Nectar in a Sieve by Kamala Markandaya-Online Book Summary |
Selvam does not understand why his parents have made no protest against the sale of their land. He sees injustice where they do not. Nathan says they will go to Murugan in the city, as he is too old to rent another piece of property and beyond learning another skill. Selvam offers to quit his job with Kenny and help his father farm but Nathan will not hear of it. Ira declares that she and her son will stay in the village where at least people are now used to them. Selvam pledges to look after his sister and her son.
Just when things were looking stable for the family, they get the word that their land has been sold. The threat of it had hung over them their entire lives and yet the shock of it actually happening throws Ruku off balance.
At first her blame falls squarely on the tannery, which caused so much change and now takes from them the only thing they have left. Even Ruku must admit that people such as they who live hand to mouth and rent their land are easily affected by all forces of change whether natural, like drought, or man made, like the tannery.
Nathanís poor health and advancing age (50 is old in a society where physical labor and poor nutrition abound) leave them little alternative for the future. As it was becoming increasingly difficult for him to do the necessary farm work, he knows no one will rent him a new patch of land. As is custom, they must rely on their sons in their old age. Since Murugan has a job in the city, it is to him they will go.
Selvam nobly offers to sacrifice his own future to help his parents stay in the life theyíve always known but they refuse his offer knowing that their time has passed and his is yet to come. Ira has no wish to start over again with stares and uncomfortable questions and so she too will remain behind.
This is the storyís climax, the final breaking point for Ruku. The only life sheís ever known is over and she must find a new way in the twilight of her life.
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Sinclair, Meredith. "TheBestNotes on Nectar in a Sieve".
. 09 May 2017