The Village By The Sea Summary

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Payal Khullar | College Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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Anita Desai’s The Village By The Sea is an ispirational story for young childrenIn 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. 

 

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nisfan | eNotes Newbie

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Anita Desai’s The Village By The Sea is an inspirational story which is about poor Marathi children; three sisters and one brother,Lila is the eldest being 13 years old. Her brother  Hari is 12. Bela and Kamal are the two other sisters who are still younger. Now these four small children get no support from their parents. Their father is a useless drunkard who is more a liability than an assert to the family. Their mother is sick and lies in bed unable even to look up to,and no friends either. the four children have to manage their own affairs.

Hari has a small plot of land.He cultivates it,but it brings only a negligible income.Even thatis not regular.They have a few coconut trees. Hari climbs them and picks coconuts and sell them to Malabaris. This is the income that sustained them.Bela and Kamal go to school. Lila and Hari have already stopped-going.

Hari has three possibilities before him to get a job.They are :

  1. Biju is building a trawler boat and Hari will be able to get a fishing job in it
  2. Some factories are going to come up in his village and Hari will be able to get a minor job in them.But all these are to happen in future.
  3. The only thinking that he can do immediately now is to go to Bombay and try for a job.Hari had a connection with Bombay. there is a house close their own hut which is belong to de Silva from Bombay. Hari works for them when they come for their holidays to this bungalow. de Silva has promised Hari a job as a cleaner of cars,if he comes to him in Bombay.Hari had his address.But Hari knows nothing about Bombay.How can he go there!

Two events happen almost unexpectedly,which put Hari in Bombay.They are

  • A drunken neighbour to whom their father owes money harasses the three little sisters during the absence of Hari.He even goes to the extent of killing their poor,faithful dog Pinto to take revenge from their father.This drives Hari to end of the tether.
  • The fishermen and farmers of Alibagh organize a protest march in Bombay.They are to go by ferry to Bombay and then march to the town. Hari who comes to know about this march, leaves their hut at night,hitch-hiked to Alibagh in a cart,and joins the protest march.This leads Hari in Bombay where he gets standed  
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