In the first chapter of “the village by the sea”, the author introduces the characters and their lives. The eldest sister of this family is Lila, the protagonist with her two younger sisters Bela and Kamal and also their brother Hari. Unfortunately, their mother is very sick and weak and their father is a drunkard. The family is very poor, so to pay their debts, their father was obliged to sold his fishing boat and the cow. That means that they couldn’t afford money to the books and the uniform of the school for the four brothers. But Bela and Kamal had to be educated because they’re still young, so Hari and Lila do their best to afford books and uniform to these innocent girls. The protagonist and her brother have stopped going to school, Lila is practically the mum and instead of going to school, she takes care of all of the family. Every morning, she goes to a special and a sacred rock and pray to it and gives it flowers. Hari digs holes in the back yard and sometimes goes fishing and works in the fields. The lucky Hari, heard news that the government is going to build factories in Thul. He and his friends hope to get jobs there. Meanwhile, Biju, the richest fisherman in the village, is building a new fishing boat that will have an engine. A day, Bela and Kamal had to go to the beach and get molluscs, they saw a lady in a beautiful purple sari with her daughter. The girls and all of their friends at the beach got jealous because the lady and her daughter had gold bangles, which they are so expensive. Hari saw a fisherman coming out of the sea and he saw everyone with his or her money buying fish so he got upset and angry because he was unable to feed his family. And they got a new dog named Pinto.
This chapter shows us how this anguished family is trying to find innumerable solutions to move a step forward and get out of the poverty and the hunger that surrounds them. They suffer each day more than the previous one. Lila and Hari are the ones who are paying the negligence and the lax of their father. It starts with all of the villagers are waiting Biju’s boat to be built. Everyone is appalled about Biju; they all think he’s a smuggler. The de Silvas came to the village and stayed at their holiday house in Thul. So to gain money, Hari helped them and worked for them and also with the help of Lila, they swept and cleaned their house and their car, probably they made most of the hard work. They felt bad and offended by the disparity and the inequality of their lives; even Pinto the dog felt the same. Mr de Silva gave Hari hope that he could help him by giving him a job but then again he broke his word and his promise. So Hari went to take a look on the factory but to his disappointment, he couldn’t see except the debris of the factory before it was even built. Then he meets a man from Bombay who tells him a lot about the factory and how he could gain a job by learning about the chemicals.
Unwillingly and reluctantly, Lila found her mother worse than what she had been and realized that something was wrong, it turns out that she got a very high fever. The younger girls ran to the house next door to ask their neighbor Hira-bhai if she could help their mother but instead she sent them the magic man to help on getting the evil spirits away. That night, their mother was in bed and their father was out drinking toddy as usual. Brusquely, one of the three drunken brothers who lived in the neighbouring grove came and asked Lila about her father and where had he been and also about their money and its place. But Lila was surprised and she replied by “we don’t have any money” which he thinks is a joke and kept laughing on them and threatening her that he would kill her father and the dog Pinto. For their good, Hira came and shouted at him that what he’s doing is inappropriate and that a drunkard man like him should stay in a corner hiding from the people and keep on drinking...