Course Hero Logo

Nectar in a Sieve | Study Guide

Kamala Markandaya

Get the eBook on Amazon to study offline.

Buy on Amazon Study Guide
Cite This Study Guide

How to Cite This Study Guide

quotation mark graphic


Course Hero. "Nectar in a Sieve Study Guide." Course Hero. 6 Feb. 2018. Web. 28 May 2023. <>.

In text

(Course Hero)



Course Hero. (2018, February 6). Nectar in a Sieve Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved May 28, 2023, from

In text

(Course Hero, 2018)



Course Hero. "Nectar in a Sieve Study Guide." February 6, 2018. Accessed May 28, 2023.


Course Hero, "Nectar in a Sieve Study Guide," February 6, 2018, accessed May 28, 2023,

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


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.

Cite This Study Guide

information icon Have study documents to share about Nectar in a Sieve? Upload them to earn free Course Hero access!