Never Mind Yaar, a debut novel by K. Mathur, is a compelling exploration of the challenges on the one hand and the comfort and reassurance on the other, of growing up in the cultural, political and bewildering mosaic that is Mumbai. The title, according to Ms Mathur is an attitude - our tendency to feel defeated by the scale and nature of certain problems, give up and move on with a sigh and a “Never Mind”. Yaar simply means friend or pal or bro in India. The year is 1999. Louella and Binaifer, friends since school, are overjoyed to discover they’ve enrolled for the same degree at Gyan Shakti College, gyan for knowledge and shakti for strength. The college is on the outskirts of Mumbai. On the very first day they meet and become firm friends with Shalini. The three are from different ethnic backgrounds, Christian, Parsi and Hindu. Even the languages they speak at home are different so the three communicate in Mumbai’s lingua franca, English. On that first day, they also come across the obnoxious clerk, Jayaram. "Jayaram disliked students, tolerating their very presence at the college with grim determination. He found their exuberance loud and brash, unless they were quiet, when he labelled them dumb."Read more
Dr. Naakwaa of Gyan Shakti College couldn't help smiling to himself as he looked at the sea of eager, animated young faces. They all seemed to speak at once, or so it seemed to an old man like himself, their ceaseless chatter outdone only by sudden bursts of loud laughter.
Even as they talked and laughed in their own groups, he saw their eyes covertly watching the others. An air of breathless expectancy hung about them, as if something momentous would sweep them up on a wing and fly them away to an unknown destination. Without exception, they all clamoured to go, even the ones standing at the periphery, hesitant and slightly lost though they appeared to be.
I loved the description of the characters. Overall I really enjoyed this passage - Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Reviews
Never Mind Yaar is driven by a strong narrative, a rich cast of characters and a strong sense of place which is intriguing for both Indian and non-Indian readers. – Graeme Lay, Editor, Reviewer of the Year-Montana NZ Book Awards 98
To me the book is a bit of history, cultural information and a lovely story rolled into one. Unique and compelling. Sarah,U.K.
K.Mathur has written a beautiful story. An absolute must read! - Rita’s Book Reviews,USA.
I was nostalgic about my college days after reading about the three friends from different backgrounds. Snigdha, India
Sensational - Stunning - Mind Provoking!!Barbara Watkins
Mathur has much to say about the city of her birth and all its complexities; readers will appreciate the fresh and insightful voice that grows and strengthens throughout the book. Andi Diehn, Author/ReviewerRead more
I've always enjoyed my city, Mumbai, except when violence has erupted between communities - K.Mathur On the whole people seem to get along fine. We are proud of our own community and accept that others are naturally proud of theirs. But there's a handful in every community who are extremely suspicious of those differences. Ever since I witnessed communal (or racial) riots in Mumbai as a young girl, I've always wanted to know why secularism or a different way of doing things is such a threat to these people? I have written about this very disturbing question in "Never Mind Yaar".Read more
The three Mumbai girls around whom the book revolves: Shalini or Shali, the Hindu – the main protagonist, Binaifer or Binny, the Parsi and Louella or Lou, the Christian They became firm friends at Gyan Shakti College. Binny and Lou come up with impossible schemes to bring Shali and Bhagu...Read more