There is also a glimpse of the lives of Uma's female relatives. Anamika, her cousin, was clever in her studies and she even got a scholarship to study in America. But her parents fix her marriage and she is not allowed to go. Later she kills herself due to the torments of her mother-in-law.
Mira-massi is a distant relative and is Uma's favourite. She is very religious and spends her time by visiting temples.
Uma stays in her house taking care of her parents and at the end of the story she is 43.
Title indicates the two parts of the novel - Uma is the fasting portion as she is of the 'second sex' and Arun is the feasting one. Two parts give two different aspects of the same Indian family.
Novel is a brief glance to the condition of Indian women. Some of the problems are resolved now, but Anamikas are still there and skin colour is a great issue in marriage market as our advertisements remind us everyday.