by: Kamala Markandaya. Nectar in a Sieve is a novel by Kamala Markanday that was first published in Characters. Character List · Rukmani · Nathan. Read Nectar in a Sieve book reviews & author details and more at Kamala Markandaya is absolutely a brilliant story teller, Nectar in a sieve was. Nectar in a Sieve has ratings and reviews. Aditi said: “There is no greatness where there is not simplicity, goodness, and truth.” Leo T.

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Articles needing additional references from February All articles needing additional references Pages to import images to Mafkandaya. There she met her husband, with whom she lives today in London.

Nectar in a Sieve – Wikipedia

Near the end of the book when an Englishman who has helped Rukmani time and again chastises her for refusing to cry out in pain, hear her thoughts: When her two oldest sons go to work in the tannery, she is forced to accept it.

How does a village woman really think of herself?

A huge commercial success, it quickly became a modern classic. Still, once she realizes that she cannot change something like the presence of the tanneryshe accepts it.

Nectar in a Sieve

They know that, for some, the only ground on which victory is possible is the interior landscape of the mind and heart—a victory that is won by remaining, as Rukmani does, sane, loving, compassionate, gentle, and even hopeful in the face of every reason to be otherwise. The prose is beautiful. She solves her problem by visiting Kenny, the foreign doctor in town, whose new methods would not be acceptable to Rukmani’s husband.

He becomes frustrated with many of the local customs and seeing so much poverty weakens his spirit. To ask other readers questions about Nectar in a Sieveplease sign up.

Want to Read saving…. That is part of the visceral experience of this book; you truly believe each one of these people lives and breathes and is suffering through the events found herein.


Ira is now fourteen and old enough to marry. Satisfying and poignant till the very end. Rukmani’s third son, Murugan takes a job a hundred miles away as a servant.

To us, constant change in technology, free markets means increased opportunities, to them, it means loss of livelihood and certainty. Another of Rukmani’s kamwla has taken a job far away as a servant. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. View all 9 comments. At the end of the story, she is at peace with herself and her life. Through the character of Kenny, a western doctor who floats in and out of the story, Markandaya also produces a commentary on the social z of the suffering in this world; painting a picture of the suffering Indian spirit, which accepts their plight and burden, refusing to cry out for help.

Nectar in a Sieve by Kamala Markandaya

Rukmani infers poignancy and sympathy through her painful journey iseve life in India, how motherhood and marital life changes the life of this once innocent and sweet little girl is equally heart breaking yet necrar enough to keep the readers glued to the pages of this book till the very end.

Its been more than seventy years since this novel came out but the story is still fresh and relevant to this day and age. It has been more than seventy years since this novel came out yet the stories seem fresh as the struggles of the farmers are real and still relevant.

Still, Rukmani stays with her when she is in labor with her first child. One would have guessed it from the title. I had seen the slow, calm beauty of our village wilt in the blast from town, and I grieved no more; so now I accepted the kamalx and Ira’s lot in it, and thrust it from me; only sometimes when I was weak, or in sleep while my will lay dormant, I found myself rebellious, protesting, rejecting, and no longer calm.


When the tannery is built, Kunthi takes advantage of her good looks and attractive figure to make money by entertaining men. She married an Englishman and immigrated to England inwhere she had one daughter. Kunthi uses this as leverage over them until Rukmani learns the truth and forgives Nathan. Markandaya never mentions a specific time or place, however, which gives the story universality.

Rukmani’s sixth son, Kuti is much younger than his siblings. When a drought hits, the family struggles once again.

She faces the real possibility of her family’s starvation when the weather claims their crops. Are you happy with life but really wish you could despair for humanity and grapple with unending loss that makes a desolation of human existence?

Nectar in a Sieve Reader’s Guide

Rukmani is portrayed as a simple traditional Indian woman. Rukmani loves her family above all else and worries about her children as they leave home. As if this were not tragic enough, her little brother dies anyway. Jectar it was the early part of the book that really had an impact on me – impossible to believe that nnectar a simple life, devoid of ambition could mean happiness, and yet the characters are really happy – you could argue that the happiness came from ignorance, but maybe everyone’s happiness does.

Especially in the past, married couples were expected to have children; if they did not, they would lose social standing and respect.

Afraid that Nathan will not understand that the visits were for Ira’s infertility, Rukmani gives Kunthi some rice, even though it means that her own family will have too little. The family is on the brink of starvation, so they assume he only meant to try to feed them.