Shanthala proudly owned her children’s achievements, unashamed. But her husband’s power was an all blade no handle kind of sword, although it raised her social status, it alienated him from her emotionally.Since the handle was not with her, it cut her , just as it hurt others. So she was not superfluously affected by it, treating it perfunctorily. Her father never discussed politics with children, he did not bring it home, never sharing his manly problems with the girls. Madhu avidly read the papers listened to local news on T.V, eaves dropped and listened to heated arguments and political discussions, she needed to know his world, which is why she sympathized with Nisha. What she did not know hurt her more often than what she did. Madhu and Meenu did not discuss politics except as a personal issue when it affected their father. They did not even let the other know about their individual opinions.

Jagannath spoke of women in politics casually; they were defined by their dubious assosciation with some man or the other. Although he treated them with courtesy and an amiable dignified eve teasing, in public.So this Bhabi versus Barbie was a universal phenomenon spread across all professions, and age groups. Madhu was a victim of the silent breeding of resentment towards her father in absentia. When she saw him after several days, coming home, it filled her with a guilt for having hated him . When he was at home she would silently communicate her love, sometimes by way of gestures, speech was too definite, also finite. She subtly engineered to see that her mother cooked what he liked, she would entertain like a clown, usually criticising an arbitrary political leader her father hated with all her wit.So a love that had to be served by deeds, though hounded by doubts, would be scrawled as voiceless poetry, fiercely loyal but powerless before maternal judiciary was the first love Madhu had experienced towards the first hero of her life. Her father was also awkward with her, he sensed an understanding in her, which made him uncomfortable, after all they were alike, she could almost read his thoughts. He did not know to deal with an intelligent female mind who was not a sexual object, hence was invulnerable to his manly attractions, but  felt a strong human love for him , so was hopelessly vulnerable to him as a person.

 

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