Ghost from the past is chasing her and she is running away- probably to escape from the burden of her sin!
Wrong! She has been categorized as a sinner for no fault of hers!
According to the crime clock 2005 of National Crime Records Bureau, one crime against women is reported in every 3 minutes, one molestation every 15 minutes, one rape every 29 minutes, one dowry death every 77 minutes, and one sexual harassment in every 53 minutes. These are horrible statistics of the largest democracy of the world. And we the responsible citizens relish daily addition to this endless list of brutal assault news with warm tea at the morning reading newspaper and at the evening with snacks and news channels. To us these ‘news’ are entertainment-spicy entertainment!
But it may so happen that such incident may occur in our own home –with our near and dear ones. Then probably we will realize what her soul and body might feel after such heinous crime against her.
Or will we-in reality?
Jyoti Arora tries to find an answer in her fiction ‘Lemon girl’.
Feminist Gloria Steinmen suggested that we should imagine equality. But it is hard to envisage. Anybody who stands firmly on ground can only look to the sun at the sky .every day, every minute she is sinking in quick sand. To her where is the sun? Where is the sky? Even a rapist is defended on the plea that the victim’s dress was provocative; her looks is seductive and so on…..
The storyline is innovative with almost through the book alternate chapters two protagonists of the story are telling their story, presented from two different perspectives. The story begins with a flashback from Nirvi-running away as usual from her past and hiding in present from the guy who had truly loved her.
Arsh –the ‘lover’ discovered this chubby cute girl in a marketplace arguing with her friend in a way that testifies the sense of humor of the writer. A little bit of the conversation is worth sharing
‘Had I been in your place, I would have walked straight up to him, put my hands like this’ this more interesting friend was saying, putting her thumb to either side of her head, raising her fingers like horns. The two heavy bags she was holding dangled near her ears, as if well used to such maneuvers. What a sight that was. But a still prettier sight was about to come. ‘I would have struck my tongue out and stared back at him.’ She said and struck her tongue out, right in the middle of the market, and opened her eyes as wide as they could be opened, showing exactly what she would have done.’
Her bargain with the lemon seller earned her the name’ lemon girl’ from Arsh and it is an apt name signifying her youthful zest and vigor. She is really as green as a lemon!
Or what Arsh had imagined her!
Four years later –Arsh discovered her again, this time as a live in partner with someone he had known since his college days. He was shocked to find a new Nirvi-not his lemon girl, but a puppet who dances at the stroke of the thread of ‘Sam’-her live in partner. A self thinking on her part may be found to be interesting to the reader-
‘Nirvi, I hate this dress of yours’.
‘Yes, Sam. I hate it too’. Though it was my favorite till then.
‘Nirvi,you look great in black. It makes you look thinner.’
‘Yes,Sam’. That means I look fat in other colours. I must starve myself more. He won’t like me fat.’
Arsh wondered why she is with someone like Sam-who doesn’t care for her emotion and never ever tried to be her true friend. What Sam always did was to superimpose his will on her.
Why she was hiding her true self, her true identity?
To her living with Sam is getting out of the cage and looking at the open sky. But this is a cage too!
She was afraid that she might fell in live with Arsh and then she fled away-from his life. Why? Is she afraid of making life miserable for him?
She went to seek her haven somewhere, getting engaged in something she is passionate about doing. There again comes a guy and attracted towards her as iron is attracted towards magnet. But no! Do not expect any conclusion of relation here, too!
Why she is afraid of loving?
Readers have to read the entire story to get a clue of what the past had bestowed upon her and compelled to think exactly in the same way that the writer wants them to think.
Towards the conclusion the lemon girl returns in the company of Arsh again. But surprise waits for the reader at the climax.
One clue to the reader-the story ends in a seesawing of relation.
Hopefully, one day she will walk on the road, her head is held high, her mind is without fear of hunger, without fear of molestation, without fear of illiteracy, and without any fear about the future of her future girl child.
We all wait for the day……
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