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The Nirmala Effect by Fiza Pathan

06 Aug

Powerful, Passionate Fiction – and Why Fiza Pathan Wrote it…

Nirmala: The Mud Blossom graphically depicts the travails, discrimination, and abuse faced by female children in India from the cradle to the grave. Not an easy read I thought before starting the book. Despite it is a fictional story, it is a clear indictment of India and the inhuman way women and girls are still being treated today. However the story immediately drew my attention and I finished this gripping, fascinating novel in one reading session over the weekend.
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The Reason for Writing this Story?
I was wondering how Fiza Pathan, a very well educated, and well-off writer, could tell the story of Nirmala the Mud Blossom. After all I knew her for her great non-fiction work CLASSICS: Why We Should Encourage Children To Read Them.  And now a novel that takes place in the slums of 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. All because this little girl had the misfortune to be born as a female in Mumbai, India …
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.
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?”
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Fiza Pathan Explains in Her Own Words Why She Had to Write Nirmala: The Mud Blossom

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The Nirmala Effect

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000030_00032]

My first novel which has just been released titled ‘Nirmala: The Mud Blossom’ was an accident. I had no intention of writing this story, let alone framing and formatting it into a novella. Yet when I pass the many filthy slums of Mumbai surrounding sky rise buildings and towers…I think to myself that maybe my character Nirmala and I both were accidents. Nirmala, was tossed into a dustbin because she was a girl…I was sent home to my mother’s family because I was a girl. Nirmala and I are two really different people and I can’t understand how I managed to write about her in the first place.

Do I empathize with Nirmala? Maybe…Do I sympathize with Nirmala? Maybe…but one thing is for sure. Nirmala got me thinking about reality, the reality that girls in India are not wanted…Nirmala and I both were not wanted.

Many people…

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Posted by on August 6, 2014 in Author/Writer, Writing

 

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