Nectar in a Sieve by Kamala Markandaya-Online Book Summary |
Ruku is upset about going empty handed to her sonís home and she promises herself she will go to the market in the morning. After checking her bundle of money she lays down by Nathan to sleep. But her sleep is troubled as she wakes up often with the sense that something is brushing over her.
For Ruku and Nathan, moving in with their son means not only giving up their farming way of life but also relinquishing responsibility and decision making to the younger generation - a difficult thing to do no matter where you are from.
Even after the changes brought by the tannery, life in the village is calm and quiet compared to the bustling city Ruku and Nathan land in. They are quickly overwhelmed by its size and crowdedness and the difficult task of locating their son based only on the name of a street. Nathanís ill health makes the task harder - surely they feel very helpless as they try to navigate in this alien environment.
The temple provides a place of refuge, something like a homeless shelter/soup kitchen. Based on the conversations of those around her, Ruku deduces that many there are regulars, people whose very survival depends on this charity. Although she is not one to ask for help, Ruku is all too grateful for a somewhat familiar refuge (it is a temple after all) in the midst of the confusing chaos of the city.
Rukuís inexperience and ignorance of the ways of the city become clear in the temple. She expects honesty and charity and is shocked to be rebuked by those serving the food. Ruku doesnít realize that there are those who would lie to get a bigger handout. Her naivety is even more apparent in her decision to leave her bundles unattended. The trusting country couple is quickly robbed of their last possessions. One can only wonder what Ruku felt brushing her in the night.
Nathanís health is clearly becoming a greater issue. He must frequently rest and is unable to push through the crowd to get his meal. Ruku knows she must stay strong for her husband.
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Sinclair, Meredith. "TheBestNotes on Nectar in a Sieve".
. 09 May 2017