Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Never Mind Yaar - Not what the title will have you believe!

Having lived in Mumbai all my life, I have heard a lot about the spirit of Mumbai and Mumbaikars. Mumbai is known to be the city that rarely stays down after being hit. It's back to business the very next day.  The reasons for this are debatable and are matter enough for another blog post. So, when I came across a book up for review with a "Never Mind Yaar" title, I assumed it to be a book focusing on this unfazed attitude of Mumbai. The back cover of the book too stated, going verbatim here, that the title is an attitude. A tendency to feel defeated by the scale and nature of certain problems. Rather than meet them head on, we circumvent them with a sigh and a consoling "Never mind, yaar." Is the title justified and the story live up to it? Read on to find out. 



The Good : Some of the most special memories of our life are made in college. Regardless of the type of student you are, the class nerd or a part of the "Vella" crowd, you will always look back fondly at some of the time spent in college. The highlight of this book is that it brings back those memories. And, anything that brings back fond memories is always beautiful. The carefree days of the youth spent with a very strong belief that the world is our oyster, unaffected by pessimism of any kind. The brushes of first love, the beauty of friendship, the rebelling against family and finding your feet. Everything signifies youth and thus forms such an important part in shaping up or life. The book brings back all this and much more. Focusing on the technical aspects of the book, the language used by the author is rich yet simple. The main characters are detailed and nicely fleshed which makes them relatable

The Bad: The book could do with better editing as the details become excruciating and painful to read in places. These details end up disturbing the pace of the story and making it really slow at times. The story loses track at places and some characters seem misplaced and unnecessary. The story starts out as a story of three friends and their travails. However, eventually the story stays limited to the two main characters, Shali and Bhagu, the other friends Binaifer and Louella are not focused on. This is a sad thing as the characters had a lot of scope, but end up as mere caricatures. The story falls prey to a hugely common phenomenon seen in books today, "Bollywoodism" The drama seems forced at places and the story is something that can easily without changing much, be turned into a movie. A book shouldn't be judged by its cover, but a mention should be made here. The cover of the book isn't something that will make you want to lift the book from a bookshelf at a store. 

My Two Cents: Too many cooks spoil the broth and too many elements ruin a story. It seems like the author has tried to cover everything in this one book and for the most part, been successful. However, the unsuccessful parts are hard to ignore. The book has characters that you can identify with and it does make you nostalgic about the good times, but the story somewhere does become aimless. It has all the elements of a movie. It has friendship, love, family drama and politics. Won't tickle the fantasy of a hard-core literature fan, but it can be read once if you are in the mood to enjoy a light and frothy read. 

Coming to the title, which had me intrigued since the beginning. Sadly, I couldn't find a connection. The characters in the book do not have a "Never mind, Yaar" attitude. On the contrary, the characters do raise their voice, do not get intimated by problems and face them head on. So, right until the end, I couldn't understand the relevance of the title.

My Verdict: You can read it once! 

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This review is a part of the Book Review program of Blogadda. Participate now to get free books.


6 comments:

  1. Agree with every word you said (rather typed!)
    The title doesn't justify the book. Keeping in mind that this is the author's first book, she has done a good job and has a long way to go.
    A good one-time read.

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  2. Hey Upasana,
    I liked the book, and yes, it's a one time read. :)
    I have reviewed this in my blog too...

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    Replies
    1. I will visit your blog soon and read it! :)

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  3. It would be unfair to compare any writer with anyone else, or to relegate any personal story as ordinary, but sometimes, I cannot help comparing them against biggies, and in a way belittle them.

    Nice review there, but if it isn't worth reading more than once, I'd pass :)

    Cheers,
    Blasphemous Aesthete

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    Replies
    1. That happens to the best of us. You can't help but, subconsciously even, compare them against the biggies, especially if in the same genre. :)

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