Real story of Gangubai Kathiawadi as described by Hussain Zaidi
Gangubai was born into a family of lawyers, but was smitten by the glitz and glamour of Mumbai’s film industry aka Bollywood.
She ran away from home with a clerk who worked for her father. However, upon reaching Mumbai, she was sold off for a sum of Rs 500.
With no help at hand, she transformed herself into one of the most prized sex workers of Kamathipura, and making rich clients.
Rakhi sister of Karim Lala
Karim Lala was one of the three “mafia dons of Mumbai” alongside Mastan Mirza aka Haji Mastan and Varadarajan Mudaliar. He reigned the maximum city from the sixties to the early eighties.
Gangubai was brutally raped by a gangster, leaving her invalid for days. She approached his boss, who incidentally happened to be Lala.
She met him after his Friday prayers and shared her ordeal. Karim trashed her tormenter and warned against anyone harming his ‘rakhi sister’.
Owning a Bentley
Gangubai rose to power in no time and was known for wearing saris with gold borders. According to the book, she once even owned a Bentley car – which costs approximately around Rs 4 crore in today’s time.
Private audience with PM Nehru
Gangubai once took the stage at a woman empowerment summit to stress on the need for prostitution belts in cities.
Her speech headlined to an extent that it got her a private audience with PM Nehru.
He was so impressed by her desire to change the condition of red light areas that he questioned her why she chose this line of work when she could have easily found a nice husband.
To this, Gangubai quipped, asking the PM if he would marry her. As the latter was left flustered, she continued, “It is very easy to preach but tough to practice.”
This part also reflects in the last bit of the teaser featuring Alia, where Gangubai says, “You all didn’t spare my innocence. Nor did you give me the respect of marriage.”
Despite being a ‘Mafia Queen’, Gangubai never kept a girl in the brothel against her consent. She also worked for the betterment of sex-works, their children, and orphans. Even today, Gangubai’s statue is installed in Kamathipura, Mumbai.