Nectar in a Sieve Foreignness and 'The Other' Quotes
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He himself did not appear to find any difficulty in managing without, except that once or twice he had to use both hands, and there was a certain awkwardness in his handling of the food. Despite myself I could not keep my eyes off his hands; the harder I tried to keep my gaze fixed elsewhere, the more it fastened itself to those stumps. Puli, seemingly unaware, continued eating stolidly. He is used to it, I thought. He knows and accepts the shameful probing curiosities of human beings. (27.52)
Human beings have a natural curiosity about people that are different. Ruku doesn’t judge Puli for his difference, but his experience is foreign to hers. Besides his physical deformity, which she can’t help but look at, she is also enamored of Puli because he’s so different from her. His can-do attitude, brashness, and self-assurance, are a comfort to Ruku because these characteristics are so foreign to her own personality. Puli’s ways make him comfortable in this foreign place, which is in turn a comfort to Ruku. In a strange twist of events, she’s found comfort in his foreignness.