One lesson that Rukmani learns is how to adjust to her life of poverty with her new husband. Rukmani, married at 12 years old, without a dowry, is matched up with a very poor farmer. He is of a lower class than her family. She is brought to a 2 room mud hut with no furniture by Nathan, her husband.
At first she resents this situation, but then learns how to appreciate what she has. She becomes a very capable gardener.
After Rukmani gives birth to her first child, a daughter, she is unable to conceive another child. Desperate for a son, she learns how to trust a white doctor who helps her overcome her infertility. As a result, she bears several children, all boys.