The Hungry Tide

The Hungry Tide Summary and Analysis of Chapters 65-67: The Wave through Epilogue


The wind grows stronger, and increasingly large objects fly through the sky, including the shrine to Bon Bibi. Suddenly, a huge wave comes towards Piya and Fokir, and Fokir holds them tightly against the tree. Though the water almost destroys the tree, it stays standing.

Meanwhile, Kanai runs towards the guesthouse and tells Nilima to gather essentials, then go upstairs to escape the storm. They do so, and the wind is quieter upstairs. Kanai explains that he and Horen had to leave Piya and Fokir and that he lost the notebook, which makes Nilima very upset. She asks if Kanai managed to read the notebook, and he says its contents were primarily about the conflict with the settlers and Nirmal’s experiences involved in it. He tells Nilima that he thinks Nirmal left it to him instead of her because he feared she wouldn’t be sympathetic to its contents, which angers Nilima. She insists that she was sympathetic, but was more focused on improving Lusibari, and says that Nirmal was convinced he had to improve the whole world or do nothing, and that he ended up doing nothing. Kanai, however, says the notebook was something, and commits to rewriting it from his memories. Nilima asks him to add her side of the story as well.

As the tides approach, Kanai sees people at the hospital, and Nilima concedes that the cyclone shelter wouldn’t have been built without Nirmal. She states that this was the most important thing Nirmal did, but that he would have considered it unimportant since it wasn’t a revolution.

The eye of the storm approaches Garjotola. Fokir gets up and tries to find another branch to move to, then points to a tiger climbing out of the water. They tie themselves to the tree again, and Piya notices that the water is coming from the opposite direction, making the flying objects hit Fokir.

The next day, the storm has passed. The Megha has traveled most of the way to Garjontola when Kanai and Horen spot Fokir’s boat. The two boats come closer, and they quickly realize that only Piya is on the other boat. Moyna sits down and breaks her marital bangles, and Horen and Kanai carry her into the boat’s cabin. When they return, Piya has arrived. She tells them that Fokir was crushed by a heavy object and that he died saying Moyna and Tutul’s names.

That night, Fokir is cremated. Piya stays with Moyna and Tutul for the next few days, and reflects on Fokir’s death. As he died, she tried to tell him how loved and important he was, and felt that he understood despite the language barrier.

A month later, a nurse runs to Nilima and tells her that she’s just seen Piya arrive. Nilima is surprised, since Piya had left Lusibari two weeks earlier. While Piya was still there, she and Moyna became close friends, and she even started to wear Moyna’s old saris. Moyna cut her hair shorter, making them look strangely alike. Though Kanai tried to convince Piya to go home, she was reluctant, only leaving after he’d gone back to New Delhi. Piya arrives and tells Nilima that she’s been staying with her aunt in Kolkata, writing about the events of the cyclone. She adds that she started a chain letter to raise funds for a house for Moyna and Tutul and for Tutul’s education. She also announces that she has obtained funding for her work with the dolphins, but she wants to talk to Nilima before accepting the funding to get the Babadon Trust involved in the project.

Piya asks to rent the upstairs of the guesthouse and hire Moyna as a part-time staffer. She also adds that she’s obtained a visa that will allow her to stay in the area indefinitely. Piya says she wants to name the project after Fokir, since his observations of the dolphins, recorded via the GPS route, will serve as the base of the project.

Nilima says that would be a fitting memorial to Fokir. As the two have tea, Piya asks about Kanai. Nilima says that he’s restructuring his company so he can take more time off, allowing him to live in Kolkata and rewrite Nirmal’s notebook. She adds that he’s visiting in a few days. Piya says it will be good to have her home, and Nilima is surprised to hear her call the guesthouse home. Piya says that home is where the dolphins are, and laughingly, Nilima says her home is where she can make tea.


The shrine to Bon Bibi flying away reinforces the idea that Fokir and Piya are truly on their own, without even the goddess to protect them. It’s also a reminder of the earlier foreshadowing in which Fokir recounts his mother’s spirit telling him that they’ll be together again soon, when he also discussed Bon Bibi and the dolphins as her symbol. The failure of Bon Bibi to protect Fokir suggests that though the people of the Sundarbans put faith in religion to cope with the danger around them, it can’t always rescue them.

Nilima asking Kanai to include her story when he rewrites Nirmal’s notebook is one of the most significant moments in the novel. Throughout the book, the stories of women such as Nilima, Kusum, and Moyna have often been overpowered by those of the men around them, or only told through men’s eyes. Nilima refuses to let her story be sidelined, and her insistence on Kanai including her story as well represents the marriage of theory and practice that Nirmal was never able to achieve in life.

Moyna’s grief at Fokir’s death and Fokir’s use of his last words to speak the names of Moyna and Tutul shows that despite the conflicts in their marriage, the two did care for each other. Furthermore, Piya’s thoughts about Fokir understanding the love she tried to communicate to him in his last moments emphasizes the power of nonverbal communication.

Unlike Nirmal, Piya is able to evolve her views over time, using her experiences as a basis on which to take action. Like Nilima, she recognizes the importance of working alongside local people rather than against them, as the forest department had.