October   2006
ISBN         9780987811905
Apple iBooks ID 529335282


In the violent and ruthless world of Indo-Canadian gangs, Ruby Pandher is on his way up.

A self-described daaku (Punjabi for outlaw), Ruby learns young that might, in the form of his drunken father’s fists, is right and that money is easier to steal than earn.  Ruby’s small-time scams reveal a knack for leadership and after his first stint in youth detention, the big-timers start to notice his potential.  Soon Ruby is doing collections for Indo-Canadian drug dealers.  Now “known to police”, Ruby is drawn into a gang war just as he’s trying to beat the rap on weapons charges and theft – while simultaneously organizing a jailhouse smuggling ring.

Meanwhile, Ruby’s pals from their shared childhood in Surrey have become some of the fiercest drug lords, thieves and murderers in western Canada.  Now Ruby is on the cusp of adulthood, a teenaged street soldier gunning for a generalship.  Surrounded by Punjabi terrorists, bikers and Indo-Canadian gangsters, Ruby is drawn like a moth to the glamour of power, money, and drugs.  He’ll do anything to get to the top.

A story of betrayal, cold-blooded murder and the rise and eventual fall of one gangster, Daaku is a bullet-riddled grand tour of Indo-Canadian gangland.


First off, let me say that this story of Ruby Pandher in Daaku is fiction. That’s right … this is not a true story.

I wrote Daaku, a tale about an up-and-coming gangster, because of the secrecy in the violent Indo-Canadian gangs. There is a lot of gang violence and only whispers of what is going on. With Daaku, I give an inside look at the life of an Indo-Canadian gangster.

Daaku is a graphic novel and speaks the unspoken of Indo-Canadian gangsters. When you open this novel you enter the daaku’s world and when you close it you leave — unlike the life of a real daaku whose only exit is death.

I hope you enjoy reading Daaku as much as I enjoyed writing it.


“The story focuses on the fast-paced action – who does what when and what happens because of it – that makes for an engrossing crime novel.” – The Now Newspaper

“Dhaliwal has broached some interesting and vital topics in the examination of gang mentality.” – Literary Review of Canada

“Edgy … a grimly realistic portrait of the West Coast gangster life and the flash-and- burn trajectory of those drawn to it.” — Vancouver Review

“Like Henry Hill in Martin Scorsese’s 1990 gangster film, Goodfellas, Ruby is seduced at a young age by the glamour of being a bad boy.” – Quill and Quire

“Daaku is a scary peek into a subculture about which we know nothing, a tour of Vancouver suburbs as alien as Mars, and Dhaliwal makes it as believable as your own back yard.” – The Globe and Mail

“He [Ruby Pandher] ditches school and gravitates to Scarface-style gang life full of drugs, guns and babes.” – The Vancouver Sun

“Ranj Dhaliwal has turned a passion for the written word into a creative masterpiece.” – The Ubyssey

“Dhaliwal’s Daaku does away with any form of textured story telling; instead we are served up a cold, mean, and brutal story of lost youth, extreme violence, murders, rampages in the burbs, midnight meetings in school parking lots, a night life filled with low level crooks, drug lords, traffickers, snorting party animals, bouncers, police, shootings and a slew of young affluent attractive South Asian and Anglo Canadian women who are more than ready to slum it and party it down with the devil.” – Canadian Literature Journal

“This is an excellent novel about Indo-Canadian gangs.” – The Globe and Mail

“This social structure is dizzying and complex, yet Dhaliwal manages to juggle it plausibly and consistently.” – Literary Review of Canada

“Daaku holds the distinction of being the first novel ever written and published on the topic of Indo-Canadian gang violence.” – INDI Magazine


Order of Adaption Title Year Producer Notes
1. Daaku 2010 Earth Films Investment Ltd. Non Exclusive Permission Agreement to use the material (10 dialogues, 2 scenes, and 1 description) in which the Owner (Publisher) controls all dramatic rights. Earthfilms Investment Ltd. may not use the names of the characters. They plan to do a movie on gangs.