‘It’s all your fault.’
Mere words these are.
“But words can possess a shadow invincible enough to rob even a soul of its eternity.”
In a society that finds it easier to mark sins of a victim than the culprit, Nirvi is a young girl punishing herself for the faults she did not do and avenging her hurts by defeating her own truth.
She is scared of her future, and ashamed of her past. She is failing herself, and knows it. She has had a long line of boyfriends, and hated them all. She detests the guy she is living with, runs away from the one she loves , and seduces the one who can never love her.
When Arsh first sees Nirvi, she’s a free and frank girl in whose eyes sparkle the lemony zest of life. The next time he sees her, she is a voiceless doll draped in clothes that cover her body less and shroud her soul more. And Arsh can’t rest till he finds out what made Nirvi give up her own real self.
Nirvi knows she is dragging herself on a path from which there can be no recovery. Can her spirit survive the treacherous downfall? Or is the pull of fear and push of desperation just too strong to withstand for a girl who believes she has “nowhere else to go” but down.
“When it’s time for you to fall in love, even a lemon can become the cause of it,” says Arsh.
But can love survive, when even the self love dies?
Can love survive when respect is no more?
Does true love have the power to revive a dying soul?
Review: Lemon Girl is told from two pov’s: Nirvi and Arsh. Nirvi is The Lemon Girl, so named by Arsh who first meets her bartering for Lemons in the market. Arsh is in love with Nirvi, but doesn’t realise it. Nirvi is raped by her brother and being told it’s her own fault by her mother, she runs away to hide her shame. Arsh wonders what has happened to her.
The devastation Nirvi suffers creates two distinct separate personalities. That of the Lemon Girl, Arsh knows, who is outspoken, bubbly and charming who would live her own life. And, that of a withdrawn, obedient, submissive type of personality who lives only to please somebody else. But there is also the hint of a third personality, not so distinct, that is brought on by her mother’s wishes she was more like her best friend, Kussum who stumbles to get the attention of men, and flirts a lot with a desire to use them. When Arsh finds, his lemon girl, he notices the vast change in her personality and seeks to find out what has happened to her. Thus we get his interpretation of things, and Nirvi’s interpretation. It works incredibly well. I could say so much more, but do not want to give it all away with spoilers.
I was completely captivated by events as they unfolded and learned much about the perspectives of a culture so alien to me. That of India where women are blamed and held accountable for the wrongs done to them. How they are shunned for bringing shame upon their families for being raped. I think it was the insights into this culture along with Jyoti’s excellent method of writing that kept me riveted to the story. It is most certainly one of the most memorable stories I’ve ever read… Hence the five stars.
Along with this book I commend Jyoti’s bravery for writing such a story, having been properly introduced to the culture she lives in.