A Handful of Rice Author:Kamala Markandaya Novel of today's tormented India. An overwhelming real book about those parts of us, as human beings, which are permanent and universal-love, hunger, lust, passion, ambition, sacrifice. — It is the story of Ravi, who comes to the city young and hopeful only to find that its shining promise is nothing but a light burning in his own imagination. ... more »His ambition is relentlessly ground away between two millstones: the sheer struggle for existence among too many people, and his own character.
He is involved first with a band of petty criminals led by the ruthless Damondar, who sees society as a jungle in which he must fight on its own cut-throat terms; then with the family of a tailor with whose beautiful daughter, Nalini, he falls in love. He tries to resume respectability; the responsibilities of family and business fall upon him, but all odds run against him.
The crisis comes when, rebelling once more against his adopted standards, he tries to turn to Damodar and is forced to choose between conscience and violence. His decision forms the climax of the memorable and moving book.« less