Red Sox Look to Regain Edge in Game 4

As if Jon Lester’s mystery goo wasn’t enough to stir up some drama during this World Series, yesterday’s Game 3 finish took the excitement to a whole new level (see video below).

With last night’s nail-biter in the books, who knows if intense endings and finger pointing will reign supreme during the fall classic?

The Red Sox and their starter Clay Buchholz will need to shake off last night’s heartbreak and prior postseason struggles respectively. Plus the Cardinal’s hurler Lance Lynn has the advantage as Buchholz brings an inflated postseason E.R.A. and shoulder fatigue to Busch Stadium.

While certain statistics geeks have primed the Cardinals to take it all (since the 16 of the last 18 World Series champions always won Game 3), a monarch can only lay claim to a kingdom with a crown, not voter projections. The St. Louis youth pitching brigade may just continue their onslaught on the Boston lineup provided there are no defensive hiccups.

To see where this soap opera of a World Series takes us, simply watch Game 5 between the two formidable teams!

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For Spectacular Cinema, Hop Off the Chennai Express Train and Head to Madras Café

Over the last year Bollywood has seen a revival of espionage movies centered around the trials and tribulations of *Research & Analysis Wing agents. The resurgence came about with the slick but slightly prolonged Agent Vinod. About five months later arrived a spy flick graced with the grandeur that is Salman Khan, Ek Tha Tiger. More recently there was the propaganda-ridden yet entertaining D-Day.

Now Madras Café takes a few pages out of history textbooks for inspiration through the eyes of a fictitious protagonist (a la James McAvoy-Forest Whitaker starrer The Last King of Scotland). Plus, when the lead star who also happened to be the Producer, touted the intense fare as India’s Argo, expectations only soared.

Will this new political thriller be able to hold its own with Shah Rukh Khan’s latest release still dominating the box office and stiff competition from a similar genre, Satyagraha, lurking around the corner?

The answer is an emphatic yes albeit the numerous set backs in Tamil Nadu and the United Kingdom.

While the film does depict the LTTE groups in a violent light, it does not take a pro or anti stance. Protesters feel otherwise.

While the film does depict the LTTE groups in a violent light, it does not take a pro or anti stance. Protesters feel otherwise.

The film commences with former RAW agent Vikram Singh (John Abraham) during his state of self-imposed exile where he constantly drowns his sorrows in alcohol. He then ventures to an Anglican Church where he recounts his experiences as an agent who spearheaded covert operations in Sri Lanka. Through clandestine means, he was tasked with dismantling the guerilla *LTF faction that his government helped advance during the *Sinhala-Tamil conflict.

As Vikram delved deeper into his mission, he learned of a larger conspiracy amidst the Sri Lankan Civil War to assassinate the *ex Prime Minister. Aiding him in his pursuit of truth is idealistic British journalist Jaya Sahni (Nargis Fakhri). The mission’s consequences also began to take a toll on the RAW officer’s personal life which further motivates him to uncover the conspiracy. The fact that Vikram’s bureaucratic handler Bala (Prakash Belawadi) makes life difficult for him only adds another layer to the conflict.

First and foremost, John Abraham deserves great adulation since he banked on the brilliant script written by Somnath Dey, Shubendu Bhattacharya, and Juhi Chaturvedi. His cinematic acumen is clearly serving him well in that he has switched gears from the delightful comedy Vicky Donor to this unorthodox political thriller. The screenplay keeps you hooked from the get go especially considering the lack of stereotypical Bollywood elements. Whether you are an avid politico or apathetic towards international relations, thankfully the film does not presuppose too much familiarity with the Sri Lankan civil war. The writers cleverly depict the vested commercial/diplomatic interests rampant in world affairs.

Director Shoojit Sircar was the right choice to man the ship because his vision  complements the screenwriters’ historical research and watertight plot. He effortlessly tests the political waters like he did in his directorial debut, Yahaan. However, this time romantic sub plots or colorful song & dance sequences are nowhere to be seen. Chandrashekar Prajapati’s crisp editing is worthy of praise as assembling material chronicling a decade long war into two hours is no laughing matter.

For those who have visited Sri Lanka or lived in India during the 80s/90s, Madras Café will take them back into time. Such is the authenticity of the production design, camerawork, and locations.

In his previous outing, Action Abraham delivered the most bludgeoning performance as Manya Surve. This time as Vikram Singh, he enacts his part with the right mix of subtlety and intensity. New Yorker Narghis Fakhri clearly has a long way to go before her Hindi becomes flawless. Luckily she only speaks English throughout the movie even when the whole cast predominantly converses with her in Hindi and Tamil. Nonetheless with the linguistic barrier taken care of, Fakhri’s histrionics, not her dubbed Hindi, speak volumes. Prakash Belawadi’s portrayal of the antagonistic and compromised RAW Director is enough of a reason for major award functions to bring back the Best Performance in a Negative Role accolade. Ajay Ratnam resurrects brings slain LTTE chief Vellupillai Prabhakaran back to life via his rendition of *Anna Bhaskaran. Raashi Khanna does well in her brief but important role.

The movie’s only blemishes lie in minute details though. For instance, one of Madras Café’s central themes elaborates on the negative consequences of *blowback resulting from intervention in other countries’ affairs. This was briefly touched on in the first half when Jaya states, “initially we supported and furthered the LTF, now we have switched sides to the *TNA out of opportunism.”

Not to justify Rajiv Gandhi’s slaying, but it was his turncoat behavior that planted the seeds for his untimely death. Madras Café downplays that fact and instead attributes the overall blame for his killing solely to Machiavellian entities that felt threatened by the leader of an upcoming nation. Additionally, why does Nargis Fakhri’s character have an American accent despite being a British national?

All in all, this is a treat for those who enjoy the interweaving of historical fact and fiction. Get off the train(wreck) that is Chennai Express and head to Madras Café for some appetizing South Indian filter coffee.

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*Research & Analysis Wing – India’s external intelligence agency

*LTF– aclear reference to the LTTE

*Sinhala-Tamil conflict – The ethnic demographics of Sri Lanka consist of the Sinhala majority, roughly 70 percent of the population and the Tamil minorities, 30 percent of the population. After independence from the British in 1948, Prime Minister Solomon Bandranaike implemented certain language policies and educational legislations that began the gradual process of marginalizing the Tamil population. The Sinhalese believed that prior to independence they had been disenfranchised by the British while the Tamils rose to prominence. Hence the special interests (certain backward Sinhala communities) pushed for policies that the educational gerrymandering and unfair ‘Sinhala-Only’ Language Policy. As Tamils’ were relegated to the sidelines, a militant group known as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (which was the breakaway faction of Tamil nationalist parties/movements) used guerilla tactics to advocate for Tamil rights. Yes, the LTTE may have legitimate qualms, they resorted to terrorist tactics for the Tamil Agenda. India furthered the group by providing arms and training to them. India did this while acting both as a mediator between the LTTE and Sri Lanka and simultaneously propping up the group. All this just to appeal to the Indian Tamils who were also a major voter base. Eventually the Indian government deemed the LTTE of no use were of no use which is why they the group was rebuffed.

*ex Prime Minister – the ex PM was modeled after former PM Rajiv Gandhi

*Anna Bhaskaran – a character heavily based upon LTTE chief Vellupillai Prabhakaran

*blowback – unintended consequences of a covert operation that are suffered by the civil population of the aggressor government

*TNA – Tamil National Alliance, a rival group of the LTTE

‘Where there is blood on the streets, buy property’ – Baron de Rothschild

As clichéd as it is to start any piece with an oft quoted saying, I just could not resist it this time because it very much applies to the current state of our world. Plus what seems like real estate advice has instead become the law of the land. So here goes nothing.

Baron de Rothschild, member of the French-Jewish banking dynasty shrewdly advised, “Where there is blood on the streets, buy property.” Before I get accused of anti-Semitism, let me state that one of my best friends is a Long Island Jew and I was invited to his sister’s Bat-Mitzvah.

The past, present, and the most probable future indicate that this trend is alive and flourishing. Whether it is Iraq or Libya, so much blood has been spilled in the name of delivering democracy to the deserts and disposing of tyrannical despots. Let me further preface this by stating that by no means am I an apologist for these oppressive dictators and the terror(ism) which their regimes breed.

After this Al-Arabiya story of the Hezbollah’s alleged attack on the Syrian Rebel group   FSA (Free Syrian Army) broke, I knew I was witnessing a classic case of divide and conquer which only furthers the bloodshed Rothschild speaks of.

Rewind back to 2003 when George W. Bush directly invaded Iraq to topple tyrant Saddam Hussein and in hopes of uncovering Weapons of Mass Destruction. Even though at least the former goal was accomplished, the country is rife with more sectarian violence and a puppet Prime Minister who ‘cannot’ stand for the next elections. At least the then Commander and Chief invaded Iraq with American troops.

Now however, instead of directly taking military action in Libya or Syria, American foreign policy is going back to its roots by just providing insurgents with Uncle Sam’s finest weaponry. It is like they took a page from Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. Rule six in the third section, Attack by Stratagem, reads “Therefore the skillful leader subdues the enemy’s troops without any fighting, he captures their cities without laying siege to them, he overthrows their kingdom without lengthy operations in the field.”

Recall the time when the Afghan Mujahideen got similar assistance against the Soviets from the US. We remember how that turned out right?

While Republicans and Democrats continue acting like rival detectives trying to blame each other for the botched up investigation that is Benghazi, Libyan rebels continue to receive the same support. Former Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) describes it best,

“Republicans smell a political opportunity over evidence that the Administration heavily edited initial intelligence community talking points about the attack to remove/soften anything that might reflect badly on the president or State Department. Dems in Congress have offered the even less convincing explanation for Benghazi, that somehow the attack occurred due to GOP sponsored cuts in the security budget at facilities overseas. With a one trillion dollar military budget, it is hard to take this seriously. It appears that the Administration scrubbed initial intelligence reports of references to extremist Islamist involvement in the attacks, preferring to craft a lie that the demonstrations were a spontaneous response to an anti-Islamic video that developed into a full-out attack on the US outpost.”

He also goes onto state that the extremist rebels who destroyed the US consulate in Benghazi were the ones propped up by the United States to oust Muammar Gaddafi. All this so that most NATO members can ensure the sustenance of their war-based economies during the Great Recession.

Mr. Rothschild, you still remain immortal till this day as is evident through this perpetual war on terror and the vested interests of so called democratization. If one has failed to grasp how any of this applies to the aforementioned aphorism, I’ll put it this way. This is not a conspiracy theory. It is just a study of history that just keeps repeating itself.

“Where there is blood on the streets, buy property”

=

“Destroy a country, profit from rebuilding it”

Glossary for SAW Movie Review

Hi everyone, when I wrote my very first entry for UW, a dear friend of mine suggested the idea of a glossary for certain names, events, and terms unfamiliar to those with minimum knowledge of South Asian culture/gangland history.

Since a lot of foreign names and references will fly over many heads, I decided to write a mini-glossary of sorts that provides background to readers. As you read my Shootout at Wadala review, there will be asterisks before certain terms which may throw a few people off.

*1992-1993 – A very dark period of Indian history which bought into question whether India was really a secular democracy. The politically motivated demolition of a Mosque in North India triggered Hindu-Muslim riots all the way down to Mumbai in 1992 (the riots in Slumdog Millionaire where Jamal loses his mother were inspired by this occurence).  Since the instigators of such blood baths were never bought to justice, some prominent stalwarts of the underworld took it upon themselves to dispense their unnecessary draconian brand of justice by planning the 1993 Bombay bomb blasts. Dawood Ibrahim was believed to have provided logistical support to smuggle the RDX into the city for that. Read another Hussain Zaidi authored book, Black Friday for more on this or watch the film adaptation.

*ACP Isaque Bagwan – In 1983, the Assistant Commisioner of Police Isaque Bagwan spearheaded the first ever extra-judicial killing. He was the one at the helm of the encounter where Manya Surve was killed.

*Mastan – The filmmakers could not explictly call the gang with which Dawood Ibrahim and co. were at war with ‘Pathan.’ Pathans are a major immigrant community with roots in Pushtu speaking areas of Afghanistan. They came to India during the many Muslim invasions of the 11th and 12 centuries. Pathan’s are known for being proud and sensitive about their family honor and self-respect. While I do not mean to generalize/stereotype, they were the original players in the seedy underworld.

According to People’s Groups India:

“Revenge and blood feuds between families lasting generations are common owing to this strict code of honor, known as Pakhtunwali.”

*Haksar Brothers – This is the alternative surname for the real life Kaskar brothers (Sabir Ibrahim Kaskar and Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar). Many people refer to Dawood (the Biblical Christian equivalent for that name is David) as the underdog David who was deemed courageous to take on the mighty Goliaths of the Mumbai underworld, the Pathans. The SAW brass was smart to refer to the Pathans and Kaskar brothers  instead as Mastans and the Haksar Brothers respectively. If the original names were kept, gang wars in Mumbai would be revived and certain individuals on whom many characters were modeled would be angered.

Making Up for some Lost Time

Hi all! Many apologies for the gap between my last post and the current one.

Although the last two weeks seemed like the perfect time to drop my two cents about recent world affairs, I instead felt the need to listen first and sound off later. Whether it was the tragic Boston bombings or the Maple Leafs making the playoffs (cue the theories of how the Leafs’ success is a sign of Judgment Day), their aftermaths have been bringing about several new developments.

Due to a roster with minimal playoff experience and Boston’s game 1 victory, the realistic oracle in me foresees a Bruins triumph. I sincerely hope that the Leafs use their sticks to bash my crystal ball by winning the first round. GO LEAFS GO !

“God gave us two ears and one mouth, which one(s) are you going use more?”

With the bombings though, certain politicians could not wait one week after the tragedy before regurgitating their respective parties’ talking points on terrorism. When newly elected Liberal Party leader, Justin Trudeau, was asked about how he would respond to the Marathon attacks, he said he would offer the Americans material support while exploring the root causes that prompted the heinous act. Obviously the conservative Mr. Prime Minister had to chime in by retorting “when you see this kind of violent act, you do not sit around trying to rationalize it or make excuses for it or figure out its root causes.”

It is almost like the media basically set those two up for a schoolyard fight by asking the first question. Speaking of schoolyard fight, is there any difference between the media and the kids who chant ‘FIGHT! FIGHT!’ during a tense stand-off between two middle-school boys? Why didn’t JT wait a week before sharing his post-mortem report by just solely mentioning the material support aspect?

Doing so would have turned him into a lightning rod for foolish criticisms like “Trudeau is clearly showing his lack of resolve by not agreeing to answer let alone tackle such questions readily if a bomb went off in Montreal.”

It would not be ‘politically’ astute for him to neglect his emphasis on the roots of terrorism after the tragedy. Had he not proclaimed his stance on terrorism, JT would probably come off as more concerned about the Bostonians rather than an official who wants to appeal to his base. Plus, he also could have framed his answer in a way that would condemn the attacks and show his resilient leadership minus the politics.

Regardless of your stance Trudeau’s call for the root cause analysis, did he have to make the statement veer into political territory just three days after the attack? As usual, it was even harder for PM Harper to remain mum as silence would not help him rouse the CPC base. Hoping that politicians dial back their partisanship for one week after any calamity is clearly wishful thinking.

“Pain is temporary, film is forever” – Michael J. Fox

Anyhow, I guess it is time to find temporary refuge from all that is going on in the world through good old Bollywood escapism. Yes I am watching gangster flick Shootout at Wadala tonight so watch out for my review! Even though my last two posts were Desi-movie centric, I do not intend to make that the norm.

On a totally different note, I caught a midnight screening of Iron Man 3 and was thoroughly entertained. Those of you going to see it this weekend, stick around after the end credits to see Tony Stark and a fellow Avenger.

Happy Friday everyone : )

Gentrification: The practice of displacing Indian slum dwellers AND below median income North Americans

Last week I was watching a news story about Mumbai-based social activist Medha Patkar’s stand against the Shivalik Builder’s Golibar slum demolition. A 13 year old cousin of mine who was watching along told me, “illegal slum demolition and displacement would never happen in a country like the United States where the government doesn’t disregard basic rights of its citizens by pandering to builders.”

Although my teenage cousin has yet to become world weary, I still felt the need to kindly refute his naive statement. Before explaining my reasons for disagreeing, I read a Fountain Ink piece by freelance journalist Javed Iqbal to find out what exactly transpired in Golibar, Mumbai. After reading the article, it is easy to draw parallels between the Golibar slum gentrification and a more tactful version of the practice I observed in the Washington D.C. area.

American developers (or builders as they are referred to in India) are just as guilty of leaning on state/local governments so their construction projects can see the light of day. In India the removal of poor residents obstacles for the builder’s ambitious structures is done by overtly dubious means. However, American developers resort to more sophisticated methods rather than forced expulsion.

If politics is the business of building bridges where there are no rivers, construction is the act of using politics to erect properties where people already maintain their humble abodes. The Indian builders’ methods range from public land grabbing to forced removal with the help of political figures. The ones displaced by the builders are the very helpless voting constituents of these politicians. On the other hand, destroying an occupied residential complex to coerce eviction would not fly well in a North American law and order landscape. Hard evidence of outright forgery and land grabbing supported by public officials would prompt instant legal action against the perpetrators. It has been established by the Indian citizenry that the construction-politics nexus exists to the detriment of many. In the western world, the construction-politics cabal is not referred to as such. It is diplomatically deemed as a public-private partnership of sorts.

Outside of D.C. in the town of Alexandria, the more politically correct brand of gentrification is underway through the Beauregard Redevelopment Plan. In May 2012 the predominantly Democratic Alexandria City council unanimously voted to let developers who own 5,000 apartments to demolish half of them in order rebuild more pricey living quarters. With the rebuilt and more expensive residences, the remaining 2,500 apartments’ rents will increase due to the rising values of the new surrounding apartments. As a result of those higher property values, the leftover tenants cannot afford the elevated rents. Hence, they are gently forced to move out.

Soaring rents are intended spillover effects from the presence of plush apartments, healthy climates for upscale businesses, and mass transit projects that many developers lobby for. A single new high end apartment complex, fancy designer boutique, or local train stop is enough to boost surrounding property values in a low-income area. When politicians appropriate funds towards infrastructure (mass transit, improved roads, and etc.), they indirectly displace the low-income and minority population.

It is troubling that the Democratic council members are of the party which supposedly caters to the working class and minorities. Most of the 2009-2012 term council members promised to work with developers who plan new projects in providing affordable housing for current residents. Refer to the issues section on the websites of certain Alexandria city officials for their false assurances. Here are the respective links for Frank Fannon (D), Rob Krupicka (D), and Del Pepper (D). Is it not ironic that these champions of racial/socioeconomic diversity approved a redevelopment plan that will discreetly homogenize Alexandria? It is almost like they support cleansing of this caliber but do not want to admit it.

There is a stigma that the political right plays dirty politics to thwart government-funded ‘growth initiatives’ for transportation projects. The hyper partisan political climate (on local, state, and federal levels) has only further galvanized liberal coalitions to support these growth campaigns solely due to conservative opposition. The mainstream media paints conservatives as the party detrimental to the middle and lower class. While that is somewhat true, at least the right wingers have explicitly disclosed their intentions towards socioeconomic minorities. However, the left leaning council in Alexandria has subtly revealed to the public how they feel about minorities. Nevertheless, I commend former Independent Councilwoman Alicia Hughes since she abstained for the final Alexandria redevelopment vote.

There are those who mistakenly claim that gentrification is not about the haves kicking out the have-nots. To them as regions transform and economies gradually require college educated workers, gentrification will continue to occur in areas that Gen-Y wants to live in. They are of the mindset that if a local is concerned about being displaced, he/she should push their kids towards education. If the kids are well-educated, the children can afford to live in their childhood locality once their area undergoes gentrification.

To assume that locals do not place emphasis on their children’s’ education is a myopic fallacy.  Protester Veronica Carzava asserted during the Beauregard Tenants association candlelight vigil, “we’re fighting for the right to have a house to live in, I don’t know where we would go and I have two children, and they go to school here, and I want they [are] educated here.” If that is not proof of a local’s desire to educate his kids, I do not know what it is.

Regardless of the party affiliation of builders or the policy makers they lobby to, affected Alexandrians took to the streets to protest much like the hard working people in Golibar, Mumbai. Does this mean that all property developers and policy makers are out to remove minorities and below median income populations? Absolutely not. I am sure there are many builders around the world who kept their promises of rehabilitating those who were in some way affected by their lofty projects. Now that is what I call real development.

Still think there is little or no similarity between the construction-politics cabal and the public-private partnerships? Sound off below!

Shootout at Wadala: Once again, another round of ‘true’ rumors

“January 11 1982, till that day nothing so memorable like this ever took place between the Bombay police and the underworld. I had that longing to rewrite history. My name, Manya Surve.” Manya’s Achilles-like wish to etch his place in history would come true through his own death. A death which gave birth to the brutal but necessary and sometimes abused evil euphemistically dubbed as the ‘encounter.’ Now comes a motion picture rendition of arguably the most formative years in the history of the Mumbai underworld which predated the first ever police extra-judicial killing.

D2D

The minds behind Shootout at Wadala (namely Director Sanjay Gupta and Producer Ekta Kapoor) will attempt to chronicle nine years of the Bombay underworld’s history based on the S. Hussain Zaidi authored novel pictured above. For the full 60 years and beyond, grab a copy of Dongri to Dubai: Six Decades of the Mumbai Mafia. It is worth a read for anyone fascinated by the multi-national enterprise that is D-Company and the Indian law & order landscape. While Zaidi is an accomplished crime journalist due to his vast networks comprising of the stewards of Mumbai’s underbelly, some will take his narrative with a grain of salt. With the movie however, I am definitely going to take the whole salt shaker as the book’s cover contains endorsements from the glamorous Shootout at Wadala star cast rather than distinguished intelligence/law enforcement figures. To be fair though, the talented crime reporter’s buddy and brilliant author, Vikram Chandra, wrote a glowing legitimate preface for the book. Why wouldn’t he? Chandra’s marvelous novel, Sacred Games, drew heavily fom Zaidi’s research and repertoire.

There were numerous myth versus reality complaints after the first awesome Shootout movie, Shootout at Lokhandwala. Will this upcoming film be the truthful outlier among the police-underworld dramatizations even with Gupta’s friendship with seal of approval from S. Hussain Zaidi? That is highly debatable because early reactions from the trailer have prompted the name changes of pivotal characters such as the Kaskar brothers and Isaq Bagwan. Even Bagwan, the man who carried out the first encounter claims that the film is not devoid of inaccuracies.  Apparently, Ekta Kapoor deliberately kept the original character names when filming in spite of Gupta’s protests that the names ‘Dawood’ and ‘Sabir’ would rub new salt on old wounds. This new buzz concerning these changes makes me second guess Gupta’s due diligence with respect to the facts. Well, it certainly would not be the first time. Plus, the first trailers with original names may have been used only to create a fake controversy so that news of these changes could further publicity.

As crazy as this may sound, it is almost as if pre-production for this movie began before the completion of Dongri to Dubai. For all you know, the fictionalized version of the 1992 JJ Hospital shooting (where D-Syndicate Lieutenants Sautya and Chota Shakeel turned one of Mumbai’s premier hospitals into a battleground to assassinate the killers of Dawood’s brother in law) is in development right now. Another interesting piece of information is Hussain Zaidi’s disdain for Bollywood itself as explained in a New York Times India Ink Blog Interview. When asked by blogger Malavika Vyawahare regarding his writings that divulged the Bollywood-Underworld nexus, he replied, “The film industry people are shameless people — anything they do or say is like water off a duck’s back.” This is the same film industry that has cemented Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar as the national Bin-Ladenesque villain indirectly associated with most terrorist activity in India.

Look no further than Once Upon a Time in Mumbai, a very ‘fantasized/non reality based’ account (according to Gupta himself when he proclaimed that Shootout at Wadala is more geared towards the truth) of the monster named Shoaib created by the Mumbai police to topple principled smuggler Sultan Mirza. Shoaib was obviously nothing more than an alias for Dawood whereas Sultan Mirza was modeled after Haji Mastan with shades of Madrasi gangster Varadarajan Mudaliar and Pathan Don Karim Lala. Who produced that movie? That person would be none other than Ekta Kapoor. Mastan, Mudaliar, and Lala did stick to their ‘old-school’ values by not crossing the lines Dawood did, but their Robin-Hood images have always been exaggerated. On celluloid, they are portrayed as: 1) thieves with principles 2) the voice of the voiceless and 3) averse to drugs and prostitution, a la Vito Corleone. The Varda Bhai-Haji Mastan duo made fortunes not just from smuggling goods imposed with unnecessary import duties, but from anti honorable thief operations like prostitution and illicit liquor. This by no means detracts from their philanthropy and generosity towards the underprivileged nor does it absolve Dawood of his crimes.

Nonetheless, Bollywood never fails to cash on old school gangs’ legacies as the lesser of the two evils forsaken by the police for the greater evil that is the D-Company. When asked who Mumbai’s misunderstood gangster was in another interview, even Mr. Zaidi reluctantly retorted, “Misunderstood and gangster don’t go hand in hand. Gangsters make themselves understood very well! If you insist, then Haji Mastan who was Scrooge personified but portrayed as a magnanimous Raja Harishchandra of his times.” While Dawood may have initially been the illegitimate child of the police’s agenda to subdue the Pathan stronghold on Mumbai, politicians are just as guilty of nurturing the D-Company regime (cough cough Sharad Pawar). You never see Bollywood depicting that do you?

Zaidi’s first book Black Friday: The True Story of the Bombay Bomb Blasts and its cinematic adaptation were not the usual desi-masala fares. Although same cannot be said for Dongri to Dubai and Shootout at Wadala. Regardless of whether Director Sanjay Gupta and Producer Ekta Kapoor may be exceptions to his stance on the Indian film industry, Hussain Zaidi’s journalistic and literary profile is sure to receive a boost on May 1, 2013. Not in the slightest way should this be interpreted as a knock on the S.A.W. team’s cinematic talents or efforts as it looks like one heck of an action flick. If not for the facts, this movie will be one to watch for some solid entertainment.