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4.11  ·  Rating details ·  3,088 ratings  ·  171 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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Average rating 4.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,088 ratings  ·  171 reviews

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Ankit Saxena
What I always thought and have observed from any writings of Munshi Premchand is that he was too far advanced from his fellow writers. Its not only about this book but considering any of his works. Importance of Education, social behaviour, societal courtesy these are among few matters that he explained very well in his most of the works, which were not so common in his era.

Nirmala is a story of a female from her mid-teenage to her early twenties. Story of a naive girl to a distressed, matured,
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
Gorab Jain
Mar 31, 2016 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.
Feb 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urdu, indian-fiction
I read Nirmala's Urdu version years ago.I still remember how sad and poignant it was.It is the tale of a young woman's endless trials and tribulations in pre-partition India.The story of misfortune piled on misfortune,the murder of her father,being married off to an older man for want of dowry and the subsequent troubles she encounters is masterfully told. ...more
Shubhi Agarwal
Jun 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 10, 2013 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. ...more
Santosh Kashyap
May 30, 2012 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.
Aug 09, 2015 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
Ravi Gangwani
Mar 04, 2018 rated it liked it
So I have committed one mistake ... I read this book in very darkest period of my life and it made me more depressed.
I swear I'll not read Premchand's any book in life ... there is only gloomy sadness and dark fates. It made me very tensed.
This book was so depressing that it took me 12 days to finish this small book.
Too sad and converging into miserable fate.
Srikumar Krishna Iyer
Jan 26, 2015 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 for
Anshul Gaurav
Jul 22, 2011 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
Jun 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Anyone who ever said it's difficult to understand women certainly did not read Premchand's Nirmala. He has so beautifully portrayed the emotions and transformation of Nirmala from a young girl to a detached woman. Soulful and tragic it will be hard to let go of Nirmala in the end. ...more
May 12, 2016 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
Jul 18, 2015 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
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
Sheetal Maurya - Godse (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 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
Dec 27, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: indian
One more book read before age permitted its utmost understanding. Yet that age permitted the clearest recollection of the story and the emotions felt. The details are still vivid about the teenage girl whose life suffers one tragedy after another like dominoes falling over. The death of the father that leads to her marriage to a very old man with sons that are nearer to the age of the new mother than the husband.
There is melodrama but what can one do when the reality of a poor and developing cou
Jyoti Arora
May 04, 2014 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. ...more
May 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
The best book I have read in Hindi so far.
Manish Goel
Aug 10, 2011 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.
Sep 14, 2012 added it
Saurav Modak
Huh, we had it in our syllabus
Sharad Agarwal
Jul 02, 2013 rated it it was ok
A complete Woman...
Feb 10, 2014 rated it did not like it
Very Sad, depressing story...:-(.
Dhiraj Nirbhay
Jul 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
a Real story of Village women.
K.Hari Kumar 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.
Sonali Ekka
Aug 27, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: popsugar
15 year old Nirmala was about to marry a suitable boy when unforeseen circumstances render her family poor and unable to pay the dowry. The match is broken and soon Nirmala is married off to a man twice her age, simply because he wasn't taking any dowry. Nirmala finds herself a wife of a man who is her father's age, and mother to 3 boys, the eldest being as old as her younger sister.

The book is about her life in this absurd marriage.

Premchand touches several social evils like dowry, female illi
Achintyah Shakti
Jul 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: hindi
While reading the last page, I was forced to think who was responsible for all that had happened?
Nirmala? munshi totaram? dr. sinha ? his father? or maybe....kalyani? probably it was kalyani, she sought to marry her daughter to the thing she lacked-money!
Amazing book, just like all other works of munshi ji.
the best part about his books is you don't want to skip lines. you just keep on living those lives.
This gives a lot of insight of society of India before independence. He was such a great man
Amitesh Maheshwari
Aug 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What happens when a 15 year old Nirmala get married to a 40 years old? Premchand books are a century year old yet it feel contemporary. It shows how dowry, shaming, child marriage leads to a life time to pain to individual, family and society. One may think that these things are of past but yet the core philosophy of it remains in many form of present society. Through its characters premchand always show how one can draw a ray of optimism from within. It is relatively shorter novel compared to G ...more
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Does the book, Nirmala portray women as victims? If so, how? 2 30 Jan 27, 2018 02:33AM  

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Munshi Premchand (Hindi: मुंशी प्रेमचंद) 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 "

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