Title: Mafia Queens of Mumbai: Stories of Women from the Ganglands
Author: S. Hussain Zaidi with Jane Borges
Publisher: Tranquebar Press
PP: 308 pages
Price: Rs. 250
Source: Personal Copy
Yes it is true, behind every successful man, no matter what the profession, there is always a woman. A Woman who is not only strong-headed but also sly enough to accelerate the man’s thoughts and decision-making process, in the direction she wants to. And yes women rule the roost (though for some men it is hard enough to accept the fact) and that’s true.
The reason I say this is because I have just finished reading Mafia Queens of Mumbai, a realistic and hard-hitting portrait of women who were the Mafia Queens of the metropolis. It is not weird to think that young Dawood Ibrahim in need of the hour would turn to Jenabai – a freedom fighter converted to a bootlegger. Haji Mastan and the other gangsters would also consult her and act on advice given when needed. That’s what got me thinking the most while reading the book, and come to think of it, it is just but one of the thirteen accounts of the book and Jenabai stays the most in memory as she has also been portrayed by many on the silver screen.
Each of the 13 narratives are real, pieced from official documents, case reports and anecdotes. From a woman who fell in love with a gangster to avenger her husband’s death to another who convinced her husband to join the underworld only to cheat on him and forced to flee the country.
There are so many more real-life incidents in the book such as these and it makes you wonder about what takes place behind closed doors. Mafia Queens of Mumbai is real and the writers do not mince words. Almost everything is layered and nothing is ever as simple as what meets the eye. I loved the writing. It is direct, in-your-face and unapologetic and that is what makes the book so readable.
Wives, Lovers and Mistresses – they are all there in the book. They seep through the pages and their voices are clear. They have had the will to survive and all of them are survivors, in one way or the other. From prositution to being a moll to silently being hidden behind the scenes and running the show, so to say. These women fall down and rise back to action with clearer minds and stronger determination to do what it takes to find their place in the throes of the underworld.
You can also order to book here on Flipkart