Smuggling. Gun- running, drugs. Terrorism-for many decades, Mumbai has lived under the shadoe of the underworld dawoodIbrahim karim lala, varadarajan mudaliar: these are names that any Indian would recognize analysed in print immortalized on filmTheir lives their gangs, their businesses are out there for anyone who wants the information. But there have been women, too,Who have been part of his murky side of this side of the city, walking aling side, sometimes leading and manipulation men in theUnderworld to run their own illegal businesses here for the first time, crime journalists.
Hussain Zaidi and Jane Borges explore the lives of some of these women, and how, in cold blood, they wear able to make theirWay up in whar was crrtainly a man’s worldFrom kamathipura to doungri, from assassins to molls, this is a collection that tells the stories of women who hae become lagendIn Mumbai’s streets, lanes and back-asseys. Absorbingly told, impeccably researched, mafia queens of Mumbai reveals a saide ofMumbai’s underworld that has never been seen before.
Crime is juicier than spirituality guns are more attractive than roses. And thus- at least to me the stories about the lives of gangsters are much more fascinatin to share than that of saints. I felt that crime reporting in India is limited only to the columns of daily newspapers and the stories die shortly after they after they are published it published it is truly rare that a book seeks to preserve such stories for posterity and specifically for fans Like me.
As a filmmaker, need for such stories is even more so I always felt handicapped and a tad frustrated because there was no way ICould dig into the lives or events in the glorious criminal past of he great city of drams, once called Bombay and now know asMumbai but the time came when I had to change my opinion it was when is saw the film black Friday (made by my dear friendAnd a fantastic filmmaker, anurag kashyap) which is based on the book of the same title authored by s. hussain zaidi the book wasA thoroughly researched account of the reasons and the led to the horrible 1993 Mumbai serial blasts and the repercussions thatFollowed. Husain s was a name a stuck forever in my mind after that I found a ray of hope in his work I decided to follow his crimeStories and therefore had to change my newspaper every time he switched jobs.
Finally I met him during the research work of my film kamimey. He was of great help no course taking me to people and places inOrder for me to have a glance into the drug trafficking business of the city an inseparable part of the Mumbai mafia it was thenThat I made him promise to give me he first right of refusal of his next work for a film adaptationPrecisely two years later I got a call from him asking me to write the foreword of the book that you have in your hand right nowThe mafia queens of Mumbai of stories that I and I m your most of you have never heardPersonally I enjoy the male one lady Macbeth is more complex and fascinating character than Macbeth or king Duncan madamBovary Anna Karenina phoolan Devi India Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi are, to me much more interesting than their counterpartsAs expected this read was a delightful journey or rather should I say a rollercoaster Ride. Sometimes hilarious sometime fullOf sorrow sometimes horrifying but always dramatic the shrewd jenanbai daaruwali who made notorious gang lords like karmicLala, jaji mastan and our own dawood Ibrahim dance to the movement of her fingers just like a conductor of a big philharmonicOrchestra.
The ironic tale of the queen of kamathipura, gangway fighting to get recognition for the existence and importance of sex workersIn society or the melancholic tale of a wife looking for revenge for her slain husband from none other than dawood lbrahmThe writing is so visual that it makes you feel as if you are watching a movie inter-cutting between various tracks. The stories areAlmost cinematically structured flashing back or forward and taking one through numerous time passages. Honestly, it left meStruggling to decide which one to choose to adapt to celluloid so I proudly welco9me you into the world of these beautiful theGlass ceiling in the absoluter stronghold of brutal masculinity called the underworld Mumbai ki queen kaun? Turn the pages andMake your choice.
Mafia queens of Mumbai is the translation of a decade and a half long dream during the late Nimeties, when crime reporting wasStill my bailiwick, I became fascinated with woman criminals I realized they were gutsier far more scheming and lethal when itCame to pursuing their goals
One episode that left an imndeprint on my mind was the story of lallan bhabhi in the world of bhais(Criminals) she was the bhabhi one of the cogs in the petrol adulteration cartel one a rainy evening she was arrested as per theNorm she was allowed to make one phone call generally, the accused used the opportunity to inform their rilatives about theirRelatives about their arrest of hire a lawyer for bail proceeding.
This woman sitting in the police station right under the cops Noses, called her house and instructed her younger brother I am not coming home tonight, please shift the kitchen
the cop who Narrated the story to me later said they were mystified by the whole conversation. Why would a woman who has just beenArrested by the cops, be more concerned about her kitchen than her children husband or her own release the police knew itWas futile to question her she was hardly expected to be honest with the law.
They could not use unconventional methods toMake a woman talk so they dispatched a police party to her house and asked her brother about the whole conversation the boy iImmediately cracked and revealed that she meat the fresh stock of adulterated petrol which was not seized by the cops should beImmediately shifted to some other hideout before the police learned of its existence. Lallan bhabhi her mettle to the cops; she wasUnifazed by the law for her, being in police custody was just an interlude befor resuming her criminal activities and she didn’tWant any financial loss despite her being incarcerated. She wanted to keep het petrol adulteration business thriving and runningAs a writer and journalkist, journalist, it was a seminal moment for me. I was intrigued. I began compiling data and began taking aSpecial interest in crimes where women figured prominently. It might come handy if wrote a book, I told myself. And after havingWritten about all kinds of criminals over the years, I can say with trim conviction that when it comes to gender dynamics, it isMuch easier to be a dawood Ibrahim than a jenabai daaruwali. If you sift through the gangs of chhotas (rajan and shakeel), youWill find clones galore, but will rarely come across a sapna didi, a woman who dared to stab wounds inflicted on her four wereSpecifically targeted at her private parts, a grisly message of warning to other women not to dally with the mafia. This book is anAttempt to understand the complex minds and the psyche of women criminals. It is in no way meant to glorify them. On the otherHand these women were not glorifies them. On the other hand, these women were not blank slates written upon by dangerousMale mafia memners. There is no simplistic cause-effect way of looking at their lives. There a way of transcending their poverty aAnd limitations but also a life saving concept. By focusing on these women. They are fascinating women because they pushe theBoundaries of our dominant moral codes. Compiling the extraordinary and powerful tales of thirteen women from the worldOf crime and the underworld was overwhelmingly challenging and arduous, especially because a they pushed the boundaries ofDominant moral codes. Compiling the extraordinary and powerful tales of thirteen women from the world of crime and theUnderworld was overwhelmingly challenging and the underworld was overwhelmingly challenging and arduous, especiallyBecause a number of them flourished at a time when crimes by were barely documented or acknowledged. These include theStories of bootlegger jenabai daaruwali and brothel madam gangway kathiawadi as journalists the first lesson we learnt was notTo sit on judgment but rise questions. In the stories that stories that you will read, we have desisted from being judgmental andHave stuck to facts. We have relied heavily on court documents, stuck to facts. We have relied heavily on court documents,Police recods, cop historians, reliable journalists and published news stories in major national dailies.in the absence of these, weHave interviewed relatives, meoghbours. Retired policemaen, veteran jouranalists and other independent witnesses. We ensuredThat any account which seemed controversial was corroborated by two separate parties.j those accounts which seemedContradictory to each other were ignord. This is an attempt at accourate and true story. Telling it is not a piece of fiction. We haveTaken literary license only in those places where we feel it is absolutely necessary to add graphic drama to the story, but withoutAny sort of dilution to the authenticity of the Incidents.
|Foreword By Vishal Bhardwaj||ix|
|One||The wily old Woman of Dongari||1|
|Two||The matriarch of kamathipura||59|
|Four||The Narco Empress||181|
|Six||Wives Of Hindu Dons||249|
|The Ganglords’s Girls||263|