Lemon girl

Lemon GirlLemon Girl by Jyoti Arora
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a very good book. Thanks to Jyoti for providing me a review copy.

The man woman equation in our society is still skewed. It is good that I read it after watching pink. The story of lemon girl gives the same message. Is rape the mistake of girl? Is she too inviting through her dress or manners so that the boy became horny?
Jyoti points this out beautifully:

‘How can anyone treat a victim as culprit and the culprit as victim? If a rapist is a victim. of temptation, then all thieves and robbers and corrupt people are blameless too because they too are victims of temptation and opportunity.’

It is story of Arsh and Nirvi, the Lemon Girl. It is told form their point of view in alternate chapters. There are other characters too like Tia, Kusum, Sam etc but protoganists are Arsh and Nirvi. Nirvi is a happy go lucky girl when Arsh first meets her. Then she is raped by her own brother and her mother blames her. She hates them for it and leaves the home. Then she lives the life of a Gypsy and Arsh meets her.
Then it is a journey of healing and love as Jyoti puts it beautifully in this poem:

"As long as we stare
at the shadows 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."

The book is a mixed bag of humour, sadness, poignancy, romance and hate. It is a roller coaster ride and finally in true Indian fashion all is well. But it is heart-breaking at times which leads to a satisfying climax.

Some excerpts:

How is it that the things that you don't notice while they are happening often come to haunt you years later and raise their phantoms vivid to the last detail? How is it that I now can see clearly how you stood, how you looked, and how you looked at me there in the market in Ghaziabad, five years ago, even though I scarcely noticed any of that then?

She heard a million soothing words in your silence that night, a million calming embraces in the stillness of your hands. She stood bare before you, and felt you look into her, your core touching hers and finally bringing it to rest. And the reverberations that had been ringing through her since ages calmed down. She felt comforted, because she thought you cared.

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