The Village By The Sea [Anita Desai]


 

Penulis/Author: Anita Desai (1982)
Penerbit/Publisher: Puffin
Cetakan/Edition: Re-issued 2001
Kategori/Category: Young Adults – Fiction
ISBN: 0-141-31271-8

ENGLISH
The story is about Lila and Hari who worked very hard to keep their family. Both of them had stopped going to school since long time ago because their labors were needed to handle the domestic problems including taking care of their sick mother while their father was too busy visiting the toddy house for drinking.

They were living in Thul, a village by the sea located approximately 14 kms from Bombay city. Lila’s duties involved all domestic matters as well as keeping an eye on their mother and Hari’s duties were to find income so that they could buy rice and all other basic ingredients while keeping his eye on their two younger sisters, Bela and Kamal. Hari no longer went fishing since their father sold the fishing boat. He couldn’t join the other fishermen because they wouldn’t accept him.

When there was an issue that their village will be transformed into a fertilizer factory and all of the existing houses will be replaced by factory workers’ colony, some fishermen and farmers from surrounding villages gathered and marched to Bombay, to petition the Minister. Hari was one of them. He didn’t actually join them for the petition, instead he went there to find some work because he realised that there’s nothing in Thul left to be done. In Bombay, Hari worked for a small and shabby restaurant while he learnt to be a watchmender from the watch-shop owner next door. He was so lucky that he met good and kind people while living in Bombay.

Even though she was devastated by Hari’s disappearance, Lila tried her best to be strong and to do her duties as the eldest. As the wheel of life spun around, Lila’s destiny’s also changed when da Silva family came for their summer holiday to their villa in Thul. Usually, it was Hari who helped the family to fetch something from the market and to clean their car. Since Hari wasn’t around, Lila took the job to help da Silva family and she used the wages to keep their kitchen fuming. It was the generosity of The da Silvas that took their mother to the nearest hospital and paid all the expenses. Mr da Silva even gave some pocket money to their father who suddenly improved from his drunkenness state.

A positive thing that all readers may learn from this book is about Lila and Hari’s spirits in keeping the family. Their family bond wasn’t ruined by the sadness and struggles, instead it grew stronger with responsibility and the nurturing love to give the best to the family. The book is also trying to give an insight to the readers that even though we may not agree with it, it is sometimes necessary to adapt ourselves with changes, when we have no control to stop them.

I was taken in circle when reading the book because the plot was unclear. Like observing the stars in the sky with naked eye, all I could see was scattered glows. After spending almost half of the book, then I could finally got the plot.

PS: For Ravi, thank’s for the recommendation dude ;)

BAHASA
Buku ini berkisah tentang kakak-beradik Lila dan Hari yang bekerja keras demi kelangsungan hidup keluarga mereka. Lila dan Hari sudah lama berhenti bersekolah karena tenaga mereka sangat dibutuhkan di rumah untuk mengurusi sang ibu yang terbaring sakit ketika ayah mereka terlalu mabuk untuk menopang keluarga.

Mereka tinggal di desa Thul yang terletak di pinggir pantai berjarak kira-kira 14 km dari kota Bombay. Tugas Lila mencakup semua urusan rumah tangga dan juga mengurusi ibu mereka. Tugas Hari adalah mencari penghasilan yang dapat digunakan untuk membeli beras dan bahan makanan lainya, sambil ia mengawasi kedua adik perempuan mereka, Bela dan Kamal. Hari tidak lagi melaut sejak perahu nelayan mereka dijual sang ayah. Ia pun tidak dapat bergabung dengan perahu nelayan lain karena mereka pasti akan menolak.

Ketika terdengar isu bahwa desa mereka akan digusur untuk pembangunan komplek pabrik pupuk, beberapa nelayan dan peladang dari desa-desa sekitar berkelompok untuk pergi mengajukan petisi kepada Bapak Menteri. Hari pun turut serta dengan kelompok itu pergi ke kota Bombay. Ia ikut bukan untuk ber-demo, melainkan untuk mengadu nasib dan mencari kerja akibat putus harapan tidak ada lagi yang bisa dikerjakan di Thul. Di Bombay, Hari bekerja di sebuah rumah makan kumuh sambil ia belajar memperbaiki jam dari pemilik toko jam disebelah rumah makan. Beruntung sekali Hari bertemu dengan orang-orang baik selama ia berada di Bombay.

Di Thul, meskipun sedih karena kepergian Hari yang tanpa pamit, Lila berusaha untuk tetap tegar menjalankan tugasnya sebagai anak tertua. Seperti roda kehidupan yang terus berputar, nasib Lila pun berubah ketika keluarga da Silva dari Bombay datang untuk berlibur musim panas di villa mereka yang terletak di desa Thul. Biasanya Hari yang membantu keluarga da Silva untuk berbelanja dan membersihkan mobil mereka. Karena ia tidak ada, Lila mengambil alih tugas-tugas itu dan upahnya ia digunakan untuk membeli bahan makanan yang mereka butuhkan. Keluarga da Silva yang baik hati juga mengantar ibu mereka ke rumah sakit terdekat dan membayar semua biayanya. Tuan da Silva juga memberikan uang saku kepada ayah mereka yang sudah mulai berubah.

Hikmah yang bisa dipetik dari buku ini adalah tentang kegigihan Lila dan Hari yang dalam usia sangat muda mereka gigih mengurusi dan merawat keluarga. Ikatan dan rasa kekeluargaan mereka tidak pudar dan hilang dimakan kesedihan dan kesusahan, malah semakin erat dengan rasa tanggung jawab dan kasih sayang untuk berusaha memberikan yang terbaik semampu mereka. Buku ini juga ingin mengajak pembaca untuk mengerti bahwa adakalanya kita harus menyesuaikan diri mengikuti alur kehidupan ketika perubahan, meskipun tidak kita sukai, tidak lagi kuasa untuk dibendung.

Ketika membaca buku ini, aku seperti dibawa berputar-putar tak menentu karena tidak jelas inti permasalahan dan ceritanya ada dimana. Ibaratnya menengadah ke langit untuk mencari bintang, aku bisa melihat pijar-pijar mereka tetapi pijar-pijar tersebut menyebar tanpa pola. Setelah habis setengah buku barulah aku bisa menikmati alur cerita buku ini.

15 thoughts on “The Village By The Sea [Anita Desai]

  1. India-Jerman. Kalo gak salah dia skr ngajar di MIT (Massachusetts). Buku ini mendapat Guardian Award for Children’s Fiction di tahun 1982. Masih bingung bagusnya dimana *garuk2 kepala* :p

  2. aku punya yg The Fury (english), dr dulu ga beranjak dr bab 2 hehehe. satu lg yg..apa ya judule, kayak 1001 malam gitu (indonesia), tp pas rmh pindahan kayaknya hilang tuh buku pdhal blum dibaca. Jd kesimpulannya blum pernah baca. Hehehe. Katanya Midnight Childern bagus ya.

  3. > Misha & Chan Sokheang
    it seems to me that you guys are taking shortcuts to do your homework. sorry, i can’t help you on this. why don’t you read the book first and jot down some points? you can throw some discussion questions afterwards, and i am sure people would be glad to answer on that. cheers :)

  4. Ravi says:

    Hey Reyg, didn’t realise you actually got this book…glad you read it :) …and lol @ all those asking for summaries for their home work, reminds me of my school days :)

  5. Oh yeah, 3 years ago Rav! :) This book and some others are popular school readings, you would be surprised how many of them asking for summaries hahaha… They could almost copy paste my summary above on their homeworks! The same reason why I need to moderate comments now *LOL*

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