” Its all your Fault. Mere words these are . But the words can possess a shadow invincible enough to rob even a soul of its eternity “- Lemon Girl
Lemon Girl by Jyoti Arora, is a gritty tale of a girl who becomes a victim of an unfortunate incident yet fight her way through with her mere courage of her conviction.Rape & crime against women is one of the burning issues of today. The complexion of the society is as such that the victim is crucified whereas the culprit is often supported on the grounds of being provoked by dressing, the behavior of the victim & situation or time. The burden of morality & self-control is thrust upon women while men roam around guilt free.
” But I believe the ears of the masculine gender of the species called humans are naturally trained to pick up the sound of girls…”- Lemon Girl
We often hear that outside world is not safe for women conveniently forgetting the fact that most cases of assault & molestation happens in the confines of home. Women are preyed upon by the men whom they trust the most. These predators are often disguised as fathers, brothers, relatives, neighbors & friends. According to the recent reports, most of the rapes are done by the close relatives of the victim.
The Author …
Lemon Girl is author’s second book.It is indeed courageous of the author, Jyoti Arora, to pick up such a topic & create a story that is not only engaging but also leaves a positive message. Her style of narration is unique almost like long monologs wandering in the minds & souls of the two protagonists, Nirvi & Arsh. Honestly, it feels distracting at first, testing the memory power of the reader but once you get a hang of it, you would love the smooth sail.
Recommended Read: Sweet Talks With Jyoti Arora
The Story …
Usually when it comes to writing on subjects like Rape & molestation, it’s mostly written in a convoluted manner. However, Lemon Girl hit the bull’s eye when it comes to interesting writing with the right amount of social message dashed into it.
Nirvi, a spectrum of emotions …
Nirvi, the Lemon Girl, is a girl next door.She is full of life, laugh out loud without a care in the world. She has dreams & aspirations like any normal girl until one fateful day when her world come crashing down on her feet.
Nirvi’s swashbuckling act is the soul of the story. At first she could be mistaken for a free-spirited modern girl ( as defined by our society ) with voracious sexual appetite. Her flamboyance, devil-may-care attitude gives enough fodder to chew on. Instead of drowning in self -pity, she had turned the table on holier-than-thou society. She refuses to behave like a victim although just externally. She makes some daring life choices & lives on her own terms. Does her tortured soul find some peace?
” As long as we stare at the shadow of the past. our eyes find only darkness.But the world of future is a portal of possibilities, and the path to it is paved by the choices we ourselves make”- Lemon girl
The other characters…
Arsh, the confused yet determined lover, looks lost in the maze. He is perpetually caught in the tug of war between the social complexities & calling of his heart. He neither break the set rules & act heroic nor he gives up on her love. He is determined yet confused, in love yet in denial, willing yet bogged down by social stigmas. At last he breaks free & does what most of the men won’t even think of doing. His act gives a hope that one fine day this world might change its attitude towards the rape victims & help them to come back to normalcy. So what he does to reclaim his love?
Sam or Samrath, Nirvi’s live-in partner, is the perpetual pinprick whose mere existence is enough to annoy any sensible soul. Yet Nirvi hangs on to him, playing the perfect subservient. For Nirvi, its aHobson’s choice. In her own words, she becomes a ‘parasite’ clinging onto anything that’s breathing to save its existence. At times, it feels as if it is an act put up by Nirvi while other times her helplessness reflects in her action. He keeps exulting over the fact that an average guy like him ‘ could score a hot chick’. Could he continue his victory dance?
Tiya, Nirvi’s best friend, is a jolly good happy-go-lucky-gal. She has thousands of plans for her future & keeps running after them. She is too determined to make a future without a concrete plan. She is a quintessential ‘Good girl’ who hails from a respectable family, is well mannered & always there for her friends. She acts as a pacifier to ‘ever restless ‘ Nervi. It is said that opposite attracts. It holds true for the friendship between Nirvi & Tiya. She soothes Nirvi’s frayed nerves often preventing Nirvi’s emotional outburst & hasty decision. Does she always succeed?
For all the above questions, you will have to read Lemon Girl :).
In one of the incidents, Nirvi literally throws herself in front of a gang of rowdy boys. Why she knowingly fall on the sword, is beyond understanding. Her hunt for shoulders to leans on is understandable but offering herself to random goons is questionable. Is it her way of punishing herself or has she started enjoying her bad girl act literally?
The story lost the pace midway. Especially after Nirvi revealed her secret to Arsh. The story that by far had the excellent pace & was holding the attention, let the reader doze off. Next few pages were a mere expression without much to divulge.
Lemon girl is not bereft of usual glitches. But apart from few small time types, there aren’t many mistakes as far as the editing goes.
- You are a lot changed ….
- Take her away to her own room ( Should have been his own room )
- And so are you sandwiches
Few more that you would encounter on the go…
Lemon Girl is not just an anomalous piece that is usually expected when a serious social issue is the core of the story. On the contrary, the series of events are so beautifully woven together that the reader becomes one with the subject. It is an excellent blend of human emotions, skillful writing & drama. The book stands out because of its unique narration, gripping events & well-crafted characters. It leaves you with a hope that changing perception is not impossible as it may seem. Rape survivors DO NOT need our sympathies.They need our understanding. It is not them who need to change but our attitude & actions that need an overhauling. After all, in Nirvi’s words, ” That it wasn’t my fault. It was NOT my fault.” Highly recommended !!
” Hurt badly many years ago & bleeding from that wound still …” – Lemon girl.
(View expressed here are my own. The review is commissioned by the author )