Book Review : Never Mind Yaar by K Mathur

Title : Never Mind Yaar 
Author : K Mathur
Publisher : Southpac Publishers Ltd
ISBN : 978-0-473-17480-4
Number of Pages : 214
Price [INR] : Rs 350 (As mentioned on Pothi.com, No price was mentioned on the review copy)
Genre: Fiction

From the Blurb of the Book : When long time friends Binaifer Desai and Louella D’Costa meet Shalini Dayal at Gyan Shakti College, a true friendship that transcends cultural and religious backgrounds is born. Louella is a Christian, Binaifer, a Parsi and Shalini, a Hindu. The novel’s main plotline surrounds Shalini who has fallen for an impetuous student activist, Bhagu. Where does his desire to help the less fortunate lead him? The challenges are many – Shalini’s tradition bound family, the couple’s youth and inexperience and the travails of life in Mumbai, a city the girls love but know, is fraught with communal tension.

Review : I had read a rave review about this book at a friend’s blog and that though the book was available in the international market in 2011, it became available in India only a few months ago. So, with great expectations, I started reading Never Mind Yaar.

Never Mind Yaar, a story of 3 friends who begin their college life in Mumbai, starts with detailed description of the college, its people and its systems. The dilemmas, the apprehensions, the concerns when entering a new college are described well, which most of us can relate to. As the story progresses, events from the recent past are woven in the narrative. The Mumbai bomb blasts and riots and the emergence of a new political party in the country form a part of the plot too.

The story revolves around  the experiences of 3 friends in college but the portrayal of a college life in today’s Mumbai is apparently missing. The snippets about Bandra, Zoroastrians and Mumbai’s Psyche and the debate on ‘Is Mumbai truly secular?’ are interesting. The pace of the story is disappointing though and one has to make an effort to continue reading.

The look and feel of the book is mediocre.The cover page is bland and the small font size of the text puts a strain on the eye. The paper quality is such that it gives the feeling of reading a photocopied book!

In fact, I could not understand the relevance of the title, Never Mind Yaar. The blurb of the book says that ‘the title is an attitude – our tendency to feel defeated by the scale and nature of certain problems. Rather than meet them head on, we circumvent them with a sigh and a consoling “never mind, yaar”.’ But this explanation is not corroborated with the story. In the story, the students rebelled against the lousy canteen food and the lovebirds Shalini and Bhagu faced some trials and tribulations in their relationship but even they sorted the issues at hand.

The editing could have been crisp. Overall, an average read.

K.Mathur is a New Zealand based author. This is her debut novel. You can read more about her at http://www.nevermindyaar.com/

Rating : 2/5

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