About the author:
K. Mathur is an Indian author based in New Zealand. This is her first novel.
Cover and blurb:
Frankly, the cover does very little to invoke interest in the book. The colors are quite soothing, but otherwise, it just feels like a nature scene, rather than a fiction book with friendship and college, young love etc. that the blurb indicates.
My thoughts on the book:
“Never Mind Yaar”… I think that’s one of the more familiar catchphrases to my tongue. I remember college days when we used to shirk off things with those three words. We almost ended making it very vernacular in our gang of friends from different parts of the country. So when this catchphrase came up as the title for a book up for review, I took it up, and the blurb pushed my expectations up as well. It was a college story, and I felt it would be fun.
The story of a lifelong friendship between three girls, two of whom knew each other before, and their college life has been put across well by K. Mathur in this book. You can almost picture that opening part of the story, when the professor is standing at the entrance to a classroom, and the long-time friends greet each other very enthusiastically. You can picture the excitement that Louella is feeling, those moments of joy when she gets a new moped. You can feel that the trio, Louella Binaifer and Shalini will be great friends through the story. Throw in love at first sight for the third of the trio, and the story has the needed masala as well.
So what makes the book interesting? First, the friendship between the three girls. It’s not a plain friendship. It’s multicultural too. Louella is a Christian, Binaifer a Parsee and Shalini from a very orthodox Hindu family. Their friendship has been described nicely through the book. Another part is the character of the young boy Bhagu, who Shalini falls in love with. Young and aware of the state the country is in, he wants to do his bit to bring about a change. He’s a student activist, and adamant of certain things. You also like Shalini’s grandmother’s character. From the time Shalini describes her to the other two girls, you feel the character of Mem would be a fantastic one to explore. It also looks at the thoughts of the characters in a multicultural setting.
The not so interesting parts? The cover would be the place to begin, as I said initially. And the title, which has little to no relevance to the story. The characters do not feel solid, they don’t appeal to me as much as I wanted them to, expected them to. And there is not much details of college life either. I struggled to get through the initial parts of the book, and even overall, the pace is quite slow. The book feels like the author has tried to do a lot in little, and so doesn’t hold my interest much.
A one-time read, and a slow one at that. You can pick it up for a good friendship story, but don’t expect too much from it.
Title: Never Mind Yaar
Author: K. Mathur
Publishers: Southpac Publishers
Price: INR. 350 (via Pothi.com)
(Sept. 25th, 2013)