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This story is about Nirmala the Mud Blossom, who had the misfortune to be born a 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, always subject to violence at her hands. She is allowed to continue her studies only because she can then coach her younger brothers, as the parents are illiterate. Each beating is accepted with forbearance, as she loves to go to school to get books to read from her library. Nirmala is forced to stop her studies after the twelfth grade so her parents can save enough money to send the boys to college. She is then married off, but while her married life begins smoothly, it is only the beginning of her next phase of hell. After giving birth to her first child, Nirmala is subjected to harassment, beatings, and forced into doing things contrary to her beliefs and dreams. Her life is shattered.
A heartfelt story of great resilience in the face of overwhelming odds NIRMALA: The Mud Blossom is Fiza Pathan at her very best. With a story that is so direct, it plays more like a parable than a drama Pathan’s narrative plays out in episodic style. Not every chapter pays off neatly or makes a smooth connect with the next but this isn’t to her narratives detriment and feels wholly appropriate to Nirmala’s story. We feel the lack of control Nirmala has over her life, the leeching of hope and reason for something uplifting to happen and we feel the strength of her determination to make a better life for herself. More importantly, Pathan avoids any temptation to concoct a formula plot. Turn the pages and we are drawn into a life few of us can imagine. One that evolves through happenchance and fortitude with Pathan's observations being powerfully socially critical in a way that is unique to her own worldview.
With a foreground ensemble of colourful characters amid the convincing background of Mumbai NIRMALA: The Mud Blossom is Fiza Pathan at her very best.
It is recommended without reservation.
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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?