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NIRMALA: The Mud Blossom reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers’Favorite

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite


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Nirmala: The Mud Blossom is realistic fiction written by Fiza Pathan, set in the reclamation area of Mumbai, India. When the reader first meets Nirmala, she’s being beaten with a belt by her mother for reading a library copy of a Dickens novel, when she should have been washing dishes. Nirmala is the oldest child in the family, and her parents had placed her in a dustbin when she was a baby. A group of NGO workers discovered the baby and returned her to her family, who thereupon bestowed on her the nickname of Mud Blossom. Nirmala cleans, cooks and tutors her younger brothers, and she dreams of the future when she’ll become a doctor. She’s a good student, especially in mathematics, even if her fellow students and teachers make it obvious that her dirty clothes and unwashed state are offensive.

Fiza Pathan’s realistic novel, Nirmala: The Mud Blossom is a heart-wrenching and powerful indictment of the treatment of women in India. While I’ve read countless articles and reports about the wife-burning and other abusive practices, this novel brought it home to me as never before, and I was in tears as I finished Nirmala’s story. Pathan’s writing is starkly beautiful as we watch the young girl search for trinkets and treasures in the waste and share her finds with the poorer children. Any justifications for such a disparity in treatment based on gender sound hollow at best, and the reader cannot help but share Nirmala’s dismay at the change in her placid and kind husband when she cannot produce a male heir. Nirmala: The Mud Blossom is painful to read, but it carries a stunning and a essential message. It’s most highly recommended.

‘NIRMALA: The Mud Blossom’ Reviewed and RECOMMENDED by The US Review of Books

Review of NIRMALA: The Mud Blossom
by The US Review of Books – reviewed by Anita Lock

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“Eye-opening, riveting, and not for the faint of heart, Nirmala: The Mud Blossom is very much a must read for all.”

Nirmala: The Mud Blossom is a harrowing account of one girl’s life in Mumbai, India. While there are a variety of themes befitting minority issues that run throughout Pathan’s short novel, high on that list is survival.

In her fifth book, rising author Fiza Pathan has crafted a story that is more factual than fiction. Based on a fictional character, Nirmala Acharya, Pathan narrates how Nirmala’s life is no different than many Indian girls today. Earmarked as worthless at the time of her birth, Nirmala is an incredibly intelligent girl. Yet since she is not only female, but also the first born in her family, her parents only see her as a burden. According to ancient Indian custom and tradition, boys continue the family name, bring in money to the family when they are old enough to work, and are the recipients of their future wife’s dowries, as well as an image of pride to their mothers for producing sons. Girls, on the contrary, offer to parents “a state worse than barrenness.” Parents fear that their daughters will be raped and pregnant before marriage and that their futures will be riddled with bride burnings and possible widowhood. …

Read the entire review at:




Indie Reader Approved NIRMALA: The Mud Blossom by Fiza Pathan

Review of NIRMALA: The Mud Blossom

“Anyone who reads Pathan’s story will fall in love with her protagonist and will feel sad when the book comes to a close.” 

IR Approved Sticker 2

The cover of Fiza Pathan's new Kindle book


NIRMALA: THE MUD BLOSSOM, by author Fiza Pathan, is the heartbreaking story of a young Indian girl who endures numerous hardships, while living under the regime of abusive parents and a poverty-stricken lifestyle. Pathan successfully brings to life the tale of this strong girl named Nirmala (which translates to mud blossom) as she works to fulfill her goal of achieving an education despite getting frequent beatings from her parents and living in fear of being kicked out of her home.

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Cardiac Arrest Patients Need CPR, Not Hospitals, Doctor Says

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Food for thought. It will save lives.

Originally posted on TIME:

Patients undergoing cardiac arrest are better off being treated right away by ambulatory teams instead of being taken to hospitals, a physician argued in The BMJ on Wednesday.

Cardiac arrest–not to be confused with a heart attack–is an instantaneous loss of heart function. A heart attack is caused by a blockage, whereas cardiac arrest is a malfunction in the heart’s systems. Typically, immediate cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is the best treatment, but in his editorial, Jonathan Benger, a professor of emergency care at the University of the West of England, argues that there’s not a lot more a hospital can do, and that preparing a patient for transport only leads to delays in care.

In his opinion, that should stop.

In the U.K. less than 10% of patients with cardiac arrest survive and leave the hospital. In Benger’s argument, first responders should instead do what they can at the scene of…

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‘Senior Moments’ Could Be Early Signs of Dementia: Study

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Originally posted on TIME:

So-called senior moments, like failing to recall your missing sunglasses are perched on your head, might not be just benign mishaps, but early harbingers of Alzheimer’s disease, reports a new paper.

The study, published in the journal of the American Academy of Neurology, suggests that self-reported worries about memory lapses are strong predictors of a later diagnosis of dementia. The research indicates that it takes about 12 years from initial signs of forgetfulness for the problem to become severe enough to be called dementia.

Of course, forgetfulness is a natural part of aging, and a spotty memory by no means guarantees that bigger problems are in the works, the researchers say. However, that does not mean concerns about errant sunglasses should necessarily be brushed off.

That’s because “there may be a significant window of opportunity for intervention before a diagnosable problem shows up,” Richard Kryscio, the study’s lead author…

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The FBI Sting Operation that Saved the Bill of Rights

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Originally posted on TIME:

On Sept. 25, 1789, Congress approved the Bill of Rights, and 13 copies were dispatched to the 13 American states for ratification. The past 225 years have been pretty tame for most of the original copies, but one of the yellowed parchment sheets — the version destined for North Carolina — ended up on a much longer journey than its drafters could have imagined, involving shady collectors, an FBI sting operation and a theft masked by the fog of war.

Things started out so calmly: the North Carolina document spent a relatively placid 75 years in the state archives in Raleigh after the state quickly ratified the amendment. A state clerk placed it among archival papers in the Capitol building, and it stayed in Raleigh until near the end of the Civil War.

Then, in 1865, North Carolina’s copy of the Bill of Rights began a long and unexpected…

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Q&A: Transparent Creator Jill Soloway on Transgender Stories and Indie TV

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Originally posted on TIME:

On Sept. 26, Amazon Prime Video premieres the ten-episode first season of Transparent, in which Jeffrey Tambor stars as Maura Pfefferman, a senior citizen with three grown kids who’s transitioning from the identity of Mort Pfefferman. I wrote about Transparent for TIME’s fall arts preview after seeing the pilot and called it the best new show of the fall. I’ve now seen four episodes, and it might be the best new show, or best show period, of the year. It’s every bit as powerful and moving as the pilot–a funny-but-melancholy story of family members going through their own identity crises even as they, one by one, learn the big news about their father’s identity.

In August I spoke to Transparent‘s creator, Jill Soloway (previously a producer and writer on Six Feet Under and United States of Tara) about the themes of the show and the process…

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