Rukmani Quotes

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In her first married days Rukmani recalls: “While the sun shines on you and the fields are green and beautiful to the eye, and your husband sees beauty in you which no one has seen before, and you have a good store of grain laid away for hard times, a roof over you and a sweet stirring in your body, what more can a woman ask for?”. The easy way of showing, and in particular the way she connects the beauty of the land with the beauty her husband saw in her, shows fullness of life that sets the tone for the contrasts to follow. This small quote emphasizes the thankfulness that Rukmani felt towards her fate, considering her marriage at a young age. Rukmani is thankful for the land that her family owns, but there came a time when all the happiness …show more content…

Through the act of gardening, Rukmani develops closeness with the land, represented in the writing, on the body and spirituality. She recalls: “I was young and fanciful then, and it seemed to me not that they (pumpkins) grew as I did, unconsciously, but that each of the dry, hard pellets I held in my palm had within it the very secret of life itself, curled tightly within, under leaf after protective leaf”. Her first planting of pumpkins is a special process for her, since “Rukmani experiences her own physical, emotional, sexual and psychological development through her work in the garden and the growth of her vegetables” (Dana C. Mount). It is evident that growing pumpkins, or anything else in particular, was a very interesting and pleasurable task for Rukmani, because she describes the growth as something that she should be proud and happy about: “I tried not to show my pride. I tried to be offhand. I put the pumpkin away. But pleasure was making my pulse beat; the blood, unbidden, came hot and surging to my face”. The land she loves gives her not only food and shelter, but life lessons that she can use throughout her …show more content…

When they move to Nathan’s village far from Rukmani’s family home, he is ready to show what his land can offer. He picks up a handful of harvest and promises that with “Such harvests as this, you shall not want for anything”. With this jolt towards the time ahead, Markandaya effectively plants the suspicion, in the characters, that matters will start breaking apart. The thought of a better future is evident in the capable and strong body of her husband. This hints that the land, that Rukmani loved so much, starts to somewhat take away her peace, tranquility and comfort of her land. She starts to doubt the thought that she will continue to be happy. When white missionaries come, they bring something that will also take away so much from the land: tannery. “They had invaded our village with clatter and din,” she recollects, “had taken from us the maidan where our children played, and had made the bazaar prices too high for us”. More and more buildings were built during “industrialization” and more and more land was being “swallowed” by new ways of survival. “Not a month went by but somebody’s land was swallowed up, another building appeared. Day and night the tanning went on. A never-ending line of carts brought the raw material in—thousands of skins, goat, calf, lizard and snake skins—and took them away again tanned, dyed and finished. It seemed impossible that markets could be found for

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