Lemon Girl by Jyoti Arora
Welcome to the front row seat to take a journey of one girl, Nirvi.
Once a jovial and carefree girl, Nirvi’s life changes drastically when she is raped. While it is no fault of her own, she feels otherwise. She is victimized as the victim of a tragedy in this ‘wonder-ful’ society of ours. Now she lives life as a mere shadow of the person she once was – ashamed of her past and with no hopes and dreams of a future. Arsh remembers the girl she was and sees the girl she has become. He takes it upon himself to help her find the girl she once was.
It is so easy to fall in love with Nirvi. She is real and she lives amongst us. Most of us have had friends like her – one who lights up a room with her presence and sense of humour. As a woman myself, I could not help but feel outraged on her behalf at the injustices of our society. But I also realize that the author has merely portrayed the truth of today’s world where a woman is blamed for everything no matter if it is really her fault or not. It is the victim’s life that is ruined while the perpetrator lives a respectful life and simply moves on to find his next victim. However she fights on in whatever small ways she can to live and to find love and hope one day.
Arsh’s character is an interesting one. In the beginning he came across as a bit too full of himself and makes it difficult for us to like him. However over the period of the novel he redeems himself as he inserts himself in Nirvi’s life and help her find the girl she once was. He is ceaseless in his endeavors to resurrect and preserve the jovial girl that Nirvi once was. His voice is a refreshing one.
Rape is a sensitive and widespread issue that the author has handled with great care. Not once did the book feel unreal or overdone. In fact, there was a nagging feeling about the truth in the pages. Jyoti Arora has kept her language and narration simple, letting the plot and the characters take the center stage. Fiction or Reality? That is the question I had while reading this book. The novel maybe a work of fiction, but it is the reality of too many women in our society.
Engaging and emotional, Lemon Girl is a must read for all.
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