Ms. Aparna Bose
Assistant Professor (English)
B.P. Poddar Institute of Management and Technology
Salt Lake City
Kamala Markandaya has depicted the miseries and problems of the Indian peasants as well as the sorrows and sufferings of total Indian village life so vividly and successfully in her first novel ‘ Nectar in a Sieve’(1954), that it has become a miniature epic of Indian village life. Kamala Markandaya derives the title ‘ Nectar in a Sieve ‘ for her first novel from the poem ‘ Work Without Hope ‘ by Samuel Taylor Coleridge because a couplet written by him adequately expresses the theme of the novel. “ Work without hope draws nectar in a sieve, And hope without an object cannot live,” –these lines of Coleridge have been used by Markandaya as an epigraph. Similar incidents are also focused in the writing of Munshi Premchand, an Indian village singer. Markandaya drags the readers to the heart of a South Indian village, where evidently there is no change in life for one hundred decades. Presently the village is occupied by industry and modern technology in the form of a tannery and which results in an impact of ominous consequences in the lives of the villagers. Markandaya reveals in her writing that the lives of the peasants in the village is constantly haunted by hunger, despair and fear. It is basically a depiction of South Indian village life. The hardship and difficulties faced by the Indian tenant peasants are revealed through the straightforward peasants. Kamala Markandaya is proved to be an unparallel woman writer of creativity and a successful masterpiece of the pragmatic tendency in literature. Inspite of being a city dweller , she is well acquainted with Indian village life and it is quite evident in her depiction of Indian village life which is very much genuine.