Anita Desai’s The Village By The Sea is an ispirational story for young children. In a small village named Thul, there lives a poor family of six people. Lila and Hari are the eldest children in the family, and are also the main characters. Other members are their two younger sisters, a mother and a father. The family condition is terrible as the father doesn’t earn but is a drunkard. Mother is severely sick, can’t do anything and needs constant care. Lila, who is just thirteen years old, has to take charge of the entire household. She is shown to be mature in a very small age.
Poverty forces 12-year old Hari to go to city (Mumbai) and find work, and soon he finds a small job there in a restaurant owned by someone called Jagu. Hari also befriends a nice person Mr. Panwallah there, and learns watch-making skills. The family back in the village gets some support from De Silvas, who are very rich. The treatment of the mother also starts. Hari comes back, and meets everyone and is delighted by the positive changes. With whatever Hari has earned and saved up till now, the family plans to start a family business which in turn will also help in Hari setting up his watch shop in the future. In this way, Hari and Lila do a remarkable job of easing up their hard life.