Nectar in a Sieve | Study Guide

Kamala Markandaya

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Nectar in a Sieve | Part 1, Chapter 17 | Summary



After Kuti dies, the earth "mock[s] [Rukmani's] loss" by offering an abundant harvest. With the little strength they have left, the family cleans the rice and divides it into neat piles. Again they feel overwhelmed with optimism as they realize they will make enough to pay their back rent, as well as buy more seeds, start a new vegetable garden, and hopefully get back on their feet.


Once again fate intervenes to keep Rukmani and her family alive. When the rains come Rukmani thanks the gods and goddesses, as if her devout prayers were the answer to her family's suffering: "God has given us another chance at His mercy." This mentality infuriates characters like Kennington, who believe suffering people should ask for help rather than wait for the fates of the gods to look favorably upon them.

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