Author: K Mathur
Paperback: 242 pages
Publisher: Southpac Publishers Limited (October 22, 2010)
Price: INR 168.95 (Amazon Kindle India)
About the author: K. Mathur writes at the heart of two of India’s most pressing problems—violence between communities and the environment. Her debut novel is about friendship and fun between three college students from different ethnic backgrounds in Mumbai – a city they love but know is fraught with communal or racial tensions. Born and brought up in Mumbai, K. Mathur lives in New Zealand with her family.
Description: The title is an attitude – our tendency to feel defeated by the scale and nature of certain problems, circumvent them rather than meet them head on and console ourselves with a “never mind”. Yaar, a common term used in India, simply means “friend”.
When longtime friends Binaifer and Louella meet Shalini Dayal at Gyan Shakti College, Gyan for knowledge and Shakti for strength, a true friendship that transcends cultural and religious backgrounds is born. Louella is a Christian, Binaifer, a Parsi and Shalini, a Hindu.
The novel’s main plotline surrounds Shalini who has fallen for an impetuous student activist, Bhagu. Where does his desire to help the less fortunate lead him? The challenges are many – Shalini’s tradition bound family, the couple’s youth and inexperience and the travails of life in Mumbai, a city the girls love but know, is fraught with communal tension.
Review: I don’t like any work of fiction which says it is a thought provoking story, because thought provoking is what nonfiction does to the mind, definitely not fiction. The phrase -thought provoking in the blurb made me disappoint. It really did turn out to be a boring read. K Mathur’s male characters in the story were authentic, whereas the female characters were not to the mark, I must say baffling. I did not like the writing of the author nor the quality of the book and paper used in publishing. The paragraphs were not concave, if concave; it would have been to some extent an easy read. There were spelling and editing errors, I wish the editor and author should have looked into it before the final copy was approved. I like fast paced and quick reads, this story turned out to be slow. It was a difficult task for me to complete the book. College with an irritable administrator and girls arrived in that college are so delighted to be there, is an old known plot. If author had attempted a crusty prose style, story would have had a lot of promise but it turned out to be dawdling read.
I write a lot, which keeps me off the streets and out of trouble. There is always something to write about, always a new story to craft. Not writing, for me, is like trying to hold back a sneeze. Learning to write was the most powerful influence in my life. I can still remember the awe I felt when I realized I could put real words onto paper and tell out a story. From that first ‘a-ha’ moment I knew I wanted to write.
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