Title : NEVER MIND YAAR
Language : English
Author : K. Mathur
Genre : Fiction
Publisher : Southpac Publishers Ltd (2012)
Powered by : Pothi.com
ISBN-13 : 9780437174804
ISBN-10 : 0473174790
Binding : Paperback
Edition : 2nd
Price : Rs. 350 ( Buy from Flipkart.com for Rs.333/- ( 4% Off ) or from Pothi.com
Pages : 228
The Book Summary : The title is an attitude - our tendency to feel defeated by the scale and nature of certain problems, circumvent them rather than meet them head on and console ourselves with a “never mind”. Yaar, a common term used in India, simply means “friend”.
When longtime friends Binaifer and Louella meet Shalini Dayal at Gyan Shakti College, Gyan for knowledge and Shakti for strength, 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.
My Point of View ( P.O.V ) : Before reading this book of hers, I had come across her blog sometime ago and had read couple of her posts. Though not a frequent reader, I found her topics unique and fun to read. So, naturally when I saw this book, I got curious. What struck me first, is the simplicity of the book. It's cover is not like the ones you'd generally find in books seen around these days. It has a quaint, friendly, honest and warm feeling to it. The image of three young girls and college gate, does indicate that the books is all about friendship, college campus etc. And when I began reading it, I found that it covered much more as well.
Bombay or Mumbai has mesmerized me for years. I love reading stories set in this amazing and overwhelmingly intriguing city. And the story in this book is set in the city too, where we have all kinds of differences that we can possibly imagine of - be it socio-cultural or economic. But it still stands strong. And this city has faced many challenges too like bomb blasts, riots to its fullest. The story thus, takes a subtle look into all these angles, how they affected the people and their relations with one another, and overall growing up in diversities that represent the city. The 'Never Mind' attitude that we tend to adopt, in dealing with various problems ( sometimes serious ones too ), and our ability to get up, move through and move on.
The story set in the year 1999, is essentially of three girls and a boy from different religious backgrounds ( Christian, Parsi and Hindu ) along with their linguistic differences. They become friends in their common college campus ( two of them apparently know each other since long ). Their strong friendship in due course, melts all the cultural boundaries and differences, and stands the test of times. In the college, they meet a weird chap too - the office clerk, who apparently dislikes the students.
The story starts slow, and after a while picks up its pace. There is also a love angle thrown in, when one of the girls from richer backgrounds, fall in love with the not-so-rich student-activist boy. But she hasn't really confessed her feelings either to the boy or even her friends. The two other friends play cupid at times. Meanwhile, her elders ( esp her granny ) have arranged a match for her already, and she is torn between what to choose. What wins in the end - love or the traditions? - that'd be for the readers to find out. The arranged marriage kinda scenario is really a good read. Bhagu, the male character is well depicted, strong and very believable. The communal and political tensions in the book is also interesting, and I'd have liked more details of it. The character of 'Mem' is something to watch out for.
A very positive book, that touches ordinary middle class lives ( hence, easily relate-able ) and will surely take the readers down on a nostalgic trip of their own to their college lives. A story which most of us has lived sometime in our lives, very believable.
Positives : A very vivid, positive and insightful take, written in simple, lucid style manner, which is easy, interesting and engaging. It'll definitely keep the readers hooked, especially if they love reading stories about college-day friendships. All the characters are distinct and sketched beautifully. The illustrations in the book add colours and breathes life to the story as well. For a first time novel, the author has done a pretty good job. Highly recommended.
Negatives : None! Except maybe the price and little bit of re-editing will make the story more polished.
Who will enjoy this? - Everyone!
Buy or Don’t Buy? – A Must Buy!
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.” email@example.com | http://nevermindyaar.blogspot.co.nz | See more at: http://pothi.com/pothi/book/k-mathur-never-mind-yaar#sthash.duzHcWSE.dpuf
Our Rating Scale is : 1 to 5 = ◕◕◕ - I liked it!