Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 240
1. Why do Nathan and Rukmani leave their village and go to the city?
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2. Who is Puli?
3. Who is Birla, and what surprises Nathan and Rukmani about her?
4. What do Nathan and Rukmani find when they arrive at Murugan’s home?
5. Why do Nathan and Rukmani go to work at the stone quarry?
1. Nathan and Rukmani are forced off their land because it has been sold to the tannery. Since they have no other place to stay in the village, they go to the city to live with their son, Murugan, who is married and works as a servant.
2. Puli is a young orphan who lives in the streets of the city. He befriends Nathan and Rukmani and helps them get around. He is severely afflicted with leprosy. Eventually Rukmani, who has grown to love the boy, convinces him to return to the village with her, and he becomes her adopted son.
3. Birla is the doctor to whom Kenny recommended Murugan for work. Nathan and Rukmani are surprised that Birla, whom they know to be a doctor, is a woman, and they are also surprised that she wears trousers instead of a skirt.
4. Nathan and Rukmani find that Murugan has abandoned his young wife and children and has not been seen for two years.
5. Nathan and Rukmani are determined to return to their village, so they work at the stone quarry to earn enough money to return home.