Nectar in a Sieve | Study Guide

Kamala Markandaya

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Course Hero. "Nectar in a Sieve Study Guide." Course Hero. 6 Feb. 2018. Web. 20 Oct. 2018. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Nectar-in-a-Sieve/>.

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Course Hero. (2018, February 6). Nectar in a Sieve Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved October 20, 2018, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Nectar-in-a-Sieve/

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Course Hero. "Nectar in a Sieve Study Guide." February 6, 2018. Accessed October 20, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Nectar-in-a-Sieve/.

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Course Hero, "Nectar in a Sieve Study Guide," February 6, 2018, accessed October 20, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Nectar-in-a-Sieve/.

Nectar in a Sieve | Part 1, Chapter 10 | Summary

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Summary

On Deepavali, the Hindu Festival of Lights, the family travels into town for the large bonfire and fireworks. For the first time ever, Rukmani buys fireworks for the children. The youngest, Selvam, fears the fire, but Rukmani encourages him to play. She loses Nathan and the children in the crowd, and finds them when the last embers of the bonfire have gone out. Nathan dances and sings and twirls Rukmani in front of the crowd, overcome with gratitude and joy for his life.

Analysis

This chapter provides another example of how Rukmani enjoys the small pleasures in life. The novel's title, Nectar in a Sieve, evokes imagery of sweet liquid "nectar" slipping through a sieve's holes. This image begs readers to enjoy life's sweetness before it disappears. Although they have little money, Rukmani wants her children to enjoy the festival, so she gives them money for fireworks: "It is only once ... a memory." This momentary happiness, seen again in Nathan's elation at the bonfire, provides emotional sustenance for the family, helping them maintain their optimism in the face of hardship.

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