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Gangster on the Run

HarperCollins, 2020

About the book:


Rahul Jadhav took the name ‘Bhiku’ after a character from the 1998 cult classic Satya — a gangster who was everything Rahul once wanted to be. Capturing his don’s attention as a tech-literate criminal, running his extortion ring over Skype, Rahul found himself shouting threats down the barrel of his gun and became one of the most wanted gangsters of his time.



After his arrest in 2007, the extortionist and hitman was left a shadow of his former self, ravaged by alcoholism and drug abuse — which twisted his mind into a near schizophrenic state. That was only part of his journey. 

Today, the gunrunner is an ultra-marathoner who has covered nearly 10,000 kilometres — including a 2019 run from Gateway of India to India Gate — and aims to shatter the national stadium run record. 

Written by award-winning journalist Puja Changoiwala, this is the extraordinary story of a hitman who became a de-addiction counselor and outran his demons, leaving them far behind in the murky shadows of gangland.

Praise for Gangster on the Run:

In this immersive journey into the heart of India’s gangland, Puja captures the varied textures of the criminal world with her storytelling genius. A thrilling, unputdownable read from a prolific journalist!

Rakesh Maria, 
former Commissioner of Police, Mumbai

Through its honest and riveting rendition, this remarkable book shows how the underworld builds gangsters, and how some, unexpectedly, break free from the blood and gore to build an inspiring life. A must-read for true crime lovers!

Ravi Subramanian, 

At the very outset, the author makes it clear that ‘this is a work of non-fiction’, yet each page reads like a thriller. Detailed and well-researched, the book narrates a tale of hope. The author’s diction is impressive, so is her nuanced eye.

The Tribune

In this thoroughly enthralling read, Puja provides an insider’s view of the underworld in a kaleidoscopic testimony of crime and punishment, survival and redemption.

Siddharth Roy Kapur, 
film producer

One of our finest crime reporters returns with her latest offering – a pacy, gritty read, about the life of an underworld criminal who changed his life around to become an ultra-marathoner. Brilliantly detailed and researched, written with a sharp reporter’s eye and empathy, this is a book that you just cannot put down.

Changoiwala has a no-frills style of writing which works fantastically. Rahul’s story is so powerful that it needs no additional adorning. But Changoiwala’s real triumph is in her ability to tease out the minutest details of Rahul’s life.

The Week

Kiran Manral, 

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