Today, I’m going to share my views on a novel titled, “Lemon Girl.”
I know girls having name: Rose, Jasmine, Lily but Lemon! What kind of name is this! Thank God, it isn’t the name of our heroine! Her name is Nirvi. Our hero, Arsh, called her Lemon Girl because the first time he saw her negotiating over price of lemon from roadside vendor.
But after reading the novel, I came to understand the deeper meaning of Lemon Girl. As I see, lemon can be used as a symbol of seemingly opposites in a unity. Lemon is sour in taste but yet tasty. Sour is considered as unpleasant. We, all, are familiar with the phrase: ‘sour grapes.’ But we savour lemon despite being its sour taste. Lemon is pleasant and unpleasant at the same time. Well, something is very difficult to convey in words; so, I advise you to cut a lemon and squeeze some drops on your tongue or just lick it to know what I’m trying to say.
Nirvi is just like lemon having pleasant and unpleasant characteristics together. In fact, she is just like us – a common person. We too have attracting as well as repelling characteristics together. Sometimes people love us and sometimes hate us but we remain the same person all the time.
The story revolves around youths who just pass their graduation and enter into job. In that phase, most guys divide gals into two categories. If a gal does not respond to a guy’s flirting, she is tagged as Behanji and if responds, she is tagged as Slut. Well, no gal is 100% Behanji or 100% Slut but a concoction of both – Lemon Girl.
At this instance, I’d like to quote some lines from the book:
‘And your sister is in love with him. See the way she is looking at him. I tell you, he just has to give a word and she will do anything for him.’
‘How dare you? How dare you say that about my sister?’ I burst out. ‘You have no right to. She is a decent, cultured and very good girl. Both my sisters are. They don’t go about making boyfriends.’
It is a must read for my male friends who often wonder: how girls think! The best part is that the book is written by a female author, Jyoti Arora. So there should be no doubt on its authenticity regarding feminine perspective of things.
The story is narrated throughout the book from two different perspectives: from female point of view and male point of view. Being a male, I vouch for authenticity of male perspective. Its writing style reminds me of the novel Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen in which the two protagonists alternately presenting their perspective on a shared set of events.
The story starts in simple manner and gradually becomes complex like our own lives. It deals various aspects of our lives from different perspectives. It is not a simple garden love story but a serious plot unravelling layers of love one by one. I must appreciate author’s wisdom on human psychology and spirituality. She is Post Graduate in Applied Psychology. Don’t confuse with her degree. Here, I ain’t talking about knowledge but wisdom. (To see the difference between knowledge & wisdom, refer my article: How to be established in state of highest wisdom).
Knowledge is bookish but wisdom comes from personal experience, personal suffering. Suffering provides depth in personality. Suffering plays the same role in Personality Development as fire plays in shining of gold.
Jyoti is a patient of Thalassemia Major which forced her to stop going to school after class seventh. In spite of that she managed to complete her Post Graduation Degree in English Literature and Applied Psychology through Distant Learning System.
As Coelho said in The Alchemist, “When you want something, the entire Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” And Coelho didn’t say this by mere thinking and analysing some facts logically. He learned it hard way – through experience. He was admitted to mental institution from which he escaped three times before being released at the age of 20. He had been to jail. In short, what he writes is not some superficial philosophy but the essence of his life long experience.
In the same manner, Jyoti is struggling with life. It is her zest to overcome her medical problems and zeal to achieve success keeps her striving on with her endeavors to make her dreams come true. And when she wrote in her book, “A mistake is an opportunity you give to life to teach you a lesson. And when even human teachers don’t give lessons for free; life certainly won’t” then these are not some hollow words but a lesson, she learned from life itself.
Some other motivational quotes from the book:
Time is right here already, you only need to find a right schedule
Don’t waste away your dream in being lazy. Dreams are precious, you know, and you are lucky to have a dream.
Don’t you worry, everything will end up great, just as you want it. And what you want might even be yours already. All you have to do is reach out and take it.
We know what is wrong, but we won’t do anything about it. We just talk and put away the action for later. And later never comes.
Lemon Girl is an intense plot comprising love, break ups, promiscuity, incestuous rape, friendship, live in relationship, marriage problems, extramarital affairs, dream accomplishment, motivation and spirituality. It is a good emotional roller coaster ride. My eyes brimmed at few incidences while reading. It deals with subtleties of human psychology. One of my favourite lines from the book is: Who says only lovers can give heartbreaks? A good friend can give just as much pain as a bad lover.
Some more excerpts from the book:
Just like a whirlwind, wasn’t she?’
A whirlwind carries a lot of debris in it. And leaves much behind, broken doors, broken walls, broken houses. It can break open a prison too and let the swarm of prisoners gallop out, if only to die.
But how could I have thought that you’d stick with me for so long? Everybody knew that even two months was too long a time for you to stick to a single guy.
‘Friend?’ she laughed at that word. ‘Do you think I go about cooking breakfast and cleaning rooms of all my friends?’ As she spoke, she leaned the elbow of her free hand on the table and rested her chin on her palm. She smiled and her eyes sent a tickle racing through me.
And I knew now what she was trying to do. She had become insecure of Sam, so she was trying to latch on to me. Maybe she thought me an easy target, and an eager one too. Disgusting!
I hated Nirvi at that moment. She had killed my Lemon Girl and turned her into a parasite.
It was the Lemon Girl who made that mistake. And Lemon Girl is a fool. How easily she mistook your idle curiosity for something more. Fool!
When you forced yourself into her life, she thought you cared. When you forced her voice back to her, she thought you cared. Even when you refused her, she accepted that as your care and…respect. Fool!
‘Liar. You are a liar. And a hypocrite. You preached me to respect myself. But even you don’t think I am respectable. Not even you. Well guess what? I don’t think you are respectable either. Because you are a liar.’
And she ran away.
The scariest part of being alone is realizing that you are no longer needed by anyone anymore. You would never know it. But that’s how I have been feeling since I walked out of my father’s home. Many wanted me, nobody needed me. Not even you.
But there’s nothing so pure as darkness, Arsh. And in this purity, no disguise is required. And when there’s not even a ray to contaminate the dark, the sight turns inwards. The world does not matter then, because it’s dark. And out of your reach. There’s only one person alive. And you are forced to meet that person face to face. You can’t escape.
Free, free like a torn kite in total surrender to the wind’s whims. There’s no freedom as complete as the one brought on by utter loss.
You can read the first twelve chapters of the book here.