Nirmala (Hindi)Nirmala by Premchand
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Nirmala brings to fore the plight of a woman who were married off to much older widower ( already having three sons) due to dowry. The brief summary is as follows:

Nirmala’s marriage was about to happen to a doctor in a rich Brahmin family but because of the death of her father, a financial burden starts looming over the Nirmala’s family. Thus, paying the dowry becomes a concern. Her marriage then happens to a widower, Munshi Totaram in his forty’s who brings Nirmala home in order to fill his first wife’s place. He has 3 sons and one sister living with him. He is a lawyer and is rich and respected in the society. By marrying, he hopes that his children would get the love of a mother and there would be someone to take care of his house too. His lost hopes to live comes alive.

But Nirmala could not find her dream man in him as he was too old for her. Even then, she faked happiness in front of him.

Soon suspecting the beauty of Nirmala, her husband starts doubting the relationship between his eldest son and Nirmala and so sends him to hostel.

All three children regret this, especially the eldest one. His health soon deteriorates in the hostel. A catastrophes strikes the house of Nirmala. She was now blamed for all that happened and the situation goes on to become from bad to worse. The story wonderfully depicts that how everybody get caught in the situation even though it is no one’s fault.

A very poignant tale of shattered dreams because of poverty.

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