Friday, February 29, 2008

Mafia literature

17 Oct 2011 - Search for "Underworld Flashback" on There are several videos, serialized, which tell the story of Bangalore underworld in the 80s, 90s. Several incidents from these books find place in those videos.

5 March 2014 - Looks like these books have been translated into English. I have not read it myself but for someone who does not know Kannada, it may be of some interest. You can find the book here.
-- Read it. Nice book. All 3 Kannada volumes combined in one (21 March 2014)

Recently read 'Dadagiriya Dinagalu', a three volume set by Sridhar Murthy aka Agni Sridhar. The books are in my native Indian language - Kannada. 'Dadagiriya Dingalu' roughly means 'my days in the mob'.

Agni Sridhar is the editor of Kannada weekly tabloid Agni (Fire). Journalism is his latest profession. For over 2 decades he was a prominent figure in India's IT hub Bangalore's underworld.

Probably it is the first time any mob boss has written his own biography. There are several books on mob people by other people. It is rare that a mob figure himself has written his own life story.

Makes a very interesting read for those who have interest in and followed the mob scene in Bangalore. First volume introduces the author and his entry into the crime world. The first volume ends with an era. The era of Kotwal Ramachandra who was once the uncrowned king of Bangalore underworld. During late 70s and early 80s, he had created such a menace in Bangalore with tacit support from politicians and police that there are legends about his mafia exploits.

Second volume traces the rise of the author Sridhar with another mob boss M.P.Jairaj. After eliminating Kotwal, Sridhar became a trusted aide of MP Jairaj. Second volume ends with the elimination of M.P.Jairaj and the introduction of the most colorful of all mob bosses - Muthappa Rai. Muthappa Rai brought true Bombay style gangsterism to Bangalore as he was closely associated with Bombay underworld. Muthappa Rai is credited to have introduced gun culture to Bangalore underworld prior to which only crude weapons such as swords and knives ruled the roost.

Third volume story starts around 1989. Picks up from where then ruling don M.P.Jairaj was murdered in a sensational manner. It was probably the first time a ruling don of Bangalore was gunned down by hired killers from Mumbai in a typical Bombay fashion. The 'real' story around that murder makes good part of the book. The convoluted maze of goons, cops, underworld of Bombay, politicians, political equations etc. that led that murder makes it read like a thriller. Last volume also talks about the start, growth and end of the relationship between Sridhar and colorful (Ex) don Muthappa Rai. Journalist Ravi Belagere also figures. Sridhar nonchalantly writes about how he got to know Ravi Belagere, how he helped him found 'Hai Bangalore' tabloid, how and why he became disillusioned with Belagere and his tabloid and how he started his own tabloid 'Agni'.

This volume also details the murder attempt on Sridhar. Allegedly by Muthappa Rai and cohorts. Lucky for Sridhar, he was not there in the car that day. The driver who resembled him with his bald pate paid the ultimate price. This was similar to how M.P.Jairaj was murdered. Other confidants of Sridhar like Bachchan survived the attack.

Sridhar, as he claims in the books, is a well read and well educated person. Due to circumstances he had to enter and stay in mafia. He makes his stance clear in several cases. Very open and candid style. These books, I am sure, have opened several Pandora's boxes as many still living figures from police, politics and other walks of society prominently figure. Sridhar writes without any apparent malice or favor against his foes or friends. That is refreshing.

Sridhar claims to have left all mafia associations behind him and has become respected journalist. Hope it is true. Hope he pens many good books in the future. He certainly has what it takes to write good books.


Note: You can buy these books from

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it. - William Arthur Ward

When we feel grateful to someone or something, it is very important to make sure that we convey that. It is a simple act and goes a long way in making sure that our ability to feel grateful remains good. As they have been finding in studies, people who are grateful for all they have are happier. Put other way, one of the easiest ways to feel good is count your blessings.

Some people complain that being alive itself is a blessing. If we continue to count all such obvious facts as blessings, then what is the use. Yes, being alive is indeed a blessing and we should be grateful for that. If you do not want to count such things like being able to have food on table, being alive, being healthy as blessings, nothing will matter in the long run. Look at hale and hearty people at one moment and after sometime they may be dead in some meaningless incident. So, most of the things that we take for granted deserve our gratitude.


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Sunday, February 24, 2008


"Life is 'present perfect' and not 'future tense'."

What a beautiful quotation? Hat's off to the creativity of the person who came up with this. Aspects of English grammar so well arranged to give a meaning that can give a new perspective when we are worried about the future.

Dale Carnegie uses a quotation from Jesus Christ in one of his books. Jesus prayed - Lord, give us this day our daily bread. Jesus did not pray for bread for the future or did not say anything about the days in the past when bread may not have been given or given bread was not good enough. Stress free life is possible only when we are able to limit our concerns to one day at a time. This does not mean we should not plan for future but worrying about future does not make any sense despite your best intentions. Things change and we can not possibly see all those changes. Making very specific plans for the distant future based on little information we have today is probably a waste of time. What is needed is a general guideline, specific goal and a rich collection of options to explore.

Another incident Dale Carnegie uses is that of a lesson he learnt from seeing the railway depart from a station. The guard and the driver set out of the station as soon as the first light turns green. They do not wait until all the lights to the destination are green. That does not happen anyway. Somewhere on the way, they are going to encounter a red light and have to stop till it turns green and so on. Starting on anything till everything is perfect is like asking for guarantee that we will get bread everyday for a year. Even if this request is granted, we may lose out on better things that may become available during those days.


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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Mercury Insurance

Sometime back, I wrote a couple of post about my dealing with car insurance company. I had a car accident in Nov 07 and then had to go through the process of getting the claim settled. My insurance was with Mercury Insurance. Now that all the processing is over, I thought it is time to record my feedback about my insurance carrier.

Honestly, I did not expect things to go so smoothly with insurance claim settlement. Mercury offers great rates compared to other insurance companies. Their costs are at least 10-15% less than what is offered by competitors. So, I was thinking you get what you pay for. If a insurance company is charging you low premiums, they will try to squeeze you when you file a claim. At least that's how I thought and shuddered when I was in a major accident and car was totaled. I feared they would low ball and give me a short shrift. How wrong I was.

I am happy to report that Mercury and the professionals I dealt with turned out to be fantastic. They offered a very fair price for my 2002 Honda Accord V6, provided adequate rental car support, completed the paper work as quickly as possible, always available for questions, promptly returned my calls, worked relentlessly with the other insurance company to get me my deductible as I was not at fault. How refreshing it is to deal with a honest insurance company in this era when honesty and insurance never seem to go together.

Despite all this, I hope no one has to ever go through this experience. If not anything, it is extremely stressful and time consuming. Too much paperwork.

My insurance company Mercury Insurance was very fair. It was a different matter with the other insurance company. They gave me fair bit of run around to decide on the fault. Ultimately they decided that their policy holder was at fault.

I recommend Mercury Insurance. Their premiums are probably the lowest. Coverage is good. Web site is very good. Provide several discounts.


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Pain & Suffering

"Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional."

Pain is part of life. Suffering comes from how one reacts to pain. We can not control the stimuli but we can certainly control the response. Don't take it too literally. Physical pain and suffering are different. This quotation mainly related to mental pain and suffering. Life is full of upsets. If we can remain detached, suffering does not have to immediately follow the pain. Buddha said - you are what your thoughts are.

No pain, no gain. True. Let there be as much pain as we are entitled to but let there also be wisdom to see pain as it is and not get unnecessary suffering.


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