Tuesday, September 24, 2013

'Never Mind Yaar' - Good One Time Read

“Never Mind Yaar “ as the title suggests is an attempt to explain an attitude which the author feels is ingrained in the spirit of the Mumbaikar through a fledgling college romance which has atypical ending what one would expect in a Bollywood movie.
K Mathur uses a free flowing prose in the book which is refreshing at times. The book talks primarily from the point of view of the typical college going youngster and revolves around a story line involving 3 friends Binaifer Desai,Louella D’Costa and Shalini Dayal at Gyan Shakti college. The story then transgresses into a romance between Shalini and Bhagu; an idealistic young man who believes he can change the world and people’s beliefs.
The story starts off pleasantly enough with friendships being formed amidst a lovely college campus and lectures. As the romance blossoms between Shalini and her impulsive activist friend Bhagu amidst college politics the narrative dips without warning into the Mumbai communal riots and just as abruptly ends with a speech from the principal of the college Dr Nakwa. Also a lot of hooha is made about ‘Mem’ an aristocratic ageing matriarch which could have been more gripping had there been more interactions with Shalini and possibly her friends.
The author takes a potshot at the much appreciated resilient spirit of Mumbai and the willingness of its residents to take everything in their stride. Mathur makes a snide reference to the structures which have come up and blocked the view of Louella’s house in all directions except one – it says that even if the one available west side is blocked by a structure the mumbaikar will say “Koi baat nahin”.
The narrative also talks about the indifferent attitude of the Mumbaikar and the general lassitude of the Aam Adami which often is a mute spectator to events. Examples of this are scattered throughout the book whether it is the leering auto rickshaw driver or the public beating suffered by Bhagu where no one comes forward to help(Bhagu’s signature campaign gives a shot in the arm to his stature and popularity in college)– herein is the attempt to justify the title ” Never mind yaar”.
The author has some interesting snippets to share about Mumbai and its cosmopolitan environment with its complexities. But it fails to grip the reader and provide actual fresh insights or a new perspective about life in Mumbai. In the attempt to infuse life into a seemingly boring love story the book ends up being a pot-boiler of unnecessary cultural information and bits of history cold pressed into fiction which is neither intriguing nor compelling.
The story though, starts off interestingly, tapers off into monotonous ho hum fare. The book is at best a onetime read.
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Blogger jyothi said...

good review. inspired to read the book

September 25, 2013 5:58 PM  
Blogger jyothi said...


September 26, 2013 6:15 PM  

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