Nirmala & Normala
age group: 
12+ yrs
Number of pages: 
twins satire Bollywood
graphic novel
Reviewed by Stub


Book: Nirmala & Normala

Author: Sowmya Rajendran and Niveditha Subramaniam.

Pages: 202

Read On: Paper

How Long it Took Me to Read: 10 Days

Plot Summary: This indeed has a very good story. Nirmala and Normala are twins separated at birth. While one goes on to become a heroine, the other goes on to become a normal person. Yes, we know we should put ‘normal’ in quotes. We also know that we should issue a disclaimer that there’s no such thing as normal, but really, let’s talk about that later. If you’ve ever sat through a movie wondering why in the world the heroine is playing with street children or why she seems so daft despite being Harvard-educated, you should listen to Nirmala’s story. As for Normala, well, we all know her, don’t we?

General Thoughts: In class, we were asked to get this book / read this book on I read this book mentioned in and immediately put it on my wishlist and then sorta forgot about it! Then last week while browsing on Flipkart, I spotted this and pretty much immediately clicked on Buy Now.

A graphic novel. Yes please.
About Indian movies. Yes please!
Seperated at birth. Yes please!!!!

I got it. Read it. Loved it.

Things I Loved:

1. The premise of this book is super fun and right up my alley. Indian films. The silliness that is sometimes the very essence of our popular cinema is captured perfectly in this book.

2. The humour was spot on. I laughed out loud at several points in this book.

3. Nirmala and Normala are such fun characters to get to know.

4. Normala is my spirit animal. Well...almost. She is a grammar snob and she turns her nose up at an extremely popular Indian writer. I wanted to high five her.

5. Even though the book pokes fun at the absurdity of popular Indian/Hindi films it doesn't do so cruelly. Or judgementally. It was all done in good fun. As much as I can rant about the current state of Hindi films, I still love Bollywood in all it's glory.

6. The art style was simple but pretty and the writing and dialogues and conversations felt real.

Here is a sample of the art style...

7. This book was a fun ride. I breezed through it, Laughed. And had an all around good time.

8. This is a perfect book for anyone who has ever wondered about the bizarre things that are often shown in Indian films. This book feels like a conversation you might have had with your friends about the mindless and senseless things sometimes shown in Indian films.