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Really, really, really depressing But at least it s short Beautiful and touching, Nectar in a Sieve follows a young Rukmani who is married to Nathan, a tenant farmer, when she is only twelve The marriage, of course, is arranged The story focuses on the growth of her family and the struggles a tenant farmer and his family must face in a developing India I had one minor issue with this bookthat is that there wasn t .The story should be depressing because the family has to scrape by to survive And I mean really scrape bywith very little extra ever coming their way They lose children to death and circumstance They live through monsoon and drought while they work the land for thirty years But because the book is only around 180 pages, I felt like I did not get to know the characters as well as I would have liked Their only daughter, for example, has a sad but fascinating story of her own, and I would have liked to seeof it Several of her sons move awayfar away and we don t hear anythingabout them Of course, neither did Rukmani, which was perhaps common for a woman in her situation, but I wanted to know how their lives turned out In any case, a story that should have been depressing was touching They never really had a break, but I felt like they were happy in their own way They learned to accept their hardships and never lost sight of their humanity in spite of those hardships Mostly, they took joy in loving and forgiving each other The prose is beautiful And that is probably what made this novel for me Some writers are gifted with language in a way that sings to you I wish I had half Markandaya s skill with words And perhaps that is another reason I wantedI wanted to listen to her voice for just a little bit longer As it is, this is going to stay with me for a long time. DOWNLOAD EPUB ☼ Nectar in a Sieve ⚖ Married As A Child Bride To A Tenant Farmer She Never Met, Rukmani Works Side By Side In The Field With Her Husband To Wrest A Living From A Land Ravaged By Droughts, Monsoons, And Insects With Remarkable Fortitude And Courage, She Meets Changing Times And Fights Poverty And DisasterThis Beautiful And Eloquent Story Tells Of A Simple Peasant Woman In A Primitive Village In India Whose Whole Life Is A Gallant And Persistent Battle To Care For Those She Loves An Unforgettable Novel That Will Wring Your Heart Out The Associated PressNamed Notable Book OfBy The American Library Association At its heart, Nectar in a Sieve is a story about suffering and our response to it The protagonist is an aging Indian woman looking back over her long life and reflecting on her fate as well as her choices Much that happened to her, she had no say in She was a child bride of an arranged marriage In some respects, Providence was kind to her in many others cruel.But it would spoil the book to tell Rukmani s tale before you read it You need to experience it through her own sparse prose narrative If you get this particular edition of the book do not read the introduction by Indira Ganesan until after you ve finished the book Although excellent, it contains many spoilers Instead check out the historical context in the study guide here which will give you sufficient background to proceed well.Like all people who live off the land, it is a journey of ups and downs, joys and woes Very soon into the book, what becomes obvious is that it doesn t matter so much what happens to Rukmani or her family What counts is to endure.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 Well, and what if we gave in to our troubles at every step We would be pitiable creatures indeed to be so weak, for is not man s spirit given to him to rise above his misfortunes As for our wants, they are many and unfilled, for who is so rich or compassionate to supply them Want is our companion from birth to death, familiar as the seasons of the earth, varying only in degree What profit to bewail that which has always been and cannot change Rukmani was a survivor she knew the secret of life was to endure patiently, quietly, lovingly Nectar in a Sieve is a haunting story of the sweetness of life running out as quickly as its title dedicated to my partner in reading this, Melissa Sometimes at night I think that my husband is with me again, coming gently through the mists, and we are tranquil together, begins Rukmani as she takes the reader into her life, the rare ups and several downs of it as she reminisces the years following her marriage to Nathan, a poor tenant farmer The aura of this book is that of gloom and depression, they are depressed when they do not have children, they are upset when they have too many children to feed and the reader is upset because life is so unfair for this couple Markandaya s poignant novel captures the hardships faced by farmers in post colonial India where everything they hold dear, is being eventually lost.The concept of time and the lateness of events is beautiful explored Sometimes, things fail to happen when needed and are just a bit too late to provide any value I highly recommend this book to any And every reader Man alive Apart from the book Untouchable , also set in India, I do not believe I have read adismal, depressing and hopeless book This books tells the story of a young woman who marries arranged marriage as a 12 year old to a rice grower and their extreme hardships, much dependent on the weather as too much or too little rain badly affects the crops Each chapter is filled with death, despair, child mortality, wife rejection, prostitution, shame, illigitimacy, etc and just when you think things are as bad as they can possibly get, you start the next chapter and find an intolerable situation has turnedintolerable still.I do not believe I shall ever again use the throwaway phrase so often used and heard, I was starving to death because truly no matter how little money I have had at any point in my life or how many hours I had to go without eating even in my silly 20s when I was on this water fasting kick and would drop 15 pounds in a week Grrrrrrrr to myself , I know nothing of true starvation, nothing what the characters endure with no anger or bitterness.I can not say this is a wonderful book because it is so sad and grim, but I loved it just the same and want to see if my library has any other titles by this author who died in the 1980s. Work without hope draws nectar in a sieve,and hope without an object cannot live Coleridge Written in 1954 this million copy bestseller with a afterward by Thrity Umrigar is the story of Rukmani a very young girl whose father marries her off to Nathan an unknown farmer in rural India Reminiscent of Pearl S Buck s The Good Earth in its theme featuring a strong woman who spends her life battling adversity and poverty while trying to best care for the ones she loves Cited as a favorite book by my friend Sharon , a retired English teacher who knows her stuff 4 stars The story is compelling and full of interesting details, but I couldn t help feeling there was something unreal and stilted about it Strangely enough, the section set in the city seemedfelt and wasbelievable to me, although it was filled with unexpected and strange turns of events view spoiler Sad Ira s parents condemn her for unwillingly resorting to sex work to save herself and her infant brother from starvationSad The landowner s agent demands payment when the harvest fails due to the too late monsoonHappy The protagonist and her husband love and value each other hide spoiler There is no greatness where there is not simplicity, goodness, and truthLeo TolstoyKamala Purnaiya Taylor, a.k.a, Kamala Markandaya, the late Indian internationally bestselling author, had penned a terrific yet extremely honest tale of a woman s struggling yet endearing life right after India s independence in her book, Nectar in a Sieve which marks as a pioneering book in Indian literature, that outlines the importance of a woman s simplicity, her sacrifices, her unconditional love for her family, her dying desires, her struggles during the times of poverty and her intelligence in rural India Synopsis This beautiful and eloquent story tells of a simple peasant woman in a primitive village in India whose whole life was a gallant and persistent battle to care for those she loved.Married as a child bride to a tenant farmer she had never seen, she worked side by side in the field with her husband to wrest a living from land that was ravaged by droughts, monsoons, and insects With remarkable fortitude and courage, she sought to meet changing times and fight poverty and disaster She saw one of her infants die from starvation, her daughter become a prostitute, and her sons leave the land for jobs which she distrusted And somehow, she survivedRukmani, a very young girl, is married off to a simple peasant, Nathan, from a village miles and miles away from the village where she was born, by her father, who is a reputed village headman Rukmani who came from a modest and affluent lifestyle is expected to follow with her newly married husband to his village and into his simple world with limited means Rukmani soon adjusts and adapts with her new lifestyle as a village farmer s wife, by helping her husband in sowing the rice seeds, watering and other necessary farming activities while handling and managing the household singlehandedly Unfortunately as time passes by, Rukmani is left childless as she is expected to give birth to a handful of sons who will finally help in the farming business alongside with her husband As a result, Rukmani consults a Western doctor, Kenny, with modern world ideals, who finally helps her to give birth to a daughter and four sons Despite the increase of so many feeding mouths, Nathan and Rukmani somehow manages to feed their sons and daughter, give a fulfilling life, even they are challenged all the way with poverty, drought and flood, sacrifice their farm and fight lots of battles, and through out the whole journey, Rukmani stands tall and strong shoulder to shoulder with her husband until the very end.There are so many stories that highlight an India s life right after the independence but only a few stand out, just like, Nectar in a Sieve is one such ground breaking classic Indian literature that brings out the basic and simple life of a farmer somewhere rural in South India Centralizing poverty as the main theme of the book, the author had depicted the life of a village woman despite whose sadness knew no limit, she had a fulfilling and satisfying family life with limited happiness and extreme challenges all through out her way The author has made her readers feel nostalgia through the pages of this compelling yet heart touching story of a woman as a little girl, as a daughter, as a wife, as a mother and as a friend as she survives her life alongside her husband and children The author has captured the backdrop of a post Independent India strikingly as she gracefully painted the rough and brown yet dull landscape of an Indian village, lush with rice paddy fields and the blooming flora here and there, the dust from the red stone roads, the grayish river, the hard cracked soil, the mud huts, the narrow minded and illiterate village folks, the superstitions, the child s cry, the staple food, and the sweat of the hard working villagers Each and every details about the background image will let the readers to time travel back and forth from that era to the modern times and that will force them to reflect back on the changes The author had also highlighted the socio political, cultural norms and beliefs followed back in that era which is in a stark contrast to present day s rules and beliefs The author s writing style is extremely significant rich with emotions and wisdom embedded deep into the core of the story line The readers, be them international or Indian, will find the book easy to comprehend with even the story is written by the author is a very simple and easy to understand English language The narrative is heartfelt and articulate and the readers will find losing themselves into the sad undertone of the character s voices The pace if the book is swift and moderate even the story is rich with so many evocative descriptions that will help the readers to not only feel the story but also to visually imagine the scenes right before their eyes The characters reflect the hardships toiled by the Indian farmers and their family through their honest and realistic demeanor strikingly The main character of Rukmani is pleasingly portrayed that the Indian readers can easily contemplated with her plain looks, not so sharp wit, an enduring and patient woman, a hard working mother, a loyal and devoted wife and an obedient daughter Rukmani infers poignancy and sympathy through her painful journey of life in India, how motherhood and marital life changes the life of this once innocent and sweet little girl is equally heart breaking yet enlightening enough to keep the readers glued to the pages of this book till the very end the supporting characters are well developed and extremely enriching enough to keep the readers interested about the way their life unfolds through the main story line In a nutshell, this is a must read Indian book that every Indian readers must not only possess in their bookshelves but must also possess in the very deep of their souls Verdict Satisfying and poignant till the very end Oh, man, talk about grimsville I think I ll just run along now and lay my head on that old railroad track These characters are just born to suffer and endure and work their tails off and all for what Nothing, because they get screwed every time they start to get some hope back Screwed either by Mother Nature or by their fellow human beings Imagine seeing your child die from starvation and feeling relieved because you won t have to watch him suffer any Grimmest of all is that there are people all over the world right now living similar lives.