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Nectar in a Sieve | Study Guide

Kamala Markandaya

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Nectar in a Sieve | Part 1, Chapter 22 | Summary



Selvam and Irawaddy grow even closer in their shared responsibility of Sacrabani. Despite the love and attention he receives at home, Sacrabani lives as an outsider from the rest of society. At age four he asks Irawaddy about his father, and she lies, saying he has gone somewhere but will come back. Rukmani chastises Irawaddy, saying she should have told Sacrabani his father is dead.


Like everyone else in the family, Sacrabani must learn to accept his fate as an outsider. Initially Irawaddy tries to lie and protect Sacrabani from the truth, but it's clear he already knows where he came from. She cannot protect him from the harsh realities of life any more than Rukmani could protect her children from the harsh fate of starvation.

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