The Hungry Tide

The Hungry Tide

by

Amitav Ghosh

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The Hungry Tide: Part 2: A Sunset Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
As the sun begins to set, Piya goes up to the study and knocks on the door. Kanai comes out to watch the sunset and point out the sights of Lusibari. Piya comments that their meeting went well that morning. Kanai mentions that Fokir was sullen and is surprised when Piya says he's not like that on the water. She asks Kanai to tell her about Kusum and is shocked to hear that she died in a conflict with police. Kanai briefly sums up the Morichjhãpi conflict and says that Horen raised Fokir.
When Kanai fixates on Fokir's poor attitude earlier, it shows that Fokir's unwillingness to make an effort with Kanai can cause Kanai to, in turn, think less of Fokir. This again shows how tone and elements of communication that aren't strictly verbal can be far more consequential than the actual words exchanged.
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Piya notes that she and Fokir both grew up without mothers. Piya’s mother died of cancer when she was twelve, and was depressed and isolated long before that. Piya is surprised when Kanai seems to feel genuine sympathy for her but not for Fokir. Kanai explains he's sympathetic instead to Moyna, who's ambitious but feels held back by her husband. Piya teases Kanai about liking Moyna too much, but he admits that he'd rather have someone like Piya for a life partner. They awkwardly flirt for a moment but are interrupted by Fokir down below. Kanai translates that Horen will bring the bhotbhoti tomorrow, and they can leave the day after. Piya excitedly rushes away to gather her things and Kanai, annoyed by her departure, returns to Nirmal's notebook.
It's telling that the people that Kanai feels sympathy towards are people who are willing to actually communicate with him, unlike Fokir. Again, this shows how a simple desire to communicate and share information can improve even the most superficial of exchanges and help more information flow. Kanai's annoyance when Piya leaves reinforces that despite his sympathy, he still sees her as a conquest—and her departure tells him that she doesn't necessarily share his enthusiasm for a potential romantic relationship.
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