In Kamala Markanday's Nectar in a Sieve, Rukmani is portrayed as a positive woman and provides the ideal sufferer and nurturer. Rukmani displays suffering, strength, and a positive outlook throughout out the book. Even after all the blows she receives, poverty, famine, her husbands infidelity, and the deaths of her sons, she accepts the blows and then moves on, not spending very much time on the problem.
Rukmani's relationship with Nathan, her husband, is the center of her emotional life. When she finds out Nathan has slept with another woman, she doesn't throw a fit or start yelling like most women would about the man who has betrayed her. Rukmani is very different, and these are the stages she goes through:
"Disbelief first; Disillusionment; anger, reproach, pain…He had
not known her once but twice; he had gone back to give her
a second son. And between, how many times, I thought, bleak
of spirit, while her husband in his impotence and I in my
innocence did nothing"
She never shows her emotions to the outside world.
Even when her son Raja is murdered at the tannery, her thoughts still don't come out in violence. She deals with her numbness and grief by thinking, "For this I have given you birth, my son, that you should lie at the end at my feet with ashes in your face and coldness in your limbs and yourself departed without a trace". After this is said, she prepares the body for the burial. Soon after, two officials come to the hut of Nathan and Rukmani to make sure she understands the tannery is not responsible for the death of her son. Rukmani is not moved to physical anger and, after much arguing, tells them what they want to hear.
Rukmani's general submissiveness appears to us, people who live in the