheesy* as if like it has taken by old bollywood movies on gangster. I read about d ...more
Kanwarpal Singh
Feb 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
The story of underworld how the underworld operation are worked out and how police reacted and story is divided into party shootout happens are various places are written according and perfect devilish act are shown in the novel.

This book tell us about the notorious gangs of Mumbai underworld, and how there ruling come into power, who supported them, who backed, how the circumstances make few of them criminal, how they started it as there career, there rising in underworld, there fear in the cit
Swati Garg
Jan 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
First of all, a big thank you to Hussain Zaidi for writing this book. A book spanning six decades would have taken immense hard work more so when it is about the Mumbai Mafia. And he does pure justice to it.

After reading this book you can see why Bollywood loves charismatic underworld dons. Women, Money, Intelligence, Blood, Violence- they have everything going on for them.

Like any mortal in the world, Hussain Zaidi falls in love with the subject of his research but to his credit he maintains
Vikas Singh
Dec 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned-book
Written by India's ace crime reporter Hussain Zaidi, this is the first ever attempt to chronicle the birth and rise of Mumbai underworld. Combining his decades of experience in crime reporting with network of friends and contacts who gave him access to valuable documents, Zaidi creates a fast paced history of underworld. Never shy to mince words he does justice to all that happened in crime scene in Mumbai since Indian independence. One of the rare books on the subject, it is definitely a must r ...more
Rural Soul
Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This man is indeed a master storyteller. It feels like a guy is holding all of you in his spell in a pub, telling you a story which you didn't want to hear but now you want to listen till the end. Just like a guy at next seat of yours in a bus, started bragging about something.
But wait. These stories mind you, unlike above, happen to be true.
It was indeed a huge study and analysis subject which forced him to dig deeper. Even it made him to reach family members of gangster to bring out the truth
Sep 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
I've read Hussain Zaidi's Mafia Queens of Mumbai and was impressed. Growing up, I had read a great deal about Haji mastan and Jenabai in Mum's magazines, while closeted in a dark, secluded space. Book was a reminder of tid bits I had picked up then.

Dongri to Dubai is his account of rise, growth and fall of underworld history in Mumbai from 1950s. It covers the background and reign of Karim Lala, Haji Mastan, Varadrajan, explains the ever-changing alliances and rivalries of the underworld. Pathan
Jan 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: onetimeread
This book has a major identity problem. On the outset, the book appears to only chronicle the infamous don's life story but then the author gets into this Mario Puzo style of recounting the entire yesteryear Mumbai mafia's transformation from one phase into another not to mention the feeble attempt to make you-know-who be given a Vito Corleone-ish shade.

Oh and there is sex strewn here and there à la Sunny Corleone and Lucy Mancini type of crude stuff but with poor taste. Seriously, the author t
Mar 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing

The book starts with a telephonic conversation between a veteran crime journalist and the man himself, post which the plot becomes narrative. Largely based on the making of the D-Company and rise & fall of men associated, the initial half details out the humble beginning of the underworld during Independence which also forms the background of the book. The latter half talks about life and love of Dawood which are intricately woven into a series of incidents which the journalist has very meticulo
Aditya Shobhawat
Sep 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, india
Once I started reading the book, I had to finish it at the earliest before I could go back to my normal routine.
It is a must read book for the readers interested to learn about the clandestine world of Mumbai mafia and boasts to be the most comprehensive account of Mumbai underworld portrayed till date.
Author truly deserves kudos for depicting the real life events of ghastly gangsters in a mode of story-telling. However, reader is sometimes left with the sense of reading something 'filmy' in whi
Deepsinh Jhala
Nov 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Heavily researched and meticulously penned by Hussain Zaidi, this book explores the Mumbai underworld along with its heroes especially the infamous D-company king Dawood Ibrahim and his syndicate journey. Greatly insightful and powerful storytelling.
Rahul Sharma
Mar 09, 2015 rated it liked it
Starts off very well and gives great insights into the history of underworld in Mumbai. The narration is taut and it almost feels like that you are reading the script of a Bollywood film. However, there are way too many characters (Dons) and the unabashedly sensational writing left me exhausted as I reached the end!
Parth Agrawal
Jun 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Annals of Mumbai crime history. A fascinating topic. A chronology of Gangsters( Haji Mastan, Karim Lala, Varardhrajan Mudliar, Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar) who came, ruled and went away. It is similar to those history book lessons where we learn about Babur, Humayun, Akbar, how they came to India and went away with their indelible mark on the country. Same can be said for these gentlemen who scarred Mumbai with their characteristic marks upon the city.

All of my friends have been asking me that why did
Jan 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: best-reads
Took a bit long to finish this book but almost each chapter in it were like script of some bollywood movies.
I came across this book after reading Ghamkiri by Nayanraj Pandey where he mentions an incident where Dawood’s brother shabir was killed by Manya Survey gang. I then saw John Ibrahim’s Shootout at Waadala and then came this book.
I simply was having images of Amitabh from Deewar (Tum log mujhe dhood rahe ho aur mai tumhara yahan intajar kar raha hun) to Imran Hasmi from Once upon a time i
Ravi Prakash
May 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing

Mumbai, a city that never sleeps, a city that dreams while being awakened, a city full of heights of glamour and wealth on one side and on the other, pitch dark silent ditches of poverty and deprivation. A unique city indeed! A city which is known by its stark contradictions; and in this unique city, these differences made a unique world, of its own type, that is called “Underworld”. This ‘underworld’ is not like as you have watched in the movies like ‘The Godfather’ or ‘Sarkar’ where you think
Yash Thakrar
Oct 04, 2020 rated it liked it
Amazing Informative book...

The books revolve around India's most wanted man - Dawod Ibrahim & early Indian mafia. Every chapter is a ton of thrilling and exciting stories of the Rising ganglords of the Indian Mafia.

If you are interested to know about Mumbai Mafia this book is completely for you.

I'm giving this book 3 stars because the book is not able to generate the eagerness to read it at once. I was only able to read 2-3 chapters at once after that I feel bored. Overall good informative Book
Apr 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
'Dongri to Dubai' is the first non-fiction book that I have ever read. It is a narrative describing the beginning and growth of the Mumbai mafia and is a detailed account of the rise and fall of many a mafia leaders. But mainly it's the tale of one man who changed the face of Mumbai in spite of being far away.

It is a well researched book, of course, and the fact that the author has been a crime reporter, thereby fully informed of all the events, was an added advantage. A mere statement of facts
Nov 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
I've always been a big fan of mafia movies, be it Mario Puzo's "The Godfather" or cliche Bollywood movies like "Company", "Satya" or India's version of The Godfather, our very own "Sarkar".
When I was shopping for a new book, I stumbled upon Dongri to Dubai. I'd seen "Black Friday - The Movie" which was based on Hussain Zaidi's book and was really hoping to get my hands on something similar.
Hussain Zaidi is a master storyteller. He writes effortlessly. The book starts with one of Mumbai's most no
Sep 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Dongri To Dubai takes you the history of the Mumbai mafia, beginning with its pre independence roots with Rampuri chākūs and turf wars, and ending with its modern day history as a trigger happy global crime syndicate.

The stories, while well researched and very interesting (and not widely known), tend to be rushed, especially the ones that don't focus on Dawood Ibrahim. His saga steals the limelight away from the other stories in the book - it gets a little monotonous after a while when every oth
Srijan Gupta
Mar 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The ultimate book covering the entire history of Mumbai mafia and its most notorious export to the world... Based on cold, hard facts gathered from a selection of sources, including retired top brass of Mumbai Police, dossiers and incident reports from MP, CBI, Interpol etc.
But fact and truth are two very different things...
This literary piece is as close as one can come to the truth... Sheds light even on the nexus of politicians, the top governing officials of our country and the entertainmen
Abhijit Patil
Sep 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Read
Here it is the man 'Dawood Ibrahim' who was initiated into crime as a pawn in the hands of the Mumbai police and eventually became the Mumbai police’s own nemesis,The story of such a man who turned the world of crimes into one corporate busniess.but above all, it is the story of such a young man who went astray despite having a father in the police force.This book reveals the chronicle history of the Mumbai underworld & mafia Raj. It is not only the story of DAWOOD IBRAHIM alone, but it is also ...more
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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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