“The conspiracy behind 1993 Mumbai Bomb blast” is the theme on which the book “Black Friday” is based on. Written by experienced Mumbai crime journalist S Hussain Zaidi, this book gives the reader a “ringside view” of the plot behind the devastating terror attacks that rocked the city of Mumbai in 1993. Furthermore, this book over the years has garnered “cult” following among large section of readers around India. So, here is presenting an analysis of this book to highlight the reason “why” this classic piece of non-fiction literature is worth a read.

a. The plot/storyline of Black Friday:

“Intriguing” would be the apt adjective used to describe the plot of this book titled “Black Friday”. Beginning with a detailed description of   12th March 1993, a day in which horrific serial bomb blasts occurred in various parts of the city. It then gradually gets into the planning that was involved in hatching a conspiracy of such large magnitude. The author then illustrates the involvement of young Muslim men who were deeply angered by the Mumbai riots that occurred in December 1992 within the city of Mumbai. Furthermore, the plot of this wonderfully gripping book also explains in details how a few officers belonging to the law enforcement government agencies such as the Custom Excise department were also directly involved in supporting the conspirators. In addition, serving as a subplot is the story revolving around “Bollywood” star Sanjay Dutt and his involvement in the bomb blasts. Above all, this book highlights the involvement of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, notorious Mumbai smuggler Tiger Memon, and the ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence) the renowned Pakistani spy agency in this conspiracy.

b. The “writing style” used in Black Friday:

“Journalistic” is a word that best describes the writing style made used of in this book by the author. Written in the “third person”, this book provides for an amazing “outsider’s view” on the whole conspiracy right from the “conception” stage to the “execution”. Additionally, what also stands out about the writing in this book is the use of simplistic language by author Zaidi.

c. The “motley” of assorted characters used in the plot of Black Friday:

The word “Colourful” would best describe the assortment characters used in the book.  Starting with accused turned approver Badshah Khan, smuggler Tiger Memon, investigating Officer Rakesh Maria the then Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic), to the dreaded don Dawood Ibrahim this book covers them all with a lot of “realism” combined with “panache”. In addition, the author also fleshes out the involvement of actor Sanjay Dutt, and how is father Sunil literally urged Shiv Sena leader Balasaheb Thackeray to help release his son who was jailed under the draconian TADA Act quite beautifully.

d. Black Friday and its “Mumbai Connection”:

This book apart from the blasts itself manages to also capture the panic created among citizens after this tragic incident brilliantly. Using a chapter titled “The Beginning”,  Zaidi in this book through the use of eloquent words, helps the reader in graphically deciphering the images that engulfed the city post the first blast which occurred at the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

Having over the years gained a reputation of being a “classic” in the genre of non-fiction writing within India, Black Friday can certainly be defined as the “definitive book” based on the tragic Mumbai Blasts that occurred in 1993 during the month of March.

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