1.) Kennington ("Kenny") is the white doctor in town who provides modern medical care for the poor people of the village. Kenny cares for Rukmani's mother in her last days and then addresses Rukmani's infertility problem. Rukmani is forever grateful, and Kenny becomes a friend of the family. When he visits, he sometimes brings milk or food. He helps one son secure a job as a servant in a distant city and offers another son a job as an assistant in a new hospital that is being built.
2.) Rukmani faces the adversities of natural disaster when a monsoon destroys much of their home and floods the rice paddies on which their livelihood depends. She watches as her children either suffer cruel fates or leave the village to make their own lives. She and Nathan lose their land, and in the end, she is a widow.