Nectar In A Sieve By Kamala Markandaya

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Typically when people experience rough times, they depend on their family members for assurance. Similar to rural 1950’s India, Ruku and Nathan’s family sticks together and that is how they make it through their rough times. Family unity is very important in times of hardship. Without family unity, Rukmani’s family would not have been able to deal with the issue of starving. They bind together for: the loss of Raja, the return of Irrawaddy, and the tannery coming to town. In Nectar in a Sieve, Kamala Markandaya explores how outside influences impact Rukmani and her family to suggest unity. When the flooding struck Rukmani and her family, it was fatal, but they believed somebody was in deeper despair. It rained for a long …show more content…
Many people were cynical of Kenny when he first arrived, because he was a foreigner. Rukmani was thankful for him, he helped her mother: “Between her and this man, young though he was, lay mutual understanding and respect, one for the other. He told her no lies, and she trusted him. He came often, sometimes even when he was not summoned; and his presence, as much as the powders and pills he made her take, gave my mother her ease” (Markandaya, 281). Rukmani would not have made it through her mother’s death without the support of Kenny. It had been seven years and Rukmani was unable to bore a boy. She felt guilty, blaming herself, because she had tried everything. Kenny offered to help and she had five sons after that. Rukmani had great credence in Kenny, and she feels as though she could never repay him for what he has done for her family. She continues to feel this way when her son, Selvam, goes to work for him in the hospital he is building. Rukmani feels as though this could be his metier: “I sought out Kenny again. - “We are once more in your debt. My son is overjoyed. This is something he has waited for without knowing it” (Markandaya, 359). Kenny becomes a part of the family after everything he has done, they do not know what they would have done without him. Thus, Rukmani was forever grateful for Kenny and all his …show more content…
When the people of the tannery first arrived they caused a huge ruckus, everyone in the town heard about it. The people of the tannery monopolized the land where the children used to play, and where people used to grow their crop. The life they knew was gone and it affected everyone, “I think the beginning of my daughter’s carefree days began with the tannery. She had been used to come and go with her brothers, and they went whether they wished.” (Markandaya, 290). The tannery was a turning point in for this rural town. Many people stopped working in farms to work at the tannery —including Rukmani’s two oldest sons. Rukmani’s oldests sons collaborated to work in the tannery for a better life. Nathan and Rukmani were abhorred that they would not be working in the family farm, “Nathan and I both tried to dissuade him, but without avail. My husband especially had been looking forward to the day when they would join him in working on the land; but Thambi only shook his head” (Markandaya, 308). They depended on their other children at times like this. Weeks later, two tannery messengers came and told Rukmani that her that her son, Raja, had been killed at the tannery. They forever associated his death with the tannery. As a family, they were there to support one another in their loss. The tannery had grown and bought Rukmani and Nathan’s land;

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