A new book seeks to explore Bengaluru's underbelly and bring out little-known facts about gangsters, who grew from small-time extortionists to dreaded names in real-estate circles in the garden city. One of these dons was a die-hard Amitabh Bachchan fan who roamed around the lanes of Shivajinagar wearing bell-bottoms that his matinee idol had popularised. Tanveer Ahmed was smitten by Bachchan after watching "Don", "Muqaddar Ka Sikandar", "Trishul" and "Mr Natwarlal". "Main Amitabh ka aashiq hoon (I am an Amitabh lover)," he would often tell his friends. "Tanveer was particularly fascinated by Bachchan's style of brandishing a gun or a knife on screen. Back then, Bengaluru was unfamiliar with the gun culture. Knives, choppers, machetes and swords that outlaws referred to as lambiwali were more common. Tanveer copied Bachchan's fight sequences and began wielding his chopper in true filmy style," says the book "The Bhais of Bengaluru". When Bachchan's "Inquilaab" released in theatres across India in 1984, Tanveer, then 22, rushed to Naga Theatre in Shivajinagar to watch it. "The serpentine queue at the ticket counter made him restless.
He broke the queue hoodwinking others and soon got into an argument that took an ugly turn. Tanveer, who was armed with a sharp knife, stabbed one of his attackers in the heat of the moment. As blood splattered from the man's arm, Tanveer fled and took shelter with his guru Koli Faiyaz," says the book, written by Jyoti Shelar. This was the first official criminal case registered against Tanveer. He then moved to Mumbai only to return to Bengaluru sometime later. The book, published by Penguin Random House, also talks about rowdy elements like Kodigehalli Mune Gowda, Muthappa Rai, Sreedhar, 'Boot House' Kumar aka Oil Kumar, Bekkina Kannu Rajendra and Srirampura Kitty and how they spread terror in Bengaluru. Muthappa Rai, Agni Sreedhar and Tanveer are now a reformed bunch.
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