Nectar in a Sieve | Study Guide

Kamala Markandaya

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Nectar in a Sieve | Part 2, Chapter 30 | Summary



Rukmani returns to her village with her "adopted" son Puli at her side. Irawaddy and Selvam greet them warmly. Selvam promises that no matter what, they will care for each other. Rukmani whispers to her children that Nathan's passing was "gentle," and she closes the novel with the line, "I will tell you later."


Love overcomes pain when Rukmani and Puli return home to the village. Far from a fairy-tale ending, the reunion provides the happiest ending realistically expected for the characters, although it's clear their suffering has not ended. At the end of the novel only the scrappiest characters, those who have found unique ways to accept their fates, have survived. Rukmani's closing line suggests hope as she hints at a time of quiet "later," when they will be at peace enough to discuss Nathan's passing.

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