Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Dongri To Dubai by S. Hussain Zaidi!!!



             A fun that lies in reading a book can not be even imagined by those who just think of reading a book. Let a book be a Fiction story or a Non-fictional narration, if the book is good, you are bout to land into a world that is as new to you as to anyone else. And exploring a new world with a road that no one knows will turn where is another fun. I have just finished reading one of my last books of 2012 as my exams are approaching and I'm planning to halt this addiction to novels. :-) Though it's going to be hard but a decision made is decision accomplished. "Dongri To Dubai- Six Decades of The Mumbai Mafia" is my latest read. It took me 4 days to complete it because of regular college but now as I have finished the book, I'm regretting. I want to start it again and enjoy the journey of reading the book once again. Some book shouldn't end, they should be written in such a way that you keep on reading them in loop. :-) A terrific work by S. Hussain Zaidi- 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. 

            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 of the Mumbai police and went on to wipe out the competition and eventually became the Mumbai police’s own nemesis. The narrative encompasses several milestones in the history of crime in India, from the rise of the Pathans, formation of the Dawood gang, the first ever supari, mafia’s nefarious role in Bollywood, Dawood’s move to Karachi, and Pakistan’s subsequent alleged role in sheltering one of the most wanted persons in the world. This story is primarily about 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.

             A book based on the history of Mumbai Mafia's 60 years of power and authority tends a reader to expect an out of world experience while reading it. And the expectation rises once you see the cover page twinkling with the face of Dawood Ibrahim. A man who is still in memories of all. A man who is kind of brand ambassador of Dubai for Indians. And the book has been written making him the hero of it. Right from the moment Dawood enters the story, book rises to a different level. You just can't miss a single word of this book by thinking of something else. Initially, when Haji Mastan, Varda bhai, Karim Lala's emergence is narrated, it makes you love these Dons. You start considering them as legends. But as soon as Dawood enters into the surreal narration, you wish to flow with the story till the latest page of the book. Not for a moment will you feel that the book should be finished. And that's a sign of a good book.

              The extreme research and proper usage of words make the book what it deserved to. The several years that Mr. Zaidi took in scripting this book shows the result quite clearly. Though the dates aren't mentioned repetitively, you tend to get lost in between of the story. Author should have mentioned the incidents with the dates or years regularly. That would have made this story more interesting with an imaginary timeline. :-) The rise of every gang, its leader and their enmity with other gangs and then their fall is narrated so wonderfully that for a moment you wish to have time machine to go back to that era of Mumbai, stand on the road and witness all the fights and feud that happened. You wish to be one of them and fight among the gangs. :-) The childhood of Dawood, his relation with his father, brothers, sisters, friends, gang members etc are mentioned with extreme care. One needs gut to write a book about the most wanted criminal with utter honesty. The pinch of fiction that author has added periodically interests you more. The last 50 pages, that is the climax of the book is handled very neatly by the author because till then all the fights and collisions ends which is the USP of the book. So it could have been the worst part of the book but Mr. Zaida has ensured that he ends the story with the same intensity with which he carried the whole book with. The conversations that are mentioned makes you laugh. The usage of Hindi makes it more effective. 

            Some drawbacks- Less mention of dates on regular basis confuses us. Some incidents of which author hasn't given details about. That makes it hard for us to progress with the story. The decline of some men and after-effects isn't stated as it should have been. Dawood's relation with some people is just described in a sentence or two while we wish to read more about his personal relations too. That should have been descriptive too. Once Dawood lands in Dubai, the initial days in Dubai is the worst description by Mr. Zaidi. But overall, I would say a book that everyone should read if you are interested in knowing about Dawood Ibrahim, his emergence and his life. Author has surely raised the level of Non-fiction with his latest work. I would rate the book 4.5 out of 5. 

  THANKS.

  ABHILASH RUHELA - VEERU

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Love @ Internet by Rajeev Ranjan!!!




            I have just completed reading Rajeev Ranjan's 2nd novel- "Love @ Internet". In May 2012, I read his first work- "A Splash of love". The book is one of my favorites. And after seeing the cover page of Love @ Internet, I was excited about it. I had lots of expectations from Rajeev Ranjan. But unfortunately, he has been unsuccessful in creating the same magic that he did with his first book. Though that book had several grammar and spelling errors but still it won my heart while this one is error-free but still I didn't connect with it. It's the second work by Rajeev Ranjan who is a Graduate in Physics from University of Delhi in 1996, then he pursued Post Graduation again in Physics and turned into an Indian Coast Guard. No, he is not a young author like others who are on the board these days. :-) So girls, chill.

             The synopsis of the book says- How much has internet changed our lives How much has chatting changed the way we interact with others Have you ever tried finding your soul-mate through this medium Is it normal to do that? This novel tries answering all that through a beautiful story. Besides, it also touches some of the emotions that cross our lives. Set up in late nineties it talks about the time when the internet had just arrived on the scene; when people had just seen mobiles; when STD booths had long queues. The novel is also a transition of life with changing ways of communication and attempts to find whether it affects the notions of love anyway. 

            L@I is the story of protagonist- Rohit who misses his first opportunity at love with Tina. She leaves his colony where he used to interact with her through eyes and smile through their respective balconies. But later on, he gets to know about the medium of Internet through which people can get in touch with opposite gender easily. Where everyone is available for a relationship. And he tries his hand on it. He fails initially but later it gives transition to his life. Though he keeps failing again and again but as its said "All well that ends well", Rohit finally achieves the unexpected. To know what unexpected does he get in the end, go get the book. :-) 

           Initially, the book starts with a kind of biography-feel. But later on it loses the touch of the initial pages. I would have been more happier if the author would have kept the whole story written in the same manner as the initial pages are. Secondly, in his first book, author has narrated the story without much conversations while in this book he has inserted lots of conversation. Though they are realistic but it becomes boring after a while. And the conversations are written in paragraph format instead of keeping the dialogues under inverted commas. But again Rajeev Ranjan manages to showcase his talent of connecting the last few pages of the book with its initial pages. Some sentences are beautifully formed. It makes you read them twice. For other that irritates you, author should go for an editing in the second print. The e-mails that are written by Rohit to respective girls are another best parts of the book.  The chapters where his mother and brother speaks about Rohit is also another feature of the novel. The target audience of this book is young boys/girls belonging in the age group of 13 to 20. Anyone between this age might enjoy the book. But my message to Rajeev Ranjan is- I wanted it to be more special than your first book. I hope your 3rd will make me forget your first one. ;-) I would rate this book 2/5. 

  Thanks.

  ABHILASH RUHELA - VEERU

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

100th BOOK REVIEW- ROBIN SHARMA's The Secret Letters of The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari!!!


699th BLOG POST -->>


            I still remember my comeback into this world of book reading- The first time that I picked "Who will cry when you die?" by Robin Sharma from Nashik Railway Station's wheeler store(in 2008). I used to read too many books in my childhood out of which most of them used to be magazines. But after passing my 8th std, mere parr lag gaye and I refrained myself from doing any intellectual activity. :-) In 11th std, I picked up this book again because I was in depression and I wanted to die anytime soon. The title interested me. But the outcome of the book turned out to be quite different than what I thought while picking it up. I got many secrets of living a happy life. I now wanted to experiment all the suggestions that the author gave in the book. For that, I had to live, not die. :-) And after experimenting those things in life, I got a reason to live. Since then, I started considering Robin Sharma as my Guru. He came as a Godly figure in life who motivated me with his thoughts and suggestions. Then I went for The Monk who Sold his Ferrari- the biggest masterpiece from the author. And fortunately, that book transformed my personality and whole purpose of life. After that, I went to Big Bazaar and purchased all his books. And after reading them, the positivism, fearlessness, enthusiasm etc that has got permanently embedded in my personality is inseparable. 

          I have just finished reading Robin Sharma's latest motivational book- "The Secret Letters of the Monk Who Sold His Ferrari". Initially, I thought that it's about the letters Robin Sharma has received from the people who experienced the transformation in themselves after reading TMWSHF but no, this book is million times greater than my initial assumption. :-) Robin Sharma has crafted this book very differently. He has kept Julian- his favorite character in the book who still plays the role of the person who went to Himalaya and returned back after attaining wisdom and secrets of life from the monks and sages living there. And then doing the same what monks/sages did with him- Sharing the knowledge with others who have lost faith in life and enthusiasm in living. But this time, the book is not a sort of conversation that it has been every time Julian-based story is being written. It's about the journey of a man(Jonathan) through which he learns some principles of life. Before moving to the journey, he was frustrated with the life but once he gets all the principles, he gets excited to return back to his life and fix his unsettled job, unstable marriage and disappointed son. :-) 

             With Jonathan who learns the principle on the journey to which Julian sends him, even we get to learn all the principles. The talismans that is to be collected by Jonathan from different people residing in different areas of the world take us to the exploration of many beautiful spots/countries/cities existing in the world. It also gives us a sudden push for traveling to places that can teach us the serenity of life and exploration. The messages that Jonathan got with each Talisman makes us think about our own life and implementing the same with us. I got excited with each sentence of the book. Reading Robin Sharma's book is the most peaceful odyssey of my life. I can never forget the experience I had while reading all his previous books- may be 10 or something. The only one left to be read is- A Leader With No Title that I can pick up lately this month before the arrival of exam so that I get motivated yet again and study to my best. :-) Robin Sharma's books aren't meant to be read just once for the sake of reading it, but to be kept in our shelf and read whenever we feel angry, tired, sad, depressed, exasperated about life. 

            I don't think that any of the Sharma's book need a review. And I am not even eligible to review his book. But because I want those people to pick it up who are not content with their life. They will surely learn how wonderful life is and even if it's not, how can we live it wonderfully. Yes! And I found nothing better to write for my 699th POST than Robin Sharma's book and its effect on me and millions of people. Paulo Coelho, another revolutioniar in the league of Sharma's is also his fan. So friends, please read this book, you will surely thank me after experiencing the journey of reading this book and it's after effects in your life.

 Thanks.

  ABHILASH RUHELA - VEERU

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