Not just about Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar

I’ve previously expressed on one of my blog posts how I enjoy reading about Mumbai and the people. I also feel Indian authors are underrated (We are not talking about Chetan Bhagat here)

I regularly pick up fiction and non-fiction books by Indian authors. My latest read was Dongri to Dubai by a very well known Indian Journalist S Hussain Zaidi.


The book has been applauded over the past two years and I finally had the chance to read it.

When I picked up Dongri To Dubai owing to its title I assumed the book is going to be all about Dawood Ibrahim and the book will throw light on what he did and why he did  what he did.

Chronicles Lives of Major Dons in Mumbai Dons across Six Decades

The book is not just about Dawood Ibrahim. It book chronicles stories of notorious gangsters through a period of six decades. Lives and works of Mumbai Mafia from the period of 1945 to 2011 is explored in the book. A few characters being Haji Mastan, Karim Lala, Varadarajan Mudaliar, Chhota Rajan, Abu Salem. Dawood being the central character, reading his story through S Hussain Zaidi’s words is almost like watching a movie. Every situation is described meticulously to the point you feel as if you are present during the time of event.

Thrilling & Fast Paced 

A lot of nonfiction books tend to get drab and boring when the author fails to entice the reader. Zaidi describes the characters, their thought processes and the reason behind their actions. Each character has been deconstructed beautifully. This book is the first attempt to chronicle the history of  Mumbai Mafia. The author has tried his best to create a natural flow between the chapters and has achieved to do so for most parts of the book.

The Central Plot

“A story of how a boy from Dongri became a don in Dubai, and captures his bravado, cunningness, focus, ambition, and lust for power in a gripping narrative. The meticulously researched book provides an in-depth and comprehensive account of the mafia’s games of supremacy and internecine warfare.”

“Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar was born in 1955 to a policeman. The author describes Dawood’s first robbery, his love affairs during his youth, and how he turned into a local goon. The police used to use him against various Pathan gangsters. Gradually, he managed to destroy the competition, formed the Dawood gang, and ended up being the Mumbai Police’s arch nemesis. The don is an ally of Pakistan’s ISI, though he is not an Islamic fundamentalist.”

Key Takeaway

Zaidi analyses that this alliance was born out of necessity. Pakistan is said to shelter him though he is one of the most wanted people on this planet, and in return he funds Islamic jihads. Interestingly, Dawood’s biggest source of income in Pakistan comes from selling pirated Bollywood movies. The personality and characteristics of Dawood Ibrahim have been covered well in this book. His lust for power, his focus, his shrewdness, and his calculating mind have been captured beautifully.

Why Should You Read The Book?

“Meticulously researched, this book also has intelligent analysis along with the facts. Dawood Ibrahim’s rise from a local to an international gangster is sure to keep you hooked. The new movie, Shootout At Wadala, is based on this book.”

About the Author

S. Hussain Zaidi is a Mumbai based journalist, a veteran of investigative, crime and terror reporting in Mumbai media. He has worked for the Asian Age, the Mumbai Mirror, Mid-day, and the Indian Express. His previous books include bestsellers like Black Friday and the Mafia Queens of Mumbai. Zaidi is also associate producer for the HBO movie, Terror in Mumbai, based on the 26/11 terror strikes.

Zaidi was born to a tailor, and grew up in the Mumbai suburb of Vikhroli. He studied commerce from Chetna College, and later went on to work for newspapers like the Indian Express, Asian Age, Mid-day, and Mumbai Mirror. He has been working as a journalist and covering the Mumbai mafia for twenty years. Zaidi is an associate producer for an HBO movie which is based on the 26/11 terrorist attacks. This author also conducted the last ever published interview of Dawood Ibrahim. He is married to crime reporter Velly Thevar, and they live in Mumbai.

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