Never Mind Yaar: Book Review

Friday, September 27, 2013
Never Mind Yaar! That's my philosophy too these days in life! However, this post is not regarding my life's philosophy, it's the title of my fifth book in the First Read Author's Pledge (here's a link of what it means!).

Title : Never Mind Yaar  
Author : K Mathur
Genre: Fiction
Price [INR] : Rs 350
Number of Pages : 214
Publisher : Southpac Publishers Ltd
ISBN : 978-0-473-17480-4

The Story:
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.

About the Author:
Born and brought up in Mumbai, K. Mathur lives with her family in New Zealand. Mathur showcases her unique perspective into her city’s psyche in Never Mind Yaar.

“I’ve always enjoyed my city except when violence has erupted between communities. On the whole people seem to get along fine. We are proud of our own community but accept that others are proud of theirs. The food we eat, the clothes we wear and the languages and dialects we converse in are diverse and most of us say vive la difference. But there’s a handful in every community who are extremely suspicious of those differences.”

“Why is secularism or a different way of doing things such a threat to these people? This issue has disturbed me since the 1980s when I witnessed communal riots in Mumbai. I felt compelled to talk about it in Never Mind Yaar. But first and foremost, the book is a love story and a story of friendship and fun between three young girls from different backgrounds – Hindu, Parsi and Christian – who meet at college.”

The Review:
 Whenever anybody says college, all I can think about is the unlimited fun in the care-free days when one steps out of a formal school life and into the world of the unknowns! Everyone, every thing and every setting seems new, they are provided a whole new platform to discover themselves and make their name to shine out there in beautiful colors. So as soon as I read that this book is about college life, I leaped and hopped at the opportunity to be able to finally lay my hands on it. But to tell you the truth, it didn't live up to my expectations as it couldn't bring back my nostalgic memories and "that" feeling of being the new one in the college.

It is a love story with a political angle (just like Ranjhaannaa) but the magic was a bit lacking. In my opinion, they author tried to put in too many variations of plot in a single book - there was cultural intermingling, a budding romance, and an upcoming political party. For me personally, it was too much to take in as it affected the pace of the book significantly. Also, being set up in Mumbai, it portrayed Mumbai to a large extent but it couldn't capture the essence of college life in the Bollywood city. 

The title has been played beautifully - it is the exact opposite of what the book shows! The 'Never Mind' psychology which almost all college students have is NOT present in the book. On the contrary, the students seemed pretty conscious about what was happening around them, for instance, 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.

If you want a light read about Mumbai and the college life, you may wanna take this up! (Although slightly overpriced at Rs 350 :P)

I would give this book a rating of 2.5 out of 5. 

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

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