Book Review: Never Mind Yaar by K Mathur
· ISBN -978-0-473-17480-4
· Genre: Fiction
· Publishers: Southpac Publishers
· Price: Rs. 350/- (I got this book from Blog Adda for a review)
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”.
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.
This edition of Never Mind Yaar is for India where explanations of Indian words and phrases are redundant. More about the book on the author's website. http://nevermindyaar.blogspot.co.nz/p/about-book.html
Behind The book
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.”
I have always loved Mumbai and I call it my first love for that city breathes every moment of the day. And I love feeling its breath! When I read the blurb and found that this story is based in Mumbai I knew I had to read this tale of friendship and love set in my most favourite city.
The title has been very aptly chosen as it talks about an attitude that we all carry. We all look at the problems standing before us, gasp at their size and then suddenly exclaim Never mind yaar. That attitude is very much reflective throughout this book.
The story begins with a chanced meeting between 2 girls from different religious backgrounds in their college and takes off from there to an interesting array of incidents making it a very interesting read.
Somewhere amidst these pages I was reminded about the movie Ranjhana as the character Shalini falls for a student activist Bhagu. Though the entire story revolves around them and their struggles as a couple in love the other aspects of Mumbai being a city where communal tension is triggered in the blink of an eye, the beautiful history that our country carries and ofcourse the friendship all of them share is beautifully narrated. I loved the way the author has described the nuances of Mumbai in a manner which brings the city alive even as you read about it.
Recommended for readers who enjoy reading light fiction which is not completely about love and friendship but also about the other realities we are surrounded with in our country.