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Hussain Zaidi

Bio/Wiki
Full Name S. Hussain Zaidi [1]Good Reads
Profession Author/Novelist
Physical Stats & More
Height (approx.) in centimeters– 175 cm
in meters– 1.75 m
in feet & inches– 5’ 9”
Eye Colour Brown
Hair Colour Brown/Grey
Career
Debut Book: Black Friday (2002) (Based on Mumbai Blasts 1993)
Black Friday
Personal Life
Date of Birth 28 February 1968, (Wednesday)
Age (as of 2020) 52 Years
Birthplace Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Zodiac sign Pisces
Nationality Indian
Hometown Mumbai, Maharashtra
Religion Islam [2]The Hindu
Food Habit Non-Vegetarian [3]The Hindu
Hobbies Reading, weightlifting
Controversy His book Black Friday (2002) which was directed by Anurag Kashyap into movie Black Friday(2004) was so controversial that the Indian Censor Board did not allow it to be released in India for 3 years and was finally released on 9 February 2007 after the Supreme Court of India allowed it following the verdict in the ’93 Bombay blast case was delivered by TADA court.[4]NDTV
Relationships & More
Marital Status Married
Family
Wife/Spouse Velly Thevar
Children 2 sons (Names Not Known)
Favourite Things
Food • Lucknawi cuisine like kofta, gilawat kabab, gole kabab, nihari, dal gosht.
• Tamilian cuisine like avial and appam

Hussain Zaidi at book launch

Some Lesser Known Facts About Hussain Zaidi

  • S.Hussain Zaidi is India’s famous crime writer. He started as an investigative journalist and worked as a resident editor in the newspaper “The Asian Age”. Later, he also worked with famous news agencies like The Indian Express, Mid Day, and Mumbai Mirror.
  • As a writer, he has researched about Mumbai Mafia for decades and came up with many books, his few stories have been used by famous international authors such as Misha Glenny in “McMafia” and Vikram Chandra in his book “Sacred Games”. His critically acclaimed book “Black Friday (2002)” which is based on Mumbai blasts (1993) is still considered his best work till date in this genre. Director Anurag Kashyap compiled Hussain Zaidi’s book “Black Friday” into a movie in 2004 with the same name. In an interview he was asked that “Did you imagine crime would pay this handsomely?”, to this, he replied [5]NDTV

    I didn’t! As a crime reporter, I struggled to make a living. I had no clue that 20 years on there would be a true-crime genre. Or that I could make a living telling and shaping these stories.”

  • His most famous books are “Dongri to Dubai: Six Decades of the Mumbai Mafia (2012)”, “Mafia Queens of Mumbai (2011)”, “Black Friday (2002)”, “My Name is Abu Salem (2014)”, “Mumbai Avengers (2015)”, “London Confidential: The Chinese Conspiracy (2020)”, “Byculla To Bangkok (2014)”, and “Class of 83 (2019)”, and ” The Endgame (2020)”. Hussain Zaidi has published a total of 12 books till date.
    Hussain Zaidi's published books
  • His few books have been converted into famous movie scripts such as “Dongri to Dubai: Six Decades of the Mumbai Mafia (2012)” was scripted as the “Shootout at Wadala (2013)”, “Mumbai Avengers (2015)” was made into famous Kabir Khan film “Phantom (2015)”, his book “Class 83 (2019)” has been compiled into a movie “Class of ’83 (2020)” in which the lead role is played by Bobby Deol and produced under Shahrukh Khan‘s production banner Red Chillies Entertainment, one chapter of his book “Mafia Queens of Mumbai (2012)” is set to be picturised by Alia Bhatt as a character from the book in movie “Gangubai Kathiawadi (yet to be announced)”, who was a brothel owner and matriarch. When asked about the approach of filmmakers towards his non-fiction books, Zaidi replied in an interview –

    To me, writing the books with factual accuracy is more important than what is portrayed on screen. Mostly, I have never had conflicts with filmmakers. I let them make whatever they want”.

    Shootout at Wadala team with Hussain Zaidi book Dongri to Dubai

  • “Dongri to Dubai: Six Decades of the Mumbai Mafia (2012)” is directed into a Netflix series with 10 episodes, the series will be directed by Shujaat Saudagar and produced by Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani.
  • He never planned to become a writer or write books on Mumbai mafia, but after meeting David Davidar (Indian Novelist) through Vikram Chandra’s (Indian Author) recommendation, he was suggested to write biographies of dons.
  • He trained famous Indian journalist Jyotirmoy Dey also know as J Dey for crime reporting and journalism.
  • His new books are “London Confidential: The Chinese Conspiracy (2020)”, “Eleventh Hour (2020)” which is a tribute to the men in uniform, “The Endgame (2020)” which is based on politics, betrayal and unbelievable terror.
    London Confidential The Chinese Conspiracy
  • He interacted with Dawood Ibrahim for an interview for Indian Express in 1997, which was regarding the Mumbai bombings in 1993.
  • He interviewed Abu Salem to write a book on him, Abu Salem suggested Hussain Zaidi to write a script for a film and not a book. Even though Zaidi mentioned that he is only interested in writing a book as he is a journalist and not a scriptwriter, to this Abu Salem said-

    Arre chiller kaam kyun karte ho? Film ki script likho. Agar tum film likhoge toh tumhare paas director log bag bhar ke paise laayenge. Main jo story bataunga na jab wo parde pe aayegi toh log uth ke toilet tak ke liye nahi jaayenge.”

  • He was once kidnapped in Baghdad, Iraq. Hussain Zaidi visited Iraq to talk to people who were close to Saddam Hussein to get insights when US forces toppled Saddam Hussein. He was saved from that situation when the kidnapper thought that he is a close friend of Amitabh Bachchan.  [6]Hindustan Times
  • He is the Associate Producer for HBO documentary Terror in Mumbai, which is based on 26/11 attacks happened in Mumbai.
  • Hussain Zaidi with Vikram Chandra owns a blog named “The Writers’ Room”. It is a joint venture between Granthika ( a writers app), Blue Salt (a publication house imprinted by Hussain Zaidi) which is first Indian imprint by UK based publishing house Penguin India, and Pratilipi (an Indian online self-publishing app).
    The Writer's Room collaboration with Vikram Chandra
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References/Sources:   [ + ]

1. Good Reads
2, 3. The Hindu
4, 5. NDTV
6. Hindustan Times
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