My Ramyeon Girl by Nethra is a brilliant tale of love, loss, betrayal, and aspirations weaved in a cross-cultural backdrop. It’s a short novel but holds substantial intensity on contemporary romance. As the story chugs ahead, we meet Meena and Jung-Su in South Korea. The latter is a famous actor and Meena just an aspiring writer, living with her brother Arun. Jung-Su stumbles upon Meena in a restaurant when he goes there to have Ramyeon, a sort of Korean noodles. He begins liking her and gradually they get on. First as a friend and then they rope in commitment. The story may sound sweet and simple and moving, but remember this is not India, it’s South Korea.
How did a superstar like Jung-Su fall for an average-looking Indian girl? Jung-Su has tough time to explain his feeling for her to the media and the people around him, including his manager Min-Sik. They both enjoy secret hang outs and clandestine meetings. The character of Jung-Su is portrayed quite naive. Having worked for so long in the glamorous film industry, all of sudden love for Meena becomes his priority. You can feel that he was becoming blind but little did he know that love doesn’t stay the way it begins.
Almost eighty percent of the novel seems premeditated and had things that can hardly attract the readers, for one specific reason, it wasn’t a fast paced. However, towards the end, the story lifts the curtains and the true colours of Meena and Jung-Su’s obsession for love see the limelight. In fact, in the first seventy to eighty percent, they struggle to rise above the racial indifference they face from the crowd, especially the fans of Jung-Su. As the chaos of racism rise, their relationship demands a test, everything goes on stake: Meena’s life and Jung-Su’s acting career. Readers would be shocked to see the reaction of Jung-Su’s fans towards Meena. They weren’t accepting her anytime–what is this trend? The novel’s story kept balance by showing Meena too ordinary in a foreign country and Jung-Su’s dazzling fame in his own country. Not all love stories are smooth and accepted easily.
Before the test of time, they need to be together and one. What happens when Meena goes away leaving Jung-Su beleaguered for love? Will they meet or they were together for just attention and some showoff. This novel once again asks – does true love still exists? Can the Korean actor turn the tide in his favour to get his love of life or is it just another infatuation for him? Were Meena and her brother’s action justified when they steer away from Jung-Su? The ending of the novel is riveting and delicate. If one has read the novel till the last page, well the ending makes up for all. Something unexpected happened…what? Pick up your copy to delve into their worlds…
The premise of the novel is small and at times it sounds repetitive; however, Nethra’s narration is superbly promising. She has a good sense of events, which makes her work entertaining and contemplative.