Nectar in a Sieve
A few days after our conversation the shop finally closed down. Nobody asked: "Where do you go from here?" They did not say, "What is to become of us?" We waited and one day they came to bid us farewell, carrying their possessions, with their children trailing behind, all but the eldest, whom the tannery had claimed. Then they were gone, and the shopkeepers were glad that there was less competition, and the worker who moved into their hut was pleased to have a roof over his head, and we remembered them for a while and then took up our lives again. (8.9)
My husband especially had been looking forward to the day when they would join him in working the land; but Thambi only shook his head. (9.35)
They spoke soothingly—of how much they would earn, and how one day they would return—as one does to a child; and I listened to them; and it was all a sham, a poor shabby pretence to mask our tortured feelings.
They left at first daylight, each carrying a bundle with food in it, and each before he went kissed Nathan’s feet, then mine, and we laid our hands on them in blessing. I knew we would never see them again. (12.56)