From the bookshelf “Reader” … Kamala Markandaya nectar in a sieve

While working on the Readers ’Bookshelf, we asked employees to share their thoughts on some of the inspiring texts in the collection.

Claire Ellis, our Head of Teaching and Learning, talks about it this week Nectar sieve by Kamala Markandaya.

Claire Ellis lyrics

“We’re home,” he exclaimed. – Wake up! Look!

I woke up; I looked. Mud hut, straw, small, near a green field, next to two or three similar huts. A garland of mango leaves outside the door, a symbol of happiness and success, now dried up and scattered in the wind.

Rukmani is only 12 years old when her marriage is settled. It takes a long time for the “mud hut” to feel like home.

It is a survival novel in many ways, because at the beginning of the story we meet Rukmani as an old woman who then takes us to the beginning of her marriage and later years of family life as a wife, mother, grandmother, and later a widow. Rukmani has a lot to tell us.

Its history is also reminiscent of what it really takes to live out of this land, as we see that all communities, of which the Rukmani family is a part, suffer from poverty and hunger when raw fields do not yield expensive rice harvests. life depends. Despite the rapid urbanization that grows around the family, the rural area where Rukmani lives is stunningly beautiful and interesting – I discovered many new forms of life between the pages, such as learning about the mania (see a new window on my consciousness). But the gifts of nature can also be unpredictable, and abundance can also be reduced to scarcity; or, as Rukmani reflects,

“Nature is like a wild animal that you have learned to work for you. As long as you are alert and careful to walk thoughtfully and carefully, he will help you; but turn away in a moment, be ignorant or forget, and it will take you by the throat. ”

The consequences of poverty are far-reaching for the family and have consequences for several generations, but what remains immovable is Rukmani’s love for her husband Nathan and their children. She never gives up on them and never gives up on life. And in that sense, readers of her story will not only deepen their knowledge of how difficult life can be when you are addicted to the earth, but also a sense of enlightenment that delights in human strength and perseverance. spirit where “Growth was a constant miracle – from the time the seed split and penetrated the first green shoots to the moment when young buds and fruits began to form … There was a lot of sowing and harvesting, but the miracle did not go away.”