Nectar in a Sieve by Kamala Markandaya-Online Book Summary |
Puli continues to stay by their side, begging while they work in the quarry. Ruku and Nathan turn their money over to Puli; they trust that he will be able to keep it from thieves as clever as he is. They figure that in two months they will have enough to return home. Nathan offers Puli a home in the village but he claims he will stay in the city - village life will be too small and quiet for him. Puli wonders how they will fare better in the village. Nathan tries to explain that at least there he will starve among his familiars and not die unnoticed in the unfriendly, overcrowded city.
The longer they are in the city, the more Nathan and Ruku see the cruel struggle for survival among the poor there. Even in the temple, there is theft and violence against the helpless. They are determined to return to the village where they can at least die in peace but have no money for the return trip.
Letter writers and readers were common as most people could not read and write for themselves. A woman reading and writing was uncommon and thus Ruku receives more rude comments than customers. Luck gives them a good turn, however, with the return of the child Puli.
Ruku feels a mixture of pity and awe for Puli. His disability and his youth are pitiable but his cheerful spirit and quick mind are enviable. Nathan correctly observes the boy is well equipped to care for himself in the city, but Ruku is also correct that the boy craves nurturing - why else would he adopt Ruku and Nathan as his own. Soon it as though they have always been together and Ruku even trusts Puli enough to give him their money for safekeeping. The affection is mutual as Puli could easily have gone on his way but Rukuís motherly feelings for him keep him near. Even Nathan feels for the boy and tries to convince him to return to the village as their kin.
Puliís knowledge of the city allows Ruku and Nathan to find work at the quarry and a quicker way to earn their passage home. Again, Puli demonstrates his resourcefulness by collecting alms even from the poor quarry workers. Hope grows as the money Puli hides away increases slowly but surely.
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Sinclair, Meredith. "TheBestNotes on Nectar in a Sieve".
. 09 May 2017