Nectar In A Sieve
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Nectar In A Sieve

In the novel, Nectar In A Sieve, by Kamala Markandaya the protagonist Rukmani and her family lived in a remote rural village in India, which is largely poverty-stricken at that time. They live each day in fear of not having a meal on the table and a roof over their head, which is induced abject poverty caused by nature and economics. Even though Eastern culture is not as modern as Western culture, they both still have a lot of similarities and differences too. The differences between the two cultures are assistance and change. However both cultures had one thing in common, Celebrations.

In modern day America people at least try to ask for help if needed, but in the place described in Nectar In A Sieve they don’t even try. They suffer and die, but never asked for help. When Rukmani and her family had a terrible time with the bad season for farming and lack of food, they didn’t tried to do anything to solve their problem. Instead they just thought times will be better soon even though they can’t be, “ Times will not be better for many months. Meanwhile you will suffer and die, you meek suffering fools. Why can’t you people cry out for help…” (Markandaya, Nectar In A Sieve, pg. 48) No matter how many times Kenny told them to beg for help but still they never listened. Most people in India starved and died, while people in modern America tried to solve their problem with out giving up. Like making strikes and so many other things.

In Nectar In A Sieve, they don’t want change to took place in their society, but in modern day America most people do want changes to take place. People described in Nectar In A Sieve don’t want their place to be developed. In the book when they knew about establishment of
tannery, they didn’t like the idea at all, “Now it is all noise and crowds everywhere, and rude young hooligans idling in the streets and dirty bazaars and uncouth behavior…”(Markandaya, Nectar In A Sieve, pg. 50) They don’t like because it brought rude people, noise, dirt etc. They just wanted the peace and calm society they always had. While people in modern day America people always want changes to take place. They want more and more advanced technologies like Computers, Televisions, CD Players etc. They want more developed places. So some people don’t like change and some people do because of their own different points.

The most common thing between these two societies is celebration. They both have their own festivals to celebrate to have fun and more importantly to be thankful for that special day. People like in Nectar In A Sieve celebrate a festival called Deepavali, a festival they celebrate on the day when their god, Lord Krishna, defeated evil Naracasudu in one of the longest battle. That’s why they celebrate it with fireworks to show that they were free from evil. In the book Rukmani and her family celebrated it for the first time and she wanted her children to have a great time when she said, “ Deepavali comes once a year and this is the first time we have bought fireworks. Do not lose the opportunity.” She knew how important Deepavali really is, so she wanted her children to have a great time on the day that comes only once a year. Also in modern day America people celebrate 4th of July. They were thankful because of the freedom they got from British on that special with fireworks. So both festivals are slightly different, but same in the main theme which is freedom.

They both have differences and similarities, but they are happy with where they are due to their own reasons. Place described In Nectar In A Sieve don’t have as many factories and more developed places like we have over here. But they do have peace and calm places that we rarely

Jagarlamudi 3
have in here.