Scary? Funny? Amazing? Ha! Think more, and you’ll come up with more adjectives. Infact, dont think too much. Instead, read this book “Mafia Queens of Mumbai”, by S.Hussain Zaidi and Jane Borges.
I know its been long since my last post. Blame it on “there comes a phase when you don’t feel like blah blahing thing..”. It was this phase when I laid my eyes on a fat woman looking out of windows with iron bars and the title read as Mafia Queens of Mumbai. Eyes wide, I instantly sent a cursory glance on the contents of the book. Fascinating! That’s what I felt. I rarely buy books. But this one I just could not avoid. I had to read it. So as I came out of the book shop, feeling a lot better than before, with a new book to devour I just waited for the night to come upon.
Mumbai has lived under the shadow of the Underworld since forever. Dawood Ibrahim, Karim Lala, Chhota Shakeel, Abu Salem.. these are names that any Indian would recognize. Underworld is majorly considered a world of men and no one would even think of women being the masters of the deadly games. Women, who have been part of this murky side of the city, walking along side, sometimes leading and manipulating men in the Underworld to run their own illegal businesses. Have you ever thought about a seventy year old woman advising Haji Mastan about his next move? Have you ever thought upon a wife who cleverly paves the way to underworld..for her husband? Yes it is true, behind every successful man, no matter what the profession, there is always a woman. I was brought up having heard this quote just too many times, but I experienced it first hand when I read the book. This is about what we read in detail in the printed and legally published form. Also, “Crime is juicier than spirituality,” writes Vishal Bhardwaj in the foreword. So here we go..
The book tells the story of 13 women from the gang-lands who’ve till now remained in the backseat. The author journalist has successfully brought out their lives in the front, portraying the hard hitting lives that they’ve led without any fear and second thoughts. They are a kind of celebrity in their own world, the Underworld. These (till now infamous) women have been wives, lovers and mistresses of the famous men of the crime world. They have been survivors, one way or the other. People of their respective areas not only respect these women but are ready to die for their so called amma’s and didi’s. Our anti-heroines are never guilty—not in the technical sense, nor in their refusal to compromise. These are a handful of women who lived on their own conditions and had full control over their worlds, and Mafia Queens celebrates their spirit.
This was my first book from Hussain Zaidi and Jane Borges. I found them the real heroes though. They ventured undaunted through the dark corridors of Mumbai and illuminated them. I loved the writing. There is no icing and it feels every bit real when we go through the pages. From first page till last page, it grips you nicely and you can actually see the stories unfolding before your eyes. I must admit that I was surprised about so much that goes on behind the closed doors in these cities of crime and that none of it comes out on the streets. A sensational write up and an exciting read that left me longing for more. This book is a must read and an important addition to your shelves of libraries. I give 5/5 marks. Mafia Queens of Mumbai is a rare book that lets its readers actually look through the thin veil of a corrupt city. The revelation gives us a pleasure that can be embraced without guilt.
So people, tc and have a nice week ahead!