The Village By The Sea (1982) is a novel written by the popular Indian writer Anita Desai.
It is based on the poverty, hardships and sorrow faced by a small rural community in India.  Plot The Village by the Sea is set in a small village called Thul in Western India and focuses on a family trying to make ends meet. The main protagonists are Lila, the eldest child who is 13 years old, and her 12 year old brother Hari. They also have two younger sisters. They live with their mother, who has been chronically ill and is bed ridden.Their father is an alcoholic, which forces Hari and Lila to manage the family. With two younger sisters to take care of, life for Lila and Hari is too hard.
Hari decides that he has had enough and leaves for Bombay to find work. Lila is left alone to take care of her family, and struggles to do so. Help comes from an unexpected source, the rich De Silvas. Meanwhile, Hari is new in the great city of Bombay and all alone. A kind watchman at an apartment where the De Silvas live, The Seabird, brings him to a restaurant owned by Jagu who gives Hari a job there.Hari builds a strong friendship with Mr. Panwallah, the lovable watchmaker.
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Through his experience with Mr. Panwallah and Jagu and the chain of events that take place in Bombay, Hari realizes that he could actually make a career as a watchmaker. Meanwhile, Lila, Bela and Kamal are forced to admit their sick mother in town hospital through the help of the De Silvas. Their father turns over a new leaf, and accompanies their mother throughout her 7 month treatment. Meanwhile Hari returns home to the changing environment. Anita Desai has explicitly described in her very own style of writing, how Hari in the dilapidated conditions of the Sri Krishna Eating House finds warmth and affection through Mr Panwallah-owner and watch mender of the Ding-Dong watch shop. Mr Panwallah instills confidence in Hari and comforts him when he is terribly home sick.
He even gives Hari a vivid and inspiring future and teaches him watch mending. This shows that even in one of the busiest, rickety and ramshackled cities such as Bombay there is still hope, love and affection. edit] Themes The themes in 'The Village by the Sea' are:
- Harsh living conditions in India
- Adaptations to changing environments
- Poverty, hardships and sadness of rural Indians
- Hari as a central character of this and teaches how to fight hardships as there are good times and bad times in a person's life
- The building up of factories in the village Thul and how it has an impact on the villagers(Effects of "Urbanization")
- Never giveup
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