Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Book Review: Never Mind Yaar by K. Mathur

Title: Never Mind Yaar
Image source: Goodreads

 Author: K. Mathur


About the story:  Three girls, Binaifer Desai, Louella D’Costa and Shalini Dayal forge a bond of friendship when they enter the gates of Gyan Shakti college to obtain a degree. Although the three come from different cultures and ethnic backgrounds their friendship only matures with each day during their academic years.


Binny is a happy-go-lucky Parsi girl who loves her community, and she believes her clan is as extinct as the species of DoDo.  Lou is a Christian and often plays the role of cupid in her friend’s life. And Shalini, the beautiful, rich girl, hailing from an affluent family in Jaipur, is a Hindu. Shalni is desperate to ward off her grandmother, Mem’s, attempts to find her a groom.  In order to buy herself some time before she gets married off, she joins the degree course, but what she had not accounted for, was falling in love with Bhagu.


Shalini is inexplicably attracted to the intense and yet, the very friendly and approachable boy in her class, Bhagu. Shalini, knowing very well that her Mem would never approve of a common boy like Bhagu, tries her best to ignore the attraction that flares every now and then between the two.


When her two best friends realize what’s happening right under their nose, they plot together and scheme to get the two love birds together.


Will Shalini and Bhagu finally end up together? Will their love survive the brutal stance of the authoritarian grandmother? You’ll have to read the book to find out J


Review:  This is the second consecutive book that I have read centered around Mumbai.  While the previous book, Back Seat, delved deep into the psyche of the city and tried to peel off the layers to reveal the dark underbelly, Never Mind Yaar, barely scratches the surface by trying to dissect and analyze the topic of secularism in Mumbai.


The city plays home to people of diverse culture, religion and languages. But off late, the very virtue of tolerance, that made Mumbai a potpourri of cultures, has rapidly vanished. Riots and revolts caused by a few fanatic people have tried giving a bad name to this beautiful city.


Apart from centering on Mumbai, the plot also revolves around the friendship of the three girls, a fledgling romance, typical life in an Indian joint family and the cheerful life of youngsters in college.


The characters are very well depicted and the story line is thankfully focused on the main protagonists without digressing too much.  There are also small snippets of information about the different cultures, about Mumbai and regional folktale that makes the book more interesting.


But what pleased me is that the author didn’t extensively use vernacular words as books based on a particular city often tend to contain. The ending of the book, though slightly implausible, does bring a smile to the reader’s lips. And a book that ends in an ‘all’s well’ feeling definitely earns some brownie points, don’t you think?


Verdict:  A light, breezy read that manages to strike a chord with its readers through its warm and vibrant characters and an interesting plot.

Rating: 3.5/5

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  1. The title seems to be a casual one, but then better not to judge by the title too.
    Thanks for the review.

    1. Yeah, I guess the title is inspired by the 'chaltha hai' attitude that many possess :)

  2. Looks like a lovely read and I want to buy books of all my blogger friends whenever I am in India next. Nice review, Prasanna.

    1. Thanks Saru, this book is also available in the giveaway at my blog. But its applicable for Indian residents for now :(