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3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  1,519 Ratings  ·  73 Reviews
Premchand's novella Nirmala, first published in 1928, is one of the most poignant novels in Hindi on the theme of the young adolescent yoked to an elderly husband. Clearly reformist in its agenda, this novel succeeds in exploring sensitive and even dangerous terrain. Alok Rai's English translation includes an Afterword which takes note of the novel's special context, placi ...more
Paperback, 218 pages
Published November 29th 2001 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published December 31st 1899)
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Gorab Jain
Mar 31, 2016 Gorab Jain rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rich in conversations, this book is anti-cliche.
1. In arranging a girl's marriage, dowry is not the biggest problem.
2. There is no friction between Sauteli Maa-beta. Albeit over abundance of love!
In spite of this, it is a depressing tale of young and mature Nirmala who is married to an immature old man double her age with 3 sons.
And it has far more twists and turns than anticipated. A gripping page turner. Very interesting story.
Madhulika Liddle
The eponymous Nirmala of Munshi Premchand's novel is, when the story begins, a girl of fifteen, the eldest daughter of a fairly prosperous lawyer. Nirmala's parents have found a match for her, a young man from a wealthy family. Besides the fact that the prospective groom is very eligible, what makes the match even more attractive is that the family has said they want no dowry; their only request is that the baaraat be looked after well. This—not an outright demand for dowry, but a definite asser ...more
Shubhi Agarwal
Jun 04, 2015 Shubhi Agarwal rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 09, 2015 Pranjali rated it really liked it
Shelves: hindi, classic
4.5 stars!!!!
Premchand did it again!!!! this book reminded me why he is my fav *_*

This is journey of Nirmala, the way she slowly grows up, matures and understand the ways of world.
This story is an an attack on all the problems, faced by women of that time (some of them are still relevant today), but not in a preachy way. It does have a social message but not of a feminist type and only if you are looking for it......
The story is about ordinary people, people you can find all around you. these pe
Arun Mor
Jun 10, 2013 Arun Mor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Premchand attacks the dowry system through this tale of a girl who is married to a man of her father's age after her father is murdered. What follows is a bleak narrative of her suffering as she struggles to overcome this hurdle for the rest of her life.
Santosh Kashyap
May 30, 2012 Santosh Kashyap rated it liked it
Indeed the first psychological novel in Hindi literature. It opened a new era in Hindi literature. A must read for any Hindi literature student.
Anshul Gaurav
Jul 22, 2011 Anshul Gaurav rated it really liked it
Nirmala, It was my first encounter with a Hindi Novel and what a pleasure it was. The story, broadly based on the life of an Indian village girl viz., Nirmala, who is forcibly married to an elderly man almost her father's age, due to the untimely death of her father. Besides, an inability to pay for her dowry. The story proceeds with Nirmala mired in the household with the man , his three sons and his widowed sister.
Besides the overall tragic underpinning there are flickers of hope for the prot
May 12, 2016 Karan rated it really liked it
I rarely write reviews but since this is my first in Hindi, it was an experience.
I picked a book written in Hindi after a good 9 years. It began slow, but the entire narrative was moving from the beginning.

The author has written it in a manner of a script. It felt like I was reading a stage show narrative with proper explanations and how to enact each scene.

The story touches the subtleties of human tragedies and the way he described them makes it a heart wrenching read.

The topics he touches on
Mar 30, 2016 Arpit rated it really liked it
Shelves: classic, hindi
Beyond expectations!!
Nirmala is unlike any other novel I usually read. I was expecting something Premchand-ish, but, BOOM, it was totally different.

The story is very fast-paced with lots of turn and twist and (view spoiler)
The whole novel has a dark tone. It's one of true-tragic novel I have ever read.

This novel touches upon lots of subjects including dowry, age-difference in marriages, double standards of society, moral values etc. And, you know what, there wasn't any c
Jul 18, 2015 Rajan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mythological
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 fir
Sheetal Maurya (Halo of Books)
You can read the full Book review on my blog here

Hindi literature is incomplete without mentioning the name of Munshi Premchand. I have already read his Kafan, Godan, Gaban, Idgaah and Kayakalp novels

The protagonist of this book is a 16-year-old free spirited Nirmala. She has a sister and two brothers. Being the eldest among the kids, her marriage is fixed with a boy from Lucknow. Her father doesn’t believe in dowry system and luckily finds a family who h
Yash Rathi
Jul 14, 2015 Yash Rathi rated it really liked it
The novel "Nirmala" entirely deals about the life and activities of Nirmala. Nirmala as the protagonist and as the victim conveys some sensitive issues which leave the readers choked under the burden of the tragedy. It documents a change that was occurring in the earlier part of the 1900's and is an introduction of the history of women's rights and the status of women in Indian culture. Moreover "Nirmala", though is perceived as a progressive indictment to the debased patriarchal society, it ena ...more
Jyoti Arora
May 04, 2014 Jyoti Arora rated it really liked it
I found the story depressing and pessimistic. However, I loved the way the characters transform as the situations of life change. The destiny of the people in the novel influences their characters, and the changing characters influence the destiny in their own way. Excellent depiction of the society and ways of the time, simple but superb narration and in-depth characterization.I can't say that I loved the book because I found the book depressing. But I thoroughly admire it.
Feb 10, 2014 Chetna rated it did not like it
Very Sad, depressing story...:-(.
Saurav Modak
Huh, we had it in our syllabus
Manish Goel
Aug 10, 2011 Manish Goel rated it it was amazing
The best book, I ever read!! A masterpiece by Premchand.
According to me "Perfection leads to perfect disaster" is the undercurrent in the story.
K. Hari Kumar
Very touching story about a young girl who gets married to an older widower and all the series of unfortunate events that follow. Premchand at his best.
Sharad Agarwal
Jul 02, 2013 Sharad Agarwal rated it it was ok
A complete Woman...
Sep 14, 2012 Piya added it
Dhiraj Nirbhay
Jul 05, 2015 Dhiraj Nirbhay rated it it was amazing
a Real story of Village women.
May 16, 2010 Bineet rated it it was amazing
The best book I have read in Hindi so far.
Srikumar Krishna Iyer
Jan 26, 2015 Srikumar Krishna Iyer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hindi
Read this book for the first time during my college days, just in time before the exams, for which this was the suggested prose.

The effect or impact is the same even after so many years. Really a masterpiece from Munshi Premchand. A must-read when one starts reading Hindi Literature.

I highly recommend this great book to all those looking to read a masterpiece in Hindi. Kindly note that the language is very pure, sometimes complicated but the plot is simple & straight forward, which makes up
May 29, 2016 Abhinav rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kshitiz Goliya
Nov 28, 2015 Kshitiz Goliya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To be true, I have never enjoyed Hindi prose in terms of its literary value as much as English one. Same goes for Premchand as well as his novel Nirmala. But his writing still stabs you right in the middle of the heart. It keeps dragging the reader to the innards of a world where pain and suffering are in abundance. The fact that his narrative is so genuine breaks this heart further.

Nirmala is the quintessential example of a woman who, even after being honest and strong, fails to survive the co
Abhyudaya Shrivastava
Feb 01, 2016 Abhyudaya Shrivastava rated it really liked it
You cannot read this book with the feminist ideals of today. The writer Premchand was a pioneer of his times and social messages had a prominent role in his works. But even then, this novel doesn't really contain a revolutionary idea. The central plot is pretty tame and has conformist elements along with the idea of addressing the plight of women in the Indian society of those times.

Nirmala (the pure one) is the protagonist and life keeps handing her lemons. It is a tragic tale so, there is no l
Sanyukta Biswas
Jan 18, 2016 Sanyukta Biswas rated it really liked it
Nirmala, written by Munshi Premchand reflects upon the evils that plagued the society during his times. It is a poignant tale of the misfortunes of the protagonist Nirmala. Difficulties faced as a result of meager income, forces even honest government employees to fulfill their familial obligations, especially if he doesn’t have any savings. The protagonist is married off to someone more than twice her age primarily because of lack of suitable amount for her dowry. This social evil has many ugly ...more
3.5 stars

This book is not what I usually pick up to read so, therefore, to be honest; it was a little depressing to go through the plight of a kid who was married off to a man who is her dad's age. Reading about the situation, especially female about a century ago freaked me out.
It definitely made me realize the perks of living and being brought up in the 21st century. Things expected off females during those times are the nightmare.

About the book, though, it's a classic. The plot is intrigui
Rosun Rajkumar
Sep 30, 2012 Rosun Rajkumar rated it liked it
At times I am crippled not being able to read a book in its vernacular language. I felt that the Hindi-English translation by Pustak Mahal of Nirmala destroyed all the connotations. However, I could use the essence of the story.
All stories by Premchand are poignant and same is the case of Nirmala, in fact this one is tragic. A 15 year old married off to a widower the age of her father. The age old Indian tradition of seeing a daughter as a burden to a family, the stigma attached to a stepmother
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Does the book, Nirmala portray women as victims? If so, how? 1 28 Jan 08, 2011 10:32PM  
  • राग दरबारी
  • मधुशाला
  • Vaishali Ki Nagarvadhu
  • तमस/Tamas
  • मैला आँचल
  • चरित्रहीन
  • रश्मिरथी (Rashmirathi)
  • Raavi Paar: And Other Stories
  • Anandamath
  • shikayat mujhe bhi hai (शिकायत मुझे भी है)
  • Chitralekha
  • आषाढ़ का एक दिन
  • काशी का अस्सी (Kashi ka Assi)
  • पिंजर
  • गुनाहों का देवता  / Gunahon Ka Devta
  • Mahabhoj
  • Kamayani
  • The Alhambra
Munshi Premchand (Hindi: मुंशी परेमचंद) was an Indian writer famous for his modern Hindustani literature. He is one of the most celebrated writers of the Indian subcontinent,and is regarded as one of the foremost Hindustani writers of the early twentieth century.

Born Dhanpat Rai, he began writing under the pen name "Nawab Rai", but subsequently switched to "Premchand", while he is also known as "M
More about Munshi Premchand...

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