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After many years of tirelessly battling to survive on rented land, Nathan and Rukmani learn that their farm is being sold. Having nowhere to go, they journey to the city in a desperate attempt to seek help from their son. Their quest is unsuccessful, and they find themselves stranded in the city among scores of penniless exiles just like them, without money or possessions. Nathan and Rukmani are forced to stay at a temple where beggars are granted refuge, and they find menial work at a stone quarry. After months of labor they manage to save enough to return home, but the deprivation and backbreaking toil have taken a toll on Nathan, and he becomes sick with fever. He falls in the rain by the side of the road, and is picked up by kind passersby and laid on the temple floor. Nathan is delirious for several hours, but becomes lucid at midnight; he speaks a few loving words to Rukmani and dies quietly in her embrace (Chapter 29).
I would strongly recommend you read the book - it is well worth it!
You need to read the book to get the full impact of Nathan's death, but he dies through many long years of hard labor. His body finally gives out. He and his wife, Rukmani (Ruku), have spent their entire lives working hard and trying to do what is right. However, it appears that life is against them as they travel from one disaster to the next. Ruku is with Nathan when he dies in Chapter 29, and it is a very touching moment.
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