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Author Aabid Surti's latest book launched by Director Sriram Raghavan

Author Aabid Surti's latest book
launched by Director Sriram Raghavan

Shridhar Raghavan, Rajshri Deshpande, Gurmeet Chowdhary, Atul Kasbekar and Annie Zaidi at Aabid Surti's Sufi - The Invisible Man Of The Underworld book launch

Mumbai-based National Award Winning author Aabid Surti, who among many other things is also an incisive environmentalist and accomplished artist, is back in full force. The author of many bestselling books, some of which have even courted controversy, has revisited one of his autobiographical tomes titled 'Sufi – The Invisible Man of The Underworld' and updated it to make it more current. Sriram Raghavan, Shridhar Raghavan and Annie Zaidi were present at the launch.

“Sufi,” begins Surti, “is the story of two boys who grew up in the 60s and 70s’ Mumbai’s infamous Dongri area. The first of them, Iqbal Rupani rises through the ranks to crown himself underworld kingpin, on one hand, and becomes extremely pious, on the other hand. While he through his puritan stance becomes well-known as ‘Sufi’, the story catches up with the other boy-turned-man, Aabid Surti, that’s me as well,” avers the master story-teller with a smile.  

The real story of the two boys who start at the same line and then flow so divergently away in life, is one of massive scale and told by one of India’s beloved wordsmiths. “The changes have been made to make the story flow better, and to edit out dated legal information,” Surti informs.

Speaking about Surti, popular filmmaker Sriram Raghavan states, "As I got pulled into the book I wondered if all that he was saying was fiction or could it be real? It actually felt like a fascinating Eastman colour movie that he had mounted."

Well-loved scriptwriter Shridhar Raghavan said that he has known Surti since he was 8 years old. "When I first met him he was the 40 year old creator of Bahadur and I was a fascinated 8 year old, and today the tables have turned. I am a 40 year old while he feels like an energetic 8 year old."

Mentioning that he seared through the book yesterday in a single seating, he exults how Sufi is "a fascinating chronicle of a Bombay of prohibition and gold smuggling, of Haji Mastan growing up and Dawood, still a toddler."

Noted writer Annie Zaidi says simply that, "I started reading Sufi yesterday and it's completely unputdownable."

Worth a read, wouldn't you agree?

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