To read ‘Headley and I’ is to re-visit the entire carnage hatched by David Headley and others in Mumbai city. Rahul Bhatt, son of filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt, made headlines after he was interrogated about Headley, following the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. Rahul chronicles his experience and interaction with Headley. The book is co-authored by the veteran crime journalist S. Hussain Zaidi.
'Headley and I' is narrated from Rahul's perspective. The scene unfolds like a well-scripted film, with Headley being booked in Chicago, and Rahul discovering that his friend is a dreaded terrorist. The book runs on parallel tracks - one, of Headley’s detention by the Americans, and the other of Rahul discovering Headley’s reality. The narrative moves from Rahul’s interrogation, to court details, and to the investigation conducted by the National Investigation Agency.
Particularly frightening are the accounts of Headley’s jihadi training, and his reconnaissance of Mumbai. The book reveals that ‘Rahul’ was a code name for Mumbai, used by Headley. Rahul remembers Headley as a “very good actor, who did not even once slip in the pretence of being a Caucasian…He married four women, and cheated on each one of them...It was as if the man was Ravana personified, with ten heads and ten different faces.”
Rahul also talks about his strained relationship with his father Mahesh Bhatt. According to him, despite his parents being married, he always felt like an illegitimate child. “My father never fulfilled his paternal responsibilities. That makes me a super bastard child,” Rahul says. This fact, that Rahul had an estranged relationship with his father, was exploited by Headley, when he, along with Tawwahur Rana, offered to produce a film for Rahul.
The book provides chilling glimpses of a terrorist’s mind – a man who wasn’t loyal to anyone. Written in easy prose, ‘Headley and I’ arrives at book stores in December. The book is currently available on-line.