Nathan works long hours toiling a small plot of land which doesn't belong to him. Nevertheless, as his wife, Rukmani, reflects, theirs was a life of peace and quiet; poverty did not disturb the easy pace of their life. As for Rukmani, she is considered too well-educated to get her hands dirty out in the fields. And besides, Nathan doesn't want his wife to damage her health as she's on her way to motherhood.
Rukmani, then, spends most of her leisure time tending to her small garden. Much to the delight of her husband, she also spends a lot of time reading and writing. Nathan is clearly very proud to have such an intelligent, educated woman for a wife. In this part of the world, most people are illiterate, and women in particular are not expected to be educated. But Rukmani most certainly is, and Nathan couldn't be happier.