This story is about Nirmala the Mud Blossom, who had the misfortune of being born female in Mumbai. Rejected and thrown into the dustbin when she was just two days old, the child was rescued and returned to her family by the NGOs.
Nirmala is ill-treated by her mother and subject to violence at her hands. She is allowed to continue her studies only because she can coach her younger brothers, as her parents are illiterate. On one occasion her mother brutally beats her when she is caught reading David Copperfield instead of doing the household chores; on another, she is struck for voicing her dreams of becoming a doctor. Loving school and the access it gives her to books she relishes, Nirmala accepts each beating with forbearance.
What will happen to this little mud blossom? Will she fight back or succumb? How can she rid herself of harassment and rise above the stigma she endures?
Nirmala: The Mud Blossom graphically depicts the travails, discrimination, and abuse faced by female children in India from the cradle to the grave.
|Publisher:||Fiza Pathan Publishing OPC Private Limited|
|Product dimensions:||5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.26(d)|
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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite Nirmala: The Mud Blossom is realistic fiction written by Fiza Pathan, set in the reclamation area of Mumbai, India. When the reader first meets Nirmala, she's being beaten with a belt by her mother for reading a library copy of a Dickens novel, when she should have been washing dishes. Nirmala is the oldest child in the family, and her parents had placed her in a dustbin when she was a baby. A group of NGO workers discovered the baby and returned her to her family, who thereupon bestowed on her the nickname of Mud Blossom. Nirmala cleans, cooks and tutors her younger brothers, and she dreams of the future when she'll become a doctor. She's a good student, especially in mathematics, even if her fellow students and teachers make it obvious that her dirty clothes and unwashed state are offensive. Fiza Pathan's realistic novel, Nirmala: The Mud Blossom is a heart-wrenching and powerful indictment of the treatment of women in India. While I've read countless articles and reports about the wife-burning and other abusive practices, this novel brought it home to me as never before, and I was in tears as I finished Nirmala's story. Pathan's writing is starkly beautiful as we watch the young girl search for trinkets and treasures in the waste and share her finds with the poorer children. Any justifications for such a disparity in treatment based on gender sound hollow at best, and the reader cannot help but share Nirmala's dismay at the change in her placid and kind husband when she cannot produce a male heir. Nirmala: The Mud Blossom is painful to read, but it carries a stunning and a essential message. It's most highly recommended.