Nectar in a Sieve
"At least it stood until the worst was over," said Kali to me, "and by God’s grace we were all spared." She looked worn out; in the many years I had known her I had never seen her so deflated. She had come to ask for some palm leaves to thatch the new hut her husband was building; but I could only point to the blackened tree, its head bitten off and hanging by a few fibres from the withered stump.
"We must thatch our roof before the night," I said. "The rains may come again. We need rice too." (7.12)
"Times are better, times are better," he shouts. "Times will not be better for many months. Meanwhile you will suffer and die, you meek, suffering fools. Why do you keep this ghastly silence? Why do you not demand—cry out for help—do something?" (7.44)
How heartless are the young! One would have thought from his words we had purposefully starved him, when in fact of what there was he always got the biggest share after my husband.
"So," I said, "we do not do enough for you. These are fine words from an eldest son. They do not make good hearing."
"You do everything you can," he said. "It is not enough. I am tired of hunger and I am tired of seeing my brothers hungry. There is never enough, especially since Ira came to live with us." (9.22)